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Home > unexpected bargain, and kindergarten...already!

unexpected bargain, and kindergarten...already!

January 14th, 2013 at 07:36 am

I spent $90 on an unexpected score!

We have been slowly finishing our basement. We moved in almost 2 years ago and have since finished the main portion as well as my office with walls, flooring, etc. Nice and spendy finishing.

We have another area by the washer and dryer. it's 10 ft by 18 ft, and we thought it would make a cool game room for us and for when the boys are older. (Think ping pong or poker nights. That sort of thing.)

Anyway, I wanted to 'finish' it off with paint, and a rug to make it cozier, but keep it cheap and simple, unlike the other two areas which are much more deluxe and required framing and carpet, etc. Like under $200. Well, most of you know a 10 by 18 foot rug costs a WHOLE lot more than that. I was starting to think it wasn't possible.

My 4 year old and I went to the new Habitat for Humanity ReStore (a thrift store for building supplies) looking for items for our spring garden expansion, and stumbled upon thousands of BRAND NEW overstock and close out 24x24 carpet tiles for $2 each. A little quick math and I realized I could carpet the game room for $90. Sold!!!

We did have to sort through about 20 heavy stacks to find good colors. We eventually found 45 tiles in purples, lime greens, blues, etc. that we made into a random pattern that looks pretty cool. Now we just need paint. So it looks like the game room will be done ahead of schedule and on my paltry $200 budget.

I wasn't planning to spend the money, but when opportunity knocks, you have to answer. The boys and I spent an hour clearing out the game room and arranging the tiles.

Okay-- so the carpet did technically cost me $90 plus a 25 cent gumball to reward my little man for being such a good helper. Small price to pay right?

In other news, we just got the papers to register our little man for kindergarten. I've waited so long for this, and yet I still can't believe the time has already come! FREE SCHOOL!!!!! We have two open houses to go to in Feb., then we turn in the forms in March.

We also registered his little brother for preschool next year, and have decided he is going half days five days a week, rather than the three days a week we have now. We'll pay about $550 a month for that.

We now pay $785 for both of them to go three half days. I'm looking forward to the extra time to work every day AND the extra money. Fingers crossed little man likes school, since all of his preschool friends are assigned to other elementary schools in the district. ( : ( )

A good friend of ours also came over last night. We watched the Arsenal soccer game. She also wanted financial advice, which strangely, I have become the go-to person for that in my social group. She is a newlywed, but the couple has been together for more than the 7 years I've known them.

They're in bad shape. Not on the same page, just kind of waffling, and not dealing with debt, etc. The wife wants to try to pay off debt and finally start saving money for things like travel and buying a house (They're in their mid-30s), etc. The hubby is working part time at a restaurant and isn't too interested in getting more hours. He'd worked as a manager at a different restaurant but was overworked and on salary, so I think he's taking it easy for a while due to burn out. Anyway, with his reduced pay and hours the debt repayment money instead is going to rent, and bills.

After a while, I also started to think their financial lives are too complicated-- they each have two or three checking accounts, plus a shared account, and I can't figure out why. They still live like roommates or single people. A lot of couples I know who lived together before marriage have separate accounts, and I can see how that is useful, but I can also see how if you so the here's mine, here's yours approach, it can be hard to work toward common goals as a couple.

So, yeah. She wanted my advice on paying off the debt, and getting on the same page. I didn't know what to say. Do you guys have any thoughts on that?

3 Responses to “unexpected bargain, and kindergarten...already!”

  1. laura Says:

    I would recommend some sort of money class for couples. DH and I attended one almost four years ago and it made a world of difference in how we approached money. We not only had poor communication, but poor understanding of where each other came from financially-speaking. It also helped us clarify our shared vision of what we want to accomplish in our future and how money is a tool for that. Thankfully now we are on the same page and it is so much easier.

    A plan without understanding might not really change their situation much. Good luck!

  2. Looking Forward Says:

    The carpet squares sound perfect for the gameroom. What a score! Smile

  3. Jerry Says:

    It can lead to a time of mixed emotions when the little ones start kindergarten in earnest... but it's pretty cool! They learn a ton, and you have the insurance that they start to feel SO big and grown up, while still being small enough to cuddle. Smile It's a great age...

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