How Much Did I REALLY Save Building Our Cabinets?

A kitchen-full of cabinets!

A kitchen-full of cabinets!

Regular readers here know that I spent the past two years building a kitchen-full of cabinets and basically just wrapped it up a couple of weeks ago.  On that post, a reader recently asked a good question and I started to answer, but then realized my answer needed to be a full post of its own. Here it is!

Here’s Cat’s question:

Can you comment on the cost of doing it yourself vs having someone else custom make the cabinets?

Apparently I’ll do more than comment, Cat – I’ll write a whole post. =)

The Short Answer…

It’s tough to say exactly how much we saved since there are so many different variants on cabinet features and finishes that play a role in the pricing of cabinets, but I do have a few data points that seem to indicate I saved us a boatload of money on the cabinetry AND got us cabinets that are custom-made for our space and of a much higher quality than we would have otherwise ended up with on this budget.

And now for the much longer answer…

Data Point #1 – Our Cabinets

Continue reading How Much Did I REALLY Save Building Our Cabinets?

PoP Balance Sheet – July 2017

Welcome to our July 2017 Balance Sheet!

We use the structure of a monthly income statement and balance sheet in tandem to make sure we are keeping our expenses low and planting our pennies wisely. If you’re not already tracking your finances using these two methods, go to and get started today! If you have any questions about how we do this just post a comment and we’ll be sure to help!

The stock market was up, and we put a normal-ish (for us) amount into savings and investments this month.  Not a whole lot to say beyond that for the balance sheet, though our ERLI index put us in a pretty fun location this month!

But on to the numbers for July:

  • Our total assets up $27.6K
  • Our total liabilities went down by $1.7K 
  • Net worth went up by $29.3K 
  • Total net worth as of the end of July is $1,455.1K, which represents a 2.05% increase for the month

For the details…

Continue reading PoP Balance Sheet – July 2017

PoP Income Statement – July 2017

The picture of health is a very good nuzzler!

The picture of health is a very good nuzzler!

Mr. PoP and I put these income statements together for two reasons. First, we want to be transparent about our finances because we’re trying to be role models for other people who are trying to plant their own pennies (and end up with dollars someday!). Second, we do this to make sure we’re on track to meet our own long-term goals. If you’re not tracking your income statement and balance sheet, we highly recommend you start using a program like Mint to keep track of it all.

July was a pretty average month here in the PoP household. We had a couple of large-ish expenses, but we tend to have enough of those that it often seems it’s more a case of which lucky months don’t have any of those!

The first large-ish expense was paying for tickets to the Florida Camp Mustache which we’ll attend next January. If you’re going to be there, let us know – we’d love to say hello in person! =)

The second is our pool pump (the second month in a row the pool has been expensive!), whose motor died earlier this month. An attempted DIY repair ended up with a minor DIY fail (those happen!) and basically ate up all the savings from having a trusted pro replace the motor. So… the $350 pro job ended up costing $348 in supplies and 4 hours of Mr PoP’s effort. That division is not hard, but I will refrain from commenting on Mr PoP’s effective hourly rate of pay.

The last big category this month is for our duplex, whose flood insurance renewal premium was paid this month. We also had a long term tenant move out and the other tenant living in there had a partner move in. With that changeover, Mr PoP did some minor maintenance to the unit to freshen it up (<$175 in expenses), which is well worth it since the tenants in that unit have been amazing and have been there for 5 years requiring minimal maintenance for that whole time period. This is a huge DIY success, so on the whole, we at least balanced out, if not came out ahead on the DIY front this month. =)

Here’s all the rest of the numbers…

The Bottom Line

  • Earnings before principal paydowns and savings allocations of $3,609.  

And the details… Continue reading PoP Income Statement – July 2017

Happy Friday – Happy Cabinetry!

Last weekend I finally put the last of the drawer faces on the remaining blank spots in our kitchen.  And boy oh boy does it feel good to be done*!

*Technically I still need to put the baseboard and baseboard faces on the toe kick drawers, but I kindof need this victory right now, so please don’t begrudge me on it.  =)

Why do I need the victory?  Because it has been just a hair over 2 YEARS since I started building these darned things!  Am I mildly crazy?  Yes.  Would I do it again?  Probably yes, because it is sooooo nice having the exact cabinetry I wanted.  For the most part, I have space to store what I want (so many fun kitchen stuffs!) where I want it (not on the counter unless it’s a knife block) and it’s all there at the ready.  Best yet, now that everything has doors I don’t have to stare at our food and dishes anymore.  =)

So, for the sake of the somewhat official record keeping here – these are the last of the cabinet faces that I finished up over the past couple months.

First: The uppers on the pantry… the tops will have glass in them and the lights inside the cabinets will shine through the glass when they are on.  We just need to get it worked out what we want the glass to be like and then probably work with our friend who is a glass artist.

FullSizeRender 7

Continue reading Happy Friday – Happy Cabinetry!

Happy Friday – 401K in our 401K!

I’m not usually one to celebrate arbitrary milestones, but for whatever reason this one has captured my sense of numerical whimsy* and for the last 6 months Mr PoP has had to listen to me providing updates on how close we were and pondering whether or not we would reach it in 2017.

I don’t typically check our balances mid-month, but when we were only a couple of thousand dollars away at our last monthly balance sheet update, I knew I would want to check after the 401K deposits from our first bi-monthly paychecks cleared (since those alone, with flat market movement would have put them over the top!).

You can only imagine my joy when I added up our 401K balances in Mint and saw that we were at $408K!
401K 20170718 Continue reading Happy Friday – 401K in our 401K!