How to Afford Living Alone

Young man sitting in living room and budgeting for first apartment Face it: your parents, while so generous for letting you stay, aren’t exactly your ideal roommates. And your other options range from “friends who would be terrible to live with” and “random people on Craigslist that scare you a little.” When it’s finally time to cut the cord and live on your own though, you may wonder, “Can I afford to live on my own?” Check out these tips to find out how you can better prepare for solo apartment living and plan for the costs that you may have overlooked!

Go into it with some savings. Your initial budget may be enough to get you by, but having some extra cash in your back pocket will help out in the case of an emergency. Tires go flat and pants rip. Unexpected expenses are a fact of life.

Check for hidden fees. Apartment pricing varies, especially when it comes to what’s included and what’s not. Ask about fees that may not be included in your rent. For instance, some apartment communities may have you pay a trash fee, parking fee, or application fee in addition to your monthly rent. And if your unit doesn’t come with a washer or dryer, consider the fact that you’ll have to use the complex’s laundry room or head to the nearest laundromat. Keeping these things in mind is a good way to make sure your budget is accurate.

Don’t forget living expenses. While it may seem like all you have to pay for is your apartment, you’ve still gotta eat! And see the city’s sights, go out with friends, etc… Have you accounted for groceries, electricity, water, internet, cable, or a television streaming service? Insert, “Oh yes, I do need to pay for that,” here!

Get your furniture on the cheap. There’s no need to buy brand new furniture for your solo pad. Consider friends and family that are selling their furniture, as well as garage sales and secondhand shops. You can get some great deals without busting the bank. And while you’re doing the math, consider renting furniture too. In the long run, you’ll save money on moving trucks, boxes, and supplies.

Become your own personal chef. Eating out costs more than cooking for yourself. Buying your lunch instead of packing your own costs $2,000 a year on average, says Business Insider. Cooking at home can leave you with more cash in your pocket at the end of the month, but it’s also a skill that you should learn to pick up as an adult. Don’t want to cook for one? Host a potluck and have friends bring food over to spice things up!

Rent a smaller apartment. Your new castle will be fit for royalty no matter what size it is – because you’ll be in it! There’s no need to have an extra room or office, especially when you’re looking for the most affordable route. Keep it simple by renting a studio apartment or one-bedroom apartment.

Think you’re ready to head out on your own? We hope so! Choosing a small apartment, like a studio, is one of the best ways to afford life on your own. Use ApartmentSearch.com to find your first studio apartment and you could earn up to $200 in rewards! That’s $200 towards your first month of groceries – because yes, you do need to eat!

Source: blog.apartmentsearch.com

Having A Baby Can Be A Good Excuse To Simplify And Declutter

For the past few months we’ve been preparing ourselves for the exciting event of becoming parents for the second time.  We’ve been having baby showers, buying all the baby related items we needed and just stocking up.

Through all this we realized that even before we started buying all of this baby stuff that we were starting to run out of room, and we really had a lot of stuff in the house that we no longer needed.

While we certainly aren’t hoarders (1.4 million Americans DO suffer from chronic hoarding & clutter.), and we weren’t trapped and killed by our piles of stuff like this unfortunate fellow, we didn’t want to have our home stuffed to the gills with things we didn’t want or need.

We decided to simplify, and to declutter.

clutter free home

clutter free home

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10 Reasons To Get Rid Of Your Stuff“.

Our Criteria For Getting Rid Of Stuff

  • Are we currently using this item?
  • Are we likely to use it in the future?
  • Is it sentimental?
  • Even if we’re using it, does it take up more space than it is worth?

More often than not we’re not really using the item anymore, and in many cases we’re not even sure why we saved it.  Old shoes, old magazines and CDs we hadn’t listened to in years went out the door.  Old computer motherboards and computer cables? Gone.

Of course there are the exceptions – things that I will always refuse to get rid of – like my guitars and my old baseball card collection.

How To Get Rid Of Things When You Declutter

There are a lot of ways to get rid of things when you declutter your house.   You can sell it, donate it, give it away or  junk it.

Sell The Item

When we’re deciding what we’re going to do with an item we go through a mental inventory to decide on if the item is actually worth anything.  If it is, we try to sell the item.  Our favorite places to sell things are online.  They include:

We recently sold a couple of old rugs, and some old electronics we had in storage on Craigslist.  In the end we made a couple of hundred dollars on the items. Money for baby stuff!

My wife has found she has a knack for selling things like old baby clothes and accessories on Facebook via mommy pages and garage sale groups for our local area.  Usually she’ll list more popular items on there and we can have the items sold within a few days.  We sold our son’s old baby clothes that we had been saving for several hundred dollars that way.

We’ve also sold old technology items using electronics buying sites.  We recently had an old Samsung Galaxy phone to get rid of.  We checked prices at a variety of sites, including the ones listed above, and ended up finding the best price with Decluttr.com.  We were able to make some money on a phone we weren’t using, and someone else will get a like new Galaxy phone for a low price.

If selling our stuff online doesn’t work, and if we have enough items, we will sometimes have a garage sale.

The problem with garage sales is that far too often you put in more effort to have the garage sale than you actually make in selling the items.   Another alternative is to ask family or friends if they’re having a garage sale anytime soon.  If they are, ask them if you can bring your items over to sell.  We did this last year and sold several larger ticket items – and had fun hanging out with friends all day!

Donate The Item

If we don’t believe we’ll get enough money for the item to make selling it worth our while, quite often we’ll donate the item to a local charity.  We have a goodwill store pretty close to our house, and quite often we end up donating the items there.  Remember, you can often get a tax deduction if you donate items!

Some options for donating items:

For some more options on places to donate your things, check out this great post: Where To Donate All Your Unwanted Stuff.

Give The Item Away

If you can’t sell the item, and charities don’t take your item as a donation, you can always give the item away for free.  Place a free ad on Craigslist offering the item for free – or leave a post on a site like Freecycle.org.  Usually you can find a taker for just about any item you’re getting rid of.

Junk The Item

If no one will take your items, even for free, you can always just dump them.    If the items are too big to throw in your own garbage receptacle, you can use one of these options:

  • 1800GotJunk.com
  • Your local dump
  • Some communities have a “large trash item” day once a year where they’ll pick up your larger items.

Get Rid Of Your Excess Items – You’ll Be Glad You Did

When we started getting rid of things from our house, at first it was a bit painful.  We were both coming up with excuses about how we would use items in the future, about how certain items meant so much to us, and how we could continue to store items because we wouldn’t want to re-buy them again in the future.

In the end we realized that we were making a lot of rationalizations, and that things we weren’t currently using were probably going to remain unused for the foreseeable future.  It just made sense to get rid of all these things that were weighing us down.

After we started getting rid of things it felt really good to be rid of all the excess baggage.  It was a like a weight lifted off of our shoulders, and we felt so much more free!  We have free space in the house!

