I'm fairly lucky in that I have a job that pays me well enough that I can afford to sock away some money to pay for some expensive home repairs given enough time to plan it. That doesn't come without a price, as I've had to dig my way out of debt and bad credit through a struggle that's taken years, through not having consumer credit cards or revolving loans for years, through doing my own work rather than paying someone else to do it, through denying certain things that I would have liked to have but could do without. And I don't have loads and loads of cash to play with-- I still have to plan and budget and deny myself things that would be fun.
Okay, after taxes, health insurance, all that gooey stuff that comes out of a check, I get to take home a little over half of my salary. 3/8 of that goes for mortgage payments, taxes, and insurance. 1/4 I divert into savings right away. The rest goes for bills, duty costs (gas, food, pet food, etc.) and discretionary spending. To save up for the siding, I'm going to have to bump up the money going into savings by some amount that's going to reduce my "rest of" money, and that's already kinda tight.
Now I'm not anywhere near the poverty line. And I don't have a wife or kids to pay for. I don't have a car payment that I'm trying to make every month. I don't have credit cards that I'm trying to pay off.
How on earth does someone who isn't so lucky do it?
I can justify putting money into the house renovations because it directly increases the home's value. It's a legitimate investment, aside from the personal healing that comes with it, and it's bringing me closer to being able to chase down creative dreams like making movies.
Okay, so based on some quickie estimates, I'm planning on a $10k budget for the siding. There's $2500 in the escrow account right now, so I have to kick in another $7500. If I save $1k/month, that's 7.5 months from now, without taking out a loan.
Yeah, I just said if I can save a thousand dollars a month.
Methinks I'll be taking out yet another loan.