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My Little House Design: On Not Having it All

Friday, March 29, 2013

On Not Having it All

If you feel so inclined check out my latest article for twentysomethingindy.com - it's all about great east side thrift shops!

You can't have it all. It's a pretty common phrase but one that is easy to forget. The growing popularity of blogs can make people (especially women) feel like they are never good enough. I look at blogs like Oh Happy Day and I sort of want to crawl into a hole and quit my blog, but then I remember that I can only do my best with what I've got.

Chances are, like me, you do not make millions of dollars a year and so hopefully this blog is inspiring to you because I work on a very little budget. But maybe you look at this blog and think, 'how can she afford to do all that stuff to her house on a single person income?'

The answer is really simple; I don't spend my money on other stuff. I should really save more, give more, and prepare for retirement, but let's not go there... I'm talking about my discretionary budget for the month, how I spend the 'extra' money left over after bills, loans, etc. My house looks great and I'm happy with what I've accomplished so far, but the rest of my life isn't so together. So here is a list of the things that I don't spend my money on but would if I wasn't so into interior design.

1) Fashion. If I wasn't saving money for my dream bookcase I would have a much better wardrobe. In fact, the other day I got dressed and I realized that my shirt, sweater, and scarf were all purchased in 2008. Yeah, that was five years ago. I don't look terrible or anything, but if I threw away all my clothes with holes or stains... I would have no clothes. I have Pinterest, I look at magazines and blogs, I know what looks good, but man I'd so much rather spend $40 on a gallon of paint that will transform a room in my house than $40 on a fancy blouse from ModCloth.

2) Beauty. I've never really been a big products person. I have one small bag of makeup and I use it until it is completely gone and then I'll purchase replacements. I don't get my nails done or my hair colored. I only get my hair cut about three times a year and only when I can get it done for $15 (plus tip) otherwise I'll just cut it myself (curly hair is very forgiving that way). If I wasn't so obsessed with thrifting and craigslisting it would be nice to buy fancy lotions and get a haircut where they actually bother to wash my hair first.

3) Entertainment. I love going to shows, movies, the theater, museums, and eating out but all of those things cost money. Since I can't have it all I usually try to pick a few events to do and spread them out so I feel culturally fulfilled throughout the year. My little way of cutting costs when I go out to eat with friends is not drinking. Dude, drinking at restaurants and bars is expensive so I stick to Diet Coke and mentally move that $6-12 I saved into my 'Decorative Items' budget line.

4) Technology. Man, I really want photoshop and a new camera and iPhone 5 but none of that is happening any time soon. I have an awesome Mac Air for work and I love it and hug it all day long and hope that I can keep it forever (I can't) but if I didn't have this for a work computer I would probably have a Dell or something equally lame. My camera is six years old and it still works so *knock on wood* I'll keep it until it doesn't. Having an iPhone at all is awesome so I'm not complaining but I'll always be a generation behind because if I have to choose between spending $256 on a new phone or a new rug, I'm most definitely getting a new rug.

So now you know that even though my house looks awesome, the rest of my life isn't so chic. The only exception is travel. If I have to choose between going to Europe and screening in my porch, I'm definitely choosing Europe (I like interior design but I'm not crazy).

What do you spend your 'extra' money on? Are you a one trick pony like me? Or do you try and spend your money evenly over all areas of life (this is the smart thing to do)?

Wondering why all the images are just from my house and in no way related to the topic? Yeah, me too.

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