I am very grateful for the beautiful and comfortable home that we are lucky enough to have. But the kitchen is TINY. Only one person will fit in it at a time. People offer to help me cook or clean up and I have to decline because they won’t fit and they’d just be in my way! (I’m still grateful, I promise.) So I’ve started this series to document our journey of doing a kitchen reno on a budget.
We’ve dreamed and schemed up ways to improve the kitchen, but short of a major gut job (which we need to win the lottery to afford), there’s not much we can do. The layout of the main floor is such that there’s really no where to expand to.
So we’ve decided we’re going to make the small improvements that are realistic plus pretty it up as much as possible.
There’s just one problem.
We have a $0 budget.
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My husband very recently finished up his university degree. (I’m a proud wifey!) But when we sat down to crunch the numbers, develop a budget and a loan repayment plan, it was pretty depressing. We currently have zero wiggle room for extra things like hair cuts and new clothes, let alone a kitchen reno.
But I am a stubborn and determined woman. And a $0 budget won’t stop me!
Breakdown of Costs: Phase 1
(We’re taking on this project in phases. We’ve broken it down such that if we never get past phase 1, it will still be a big improvement and the kitchen won’t look unfinished.)
New Cabinet – $246.45
Butcher Block – $316.25
Paint & Supplies – $172.50
Knobs – $253.00
Here’s a ‘before’ shot of the offending kitchen…
Phase 2 will include a new sink and faucet, and updated countertop and backsplash. If we get that far. 🙂 I really hope we do.
We currently have one drawer in our whole kitchen. A single drawer. (See above. The drawers under the sink are fake. Ugh.) It houses the sharp knives, veggie peelers, etc. Our cutlery lives in mason jars on the counter. And we have so little counter space. We need to add another cabinet so we can gain a drawer and a place to set down dishes that isn’t the stovetop. (Yes, I’ve accidently melted stuff. Oopsey.) The new lower cabinet will go to the left of the stove.
I know the butcher block is pricey, but we’ve opted for it anyway because if we never end up changing the rest of the countertop, the butcher block will still look like it goes.
Originally we wanted to replace the cabinet doors, but that would have run us upwards of $750. So we’re going to try painting the old ones instead.
I’m splurging on pretty knobs. I will not be talked out of it. Remember that I’m stubborn?!
These are a few inspiration pictures. I haven’t yet nailed down our new kitchen design, I figure I still have a few months to figure it out. I’d looove an apron front sink but they are very pricey. We’ll see how phase 1 goes.
How We Plan to Afford Phase 1
Here’s where I’ve been getting creative! It’s going to take us a little while to have the money saved up, but I have some ideas of how we’re going to manage it.
We have a few things lying around (microwave, printer etc) that we’ll sell on Kijiji. I plan to do a thorough purge of the house to see if I can find anything else to sell. I’ll probably come up with some toys and clothes that will earn a few dollars.
Saving Up Our Allowance
We currently give ourselves $200/mo in cash to spend on whatever comes up. Like a trip to the trampoline park or a coffee date. You know, life stuff. Using a cash system has REALLY helped us stay on budget and start achieving our financial goals.
I want to take it a step further and be as frugal as possible. If there’s anything of the $200 left over, it will go towards the kitchen reno.
Any cash back that I earn from now til reno time will go towards the reno. I do a lot of online shopping for my businesses, although I’m new to Ebates so I’m basically starting with nothing. However, a few of the shops we plan to purchase supplies from are on Ebates; Home Depot, Wayfair & Anthropologie. So I’ll earn cash back on the reno purchases! Win!
I use this rebate app every week when I do the shopping. I earn about $20/mo doing it. Checkout 51 is super easy to use and totally free. I’ll put my rebates towards renos and every little bit will add up!
We have a $125 weekly grocery budget. If I manage to stay under budget, I’ll put the balance in the reno account.
Also, next week we plan to buy nothing but the essentials, like milk and eggs. I’ve noticed that we have a ton of food in the freezers and cupboards so we’re challenging ourselves to make do with what we’ve got. Ideally we will be able to put $100 towards renos.
Ok, so I’ve never tried this before, but what the hell. I’ve got nothing to lose and pretty knobs to gain. I’m gonna give it a try!
I’ve done a lot of research on legit work from home hustles. Unfortunately most of the hustles out there are only for residents of the US. But I’ve found a few that are available in Canada. There are transcription, site testing and evaluation opportunities. I’m also trying a weight loss app that gives you money if you meet your goal. I know, lol. But if any of these things work out, I’ll write a separate post about them and share the details. (I don’t want to promote anything that I haven’t tested out first.) Wish me luck!
We don’t really have one. Obviously I’d love for this all to happen sooner rather than later, but we need $$ first. It will likely take several months. The only real constraint is that painting the cupboards and doors will be easier if the weather is still good. So that gives us til the end of September ish.
Now I need your help!
My husband has allowed me the power to choose the new knobs. I’ve narrowed it down to these six.
They are all around the same price. The cabinets will remain white on the top and be painted a grey or minty blue on the bottom.
Help a girl out! Tell me in the comments, which would you choose?