Sunday, January 17, 2010

Realizing everything has a price tag

Today we had dd's Brownie troop meeting at the home of her troop leader. It was a meeting where the girls were learning about cooking, so we needed a kitchen instead of using one of the rooms at school.

I had signed up to help and was there the entire 2+ hours with 15 2nd-graders and 5 other moms. Many, many houses in our school district were built in the late 60's and early 70's. Lots of ranch style brick homes. I'm always interested in seeing what other people have done to "update" since walking in the front door of ours is like stepping back a couple of generations.

I spent the first two hours drooling over the addition they had built on to the back of the home complete with sunroom, huge family room, homework area while leaving some of the original brick walls intact. Drooling over how they had opened up the floor plan, expanded the kitchen, added an island with all kinds of storage drawers and cabinets galore. Drooling over the stainless steel appliances, double oven, gas range. Thinking I could even really learn to love cooking again if I didn't have my little tiny kitchen with half the cabinet space I had in our old place, those outdated tile countertops and a cooktop that no doubt is original. When's the last time you saw a pushbutton cooktop?

But then, right as we were wrapping up, my eyes just happened to land on a familiar sight. A monthly mortgage statement. It was from the same bank that handled my mother-in-law's mortgage. I paid her bills for at least a year before her death and then eight months afterwards until we sold her home, so I've seen plenty of those! Never mind why it was hanging on a bulletin board in full view of anyone walking through the kitchen. Right there in bold print....principal balance $36x,xxx.

No thank you! I'll keep my tiny little kitchen. I am just not there. Not anywhere near the point of taking on more debt. Maybe someday we'll be able to remodel or maybe we won't. But it's not worth the stress, the worry and irritability I would have by taking on any more than I already have.

Just my personal opinion, but I put my financial papers away when I know people are coming over. I just don't think it's anybody's business, and I'm the prime example that people are just too curious not to nonchalantly take a glimpse. *blush*

But maybe that was God's way of keeping me on track, keeping me from coming home to fix supper and brooding the whole time about how "bad" our kitchen is, making me realize that what I have is good enough, making me remember that everything has a price tag.


  1. You should see the papers I see at my sister's house. An uncashed check for $2,500 on the bulletin board getting dusty; a brokerage statement for estate proceeds from three years prior: $22,000 worth never invested in anything but just left in money market. Why was it sitting in plain view in the dining room? Apparently, unlike you and me, she doesn't think to tidy up before guests come over for dinner.

  2. Wouldn't it be cool if everyone's house had a sign on the front said what they "Owed" on the house :) Hee hee. My husband and I have tiny mortgage compared to most of his coworkers. They all live in much larger and fancier homes, but I know we will be one of the few people who actually own our home. While they will still be making ridiclously large mortgage payments on the large house that they will then hate cleaning, cause it will be too big for just two people! Ours feels cramped now, but someday my boys will be gone and it will feel just perfect :)

  3. It boggles my mind that people would leave private financial documents out for anyone to see. Granted I have an at home office, with lots of documents, but as a general rule - visitors do not linger there and I do lock everything away when expecting.

    D and D - no way I would want signs saying"Owed" outside house. Mostly because the otherside would be known and open folks up to a whole bundle of trouble. If my mortgage was paid in full, they would think I was rich.