Friday, May 6, 2011

Creative money solutions

Life is very random. although we all like to believe that nothing bad will happen and that there are no forces in our lives beyond our control. The truth is that life is random and a lot of stuff can go wrong. Just look at the financial meltdown which blindsided everyone especially the smart alecks on Wall Street. Even if you did the right thing you could have ended up losing you job and your house. This post is about having other ways of making money. For my family it is eBay. We buy and sell. We started as buyers but when we had to move, we started to sell. I was thrilled to find out there were people out there willing to give me money for my stuff and pay to move it too. It saved me a lot of headaches when we moved. I got paid to pack and I didn't have to unpack. We also gave a lot away to charity. And we had a lot of good stuff because we were both inveterate junk collectors. What was great is that I could sell the stuff that no longer suited me and buy new stuff. I shop at garage sales and church sales for the things I can't otherwise afford like some clothes, silk scarves, vintage jewelry. We don't really run it like a business. I buy stuff , use it for a while and then sferentell it when I grow tired of it. I 'm happy to get back what I paid for an item, which is minimal. It's not a lot of money, just a little play money, enough for an occasional dinner out or to get something we need for the house.

I am currently talking to my husband about doing some math tutoring on the side for a few more bucks. It's like running a small business. There are plenty of people in need of certain skills whether it is cooking or baking (read catering) or sewing or fixing. A little side business can be a godsend as long as you are not totally dependent on it. Because that is the key. Don't be too dependent on just one thing. Have a few different baskets for your eggs. Don't even be dependent on the full time job. Though they are nice to have, but be prepared with options if something goes wrong, which it can. If the financial meltdown taught us one thing, it is that things can go wrong in an awful hurry. Gas is through the roof right now. That is something that could kill this fragile economy. My advice is to have an emergency fund and a backup plan. Cutting excess spending in this time of uncertainty, is a good start. Make saving money fun. Make beating the system a game. Lots of things are available online. I wanted to get a pair of shape-up sneakers last fall but I didn't want to spend over $100 for them. So I looked online and got a new pair delivered to my door for less than half the store price. I was thrilled. You can have it all with less. And have fun doing it. Next wek the town down the road is having a city-wide yard sale. I will be ready with my big bag, my singles and small change to shop for treasures. I will look for the stuff I really want and stuff to sell. I can take the brand name clothes to the consignment shop or sell it on eBay. Then with the money I make I can get something I really want. Or maybe I'll find what I'm really looking for at a yard sale and call it a day. Either way, I'm going to have a great time. I love saving money and finding corners to cut. I love having it all with less.


  1. You make it sound easy. Is it? What is the most challenging thing about selling used items?

  2. It's not easy. eBay is really hard. I don't really buy stuff to sell per se. I buy stuff I want. Thing is like everyone else, I have too much and I periodically purge. Since I get use out of my stuff and never pay much, I'm happy with whatever I get for it. But buying just to resell is honestly way beyond my scope. The people who do well on eBay are pros and have a following. But when my husband wa fixing our house it sure helped. He bought food with the eBay money.