So if you’re thinking about getting rid of your things – just do it!   It may be hard at first, but it will get easier, and the freedom you’ll feel by having de-clutterfied will be priceless!

Have you recently tried decluttering your house?  Was it hard to get rid of things – even the things you weren’t using anymore?  Why do you think that “things” are able to get such a hold on our lives?

Source: biblemoneymatters.com

How to Organize a Garage Sale Like a Boss

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

You’ve been feverishly decluttering your house and now the weather is nice enough that you’re thinking about hosting a garage sale before you bring everything to the thrift store.

Before you get your price stickers and signs ready, you should do a little preparing so you can organize a garage sale that will make you as much money as possible.

How to Organize a Garage Sale

There are several steps that go into hosting a successful yard sale.

First, you have to schedule a date for your sale. This may not be a problem right now but usually there’s a lot going on where I live so I wanted to pick a day with as little happening as possible.

It would suck to plan this whole thing to find out it conflicts with a major event. I used the “Events” tab on Facebook, you can input a date and it’ll show you upcoming events.

Disclaimer: If your only available day conflicts with a big event, don’t worry too much. Serious garage sale shoppers stop at nothing to get their fix.

The other important detail is day and time. We decided to hold ours on a Saturday from 8am-5pm. We held our sale in a fenced-in backyard so we could set up the night before and minimize work in the morning.

<img data-attachment-id="928" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss/img_0067/" data-orig-file="https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/IMG_0067-e1493003467791.jpg?fit=370%2C228&ssl=1" data-orig-size="370,228" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"1"" data-image-title="Yard Sale" data-image-description="

yard sale

” data-medium-file=”https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/IMG_0067-e1493003467791.jpg?fit=300%2C185&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/IMG_0067-e1493003467791.jpg?fit=600%2C338&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” data-pin-description=”Do you want to get rid of the stuff you have been purging? It is a perfect time to have a safe & profitable yard sale. #yardsaletips #yardsaleideas #makeextramoneyathome #sidehustles #yardsalehacks” data-pin-title=”How to Have a Safe & Profitable Yard Sale This Year” class=”size-full wp-image-928″ src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss.jpg” alt=”yard sale” width=”370″ height=”228″ srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss.jpg 370w, https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/IMG_0067-e1493003467791.jpg?resize=300%2C185&ssl=1 300w, https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/IMG_0067-e1493003467791.jpg?resize=100%2C62&ssl=1 100w” sizes=”(max-width: 370px) 100vw, 370px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>

our sale on and poppin!

I read that serious buyers would show up early and without fail, at 7am they were there. We were mostly set up so we just let them in.

The morning was the busiest. We were steady until 1:00 then really quiet for 45 minutes. We had a late rush at 1:45 then it was steady again for another hour and a half. It started sprinkling at 4 so we packed everything up a little early.

I’m glad we decided to start at 8, I couldn’t imagine people showing up at 5 or 6am. There is not enough coffee in the world for me to be ok with that. If I could do it over I probably would’ve ended at 1. The last rush of people was nice but not worth the sitting around.

How to Advertise Your Garage Sale

The key to a successful sale is good advertising. You can have the best stuff but if no one knows or there’s no incentive to come then you wont sell them. There were three things we did to make sure as many people got to our house as possible.

1. Have Multiple Sellers

We were inspired by another sale that had six or seven different people selling in one place. Having a “multi-family” sale not only means more items but also a larger variety, that gives more people incentive to come, even people who might not be into yard sale-ing.

People with different interests accumulate different stuff and if you don’t jive with one seller’s items you might like what another seller has to offer.

If it is a lot of the same stuff, consider theming your sale to set it apart. JD Roth from Get Rich Slowly looked at what he had most of and listed his sale as a “Geek Garage Sale.” You might think you’ll drive people away by niching down but you actually make your sale more attractive to non garage salers.

Multiple sellers also means more exposure. The more people you have selling, the more people you have sharing the event with their friends.

<img data-attachment-id="931" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss/garage-explosion/" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/garage-explosion-e1493003705456.jpg?fit=400%2C300&ssl=1" data-orig-size="400,300" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"" data-image-title="garage explosion" data-image-description="

garage explosion

” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/garage-explosion-e1493003705456.jpg?fit=300%2C225&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/garage-explosion-e1493003705456.jpg?fit=600%2C450&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” data-pin-description=”Do you want to get rid of the stuff you have been purging? It is a perfect time to have a safe & profitable yard sale. #yardsaletips #yardsaleideas #makeextramoneyathome #sidehustles #yardsalehacks” data-pin-title=”How to Have a Safe & Profitable Yard Sale This Year” class=”size-full wp-image-931″ src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss-1.jpg” alt=”garage explosion” width=”400″ height=”300″ data-recalc-dims=”1″>

probably no room for multiple sellers here

2. Coordinate With Another Garage Sale

Sales that happen on the same day aren’t competition, they’re advertising! I discovered this one by accident and it by far brought us the most traffic. A friend at my work had planned a sale for the same day as ours. She was nearby so I suggested we print out fliers for each other’s sales and hand them out to people as they left.

The flier was a simple half-sheet of paper with the sale address, times, and highlights of what we were selling. This is a great option for people who want to host a multi-family sale but don’t have space. And I’m sure if none of your friends want to host you could easily find nearby sales on Craigslist and email the seller to set something up.

3. Post Your Garage Sale Online

Craigslist is where all the serious buyers and sellers go. I posted on Monday and then another with a rephrased title on Thursday. Then I posted in Facebook Marketplace and in relevant local Facebook groups.

I also Googled “garage sale” and posted to every site that popped up on the first page. Most of the garage sale listing sites are in the same family of websites which made filling out the details easy (thanks auto-fill!).

yard sale

<img data-attachment-id="3908" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss/how-to-have-a-safe-yard-sale/" data-orig-file="https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/How-to-Have-a-Safe-Yard-Sale.jpg?fit=1000%2C1500&ssl=1" data-orig-size="1000,1500" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"1"" data-image-title="How to Have a Safe Yard Sale" data-image-description="

Do you want to get rid of the stuff you have been purging? It is a perfect time to have a safe & profitable yard sale. #yardsaletips #yardsaleideas #makeextramoneyathome #sidehustles #yardsalehacks

” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/How-to-Have-a-Safe-Yard-Sale.jpg?fit=200%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/How-to-Have-a-Safe-Yard-Sale.jpg?fit=400%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” class=” wp-image-3908 aligncenter” src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss-3.jpg” alt=”yard sale” width=”330″ height=”496″ data-pin-title=”How to Have a Safe & Profitable Yard Sale This Year” data-pin-description=”Do you want to get rid of the stuff you have been purging? It is a perfect time to have a safe & profitable yard sale. #yardsaletips #yardsaleideas #makeextramoneyathome #sidehustles #yardsalehacks” srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss-8.jpg 200w, https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/How-to-Have-a-Safe-Yard-Sale.jpg?resize=400%2C600&ssl=1 400w, https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/How-to-Have-a-Safe-Yard-Sale.jpg?resize=768%2C1152&ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/How-to-Have-a-Safe-Yard-Sale.jpg?w=1000&ssl=1 1000w” sizes=”(max-width: 330px) 100vw, 330px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>

How to Prepare Your Yard Sale

Go through the boxes of stuff you haven’t seen in years before you put them out for sale. My husband was going through one I’d put out and found a copy of my social security card, I had not intended to sell my identity.

