Our Bathroom Disaster

Alright, so our bathroom project wasn't exactly a disaster but it wasn't as budget friendly as we had hoped. First of all, when budgeting a renovation project, measurements are legitimately important. Second, think before acting. I got really antsy when we came up with the idea of renovating the bathroom and we just kind of jumped right into it with the first idea we had. The challenge is that we live in a rented apartment, so we had to think smart about it. Third, and probably one of the most important things, is RESEARCH. You really need to research everything you can before purchasing. We found YouTube videos, blogs, and product reviews to be extremely helpful. We went all out with our renovation project: all new shower tiles, floor tiles, wall paint, and we had to hide the ugly wall tiles. 

Having experience being a handyman and carpenter, I (Ricky) knew how much work it would take to actually complete the project. One thing people tend to forget is the amount of time that is actually needed to do certain jobs like tiling, painting, cutting, even small things like measuring or running back to the store from time to time. *Ricky totally put this in because he thinks I'm impatient about getting this project done ;) * You have to keep all of these small, time-consuming items in mind. After coming up with the design scheme, next was execution and Annie has a full on "Gut Renovation Job" ahead of us. Lucky for us and all the RESEARCH we did, there actually isn't much "Gutting" to be done.

Since we rent an apartment, we can't actually do a demolition of the current bathroom without our landlord's approval, but we could cover up everything and remove our cover up before we leave. So we found this sticking adhesive paper at Home Depot called "Simple Mat" which is basically like mortar for tiles without all the mess and labor. Best part of all, it's REMOVABLE!! (Raise the roof emoji!) We also used this amazing product called "CitriStrip Stripping Gel" to easily remove the paint from our gross peeling tub and we got a water resistant laminate floor that resembles the new tile in our shower. Also, Annie was able to find removable wallpaper on Amazon that matched the color she wanted to paint the bathroom walls with. *Update on this below*

Right now we are still working on it. With our crazy work schedule we have to find time here and there to work on it, but once we are done, we will share photos of the renovation with you. But here is our main renovation budget tips: 

1. Have A Plan & Do The Research.
2. Consider Removable Items. Because we're using Removable Wallpaper instead of painting, we won't need to spend money to re-paint the walls before we move out of the apartment, we just need to take the adhesive off the wall. You'll definitely have to figure out if it's worth the cost if you have a big space. With our tiny bathroom, it was definitely the most cost effective plan.
*UPDATE* This was totally not worth it. We began this post & this project back in February. We removed the wallpaper in May because it did not look as good as we had hoped. The wallpaper destroyed our walls! We ended up having to repair the walls, paint them white (which they were before) and then we re-painted them with the color we wanted. 
3. Sometimes it's better to spend the money on a simple fix. The paint remover (CitriStrip Stripping Gel) for $15 was totally worth it even after we had bought all the paint thinner and tools to remove the paint a different way. CitriStrip was a miracle worker! 
4. Home Depot is Return Friendly! Ricky LOVES Home Depot. It's literally his favorite store (like most men, I'm sure). But I am now also a Home Depot fan as they allow returns even after you've tried out a product or tool. We would spend nearly $200 at Home Depot, try out a tool and find that it didn't exactly cut the tiles the way we needed it to and they'd allow us to return it. This saved us SO much potentially wasted money. 
5. My FAVORITE thing about Home Depot: OOPS Paint! Ricky told me about the Oops Paint area in Home Depot, and I am obsessed with it. After we tore off our wallpaper and had to repaint, we scoured the Oops Paint area in a few different Home Depots and found the color we wanted! We got a quarter of the can in the perfect color for $2!! We also found a gallon of paint in the color we wanted for our whole apartment for only $9!! If you're looking to paint anything, keep an eye on the Oops Paint, you'll be sure to find something you like if you keep your eyes peeled for a couple of weeks!

An Insight into Annie's Finances

So we've talked a lot about saving money and now I'm going to give you a little insight on how I organize my money! I was very fortunate and my parents started a bank account for me when I was a kid. When I started babysitting at age 13, the money I was saving went straight into that bank account. I ended up using that money to move to NYC after college (less than a year at my first real job). When I was able, I replenished some of the money in that Savings Account but for the most part, whatever is in that bank account is something I don't touch. I don't add anything to it, or take anything out. It's just gaining interest and it's my safety net.

These are the accounts that I actively use:

I have one bank account that has a "Checking" account and a "Savings" account. I've got a Debit Card connected to my Checking account and I have a Credit Card connected to this bank account. For the most part, I only use my credit card because I get percentages back on all of my purchases. But I NEVER spend money on either card unless I have that money in my Checking Account. I log into my bank website at least twice a week and transfer money from my Checking Account to pay off my Credit Card bill. My Savings Account is what I call my "Travel Fund". This is where I set aside the money that I'll need for upcoming trips. Because I don't gain interest on this savings account, I don't keep more in it than I feel necessary. 

My second bank account is with a bank that invests my money and I gain interest on it. Bi-weekly, a portion of my paycheck goes into this bank account. Some weeks, it's a larger sum than others but I ALWAYS put money into this account. I don't touch the money in this account, it's for my future but I'm able to withdraw if I ever needed to. This is strictly an account to put savings into that will gain interest.

Last, I have a 401k with my employer. Same as my Investment Savings Account, a certain portion of each paycheck goes into this account. For this account, I chose an amount rather than a percentage so each paycheck, the same amount of money goes straight into my 401k. This is a great move because I never see that money, it's automatically put into savings. I know when people see the money in their spending account, they have a harder time actually putting it into their savings so when money can be sent directly to savings, it's always helpful. if you have the opportunity to set up a 401k with your employer, it's a great move. Most employers will match a certain percentage of what you put into it. Start this as early as you can so you can build up for your future retirement. 

How do you separate your accounts?

If you have any questions or would like the budget spreadsheet we use to keep track of our expenses & savings, please reach out! Feel free to write us an email at mmmillennial@managingmoneymillennial.com or comment below! 

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