No matter how much you plan in life, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you had hoped they would. Whether it’s due to an unexpected arrival, an unexpected job loss or some other unforeseen event, there are a million and one things that can happen which can change your plans.
This is something that me and my husband learnt when we bought our first house. It was a renovation project, with literally everything needing doing to it. From rewiring the whole house to knocking down walls, it was a huge project!
The reason we felt that we could take this house on, was because we had a plan. At the time that we bought the house, credit was very easy to come by. Property programs on the TV constantly showed people making fortunes from renovating properties with the help of borrowed money. Our plan was that, once we were in the property, we would look at the various home improvement loans available so that we could get the work done to the house quickly and efficiently. Once the work had been done, we would then remortgage the house to pay off the loan and voila, a nice home at a knockdown price. Sounds pretty simple really, doesn’t it? Unfortunately for us however, the financial crisis hit, and we were left with a huge renovation project, and very little financial options available to help.
Our only option was to do the work gradually with whatever money we had spare at the end of each month. As you can imagine, this was pretty stressful. We suddenly found ourselves in a situation where we were having to save as much money as possible each month so that we could do the work on the house. This meant really pulling the reins in on our spending. We had to cut right back on our ‘treats’, as we didn’t have the money to keep our standard of living the same as it was while renovating a house at the same time. There were plenty of sacrifices that we had to make, so we made them.
It wasn’t just the sacrifices that I found stressful, though. Buying a house is a huge commitment, and I didn’t buy the house thinking that doing it up was going to be a long term project. No, we had planned to get all of the messy, ugly work done as soon as possible so that we could decorate and enjoy our new home. Once our neatly laid financial plans had been scuppered, we were then having to deal with the fact that our home was going to be a building site for a very long time. I found this really difficult, as you will probably be able to tell from my previous posts, I’m a bit of a clean freak!
We both worked full time as well, so most of our evenings and weekends were now taken up with the house, which really was exhausting! But in all honesty the most testing part of it all was when we found out that I was pregnant with our first baby. Now, don’t get me wrong, we were over the moon! But I think that it is natural for all expecting mothers to want to create the most clean, warm and stress-free environment possible for their baby. What I was faced with was bare bricks, bare floors, and an endless flow of dust! Not exactly the dream is it?
I’m not sure exactly how we did it, but we did manage to get quite a bit of the work done before Isaac was born. There was still no wallpaper on the walls, but at least we had a bathroom and heating!
I know that this post just seems to be me having a good old rant about a very stressful time in our lives, but even though things hadn’t worked out exactly as we had planned, we have very fond memories of that time in our lives. At the time we weren’t exactly laughing about it, but we are now.
So, even though things don’t always go to plan, there is usually another plan that will work. It may not be as easy, but don’t give up at the first hurdle. What may feel pretty stressful at the time will one day be something to look back on and smile – or laugh – about.
How have you overcome situations where Plan A didn’t seem to work out?