And if you can’t put everything out the night before like we did, you should do as much as possible to limit your stress on the morning of and have time for more coffee.

1. Garage Sale Pricing

We used a combination of methods for pricing. For clothes and items we had a lot of I made a sign with individual and bulk prices, I bought price stickers and put them on other items. A lot of stuff we left blank. When people asked how much we either yelled out a price or asked “How much you offering?”

If we’d had a smaller sale I wouldn’t have priced anything. When people name their own price they’re more likely to buy the item. The nice thing about putting prices on some stuff was that I didn’t have to talk as much. Introverts will appreciate pricing items individually.

I found pricing suggestions on Angie’s List and found that people will haggle you down whether the price is fair or not, so best practice is to price high.

<img data-attachment-id="930" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss/beanie-babies/" data-orig-file="https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/beanie-babies-e1493003601746.jpg?fit=400%2C300&ssl=1" data-orig-size="400,300" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"" data-image-title="beanie babies" data-image-description="

beanie babies

” data-medium-file=”https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/beanie-babies-e1493003601746.jpg?fit=300%2C225&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i1.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/beanie-babies-e1493003601746.jpg?fit=600%2C450&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” data-pin-description=”Do you want to get rid of the stuff you have been purging? It is a perfect time to have a safe & profitable yard sale. #yardsaletips #yardsaleideas #makeextramoneyathome #sidehustles #yardsalehacks” data-pin-title=”How to Have a Safe & Profitable Yard Sale This Year” class=”size-full wp-image-930″ src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss-4.jpg” alt=”beanie babies” width=”400″ height=”300″ data-recalc-dims=”1″>

People will pay $1 each for beanie babies

2. Garage Sale Signs

I bought signs to stick in the ground and neon cardstock to post on poles, fences, etc. I thought four signs would be enough but my paranoid husband thought we could put up every sign we had. He was right.

It was the signs on neon poster board that attracted the most attention. People saw the white signs in the ground but they got to us by the bright ones. Our signs just said “Yard Sale” with the address at the bottom and an arrow in the middle pointing the way to treasure land.

If you can, have someone check your signs midway through the sale. One of ours fell and was pointing AWAY from our sale.

What to do The Day of Your Garage Sale

First, give yourself more time to post the signs than you think you’ll need. We had a debate on which illegal places would be least illegal to post our signs. Every city has their rules so check yours to be sure.

I posted a Facebook Live video on my profile giving a tour of the sale. I called attention to some of the more enticing items and introduced all our sellers.

Here are some essentials that kept our ship sale-ing (lololol):

Chill music– It’s too early in the morning for all that hip hop, play something inviting that will keep the people browsing and your neighbors from yelling at you.
Fanny pack– Keep your money close and your fanny pack closer.
Free section– There are some things that no one will buy at your yard sale, doesn’t mean you can’t put them out, but don’t waste your time pricing them.

With a few hours left in the sale, I started posting big ticket items that didn’t sell to Facebook Marketplace. By doing that I was able to secure a home for almost everything I posted.

I posted midday thinking people would come while we were still selling but nobody could make it until the next day so you could probably wait until your sale is over to post.

Warning: responding to all those Facebook messages was almost more tiring than the actual sale.

What to do After a Yard Sale

Take down the signs so people don’t continue to show up at your house, delete your Craigslist and other ads so people don’t roll by your house trying to get free stuff, and count your money!

We took name brand clothes that didn’t sell to Plato’s Closet and made $15 more. And we continued to post big-ticket items to Facebook Marketplace.

Bring leftovers to a thrift store or call one to see if you can have your stuff picked up. We made around $400 not including the furniture we sold on Marketplace the next day.

For the amount of work we put (and didn’t put) into it, I’m glad we did it. Purging is so cathartic and to get some spending money in exchange is just a bonus.

Tell me: What do you think about garage sales? Do you have any interesting garage sale stories or tips to share?

<img data-attachment-id="4130" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss/yard-sale-1/" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Yard-Sale-1.jpg?fit=1000%2C1500&ssl=1" data-orig-size="1000,1500" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"1"" data-image-title="How to Organize a Yard Sale without the Headache- Even During Coronavirus" data-image-description="

Do you want to sell the stuff you’ve been decluttering while you were at home? Here are some tips to have a safe and succcessful yard sale without a headache!! #yardsale #howtohaveayardsale #moneymakingtips #howtomakemoneyathome #sidehustleideas #howtomakemoremoney

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<img data-attachment-id="976" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss/run-a-yard-sale/" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Run-a-yard-sale.png?fit=400%2C707&ssl=1" data-orig-size="400,707" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"" data-image-title="Run a yard sale" data-image-description="

Run a yard sale

” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Run-a-yard-sale.png?fit=170%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Run-a-yard-sale.png?fit=339%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” data-pin-description=”Do you want to get rid of the stuff you have been purging? It is a perfect time to have a safe & profitable yard sale. #yardsaletips #yardsaleideas #makeextramoneyathome #sidehustles #yardsalehacks” data-pin-title=”How to Have a Safe & Profitable Yard Sale This Year” class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-976 jetpack-lazy-image” src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss.png” alt=”Run a yard sale” width=”400″ height=”707″ data-recalc-dims=”1″ data-lazy-srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss.png 400w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Run-a-yard-sale.png?resize=170%2C300&ssl=1 170w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Run-a-yard-sale.png?resize=339%2C600&ssl=1 339w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Run-a-yard-sale.png?resize=100%2C177&ssl=1 100w” data-lazy-sizes=”(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px” srcset=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP///yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7″>

<img data-attachment-id="976" data-permalink="https://www.modernfrugality.com/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss/run-a-yard-sale/" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Run-a-yard-sale.png?fit=400%2C707&ssl=1" data-orig-size="400,707" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"" data-image-title="Run a yard sale" data-image-description="

Run a yard sale

” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Run-a-yard-sale.png?fit=170%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Run-a-yard-sale.png?fit=339%2C600&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” data-pin-description=”Do you want to get rid of the stuff you have been purging? It is a perfect time to have a safe & profitable yard sale. #yardsaletips #yardsaleideas #makeextramoneyathome #sidehustles #yardsalehacks” data-pin-title=”How to Have a Safe & Profitable Yard Sale This Year” class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-976″ src=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss.png” alt=”Run a yard sale” width=”400″ height=”707″ srcset=”http://www.hanovermortgages.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/how-to-organize-a-garage-sale-like-a-boss.png 400w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Run-a-yard-sale.png?resize=170%2C300&ssl=1 170w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Run-a-yard-sale.png?resize=339%2C600&ssl=1 339w, https://i2.wp.com/www.modernfrugality.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Run-a-yard-sale.png?resize=100%2C177&ssl=1 100w” sizes=”(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>

Jen Smith is a personal finance expert, founder of Modern Frugality and co-host of the Frugal Friends Podcast. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Lifehacker, Money Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, Business Insider, and more. She’s passionate about helping people gain control of their spending.

