The incredible shrinking budget

Incredible shrinking budget

Sometimes it’s about the tools you use

When I built my Ikea kitchen all by my lonesome, the best investment I had made was purchasing 3 small clamps.  They are similar to these.

Wow, what a difference they made.  These things clamp the cabinets together tightly so you can easily screw them together. I had done a lot of small home projects in the past, but I had never discovered these gems before.  They saved me from requiring a second person to help me complete this job.

Since we’re not looking to trade up and intend to stay where we are, I’m always looking for small ways to improve our place. One of the small works in progress is my small bathroom face lift.

However, my most recent DIY home improvement project is a small project to upgrade the crown moulding in some of our rooms.  I’m starting with the bedroom, because it is a perfect rectangle shape with only right angles. I figured that the room needs painting anyway, so why not add a little something extra that provides a little class?

To get some ideas for the project I started searching on Houzz.  Actually, I started a regular google search and what I was searching for, showed up within Houzz.

My search: 1932 Moulding.

Our building was built in 1932 so Art Deco was still popular during that time.

My search came up with some cool Art Deco style moulding that I calculated would have cost us about $1,000 to complete the room.  That included $200 in shipping costs.  Wow!  I hate to pay shipping, whether I’m selling something on ebay or purchasing something outside of my Amazon prime account.

Don’t discount convenience…it can save you time and money

Searching for something a little more reasonable on Amazon, I came up with some prefab, dental moulding that wasn’t an exact match, but it would provide a nice change of character to the room.

The best part was that the cost of this moulding was only $125 to cover the same room, and shipping would be free within 2 days with our Amazon Prime account   I added some corner pieces and hanger hooks and those items added about $40 to the total.

I went from $1,000+ that my wife balked at to $165 and I never had to leave my home.  The “not needing to leave my home” is no small thing, as I could schlep to Home Depot to find something or another location, but traveling there would cost me time and money.  Getting a bulky item home, like long strips of moulding, especially on the subway presents even further challenges.

Because I utilized my “credit card” calendar. I put this charge on a card that recently had a closing date.  I won’t need to actually pay for these materials until the 2nd week in March.  Keeping the money in my own pocket for that much longer helps me plan better and reduces stress.  It allows me to spread my budget and planning over a longer time horizon.  When you’re serious about saving money, NOTHING is left to “chance”.

Is the moulding exactly what I wanted? No.  Will it improve the look and feel of our apartment, and add value to the eventual resale price? Yes.

Sometimes you need to make sacrifices and compromises to keep more money in the bank. You also need to leverage the tools that you have available to you.  No purchase is too large or small to try to maximize the value and minimize the cost.


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