The great couch makeover

I am reading one of those rare books in life that leave your copy so dog-eared, you wonder how you’ll ever remember everything you are learning. It’s called, “The Soul of Money” and before you roll your eyes, know this: I am not a huge fan of non-fiction and am characteristically an ostrich when it comes to finances. A nonfiction book about money sounds about as much fun as a trip to the dentist, but alas — I don’t have dental insurance, and so the latter isn’t an option at the moment.

As much as we hate to think about it or even increase our knowledge on it, the topic of money and finances will never go away and is something that we will need to tackle head-on if we want to live a stable and comfortable life. Before this book came out, my friend was telling me about her own financial situation and how she had seen her finances improve over recent months. Now I was hooked. I wanted to know how she did this. I was surprised to learn that it was actually pretty simple. With the help of equipment that can be found on sites like, she is able to mine and then trade any cryptocurrencies she can find. I’ve heard about the popularity of this type of currency before, but I never realized that you could do something like this with it. It’s remarkable and completely blew my mind. It was at this point that I thought I should definitely give this book a read to see what all the fuss was about.

The book was recommended to me by one of the nation’s most renowned fundraisers, who I had the pleasure of meeting for coffee a couple weeks ago. Within an hour, she had my perspective on work and life completely uplifted. Let’s be honest, our collective money woes are frightening at best. My anxiety has been through the roof and I’ve found myself weighing new options, such as — do I really need to get email on my phone for another $20 a month? Do I really need a gym membership for $30 a month when I can run in the park for free? Do I really need to send a gift with a birthday card? The luxuries of life six months ago — lunches out at my favorite ethnic restaurant and a movie at Camelview, pedicures, car washes, new music, the occasional $200 run through the local bookstore — are fleeting memories. While my income hasn’t changed, my expenses have. {Did I mention I ran my car into a parking garage pillar this weekend? Costly, silly error that is adding to the “to pay for list.”} I am just truly thankful I have a job, not to mention one I love.

This book is also reminding me to be exceptionally appreciative for all I do have. I am so exceptionally blessed. I have a home that meets all of my needs. I have a car that works great, while a bit dented. I have a family that is healthy and happy. I have a circle of friends that is tightening and becoming that much stronger as we encourage each other through this time. I have a church that I couldn’t love more. When I stop to think about the incredible assets I do have — ones that no amount of money could buy — I see that silver, quite fortunate, lining.

Can she be saved?

So, what’s with the photos of the couch? A quick story: I was given this couch second-hand by my friend John more than 4 years ago. The cushions have been flipped so many times that the zippers have torn a bit. The cover is filthy, but I am afraid if I wash it, it will be in pieces. The couch underneath is a 1980s disaster of black and teal. I love this couch just the way it is — I simply wish it were quite a bit cleaner. I’ve been “saving” for a new sofa for two years and regularly dipping into the fund for gifts, flights, a new bike, etc. Needless to say, there is little money there now and a new dark purple wine stain in the center of the couch. It is time for action.

Before starting this book, I was headed to Ikea with plans of a new 0% credit card and a couch that could be delivered and paid for eventually. Now, I realize that my character requires otherwise. I don’t want to have a daily reminder in my home that I have things I cannot afford. Instead, I want to come up with a temporary plan to fix what I have (new cushions? Sew a new cover? Find some lawn chairs at a Goodwill?) until I can afford a sofa I love, have paid for and earned. This one would do nicely.

And this one is fabulous too.

I'm thinking a handwoven rug

I am also considering learning how to make a braided rug for the floor while I’m at it. Although I might just buy a designer rug from BAZAAR VELVET, it’ll be much easier!! In the meantime, I’d love to hear your couch transformation ideas and any others you are using to creatively make ends meet. Let’s help each other save a bit more, pay off a bit more and live a bit more appreciatively.