Living Within Your Means + Before Renovations Home Tour

In my last post, I said moving into our new mortgage-free home has been quite an adjustment. The following photos may help explain what I mean.

Our old house (those are not our cars in the drive. They belong to family members):


the new house:


my old kitchen:


my new kitchen:


my old cabinets:


(sigh)….my new cabinets:


I’m sure you get the picture.

The first week in our new home was rough

Something about packing your whole life into boxes is stressful to me. Add to that the chaos of moving, and the sweat of cleaning, we did not have a working bathtub for one week, a stove to cook on for two weeks, no clothes dryer for over a month, and we still have no dishwasher (contrary to popular belief, compared to hand washing, dishwashers save both time and water). I was able to cope without the latter three but not having a bathtub was unbearable.

After two days of plumbing work underneath the trailer Brian finally resorted to taking a sponge-bath outside in the carport. While I did not look down upon him for doing so, I refused.

One day later…

I got into my bathing suit and while the rest of the neighborhood slept, I felt water on my skin again. It was awesome. Needless to say, that first shower in the new tub was close to heaven.


The home came with a nice gas stove but an empty propane tank and to get someone out to fill it took longer than expected. To combat this problem, we cooked breakfast on an electric griddle and made dinner in the crock pot. It really wasn’t too big of an issue but when I finally cooked a meal on the stove, I took a picture.


The process of washing my laundry also changed

Our new house did not come with an outlet for a dryer so I quickly found myself surrounded by the ultimate symbol of “simple living” – the clothesline.


Don’t get me wrong- I find hanging clothes on a line to be nostalgic, sweet, and even peaceful. It just takes too damn long. I also fought against daily afternoon thunderstorms that are characteristic to Florida summers. By 3 pm I was sprinting outside snatching shirts off the line while puffy clouds rolled over me.

It cost $180 to get an electrician to come out and install an outlet. I celebrated by taking a picture and doing 5 loads of laundry. They were the quickest 5 loads of laundry I have ever done.


This experience left us questioning our status in society

Those first couple of weeks in our new place was dirty and exhausting and a few times Brian asked me if we were poor. I reminded him what he often says to me; it’s all relative.

To street children in Argentina we are kings; to people like Kim Kardashian we’re paupers. One day soon I’ll tell you why we moved into this shack in such a rush but amazingly, I’m pretty content here. Would I love a big house with a wrap around porch on 10 acres? Of course. But personally, we can not afford that without borrowing money and we’re not comfortable doing that anymore.

For the first time we know what it’s like to live within our means.