Friday, August 22, 2008

Budgeting For Your Home Decor

In a recent post, I ended by telling you that I would discuss budgeting for the decor of our homes. If you interviewed your husband about his likes and dislikes, you are ready to move on to this step because he gave you such a handsome budget to work with, right?

"No," you say, your husband just hears the word "decor" and all he sees are dollar signs? Well, you have (hopefully) come to the right place!

The good news is that you do NOT need to spend a large amount of money in order to have a beautiful and God-glorifying home, not at all! No matter if your budget is $5.00 or $5,000 (more or less, in some cases), you can make your home a lovely and comfortable place to be with a little resourcefulness and creativity... and lots of prayer!

Redo, Repurpose, or... Replace

When I began the redo of our main living areas, I knew I didn't have much at all in the way of money with which to work. I knew that there would be precious little wiggle room in our budget, so I set myself a goal: Make do with what I have, or—if I need to buy something—sell something first to cover the expense. That way, I would not be taking money out of our already tight budget.

So, off to the used curriculum fair I went (I actually went to three over the course of a month and a half). I sold around $250.00 worth of old curriculum that I did not need/use and put that money to work to buy the paint and shelving that I needed. Then Jim Bob and I listed the leftovers from those sales on Amazon and covered the expense of decorations, artwork, and any odds and ends needed to finish the job.

I am also planning a late summer garage sale to cover the cost of a few more projects.

This also helps with decluttering, because old items are going out as new items are coming in. "Out with the old, in with the new!"

Ask and It Shall Be Given

But the biggest part of all of this was prayer. Lots of it. I simply asked the Lord to provide for the things I needed, then sat back and watched Him take care of the details. He is so faithful!

The best example that comes to mind about His provision is our new dining room table:

Nine feet long by four feet four inches!

Anyone know the best way to remove 50+ year-old rubber?
In an asbestos suit, maybe?

This table is in pretty rough condition, but with a little elbow grease, it will become a beauty!

Here's the situation: We have a very small 3 foot by 5 foot table that has served us well over the last five years, but with my mother having moved in with us and our youngest becoming a "big girl," we have outgrown this little table. We needed another one to seat our family as well as any guests that we entertain. So, I began asking the Lord to provide a dining room table that would cover these needs. I prayed for about a month, and then one afternoon on the way home from the grocery store with my oldest son, we saw a sign for a garage sale.

It was very late in the afternoon, and if you have ever been to garage sales, you know that is not usually the time to expect very many good finds. They are almost always taken by that point.

So, we pulled up to this lady's house and sitting right in front of her garage was a nine foot long table. The table was solid wood, very heavy, and had a rubber mat inset on top. The owner said that it was a table found at an auction from one of the old schoolhouses in our county. I looked it over thoroughly and asked her how much she was asking for it. I was thinking I would take it if she said anywhere between $25.00 to $40.00. She replied, "$20.00" With my heart racing, I said, "I'll take it!" Truth is, I probably could have talked her down on the price because it was so late in the day but, truth be known, I was so excited, bargaining didn't really come to mind at that moment!

I now have a very large table that I'm going to do something beautiful and purposeful with, and all for a small amount of money and a little work.

My point here is that it can be done! Pray, be patient, and watch the Lord do His thing! He is always faithful to provide.

Setting Goals and Steady Plodding

The reason I tell you this long story during a post on budgeting, if it is not yet obvious, is to show you that you can do this! It can be done very easily on the cheap, without looking so.

Set a goal for yourself and stick to it. Ask your husband to help you think outside the box. You might be amazed at what you'll come up with. And your family can all get in on the redos involved. We are making it a family project for the beginning of this school year (since we homeschool we can easily incorporate this into our days).

Later I'll post more pictures of projects that took us "out of the box," and how we did them. Also, I'll give you a more detailed breakdown of our budget and how we did it all for less.

Stay tuned, it will be an exciting ride!

In the meantime, pray for the Lord to give you guidance in your decorating adventures, trust Him and commit your way to Him, He will provide and show you how!



Margaret in VA said...

AMY!!! Here you are! I thought you weren't blogging any more and I've missed you.
I'm so glad that JimBob linked to you on Facebook.
I've just read this post and God does indeed provide those special gifts for us when we are in prayer and trying with his help to be faithful.
And on that note, Gaelan is getting married this November to Emily Altmann! We are thrilled here.
We pray for your family and hope that you are all well.

Amy Howard said...

Hi there, Margaret!!!

Yes, I'm back in the (blogging) saddle again. A couple of years ago our children were just too small still for me to continue, but they are getting so much bigger and more self-sufficient (especially regarding schoolwork), and they are all becoming so much more helpful around the house that I now have time to blog again! It's such a good thing for me because there is always something floating around in my head that I want to write down, sometimes it's weighty, sometimes not, but it helps to get it out of my head!

God is sooo faithful to always provide, isn't He?!! Even a spouse for Gaelen He provides! We are overjoyed at your news! I'm so glad you commented because I tried to go to your blog last night from mine and it wouldn't go through. I didn't know that you had switched over to Blogger from Xanga. Welcome aboard!

To my readers: If you haven't visited Margaret's blog, please do so! She is a lovely and godly woman who has blessed me (and my family) many times over the last few years (including opening up her home to us last year during the Jamestown celebration). Bookmark this lady... she is exceptional!

Home Decorations said...

Thanks for all the tips!

Malia Russell said...

Beautifully written. Thank you for the reminders that it is okay to set goals but to rely upon the Lord's provision. I am great at setting goals, then knocking myself out to achieve them. I am always amazed at His provision, when I remember to ask, then sit back and patiently wait.
Thanks for sharing!
Malia Russell

lisasr said...

Amy, oh this blog reminds me of one of our common interests-- decorating! I have my own business now, so I soaked up your blog thirstily. What a fab find! I look forward to seeing your progress as it becomes the beauty I know you'll make of it. It is amazing what we can turn into treasure by repurposing things with an open mind and a willingness to try something new (or old, depending on how you look at it.) :) Thanks for sharing!