Why Finances Shouldn’t Keep You From Improving Your Space
“From now on, I want you to slide your feet over to the side of your bed frame, and place them on the floor slowly before standing up in the mornings, ok?”
I sat at the edge of the chair in the dim examining room studying the pattern on the floor while my doctor explained the next step in my back injury recovery.
I was embarrassed.
I wasn’t embarrassed because I hurt my back while working out. I was embarrassed because I didn’t know how to tell her that I didn’t even own an actual bed frame. I had moved into my house over a year before, and was still sleeping on a mattress on the floor near the back wall of my bedroom.
Could I afford a bed frame? Yes, barely. But I had chosen not to get a frame or any other “decorations” because I hadn’t thought it would be worth it to invest in my space. Thinking back, it’s hard to believe I honestly thought the space I spent over half of my day and every single night in wasn’t worth an investment.
I had been struggling so much financially when I signed the lease that just having a single desk chair and mattress to my name had been enough. And it had been fine for the most part, but now I would be stuck at home recovering while staring at four blank walls in a room that still felt incredibly cold and unlived in.
It took about a year and a half of living in my old place before I finally decided to truly invest in the space. This meant buying cheap pictures and picture frames, finding a second hand desk, and finally ordering a bed frame.
Did this magically solve all of the issues I had with the place? Of course not.
I was still living with 5 complete strangers, 2 of which did not understand the concept of “quiet hours.” I was still working at a job that paid below minimum wage. And of course I was still having the occasional health-related issue like my back injury. But I suddenly was a little more inspired to work on creative projects and invite friends over from time to time: Two things I always convinced myself I was too “drained” to worry about.
I spent so much time wallowing in struggle that I had forgotten to reevaluate what I could afford to invest into my space at that time.
When it came time to move into my current place, I hit the ground running. I knew first hand the mental fog that could develop from surrendering to a bad living situation, so I strived to make my space more homey right off the bat. This meant checking online for the best deals on furniture, but mostly utilizing apps like LetGo and OfferUp, and thrifting at Goodwill every couple of weeks.
Although I am a strong advocate for budgeting, if possible, I recommend finding a way to cheaply furnish your space within the first couple of months of living there. Before other utility bills begin to pile up, and work gets distracting again.
Now I feel a lot more inspired to write and consistently practice other hobbies. And I know a big part of that is due to the fact that I don’t dread coming home every day.