Source: modernfrugality.com

4 Side Hustles You Can Do While Working Full Time

From selling unwanted items online to launching a blog, there are side hustles you can start today.

A side hustle may just sound like extra work. Like coming home from your 9-to-5 job only to work another one (goodbye, free time). But a side hustle that generates income beyond your primary job doesn’t have to be a drain on your energy or time.

It’s easier than ever to find ways to make money on the side of your day job. As the side hustlers below show, it can be as easy as digging out forgotten treasures from the back of your closet.

Whether you’re looking to leverage a side gig to more quickly build wealth, or you’ve set out to increase your emergency fund or save for a specific financial goal, consider these four side hustles you can start today:

1. Sell unwanted items online

If you’re considering ways to make money side hustling, look no further than your own home. Chances are you have items lying around that you don’t actually use—books, toys, kitchen gadgets, exercise equipment, tech accessories, you name it—that sounded like a good idea at one point but are now just collecting dust. Selling unwanted items online is one of the easiest side hustles you can do while working full time.

Selling things you no longer want or need is a great side hustle you can start today.

“You can really sell anything on Craigslist and Kijiji. If it’s still in decent shape, there’s a buyer out there for items you’re no longer using,” says Tom Drake, founder of MapleMoney and no stranger to selling items online in his spare time.

Drake and his wife declutter their home and sell unwanted items online as often as they can. A recent focus was video games: Drake says he sold about $2,000 worth of video games that were sitting in his garage for over a decade. Based on his calculations, he expects to sell about $10,000 worth of unwanted items in 2018.

If you’re thinking about posting items online as a way to make money on the side, Drake says it’s easy to start. Listing items doesn’t take long, though he suggests taking a decent photo and writing a detailed description to make the item easier to find in search results and more likely to sell in a timely fashion.

PriceCharting, which documents prices for every video game ever made, to check value.

Outside of video games, Drake says you can find clothing at thrift stores, then list it for 30 to 50 percent off retail price to make a sale. For collectible items like coins, you can Google the item and add the term “price guide” to the search query. This type of information could come in handy as you build out your pricing structure. Don’t forget to explore e-commerce sites to gauge market rates for items.

3. Start an online store

Briana Ford is a search engine marketing campaign manager for a marketing company based in Dallas. Her way to make money side hustling is through three stores she runs on Shopify, an online e-commerce platform. She generates about $1,000 to $3,000 in total revenue each month.

Her stores Ciao Toots and Karma Outfitters sell phone covers and graphic tees, respectively. Her most popular store, PinLivingColor, sells ’90s memorabilia. She creates the designs through Printful, a printing service through Shopify, and uploads the photos to her store. When someone buys, say, a cell phone case, Printful prints the design on a case and sends it off to the customer. She took a weekend each to start her stores.

“We live in a day and age where you can literally have an idea in the morning and have your business launched in the evening. There is an audience and a customer for almost anything,” she says.

She also helps fellow African Americans start their own stores as a consultant via Startup Noire.

4. Launch a blog

Eric Rosenberg, founder of Personal Profitability, has tried side hustles from web coding to organizing flash mobs. He found a winning side hustle you can do while working full time with his blog.

Blogging is a great way to make money on the side.

“Personal Profitability led to freelance opportunities and eventually a full-time job. But it all started with weekends and evenings,” Rosenberg says.

He has tracked his online earnings publicly since 2012, when the blog earned him about $700 a month. In 2017 he had a six-figure business. Most of his income comes from writing services and website support, with some affiliate income, Rosenberg says.

Blogging is one of the side hustles you can start today, and it doesn’t necessarily cost much to get up and running. However, as the online income reports on Rosenberg’s blog show, it does require patience to make it really pay off.

Ways to make money side hustling: The possibilities are endless

These are just a few of the possibilities available to you as you explore ways to make money on the side of your primary career. As you compare the various side hustles you can start today, consider activities, skills or experiences that you’re passionate about. Enjoying and finding value in your side hustle may make the extra income and increased earning potential even more rewarding.

Source: discover.com

You Should Never Buy These 12 Things New

Man with guitar
Luis Molinero / Shutterstock.com

Some things really are better the second time around.

In fact, many used items can be every bit as good as those purchased new. Plus, buying used almost always saves you cash.

So, without further ado, following is our list of the top things you should never buy new.

1. Timeshares

pbk-pg / Shutterstock.com

Don’t ever pay full price for a timeshare. Some people are practically giving them away because they’re so desperate to get out from under the annual fees.

As Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson puts it in “Ask Stacy: How Can I Sell My Timeshare?“:

“I’d chop off my own foot with a dull ax before buying a timeshare, especially a new one from a developer.”

2. Basic tools

javitrapero.com / Shutterstock.com

If you are handy, you need a good set of tools. Buying tools used typically will save you money, and you might even end up with something that is better crafted than what you would find new today.

In fact, Money Talks News’ resident thrifting expert Kentin Waits cites tools in both “8 Things I Always Buy at Thrift Stores” and “7 Things You Should Buy at Estate Sales.”

If you aren’t handy, you might be able to check out tools from your local library when you do need them.

3. Cars

Driver with thumbs up
pathdoc / Shutterstock.com

We’ve talked about it time and time again: The value of a new car drops like a rock as soon as you drive it off the lot.

Rather than finding yourself upside-down on your car loan five minutes after signing the paperwork, look for a quality used car that has already taken the huge depreciation hit.

4. Books

TORWAISTUDIO / Shutterstock.com

We could take this category one step further and say you shouldn’t buy books at all. Many of us live near a public library system that can meet most of our reading needs.

However, we won’t go quite to that extreme. I personally enjoy having a well-stocked home library. I also realize that some books, such as college textbooks, have to be purchased. But that doesn’t mean you have to pay full price.

Check out “11 Places to Find Free E-Books,” or head to Amazon to find cheap used books, which are often as good as new.

5. Big toys like boats, motorcycles and RVs

Boating
freevideophotoagency / Shutterstock.com

That advice about buying a used car can apply to any type of vehicle.

Virtually anything with an engine — from off-road vehicles to yachts — will depreciate over time. So, in most cases, you’ll get more bang for your buck by purchasing used.

New boats, for example, depreciate quickly. So, even if you buy a vessel that’s just 1 year old, you stand to save a boatload.

