Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Great Room Swap of 2017

The girls are switching bedrooms.

L's room is right over our bedroom and so we're regularly treated to thumps and bangs above our heads. K is quieter and moving out in a few months for college, so I bribed them to switch rooms by offering mini makeovers. I had promised we would work on this over their school's winter break and the time has arrived.

The had all kinds of plans and ideas and were checking out Pinterest. Look at this! Oh, this is so cute!

Then I brought them back to reality. They could negotiate between themselves as to who gets what furniture, but I'm not buying any. There are 3 beds, 2 dressers, 2 desks, numerous cabinets and shelves. Plenty to accommodate their needs without adding anything new from Ikea.

Then I gave them each a fixed budget. Everything they need or want has to come out of that budget and I am accounting for every single penny. The only thing I agreed to buy that didn't count against their budgets was paint.

At first they were all, "Yea! So much money!" Then they started looking at how much the stuff they wanted cost and suddenly they realized that the money wasn't going to keep up with their imaginations. They had decided to switch beds so they both need new bedding, which is more expensive than you think. Wall decor? Expensive. Shelves? Expensive. Even if you settle for the cheaper options, they still add up quickly.

It's been fun watching them figure out what they're willing to spend money on. We wandered around Target yesterday and a number of things went into the cart only to come right back out. Today, we spent several hours spray painting desk legs and bulletin boards and lamps because the girls realized that it's cheaper to paint your old things than buy new ones. And I had agreed to pay for paint.

The room swap that I wanted and the makeovers that the girls wanted have turned into a valuable life lesson in finance, in weighing what you want versus what you're willing to live with, in being creative and doing things yourself in order to save money.

So far things are looking good. Lots of white and pale pink and gray. Tomorrow we'll finish prepping the rooms for paint - moving furniture, filling nail holes, covering trim with miles of painter tape. It's going to be a busy week!