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New Home Blues…and Taupes and Reds

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It feels safe to talk about the positive things going on in your life but what about the dark-side you keep hidden? What about the parts of your life not even your family or closest friends know about? I’m sharing this part of my life with you not to seem superior or to feel better about myself, but to help you push on through challenges.

This coming Friday, June 24, I get to close on my new home!  I’ve been working towards this moment for over 6 months; fixing up my other home to sell, moving, storing, and the list goes on. I also had a 4 week ”layover” before this new house was finished being built. This was a most interesting experience and revealed some eye-opening revelations that I’ll share with you.

You can definitely live more frugally than you think. It may not be glamorous but remember it’s only temporary. Think outside the box to find solutions to your economic problems.

  1. Live Frugally: We were having problems finding a place to rent for only 4 weeks that would also take our dog and 2 cats.  At the same time, my husband closed his veterinary practice of 16 years. A sad event, but let’s make some lemonade out of these lemons! After searching high and low for temporary housing, I realized the clinic had everything we needed to live…a washer-dryer, microwave, internet, air conditioning, closet space, places to bathe and a large sink to wash dishes, and we were already paying rent and utilities for another 2 months anyway. And of course, it was a safe place for the animals to stay. So there we lived for 4 weeks, and by just moving in some small appliances for cooking and a TV, we were more comfortable than we imagined.
  2. Dress Frugally: Ask my friends…I am a clothes nut. My walk-in closet was jam-packed, plus I took over my son’s closet when he went off to college. But for my moving adventure, I packed them all away except for just a few items.  I kept out 3 slacks, 2 suits, 4 shirts, and 2 jackets for work, and some assorted, more casual clothes for the weekend. And from those few items, I have mixed and matched almost a different outfit every day. I became an expert on finding new looks.
  3. Eat Frugally & Creatively: I’m saving every penny for our new house. I much rather have a new home with a piece of new furniture than eat out every night. So, we cooked most of our meals in the clinic. We used 3 dorm-sized refrigerators already at the clinic to store our food, plus a large chest freezer. (no Costco shopping for me) I also had boxes of my canned food packed from my pantry. It’s amazing how many different meals you’re able to make with a George Forman, microwave, and a camp stove. Hamburgers and Chili; Pork Chops and Steamed Broccoli; Tuna Melts with Pepper Jack cheese are just a few of the meals that I’ve been able to whip up. And for dessert, try one of those single serving desserts that you cook in the microwave, like Betty Crocker Warm Delights. Yum!
  4. Adjust Your Thinking: My husband and I joked that this was like a month-long camping trip. Living out of a suitcase, sitting in umbrella chairs to watch TV, using paper plates, and cooking on a camp stove (it actually heated water faster than my one at home!) can become more fun if you just have the right outlook. 
  5. Be Grateful: Honestly, I haven’t been telling a lot of people that my husband and I lived at the clinic while waiting for our house to be finished. And if I do, they are either supportive (thanks, Geri, Ann, Regina) or give me a funny, concerned look. But I’m always a bit in awe how things work out for the best. If my husband hadn’t closed the clinic just at that time, then we would have been hard pressed to find a place to live for 4 weeks that took my 3 animals but didn’t break the bank. (One place wanted $100 extra per day to house our animals. Incredible!)

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