6. Houses

sirtravelalot / Shutterstock.com

Your house is another big-ticket item that is better to buy used rather than new. Not only can you save money, but older homes also may have better “bones” than some new construction.

If you love the idea of new construction, remember that an existing home doesn’t necessarily have to be 50 years old. If you want an energy-efficient home with new amenities, you can probably find it at a lower price if you’re willing to be owner No. 2 or No. 3.

7. Movies and CDs

Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

Many of the same places that sell used books also sell used DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and CDs. No need to spend money for a new disc when you can get a used one for less money online, at a garage sale or in the thrift shop.

Of course, there’s also your public library, where movies and music are free for the (temporary) taking and cheap when the library holds a sale.

8. Sports gear

Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com

Raise your hand if your kids have ever started a sport and quit after one season. I’m right there with you.

Instead of spending tons for new equipment, go to a specialty store like Play It Again Sports and buy used items. You can also scour garage sales, thrift stores and Craigslist for bargain finds.

Don’t forget to look for fitness equipment for yourself, too. Buying new weights and kettlebells, for example, doesn’t make sense if you can get used ones for a fraction of the price.

9. Musical instruments

Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com

Musical instruments are another parental purchase that could be money down the drain.

To avoid purchasing something overpriced or broken when buying used, consider spending a few dollars to have it appraised by a local music store. Or, better yet, buy a used item directly from a shop.

Renting an instrument is another option. However, keep in mind that renting a clarinet for three years could end up costing you more than if you purchased a used one in the first place.

10. Jewelry

Jasmin Awad / Shutterstock.com

Jewelry is also better bought used than new. Before buying off Craigslist or from a private seller, however, be sure to get an appraisal, particularly if a significant amount of money is involved.

You can also find quality used baubles by shopping for estate jewelry from jewelers or reputable pawn shops.

11. Gift cards

Gift cards
Iryna Tiumentseva / Shutterstock.com

Here’s one you probably haven’t thought about. Some people receive a gift card to a retailer they don’t like. Others use a portion of a gift card, but have no reason or desire to spend down the remaining balance.

You can find unwanted gift cards by going to a site like Raise. Buying “used” gift cards in this fashion can save you a bundle, as we detail in “How Unwanted Gift Cards Save Me Hundreds of Dollars a Year.”

12. Pets

Inna Astakhova / Shutterstock.com

Some of you might disagree, but there really is no reason to spend a lot of money on a brand-new pet from a breeder when plenty of preloved (or not so loved) animals need homes.

My local animal shelter and Humane Society regularly have free or almost-free adoption days, during which you can bring home everything from dogs and cats to bunnies and birds. Your local shelter might offer the same.

Unless you’re planning to show your pet, spending hundreds or even thousands on a purebred animal is probably not money well-spent. The $50 puppy from the pound is just as likely to smother you with wet kisses and stare at you with unbridled adoration.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Source: moneytalksnews.com

50 Ideas To Help You Get Out of Debt!

When it comes to trying to get out of debt, I’ve seen and heard it all.  From the person who gets three jobs to the guy who sold his dream car – just to make it all happen.  It got me to thinking – what are some of the craziest ideas out there to help you find your way out of debt?

find money to pay off debt

find money to pay off debt

I decided to make a fun post about the craziest ideas people have tried just to try to get their debts paid off.  The funniest thing is that these really do work!  Who knows?  Maybe one of these will inspire you too!

If you are struggling  with paying off your debt, these folks may be able to help:
Call 866-948-5666.

50 IDEAS TO HELP YOU GET OUT OF DEBT

SELL ITEMS

Things are that – just things.  They don’t define us, and they don’t always make us completely happy.  My husband and I sold so many items when we were trying to get out of debt that we were able to raise more than $1,000.  The thing is – I can’t even remember what we sold (which proves that they were things we obviously did not really need).  Here are some unconventional ideas of things you can sell:

1. Hair.  This may sound bizarre, but people will pay for long hair!  Crafters often use it for making dolls, so they will pay to buy it.  You will need to have at least 10″ or more to sell, and the price will vary greatly. You can visit eBay to learn more and get started.

2. Toilet paper / paper towel rolls.  Have you been on Pinterest and seen the number of craft projects which require a paper towel or toilet paper tubes?  They are all over the place!

You can get onto local sites such as Wallapop, Craigslist or even visit eBay and list your products for sale.  It may sound crazy, but it actually can work.

3. Gift cards.  If you get a gift card for any reason, be it a return or even a gift, you can turn around and sell the card.  You won’t get quite face value for it, but you also can at least get paid cold hard cash.

They don’t have even to have the full value on them.  For instance, if you had a $100 gift card to your favorite sporting goods store, but you only have used $26.48, you can still sell your card, and another person can use the remaining balance.

Visit Raise.com to learn more about placing your gift cards up for sale.

4. Daily Deal vouchers.  Did you buy a deal on LivingSocial and haven’t yet redeemed the voucher, you can sell it.

5.  Sell things you don’t need.  Use eBay, Craigslist or LetGo to sell the stuff you do not need anymore.  Go through your home and decide what you need and what you could sell to raise some quick funds to pay off your debt!

SIMPLE IDEAS

These are things that just make sense and most people think about…but you may not have thought of every one of them!

6.  Budget.  Of course, it seems this should go without saying, but it is not always obvious. If you don’t have a budget, you have no control of your money.  Learn How to Create a Budget.

7. Coupons.  Start using coupons to save as much as you possibly can at the grocery store.  Then, use the amount you save to pay towards your debt! Read more about How to Use Coupons.

8. Change where you shop.  If you live near an Aldi, start to buy groceries there.  Skip the clothing store and find consignment stores to find gently used clothes.  Read more about How to Shop at Aldi.

9. No more dinners out.  This is a tough one, but it works.  Best of all, its not something you will have to give up forever!  Just think, if you spend $100 or more a month dining out that is more than $1,000 to pay towards your debt in just one year!

If you do have dinner out, skip the soft drinks and go for water instead, which is free!  Make sure you also pass on the appetizers and consider splitting a larger entree to pay less.

10. Give up your hobbies.  If you are an avid golfer, you might give that up for some time and use the monthly dues to pay towards debt.

11. Menu plan.  By planning your meals, you not only know what you will have for dinner, but it also helps you plan your shopping trip.  That ensures you have all you need on hand when you get ready to cook all of your meals – saving you from running to the store for that “one item,” which often leads to more.  Read more about How to Create a Menu Plan.

12. Ask for rate reductions.  Contact your creditors to see if they would lower your interest rate at all. This is not always something that works, but it is definitely worth a few calls to see if it won’t work for you. Learn the tricks to asking for a rate reduction.

13. Avoid paying monthly fees.  If your bank charges monthly fees, ask them to waive them.  If they will not, consider moving to another one which offers free banking.  Even $5 a month is $60 a year that you are giving to them, just to have your account.

