It all started with a contest. I was asked by Pottery Barn to be a part of a design challenge against some of my peer bloggers. We received $100 Visa card to participate and the winner received a $500 gift card to Pottery Barn. It seemed like fun, so I decided to participate. In the back of my mind I was thinking – if I win this thing, that gift card is going towards a new sofa.
Well, thanks to your votes, I won!
So, the $100 Visa card and $500 gift card started my sofa fund. I also sold my pine dining room table, so that gave me another $600. $1200 was a great start, but the sofa cost $3200 total (including taxes, shipping and a surcharge.) I still had a long way to go and I agreed that I wouldn’t pull from our regular household income to pay for this sofa. I needed to get creative.
My first thought, of course, was - what can I sell? I had a ridiculous stash of rugs in the basement, so that was a good place to start. It’s really silly to keep a practically brand new Dash & Albert rug in a flood-prone basement to fold laundry on. So, I have sold four rugs for a total of $935 (I’m still waiting for two of them to be picked up, but they have been spoken for.)
That brings the total to $2135. My envelope was filling and that new sofa was in reach!
So, I took a stroll around the house to see what else I could sell. What else was I not using or didn’t love that could be sold and turned into a sofa? Out of nowhere, a thought came to me. I have a “points” credit card for my business and I have never cashed out any of those points! That’s something I’m not using that could be turned into a sofa! I had enough points to get $555 in cash, so I cashed out those points and added the cash to the growing sofa fund. The total was now $269o. I was pretty excited at this point, because the cost of the sofa on the website is $2699, but with shipping, surcharges and taxes, the total leaps all the way to $3200, which was a major bummer. I still needed more.
We have a personal credit card that we earn points on as well, so I called my husband to see how much money we could get for our points. He looked into it and called me back. We could cash out $600 with our points. There’s the sofa! The $600 brings the final total to $3290.
So, aside from the gift cards, I was able to buy the sofa with things I already had that I didn’t want or wasn’t using.
Now, I know because of the nature of my business, I have more things hanging around that I can sell, but, as I mentioned in THIS POST, I have been doing this sort of thing for years.
Before I go, I want to address one thing. I know that me buying a $3200 sofa, even with gifts cards and rug money and credit card points, is going to rub some people the wrong way. This blog is about creating a beautiful home on a realistic budget, right? Yes, it is. You have to keep in mind that probably 95% of the furniture in my home was free, from a yard sale, thrift store, antique store or flea market. In the past few years, I’ve only bought two brand new, really nice pieces of furniture – my Restoration Hardware bed and this sofa. I prefer old things, anyway, but in both cases, I wanted something very specific. Trust me. I’ve been scouring Craig’s List and eBay and thrift stores for what I was looking for over a few years, but I never found it. So, in these two cases, I splurged and got exactly what I wanted.
The fact that my dining room chandelier was $4.00 and the buffet and corner cabinets were free…the fact that my channel back chair was found on the side of the road, the wing chairs were free yard sale leftovers and the ottoman was free with Joss & Main credits…the fact that the French chairs were $10/each at a yard sale and I do all of my own upholstery, sewing, painting and refinishing…all of those things balance out two big splurges on pieces of furniture that we’ll (hopefully) enjoy for decades.
I think it’s tough for us “thrifty girls” to give ourselves permission to go into a real store and buy something that doesn’t need to be glued, screwed, fumigated, patched, painted, repaired and refurbished. It was tough for me to step outside of that world and it will definitely be the rare exception, but I know when that sofa is delivered and we’re enjoying it in the space, I’ll be glad I made that splurge.
PS – How many people are looking up the points earned on their rewards card now?