Imagine getting away to a forest surrounded by trees and nature. You can unwind and plan life in a slower, more mindful way. Isn’t that the dream? For the Hornyaks, it’s life as they know it.
Before the pandemic hit, the couple purchased eight acres of land outside Québec, not wanting to put off their vision during the COVID-19 pandemic [or pandemic] closures and having found themselves with an unexpected pocket of savings sitting there unused, they took up the challenge of a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) approach head on.
Keen to make the most out of the situation, Joey and Anna set about building the foundations of a life they always dreamed of. The couple started learning and renovating by themselves, creating fascinating DIY content, and inspiring their social media audiences along the way.
What we learn from their journey is that no matter what size of project, the reward of using your own money and the freedom of using it to fulfill your vision can bring satisfaction and joy. For the couple, this covers everything from bringing to life a huge outdoor sauna from scratch to painting a living room a different colour. You could say that when it comes to finding joy, there are no rules.
We wanted to understand how this team of DIYers balanced their goals and money with the freedom of building a life they designed themselves.
Life is unpredictable and full of surprises
Life rarely goes how we expect, and for Anna and Joey it was no different. As the pandemic swept across Canada, it became clear that if they wanted to get something done, they had to do it themselves; they started planning how to creatively get things done around their house with the money and resources they had and soon found out that they both greatly enjoyed the process of DIY. “The closures inspired and influenced us to become self-sufficient and to start building and renovating together as a team. We got started quickly,” Joey notes.
The couple point out that the unpredictability led to further self-sufficiency and built more trust between them. Despite setbacks and lessons, their choice to jump into projects while learning along the way led to a rewarding outcome. The decision helped them plan and create exactly what they envisioned with the added satisfaction of learning along the way. This resulted in many projects (some finished, some not) and plans to continue building and renovating into the future, even after restrictions lifted. The additional bonus? The savings resulting from doing the work themselves allowed them to further plan and expand ideas by setting their own schedules and picking the materials they liked best. DIY has helped them to get the most out of their budget and their life.
DIY can bring freedom and creativity to any project
The Hornyak journey into DIY is a great example of how taking control of your own money builds confidence and sparks creativity. The couple explains that teamwork and money planning are just as much a part of their DIY process as building their projects and renovating parts of their house. When it comes to buying necessities, “Interac Debit and Interac e-Transfer allow us to be more disciplined with what we’re doing, and more in control of our money,” Joey reveals.
Using their own money plays a huge role in the Hornyaks’ life. Joey talks about the satisfaction and power they feel when they use the money they have. He points out the ease and versatility of using Interac Debit and Interac e-Transfer: “We don’t like to carry around many cards or even cash in our wallets, so having the ability to just be on our phones and transfer money to one another or to someone that we’re buying material from is very good to have.”
One of their biggest successes is purchasing a huge window for their treasured sauna, an important project that they’ve dedicated a big budget to and insist they want to complete only with the materials that are perfect for them. They look back to this purchase as an example of the convenience and seamlessness that Interac e-Transfer provides when buying and planning. “If we didn’t have access to Interac e-Transfer, we wouldn’t have had certain materials that we wanted.” The seller they purchased their window from only accepted Interac e-Transfer, and the couple were thrilled to be able purchase this perfect component.
Security and keeping transactions organized are other big reasons the Hornyaks love using Interac payment solutions. “There’s a lot of different payment methods, but Interac e-Transfer is good because the payments are convenient and secure. We have done collaborations and contracts in the past where transfers happened through Interac e-Transfer. I’ve enjoyed that method of payment, and the fact that it’s direct.” Joey says.
Planning and strong foundations set your dreams up for success
For a results-driven couple that plans meticulously, completing their project milestones is linked to their budget and naturally leads to a feeling of empowerment. Just like working with what you already have, spending what you have already budgeted (and saved) for is key. When asked about a piece of advice they could give to their readers, Joey’s answer isn’t surprising, “Plan. Plan to plan. Write everything down. Take more time to plan than you do to build.” Looking at their success, it’s hard to argue with that lesson.
We also asked the couple about the biggest mistake they have made and the lessons behind it. The answer? Building foundations. That encompasses everything from putting down foundations in the ground to budgeting as a foundation for planning projects. Joey highlights that planning is just as important in finances as it is when it comes to the actual projects. “Investing time to plan before you build is the best thing to do. You respect your budget. You know what’s going in and what’s going out.”
What the Hornyaks teach us is that projects don’t have to be big or expensive to inspire and bring joy, even if it seems daunting at first. Whether they’re working on a $25K budget sauna or refreshing a room for $50, it’s the satisfaction of planning and completing something that they enjoy most while using the money they have that matters. In the end, taking on do-it-yourself is a valuable experience in how rewarding life can really be when we’re in control.