14. Keep the change.  I always use cash.  I don’t even pay with change.  If the total is $6.42, I hand over $7 and keep the change.  I roll all of this once a year and usually have quite a nice amount saved up.  Best of all – I never miss it!

15.  Overbudget.  This is a fun way to get extra money.  We may budget $300 for groceries every two weeks, but I will do what I can to keep my shopping way under this amount.  Then, I take anything left over at the end of that two weeks and save it (you could use it towards your debt). It’s a fun way to challenge yourself to see how little you can spend!

16.  Change insurance.  Make some calls to find out of you can get a better rate on your auto and home (renter’s) insurance.  You can sometimes find a better deal by bundling or even by increasing your deductibles a bit.

17.  Skip the evening movies.  If you love to visit the movies try the matinee instead!  You can usually pay less by catching the afternoon show. Make sure you pass on the snacks too, as those can add up quickly!

18.  Don’t buy books.  Instead of buying books, visit the library or get free Kindle books.  No need to buy them at all, when there are ways you can get them for free!  Find out more ways to get free books.

EXTREME IDEAS

These are ideas which do not work for everyone, but have worked to help others get out of debt very quickly!

19. Stop retirement contributions.  If you are in debt, you might want to take that 15% you were saving for retirement and throw it all towards your debt.  As soon as you are debt free, you can start that contribution again (and maybe even do more than that to other accounts).

20. Cancel cable completely. If you really want to go drastic, you need to take all steps necessary to do so.  Cable can run more than $100 (or even more than $150) per month.  If you can cut out cable entirely, you might quickly free up $100 or more every single month!

21. Sell your car.  If you are leasing a vehicle, that is a simple way to throw money away, as you will never own it.  Turn in the vehicle and then take out a loan to purchase a much older car, where you will pay less per month.  Best of all, you will own it in a few short years!

If you have an expensive vehicle, you can also sell that and then purchase an older car, which will reduce your monthly overhead (and possibly taxes and insurance).

22. Move.  If you are renting or even if you own your home, consider downsizing to pay less each month.  I know many people have opted to sell their home and use any income to pay towards debt, and then they rent until they are debt free.  Then, they save to get the house of their dreams, which they can purchase debt free!

23.  Turn off your home phone.  This can run $30 or more a month.  Just use your cell phone and cancel your home service.

24. Downgrade your cell phone.  Try to reduce the data you use to see if you can’t lower your monthly payment on your cell phone.  Stick with your home internet for most of your data usage, and you can use your phone less and less and rack up the savings.

25.  Swap services.  Instead of paying for babysitting, exchange time with another couple.  You watch their kids for free, and they can do the same for you.  You might be able to swap your tutoring for haircuts or your lawn mowing for handyman repairs.

26.  Make gifts.  Instead of buying people gifts for birthdays and holidays, consider making them yourself.  You could even offer a “service” gift where you will babysit once a month for a year, etc.  Find a way to give from the heart instead.

27.  Budget bill your utilities.  If you can, arrange for budget billing with your services.  This can make it easier to include your budget and will avoid those swings in the summer or the winter when certain utilities may be more expensive.

28.  Drop the gym or country club.  If you have a membership of any sort, just cancel it.  If you work out at the gym, try to find free videos you can follow at home or create your own workout plan. If you like to golf, go with a friend instead of paying for your membership.

29.  No more coffee trips.  Make your coffee at home each morning and cancel that run through the drive-thru.

30.   Take your lunch.  It is great to go out to lunch every day, but pack your lunch, and you’ll ensure you eat up leftovers.  Not only will you waste less food, but you’ll also save a nice chunk of money every month.

31.  Carpool.  Take turns driving to work and save money on fuel and also wear and tear on your vehicle.

32.   Set up no spend months.  This is a tough one, but see if you can go a few weeks without spending anything more than you need to survive.  That means no dining out.  No entertainment.  No clothes.  Just food and fuel and that’s it!

MAKE MONEY

This is a bit different than working from home.  These ideas help you make a bit more money just doing things you might already do – like search the internet, shop, etc.  These sites will pay you money to do just that.  Then, turn around and apply anything you make towards your savings.

33. Swagbucks. Use this site to get paid for doing searches and other things you normally do online!  Click HERE to learn more about Swagbucks.

34. Sell crafts on Etsy. If you are good at crocheting, woodworking or anything at all, look at selling your wares on Etsy. It is a simple platform and the costs are very low, which allows you to keep most of what you make from each sale.

35. Rent a room in your home.  If you have a walk-out basement, consider renting out the space to make more money.  Just check with your local laws and homeowner’s association to ensure this is allowed before you jump in to start this one.

36. Sell stocks.  If you have investments, considering selling them and using the proceeds to pay towards your debt.

37. Give music lessons.  If you know an instrument or you can sing, consider selling your time to help teach others.

38. Tutor.  Find your expertise and teach others.  You never know who you might be able to help!

39. Start a blog.  You may not get rich with your blog, but it can turn into a nice stream of income!  Learn more about How to Start a Blog.

40.  Visit garage sales and upcycle.  Find items very inexpensive at a yard or garage sales.  Put in some elbow grease, paint and creativity and turn them into something you can sell for a profit.  Check out flea markets and farmer’s markets for larger items and for places where you can sell your items.

41.  Find holiday work.  When the holidays roll around, many stores hire employees for a short 6 – 8 week period.  Sign up and put in some extra time after your regular job and make some extra cash you can use to pay down your debt.

42.  Become a mystery shopper.  This is a great way to get some things for free.  This is not a way to get rich but is an excellent way to get some of the things you need for free (which allows you more money to pay towards your debt).

43. Become an eBay master.  Purchase items on clearance or at deep discounts and then sell them for a profit on eBay.   You can still offer prices which are less than in the store, but more than you paid.

44.  Ask for a raise.  Don’t be afraid to ask for one.  Make sure you share the additional work or responsibilities you’ve taken on as a reason why.  Or, if it has been a while since you last had a raise, you can mention that too.  It never hurts to try.

45.  Sell an eBook.  If you are an expert in any field, or if you love to write, create a book you can sell on Amazon!

MENTAL

While there are things that you can physically do to save or to make money, you need to get your brain into the right mindset too.

46.  Make your goal visible.  If you want to get out of debt so you can afford to save for a vacation, tape a photo of the destination where you see it each day.  It could be on your office wall, bathroom mirror or the refrigerator.

47.  Learn to be happy with less.  Sure, a new TV might be fun to own. It could be enjoyable to go out to dinner.  However, do you need those things?  Probably not.  Find a way to be happy spending time at home spending no money at all, and you’ll realize how much those things don’t matter.

48.  Learn to say no.  You may need to tell friends you can’t go out to dinner.  It may mean telling the kids that they can’t get that treat at the grocery store. You may need to say to yourself that you do not need to grab that afternoon latte.  Learning to say no can easily keep more money in your pocket.

