Friday, May 29, 2009

Window shopping

There's nothing like buying a house to make you want to spend money like mad. Recently we've pretty much stopped spending money in order to pay off my surgery debt as quickly as possible, and believe me, there's nothing like buying a house and then severely restricting your spending to make you REALLY want to go crazy with the credit card.

So, in lieu of actually spending the money, I thought I'd make two lists: first a list of what we've spent money on since moving to Denver (excluding the obvious: house and moving expenses), and the second a list of what we dream of spending money on, someday, once the smoke has cleared from our bank account.

So. What we've spent money on so far:
  • A dog
  • My surgery
  • A mattress and bed frame
  • A patio table and chairs
  • A TV
  • A Washer and dryer
  • A lawnmower
  • Home security
What we WANT to spend money on, eventually:
  • Landscaping the front and back yards
  • A hot tub
  • A bedroom set for the guest room
  • Another bedroom set for the basement guest room
  • A dresser and nightstands for our own bedroom
  • A dining room table and chairs
  • Shelving for the living room, family room, and offices
  • Painting the kitchen
  • Maybe painting some other rooms
  • Rugs for several rooms
  • A couch
  • An armchair
  • A nice coffee table and some end tables
  • Art
  • Replacing the siding on the house (urgh)
  • Window blinds that actually keep the light out (our current ones are a useless joke)
  • Someday maybe expanding the master bathroom and putting in a double jacuzzi tub?
  • A bigger TV (this is all Torsten)
  • An elliptical trainer
  • A second car, someday
  • Lots of traveling
  • Eventually, furniture etc. for a baby
I cannot even think about how much everything on that second list will cost. I really can hardly bring myself to think about how much everything on that first list has already cost us. Not that I regret it, because I really don't. But oh my god, so much money. I feel like I went very quickly from broke college grad whose every possession came from Ikea to, like, grown-up homeowner who wants nice things (and even owns some already). Scary.

So tell me, what do YOU want to spend money on?


  1. Oooh, ooh, I'll go!!

    We bought a house in 2007, so like you, my list is long - so I'll just give the major highlights, yes?

    - Hardwood floors for the kitchen, foyer, and office
    - New bathtub for downstairs bath (this is happening this weekend)
    - New carpet for living room and staircase
    - New staircase, actually, with lovely banisters
    - New siding and roof

    OOF. I don't want to think about what that will cost either, but boy will it all be lovely when complete! I just keep telling myself that...

  2. When I bought my first condo, I had the exact "oh shit" moment you're having. The "oh shit, I've spent so much money already" moment, combined with the "oh shit, there's still so much more to buy" moment. =)

    One thing that helped me regulate my spending a bit was to look at part of the tax break I got every year as a homeowner as spending money for the home. Little by little, I (and now we) have been able to invest in our home.

    Currently on my list of things to buy: paint for the living room, tiles for the kitchen back-splash, new overhead lights for the living room, a new entry way console table & mirror. There are others, but those are the things on my most-immediate list!

  3. -carpet, paint and furniture for B's playroom
    -a new kitchen
    -lots of clothes
    -lots of shoes
    -a pool

    and a vacation for my hubby and i sans baby.

  4. i have so many ideas for our house. here are a few:
    - putting on an addition
    - putting in hardwood floors
    - new bathtub
    - new living room furniture

    we're hoping to do the addition in a couple of years, once all or most of our debt is paid off. i can't wait.

  5. I would love love love to have some bookcases built into our living room. I'm probably going to settle for some nice, freestanding bookcases.

  6. House with a fenced back yard...OH YEAH!

  7. oooh, I have SUCH a LONG list of things I'd love to have the money to buy. lol

    - a big TV for D's birthday
    - a nice vacation
    - fencing in the remainder of the yard
    - screen in the back porch
    - a dining room table
    - rip out carpet and put in hardwood
    - new nursery decor

  8. Gah! Don't get me started!

    We bought our house 3 years ago and still have not even put a DENT in what we want/need for it. But hubs and I don't have a ton of extra money floating around. And then I took a pretty hefty paycut.... And hey, we've got the three kids we're trying to keep well-fed and clothed (darn kids!) Well, anyway, here's a sample:

    -New Roof (Yay!)
    -Paint for the kids' rooms
    -Used sectional for $100 (ghastly!)
    -Big TV and stand (priorities!)

    Still want/need:
    -Paint for LR, MaserBD, Bathrooms, hallway
    -MORE PAINT for Kids' rooms (one room is PEELING--the other we just weren't happy with the final paint job)
    -A Whole. New. Kitchen. (REALLY ghastly!)
    -New siding OR
    -Power washer and paint for existing slab siding (we're going for that--hopefully--this summer)
    -New carpet for LR or pull carpet and finish hardwoods underneath
    -New furniture for LR and den
    -Replace paneling in den
    -new master BD furniture
    -kid-friendly decorations and art
    -swingset (promised 3 X-mases ago!)
    -re-pave driveway (needed BADLY)

    Oh, I could go on. But you've probably lost interest and moved on to other comments by now!

