Frugal flops. We’ve all had them, haven’t we?
I’ve probably had more than my fair share. Mostly because I love a deal, and I’ve been known to overbuy a time or twelve. Now that I am packing and reaching into every nook and cranny the sheer numbers of deals purchased and quickly forgotten are embarrassing. I’ve filled an entire closet at the new house. And I’m not done yet.
But this latest frugal lemon wasn’t about a deal, or overbuying. In this case my eagerness and excitement spurred me to make a bad choice…
See, we’ve been planning to move since before Son was born. As a result I never really decorated Son’s room the way I wanted to- though I wanted to desperately. But why would I when we were about to move? His furniture is my pre-marriage master bedroom furniture – whitewashed wicker. Using the dresser as a changing table was a frugal choice that worked perfectly well, and placing the full-sized bed in his room so guests would have a place to sleep wasn’t a pretty choice, but who cared? We were moving! I did manage to put some picitures on the wall and an alphabet rug, but it wasn’t the room I’d dreamed to give him. Not even close.
Well, we didn’t move. And then we didn’t move. And then we did not move. For 4 and 3/4 years.
Now we finally are. And now Son will have a room that’s just his, decorated for just him. And I’m so frickin’ happy and excited about that. A little too happy and excited…
I chose a really bright green paint for the room, but only put it on 1 wall. I went to Ikea and chose curtains and accessories and built more new ideas. With the paint I’ve spent about $100 so far. Woo hoo!
The furniture in his room now will go in the guest room at the new house, so I decided he needed a new dresser and a desk. New to us, at least. So I looked on Craigslist for a wood dresser and desk that I could paint either white or bright green or blue – I hadn’t decided yet. And I saw something that could be perfect – it had a really nice whimsical shape – and it was only $40 for the dresser AND the desk. And it came with a headboard with cubbies (which I didn’t need so I was either going to re-sell it or saw off the bottom and hang it on the wall as a shelf).
I went to go see it and was disappointed to see that it wasn’t in great shape. The headboard was in fine, but the dresser was scratched quite a bit. The desk had water damage at the bottom (water and fiberboard don’t mix) and the fiberboard top was worn away in one corner.
I hesitated, thinking about all of the work that would need to be done. Then I said to myself, “Well, the scratches don’t matter because I’m going to sand it before I paint it. And I can put molding at the bottom of the desk and just attach some 1/4 inch plywood to the top of the desk and viola! And it’s only $40 for all three peices!!!”
So, I bought it. And when Husband saw it he was unhappy. He said it was crap furniture and that he’d do the work but not be happy about it. I saw my vision for it in my head and was undeterred.
But he was right. It was crap. And it was going to take soooo much work to have it match my vision.
I began to have buyer’s remorse. My overexcitement led me to a bad decision. The furniture was CRAP! What was I thinking??? It was a frugal lemon so big that it took up half my garage.
I began to think about getting him a good piece of furniture. Maybe even new. I looked on Craiglist, I went to Ikea.
And I decided to get rid of the crap.
So I listed it on Craigslist. And I sold it to someone else. For $50. Yes, that’s more than what I paid for it.
I still haven’t bought a dresser for Son. But I’ve calmed down and decided to take my time. There’s no place for emotions in frugality and wise spending.
It was a good lesson. And I paid myself $10 to learn it. Not bad.
Not bad at all…