Noel has often said he wishes I was as good at raising money for ourselves as I am for other people. For example, in the last month I've organised two cake stalls and three raffles, raising over $1000 for our junior rugby team. Before that, I've lost count of all the countless collections and fundraisers I've organised or been a part of over the years. Anyone who has been in a similar situation will know how rewarding it is - even if you do have to give all that money away!
However, I have a new challenge which will really put my fundraising skills to the test! A couple of months ago, I painted our grotty old laundry, downstairs bathroom and loo. I had $190 worth of Mitre 10 gift vouchers left over from Christmas and the helpful staff lady and I went around getting everything I would need to prepare the rooms and paint within my gift voucher budget. The grand total came to $191.50, and she let me off the extra $1.50. Admittedly, the budget paint I picked meant that the walls resembled more of a 'marshmallow' shade than the 'mushroom' tones I had envisaged, but it was still one heck of an improvement. I love our house to bits, but we knew when we bought it that it was a bit of a 'doer-upper' and that cold, damp space was something I could no longer live with. Painting done, I turned to the floor and shopped around for some new lino. If you think that shopping for a new floor is a bit excessive for someone trying to transform into a Happy Hanna, you should see the floor as it is now. It has never, ever had a proper covering; it has always been nothing but concrete, which the previous owners thought would look delightful painted a sickly green.
To cut a long story short, the best price I could find for the lino was $500 - plus I discovered the floor would need sanding first at a cost of $250 - slightly more than I had first anticipated. I was now committed to getting my new floor, but the problem was, I didn't want to eat into my bank balance. There had to be another way to raise that $750 myself - online auctions to the rescue! I am eternally grateful to the geniuses who invented eBay, Trade Me and the like. Last year, when I decided to strip back the floors of two huge rooms into their former wooden glory, I vowed to raise the $1263 needed by selling some of my worldly goods online. I raised the entire amount in ten days, much to Noel's astonishment (not to mention my relief!). So technically, coming up with $750 the same way shouldn't be a problem this time, should it? As I look around the house it often occurs to me that if I never bought another thing to fit inside it, it wouldn't matter; it's bursting with stuff as it is. Time to dig out those exercise videos, the computer games the kids no longer play with and the pots of miracle skin creams I got sucked into buying from the telly. At long last, I'm going to make my Sad Sally purchases work for me!