Let's face it - my cottage by the sea is a long-term plan. A 10 year plan, realistically.
In the meantime, my plan is to simply my things, cut back on expenses, live more lightly on the earth and have more time/money for fun.
These last few days have been confusing for me. We're trying to sell our house but we're in an awkward place in our local market. It's a large house - about 3300 square feet or so - five bedrooms, three baths, at the edge of one of the better sections of town. The problem is, it's not in the best section of town, and it's not new. While we've remodeled much of it, we haven't done some key areas - the kitchen floor, for one thing. It's not selling.
One reason we think it might not show very well is that our furniture....oh, how to put it delicately....sucks.
We have a couple nice pieces, but the rest are cast-offs, hand-me-downs and so forth. Perfect for a family trying to cut costs and live lightly on the earth. Not so great to sell a house on the upper end of the market.
Dh decided it was time to upgrade some of our stuff. So we spent Monday morning walking all over town looking at furniture stores. I must confess I felt of two minds about this. Aren't we supposed to be cutting back on things? Isn't our money supposed to be going toward experiences? Should I perhaps pick right now to tell dh about my halving plan?
I probably should have. But instead I bought a dining room set. In my defense, here's the table we've had for the past four years:
Note the orange! upholstery. Note the condition of the uphostery (okay - you can't see it. Believe me, it's in awful shape.) Note the pieces that are falling off. I consoled myself with that fact that as soon as the new set comes in, the old set is going out. We will sell it for small change - to be used on experiences, I swear!
But this extravagance raised a lot of questions for me that I'll address over the coming days. Are all things bad? Will the enjoyment I get out of hosting friends and family around our new table outway the expense of buying a "thing"? Should I be buying nothing in order to make my dream come true faster? Or should we be upgrading to a few "perfect" things that we love, and just get rid of all that we don't?
What is the correct balance between "things" and experiences?
BTW: Here's the set we're getting: