Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pretty vs. Practical

Much to my surprise, I came into a small-ish sum of money last week. It didn't take long to get past my surprise and delight, and start daydreaming about spending!

Soon enough, reality set in: I live in a 90+ year old house with an elderly HVAC system, elderly water pipes, and three middle-aged, slightly accident prone dogs. So, no, we won't be jetting off to exotic locales and leaving no forwarding address just yet. Instead, most of the money is going straight into the household emergency fund.

I will be giving myself a little bit to play around with though, which has led me to wonder....

When you have a very modest budget at your disposal, the kind of budget that can only tackle one real project (or most of one), and you live in an old house with a long list of things to be redone, do you go for the pretty or the practical? Can you have it both ways? Where do you start?

So the next few posts are likely to involve a bunch of brainstorming about what home reno item(s) to focus on, and how to best stretch my renovation dollars. I may regret it, but comments will (maybe?) be appreciated.

1 comment:

Silly Monkey said...

Boy, that's a tough one.

Your head tells you to go ahead and replace the plumbing and AC and crap that can't be seen. But it has to be done eventually.

Your heart is probably going, "But that art deco living room furniture I saw would be nice." ;)

Been there! When I bought my house five years ago, I had to do the practical thing and get new AC/heat and new wiring. The old cloth-coated wires were rodent-eaten and dangerous, and AC barely had any life left. But I so wanted new furniture and "pretty" stuff.

Can you do a little of both? Like, consider 80% of the money "practical stuff" money and put the rest toward fun things for the house?