49.  Give more.  This may seem crazy, but it actually works.  When you give more of yourself to others, you feel better.  Best of all, giving is not always financial. It can mean your time or even your prayers.

50. Surround yourself with the right people. If your friends encourage you to spend money, then you might want to distance yourself from them (at least until you can get better control over your finances and self-control).  Find other people who think like you do so that they can encourage and build you up.

There you’ve got it.  Fifty ways to help get you out of debt!  Which are you getting ready to try?

ideas to help find money to pay off debt

ideas to help find money to pay off debt

Source: pennypinchinmom.com

Love Decluttering, Hate Craigslist? 4 Far Easier Ways to Sell Your Stuff

Decluttering is a constant battle—and if you’re downsizing to smaller digs, it can be an all-out war. One way many people make the process less painful is by selling their castoffs—because parting with old possessions doesn’t feel half as bad with a cash kickback, right?

There’s just one problem: Many find the old standby of hawking their wares on Craigslist to be more of a pain than it’s worth. Plus, the act of having to invite random strangers into your home can feel kind of creepy—and if those randos want to haggle, the headache really isn’t worth it.

But you’re in luck! Plenty of apps have filled the void by making the process of selling your possessions much easier—often with a better payoff to boot. So whether you’re lightening your load before a move, downsizing to a smaller space, or just decluttering, here’s how to sell the items topping your get-it-outta-here list.

1. Trove

Best for selling: Furniture

Think of Trove as a virtual consignment shop for furniture. Sign up through your Facebook or Google account, and answer a series of questions before your item is listed: title and description, price (and if you’re willing to negotiate), type of payment accepted, where you’re located, and when you’re available for the buyer to pick up the item. You’ll also need to upload at least one photo—the more, the better. If you check the box for negotiating, you receive notifications of all offers, and then you can accept the one you like best based on price, mutual connections, and the buyer’s reviews.

Any downsides? Similar to Craigslist, an in-person meeting and inspection are required to complete the transaction. A helpful tip: Never let a buyer leave with your item until the transaction has been marked as approved in the app—that’s how you’ll get paid if the buyer has chosen a debit or credit payment. Listing is free, and although Trove takes a 10% fee from credit card transactions, it doesn’t charge for other payment methods (e.g., PayPal).

2. Decluttr

Best for selling: Tech

Want to sell your old cellphones, DVDs, CDs, and video games you have lying around without the hassle of finding a buyer yourself? Download the free Decluttr app, use your phone’s camera to scan the bar code, and you’ll get an instant selling price. The app has a Tech Price Promise, which guarantees you the first price it offers—or you get your item back for free.

Any downsides? You do have to actually pack your item(s) into a box and mail it to Decluttr. But hey, it provides a free shipping label, and once your box arrives at the warehouse, the Decluttr team checks the item(s), then sends payment through direct deposit, PayPal, or check (or donates it to charity upon your request).

3. ThredUp

Best for selling: Old clothes

Rather than hauling all your unwanted or ill-fitting clothes and accessories to a local consignment store, you can create an account at ThredUp and request a “kit.” In a nutshell: ThredUp sends you a giant, polka-dot plastic bag, which you can fill up with women’s and children’s clothing, shoes, handbags, fashion jewelry, or other accessories. (Menswear is not yet accepted, but check the site for updates on the items that are in demand.) Ship the filled bag for free by dropping it at any U.S. Postal Service or FedEx location, and once your bag is processed, you’ll earn cash or credit in your account for the items that are accepted.

Any downsides? There’s one caveat: Any items that aren’t accepted will be donated (i.e., you won’t get them back). But honestly, do you really want them back?

4. 5miles

Best for selling: Anything locally

Described as Craigslist meets Nextdoor (a private social network for neighborhoods), the 5miles app has 14 million buyers across the United States, yet it focuses on the ones in your immediate area. It’s safer to use than Craigslist, though, with features such as online payment, shipping options for people who don’t want to meet, and a tool to locate nearby police stations where you can do in-person transactions. The app also prides itself on a 24/7 “Awesome Experience” customer service team to help with issues.

Nice plus: Prefer the old-fashioned method of decluttering, aka garage or yard sales? You can list your sale in a special section of the app, where buyers can search for sales in their area and come check out your goods in person. It’s way more effective than newspaper classifieds.

Any downsides? While there’s a category on 5miles for just about anything you might want to sell before a move, keep in mind that you may not sell everything. Top sellers include furniture, household wares, electronics, and sports/outdoor items. While it’s free for both buyers and sellers, there is a fee on some automotive listings, in case that’s on your to-sell list.

Source: realtor.com

From Bankruptcy to Paying $22,000 Cash for a Car

rebounding from bankruptcy

rebounding from bankruptcy

I was recently a guest on the Masters of Money podcast.  One of the statements Phil made was “Wait a minute.  How does one go from declaring bankruptcy to paying $22,000 cash for a car?”

I had never really looked at my journey in that way.  But, when I thought about it, I realized –  “Dang!  That really is pretty awesome.”  And, what is even more interesting is how my bankruptcy was the catalyst for bringing me to the place I am today.


WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

When I was in my 20s, I was in a relationship. To be totally honest, it was destined to fail.  We were just really too different and so it was never going to work out.  However, being young, naive and in love, I was doing all I could to make it work.

For me, that meant buying things to make him happy.  But, truth be told, I was really spending money to make myself happy.  I loved money because it made me feel good.  I adored all it offered to me.

Sadly (and like so many others), it lead me down the path of financial ruin.  Well, not the money itself.  My attitude did.

I had such an adoration of money, and what I thought it was doing for me, that I misused it. I allowed it to take control of my life to try to fill some of the emptiness I was experiencing.

In December 2001, that relationship came to an end.  When it happened, I was devastated. It was a mix of sadness because it was over but honestly, more fear of me being able to support myself alone financially.

I had built up a lot of debt with him. While it was joint debt, we were not married. We both knew that we could not make ends meet alone and that we also needed to find a way to put this all behind us.  So, bankruptcy it was.

That following August, we met in Wichita, Kansas before the bankruptcy judge and it became official. I was bankrupt.

REBOUNDING FROM BANKRUPTCY

Fortunately for me, a few months after that relationship ended, I had moved to a new city and met the man I would eventually marry.  In fact, he proposed to me just a week after I declared bankruptcy.  Talk about a keeper!  😉

When I met my husband, I learned a lot about myself and what real love was like. I began to understand that it wasn’t in the things I gave him or he to me, but in the moments we shared. For the first time in my life, I experienced true love and joy.

He was the change I needed.

We married in June 2003 and knew that we wanted to start our family as soon as possible.  One thing we both agreed upon was that we wanted for me to quit my job and stay home with our children.  It was important for both of us that one of us was there to raise them.  We knew it would be a financial challenge, but one we felt we could overcome together.

In September 2004, our first daughter was born.  That was the same day I officially quit my job.

