Impulse control

If ever there was a time when I’d be susceptible to impulse buying, it’s now with the new house. Purses? I can easily resist a Coach or Prada bag. Shoes? What are Manolos? Clothes? Hate shopping for those.

But when it comes to housewares, I’m a shopping whore. Put me in Target, Bed Bath & Beyond or even Home Depot or Lowe’s, and I seriously have to control myself. Bed linens, curtains, dishes, ceiling fans, appliances — everything is fair game.

Then, there are the bigger projects we’d eventually love to do once we build up our savings account again… it may take a while:

1. Add a deck to the rear of the house. Right now, there’s nothing back there except an excessively weedy patch of land. The grass is pretty choked out, so we’ll have to remedy that, too.

2. Fix the “cabin” upstairs.
Every wall on the second floor is made up of knotty pine paneling. Everything. The two bedrooms, the hallway, and even the bathroom — with custom knotty-pine vanity — is covered in the stuff. We’d been using the downstairs full bath for the last three weeks; finally, today I took a shower upstairs. Afterward, the walls smelled like maple syrup. Dad came over this weekend and declared his intent to strip said walls and replace with much-more 21st century-like sheetrock.

3. Buy a sectional sofa for the living room. I’m tired of the sofa-and-recliner look, which was always the only stuff I could fit into an apartment living room. And that’s our current look — toss in the TV, and that’s what is in the room right now. Mr. Saver calls it “crack den decor.” Of course, sectionals cost twice what a simple sofa and loveseat do, so we may have to compromise.

4. Install central air. We have forced-air heat, so the ductwork is there. This is not high on my personal list since I don’t mind a warm-ish house, but Mr. Saver would disagree.

5. Deal with the pitch of the front lawn. The front property is level from the house outward for 10 feet and then does a nosedive at a 70-degree angle down to the sidewalk. Eventually, we’d like to remedy that with a short retaining wall and clean fill.

I’m sure there are more things that I can’t think of; who knows if we’ll get half of our list accomplished in the next five years. All of this requires a lot of money we currently don’t have. Firstly, I want to pay down our debt, which I’ve been doing. Then, we need to ramp up our savings, which we can’t do at our pre-house pace because of a little thing called the mortgage. But I’m confident we’ll be able to get ourselves in good shape by next spring. Oh, and that $8,000 first-time homebuyer credit will be a blessing.

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