  9. We are getting towards the end of our mortgage so I'm starting to put some thought into home improvemtnts, especially as our house was built in the 1950s!

    -revamp workroom into movie room (repaint, built in lighting, speakers, projector, tiered movie seating)

    -pool and landscape front yard (currently useless as it's a sloping section)

    -swap position of master bedroom and it's ensuite (the ensuite currently enjoys lake views while the bedroom has no view)

    -rip out kitchen and start again including pushing the wall out by a couple of yards

    -landscape back yard (currenly being dug up by our Irish Setter so this one will likely be the last thing done)

    I think we'll start with the movie room but in reality it's the kitchen that really needs redoing. It's a lot to redo so we considered knocking the house down and starting again but it has so many gorgeous features like hard wood floors that it seems silly to start from scratch. Plus it's cheaper to do the renovations as we have money rather than do it all at once and have a giant mortgage again.

  10. ugh I wish I had a house... but right now all I want is a new car and J Crew wardrobe. lol

  11. I really REALLY want a road bike!

    But right now, I'll settle for a haircut and color :)

  12. We are about to close on our first home on Monday, and have come to the realization that we have no furniture. So our list would include things to sit on.

  13. My to buy list:


    I can't wait. After years of spending my spare cash on CDs, DVDs and going out I am so ready to spend it on decor and furniture. Can't wait to make a list more like yours!

  14. Dude--some of the stuff on your list--coffee tables, end tables and paint you can probably find fairly cheaply on Craigslist or through Freecycle :) And, if you want the adventure of it, you can always go dumpster diving. Now is the perfect time. Find the apartments that students rent near the colleges in your town and cruise by them a couple of times a week. Students are notorious for throwing away a ton of really well made and in-good-condition stuff because they cannot pack it into the back of their cars when they move home :)

    As for us, we just helped a friend move into a nice big house and now our apartment suddenly feels small and more crowded than it used to so I'd have to say that the thing I want most right now is to be able to afford to move to a new place, whether it is a rental house or having enough to buy a house, I do not care. I'm in the mood to move stuff and rearrange (and buy new stuff of course)!

    Also, I would really like a Costco membership and some of Olive Garden's salad dressing. I have wants at all ends of the spending spectrum ;)

  15. I'd like to spend money on a house of my own but I'm not there yet so other things: a laptop, airplane tickets, a new wardrobe when I drop weight, art for my walls, a new purse and some new earrings.

  16. Oh man... I hear you on the windowshopping. Personally I want the following:
    A house, 4 bedrooms and closed garden.
    A new bed... preferably a king size
    A new fridge

    Anything else would just be icing on the cake at this point!

  17. I'm still a childish renter, so ya know, clothes.

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  19. I want:
    -to have a bunch of dirt brought in and have our backyard releveled so it isn't underwater all spring.
    -a new car for Jim. His sucks so bad it's not even funny. TOTAL beater.
    -to add on a master bedroom/bathroom WITH an office area so Jim can have privacy when he works from home instead of being in the den with the all the toys.
    -like, a whole new wardrobe. Also a personal shopper because I hate shopping for clothes, which is why I need the new wardrobe in the first place.
    -new kitchen cupboards.

  20. I want a friggin' vacation, but I have to wait a while.

  21. I think we all should start walking around and suddenly see a package of an unknown object and take the package home to find some money.. money that could get us what we all want.

  22. Oh hot tub is a definite must, hope you make it a priority too :P

  23. My husband and I have a list JUST LIKE THIS! We've been in our home for 6 months now and we're almost through it all. We did take some out of savings, but most of this we've accomplished just by watching what we spend (having date nights at home instead of eating out really helped!). We've already bought:

    - New furniture for the living room. (Custom sofas, benches, bookcase, rug, trunk coffee table and tv stand.)
    - Dressers in our bedroom
    - New window treatments for Every. Single. Window. in our condo, almost all of which I made myself. We had nasty 80s blinds that were sucking my will to live. I was so glad to see them go.
    - Desks and storage for our office
    - Custom shutters in our kitchen
    - Complete overhaul on our rooftop deck including paint, furniture, linens and plants (lots of DIY work there)

    Still need:

    - The 2nd bedroom is going to be a nursery. We're planning to make a baby pretty darn soon, so we're leaving it more or less empty until we have a due date and a gender!
    - Chrome kitchen faucets
    - New kitchen light fixture
    - New carpeting in the bedrooms (someday, not urgent)

    A lot of what we've spent has been furnishing as opposed to actual upgrades to our property, but even those types of investments I think will be good for our condo's value when we eventually do sell. The deck, for example, used to be just a boring, empty space. Now, it is practically a second living room.