Friday, April 07, 2006

The Money Pit

Money money moooooooney...... moooooooooneeeeeeeeeeeeeey (sing it with the high the theme from the Apprentice).

If you are former member of 130-O the title of this post will definitely mean something to you.

In university the money pit was a name we often used to make reference to the money sucking house that we lived in during our last 3 years of school. It used to suck cash from us - every time we turned around one member of the 130-O crew was asking for everyone's share of cash to pay a bill - it was like taking your money, throwing it into a pit, and watching it burn. It was a never ending cycle. When I left that house, I thought I had escaped the money pit, but somehow it has followed me to our house in Embrun.

The majority of investment brokers in this world will tell you that buying a home and having a mortgage is one of the best financial moves you can make in your life. You're building equity, and making a financial name for yourself. What these brokers don't tell you is that a new home can the suck the life out of your wallet, faster than you can say 'I hate French'.

Since P and I moved into our lovely francophone neighbourhood we have been endlessly spending money to get all the necessary tools in order to take care of a home. First you need the little things, like a large garbage can to hold all the little garbage bags that you accumulate during the week. things like an outdoor broom and a garden hose. Next thing you know you need a $600 lawn mower.

Drop the it burn.

Each season that rolls find yourself needing to buy something for that particular season. In the winter it was a shovel and bags of salt for the driveway. Last spring it was earth and mulch for the flower beds.

Is that smoke bothering you?

I swear....every time you purchase a new household item, you think you'll be ahead of the game, but the list of things to buy never gets shorter, in fact it is always growing....and growing....and growing.

I often thought we were lucky that someone actually lived in our house for a year before we bought it. They were responsible for growing the grass and creating the flower beds, we didn't have to spend money to do that, but the price of upkeep is atrocious. Every time I think we have some cash to spare...something else NEEDS to be done and in order to do that something, we NEED to buy the appropriate tools or accessories in order to complete the task.

Can you say 'drop it like it's hot...'

Let me recount for you...P's obsession with the NEED for a ladder.

From the day we moved in to the house P wanted to buy a ladder, but at that time I couldn't justify spending over $100 for a ladder (that's what neighbours are for); however, the NEED for this ladder didn't go away. I would ask P to move something out into the garage, and he would respond something like this: 'there is no room in the garage, and I can't put it in the attic because I don't have a ladder'

Boo hoo hooo.
Ladder smadder.....we were not getting one.

However... those you who know P will know that he can never pass up a deal (or like me, will never go without what he wants for too long, but it has to be a DEAL if he is buying it). Two weeks ago in the Canadian Tire flyer there was ladder on SALE ... but of course it was not just any ladder, it was the super doopper ladder, the ladder that you can do acrobatic moves on while at the same time doing work....simply incredible some might say! I arrived home from school one day to find the CT flyer strategically placed on the middle of the counter, open directly to the page with the ladder, and just so I didn't miss the sale, P had conveniently circled the super doopper ladder three times with a bright red marker.

I thought to myself: 'is this worth a fight? - probably not'

And...low and behold we are now the proud owners of the super doopper ladder.

Like any child receiving a new toy on Christmas morning, P used the ladder the very first day it was purchased to put the Christmas tree and the winter tires from the car in the attic. Now we stow it neatly beside the door of the garage so that when we have a party in there, everyone will see the super doopper ladder and know that we are the proud owners of it - what a conversation piece it will make!

It vaguely reminds me of the Step Master that Erin and I just had to have when we were kids. We mentioned the need for a stepper one November, and to our surprise on Christmas morning, Santa delivered it! I think we used it three times...Mom had to have 4 yard sales before she could get rid of the damn thing, and even at that, I think it probably went for a whopping $5.

However....back the whole money issue. We have now been in the house for just over a full year, and since spring has practically sprung....I grip my wallet and clinch my teeth when I think about the money we will have to pour into the flowers, the lawn, and just general outdoor maitenance (not to mention the fact that if we want to keep up with our French neighbours we'll practically have to start working on the lawn tomorrow morning at 6 am).

The money pit has grabbed a hold of us yet again, and I am just wondering - is this just a phase...when are we going to grow out of it?

C'mon all you experienced home owners....when will the madness end?