Friday, 28 September 2012

Fantastic and Free (like a frisbee...?) #1

So, ever since I quit my job at Tim Hortons, Derek and I have been getting used to living on one income. Technically, we should have been doing that before - when I was working at Tim Hortons - but we weren't. My reasoning behind saying that we should have been living on one income came from a paper I wrote last year for Marriage and Family class on dual-income families. Though I won't include the whole paper, here is part of my conclusion: 

"It is easy to fall into a number of traps when choosing the dual-income lifestyle. The first is the ‘more-money-trap’. Essentially: falling under the impression that with two incomes, the money will come flowing into the family. With this, it isn't difficult to build a lifestyle that requires two incomes, leaving yourself without anything to fall back on if one spouse loses their job. Derek Penner says about this, 'Biblically, it’s not sinful to have a lot, but it is if the focus of your possessions is on yourself and if that’s all your using it for. The concept of living on one-income even in a dual-income family is Biblical in that you’re not living in excess.'"

Essentially, the conclusion I came to was that there is no problem in having both spouses working, but there can be a problem if you're living in excess and depending completely on having two incomes. I came across a few suggestions about how to balance the issue, including the idea that the secondary income be used for "unnecessary" things such as holidays, home improvement, more clothing, a boat, an emergency fund, etc. Whatever you want, really. So, now that Derek and I have only his income, it's become an exercise in not spending any money being more frugal. 

In continuing with the more frugal exercise, I thought it would be nice to bring in a fun twist (because we all know that when cash is tight, most things aren't fun). My plan: for the next two weeks, I am going to create one FREE project each day. That means working with what I have, or working with what I can find without spending a single cent! It'll be interesting doing this along with the October Dress Project - which you guys will find out about in three days (Oct. 1st!). 

Today's project: updating some of our decor for fall. I've been wanting to move out some of the summer-themed sea shells/bright colours for a week or two now, but since we were in the midst of moving (and I was in Alberta for a week), it just wasn't going to be happening until after the move. And now "after-the-move" is here, and it was time!

Voila! Brand new fall themed decor in our brand new living room. It actually took almost no time - except for the fact that I had to iron out the burlap. The burlap I already had lying around from some past project, and the candles with pebbles thing was a wedding present.

All it took was to cut the burlap to size (a simple cut-off-the-weird-leftovers-from-last-project), iron out the burlap (because it was uber wrinkly), fray the sides a bit, and plop it down - along with the candle tray - on our coffee table. Yay! It's already starting to look like fall in here.

One of my favourite things, and something I totally didn't even notice until I was mostly done writing about this, is that the burlap runner goes incredibly well with the natural-esque lampshades that we have in the living room. Believe me, these terrible cellphone pictures don't do it justice. (And yes, that is our wedding guestbook complete and together sitting on the table under the lamp!) 

Budget breakdown:
COFFEE TABLE: already owned (though it belongs to Lana so I'll have to replace it eventually) - $0
BURLAP RUNNER: leftover from another project - $0
CANDLE/PEBBLE TRAY: wedding present - $0

TOTAL: $0 - Fantastic.

Update: For anyone who doesn't have a candle/pebble tray, it would be totally easy to just through a few votives, and maybe some hurricane vases onto the burlap instead. Pebbles from outside (or the Dollarstore - if you're willing to spend $1) would make a great, quick and easy filler. I'd love to see someone do this with an assortment of containers for an asymetrical-chic look!

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