HERE COMES THE DEBT (AGAIN)

Once I was staying home with our little girl, our finances changed.  They had to. We could not spend as much money dining out and in other ways as we once did.  We both knew that.   However, we also had purchased a new home and there were things we needed wanted.

A few months before she was born, my husband purchased a pickup.  One month after Emma arrived, we went out and bought a brand new minivan.

Between the vehicles and a home equity loan to buy things for our house, we had accumulated quite a bit of debt.  We just kept juggling the bills and trying to balance it all – and not very successfully.

I started working part-time from home a few hours a week. That meant I was able to be here to take care of my baby, and was also able to bring in a little bit of cash.  It was difficult to do, but I knew we needed the money, so I kept at it.

Our son followed in March 2007.  There was no way I could still try to work the hours they needed for me to, and raise two kids. My kids mattered more.

So, I quit.

We continued getting by.  There were times when we robbed Peter to pay Paul.  We were making it, but not in the way we wanted to.

Then, one evening, my husband told me to go out to dinner with my friends.  Little did I know what would happen next.

THE DINNER THAT CHANGED IT ALL

After an evening of dinner and drinks with my girl friends, it was time to pay.  Most of us pulled out a credit or debit card to pay.  However, my son’s Godmother, Kathy, reached into her purse and pulled out an envelope.

I asked her what that was about, as I’d never seen such a thing before.  She explained how they were using cash for everything instead of plastic because they were trying to get out of debt.

That intrigued me, so I asked her more questions.  She told me how she and her husband had recently started to follow Dave Ramsey.  They were able to create a budget and a plan that was helping dig them out of debt.  She filled us in on some of the program and what they were doing.  That left me wanting to learn more.

When I walked through the door that evening, I sat down and started sharing all of this with my husband.  We knew that our friends did not make much more than we did, so we thought “if they can do it – so can we.”

I grabbed my computer and we started researching this Dave Ramsey.  We had no clue who he was or what he taught. The more we read, the more we were inspired to follow his plan.  We pulled out the debit card and made our purchase.  Nope.  We didn’t even sleep on it.

 

HOW WE CREATED OUR DEBT FREE PLAN

Once the Dave Ramsey books and materials arrived in the mail, we were like two kids on Christmas morning. We tore open the box and could not wait until our kids were in bed that night…..so we could read!!!

Within the week, we had started our plan.  Luckily, we had around $2,000 in the bank, so our emergency fund was already taken care of. We created a budget and a debt snowball plan and were ready to attack.

I was looking at the numbers and our plan and it hit me. I was in debt again.  However, this time, I felt as if I had brought my husband along with me.  I felt horrible that I was back in this situation.

Yes, this time around the spending was not for the same reasons as before, but it had happened. Were we going to get out of debt and just do this all over again in a few years? Why would it be different this time? Did I really learn from my past mistakes?

I started giving this a lot of thought and realized that even though the bankruptcy was behind me, my money attitude was still the same.

MY (MUCH NEEDED) ATTITUDE CHANGE

When I looked at the money we had spent, I realized that it was because I enjoyed spending it.  It wasn’t because I was trying to replace an emptiness in my life. Heck! I was happier than I had been my entire life.  But yet, here I was, still building debt, buying things I did not really need.

I had to do a lot of self-analysis. It began with me asking myself one simple question:

“What do you feel when you think about money?”

For me, it was simple. I loved it. I loved how I could use it to get things I wanted.  And, not having had much money growing up, I thought I worked hard for this, so I will spend it as see fit.

When I said that out loud to myself, I knew it was not healthy. Money is not here just to get the things I want.  Sure, it is fun to buy items, but those things were never making me happy.  My husband and children were doing that for me.

I took another look at the debt and knew that the money had purchased things.  Those things were replaceable and if I lost them all tomorrow, I’d be OK.  However, my family wasn’t.  There was nothing in this world that could or would ever replace them.  Ever.

In that moment I made the decision that I was no longer going to love money.  I was going to love my family – and myself – more.

For me, it meant changing my entire attitude.  Once that happened, it all started to fall into place.

THE PLAN WE USED – THAT WORKED!

As I mentioned above, we read the Dave Ramsey plan.  While we followed most of what he said, we also had to do some of our own research and come up with our own ways to do things.

For my husband, it meant selling some of the guns he owns (he is an avid hunter).  I sold furniture and other items that were taking up space in the basement.  We had garage sales.  Any money we made from these ventures went to our debt.

I started researching and finding ways to save more money at the grocery store.  And, as a result of my findings, some of my on-line friends encouraged me to start a blog.  (And, we all know where that lead now, don’t we.  😉 ).

Through it all, we did it.

On February 10, 2010, we made the final payment on our mini van.  We had done it.  We had become debt free.

THE CASH CAR

Once we were out of debt, we were able to start saving money.  It felt amazing to be able to keep more of what we earned and not have to hand it over to everyone else.

My husband and I knew that we would eventually need to replace our mini van. We started paying ourselves monthly payments – instead of a car company.  We built up that savings for many, many years.

When we had enough built up to pay cash for a car, we did not do it.  Even though we had the money to pay for it, we did not really need a new car.  That was a want.

So, we saved even more and researched and waited until the right car came along.  And, it did.  More than 2 years after we had enough money to pay for the car we wanted, we made the purchase.

There is nothing like sitting down at the dealership and writing a check for a vehicle.  There is no worry about how to fit the payment into our budget. The car is ours.  We were able to drive it home and just enjoy it.

The hard work had paid off.

YOU CAN TO IT TOO – I PROMISE

During our journey, I found my calling.  It was to help others, just like you, do the same thing we did.  This blog is how I do that.

I have shared many stories, tips and ideas to help you and your family save money over the years. I know some of you have been able to follow my articles and get started on your own debt free journey.

However, reading a few articles here and there can be difficult to follow. My husband and I did that ourselves.  Yes, it worked for us, but we both kept wishing we could follow a plan that would not just give us a few tools on how to do things, but really be there.

Someone who would hold our hand when we were scared. That we would have others to lean for advice.  We wished that we could celebrate our victories with others who really understood and can relate.

That led me to where I am today.  This blog.  This chance to really help others.  And, in those continuing efforts, The Financial Reboot Course was born.

CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE – CHANGE YOUR LIFE

For me, the one change I needed to make was my money attitude.  I did not do that the first time around and I ended up making some of the same mistakes. History was repeating itself.

Once you can do the same thing, and really understand the root of how you feel about money, then – and only then – can you start to overhaul your finances.  If you don’t change the way you handle money, you will be destined to make the same mistakes over and over again.

I want to guide you on your own financial journey. I want you to be successful. I want you to be able to shout it from the rooftops — I’M DEBT FREE!!!!

Let me help you make the change you need at this moment in your life.  Kick start your own Financial Reboot, and leave the past in the past.

Source: pennypinchinmom.com