Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Cooking the books

I have spent an awful lot of money today - confession time!  What started out with needing a new oven to replace the dead one has become a bit of a kitchen makeover, and will almost look like a new kitchen.  I have scoured the internet looking for bargains, and managed to save some money on what I thought I was going to have to spend.  The units will be the same, but the worktops are going to be changed, and the sink! Instead of having the range cooker that I had been dreaming of, I am going to spend less money but have more of an impact on the entire room, which pleases me no end.  We have been here ten years, and the house is beginning to look rather tired in places, so along with the refit, I shall also emulsion the ceiling and the walls - they never recovered from the splattering of the crab apple juice a couple of years ago!  It is time that this house began its journey towards becoming more appealing to the housing market, in case it has to go on to that market, and so this is one step in the right direction.

So, what's the lesson in finance for doing this all on a budget?  Top tip number one is to have a stepson who has done time as a kitchen fitter, so that definitely helps, and then have a friend who is a gas fitter!  As for the purchasing of the materials - I have compared lots of places, with the restrictions in mind that I need to fulfil: a slightly shallower oven than most, because it has a gas pipe to fit in behind it! And the existing oven had its own legs and feet, so I needed one that didn't require oven housing units...oh, the joys!  Spending 20 minutes on the phone to this afternoon made me very glad that I had found a geographical phone number for them through the saynoto0870 website so that I didn't get charged a small fortune for the call, whilst the call handler desperately tried to sort out what she thought she knew about the oven I was asking 20 questions about!  Research has definitely been the name of the game this week.

And paying for the actual items?  I have carefully spread three payments to three companies for various items across my credit cards, so that I maximise the time I have to make the payments over the next month.  I have crunched numbers seriously, looked at our income and expenditure patterns, and I know that I can make the payments and clear all the cards when the payments fall due.  I actually have the money in savings already and could have paid straight away but I do hate to pull money out of savings if I can manage not to, and using the card gives me the flexibility and means that we will do this work without touching the savings.  We won't make any payments into the savings pot this month, or next, but we will come out of next month with a "new" kitchen and all the savings we had at the start of this month.

I promise a picture or three when it is all done - a lot of the things I ordered will be here tomorrow, but the taps will be delayed until next week, so the FH's son has just said that we will pencil in the date for the end of next week - that just about gives me time to get some painting and deep cleaning done!


Bridget said...

Looking forward to seeing the pics. Sounds like you are going to be busy!

Angela said...

This will be lovely for you, to enjoy a sparkly new kitchen [do you listen to The Archers? - Jennifer is getting a new kitchen on Ambridge, but NOT a frugal one]
And if you DO decide, later on, to move house, this will be an added selling point for you
Isn't it wonderful when family and friends are genuine experts in their trade, too?
Easter blessings xx

Lyssa Medana said...

You have to sweat to save money, even if it is mental toil researching. I am impressed. Good luck and I shall be watching carefully. WS xxx

simplesuffolksmallholder said...

goodness what a busy few days ahead, hope all goes to plan.