I will say that I was feeling like my income was never going to increase. Each year, more and more of it was eaten up by increases in deductions due to things like increased cost of benefits, first retirement and now medical.
But, last fall, I started selling off much of my unwanted things. They are just small things mostly and it started very slowly. I am doing ebay and have now sold 124 items since then. I’ve made about 1200 from that. Not all of it is profit because there are expenses related to fees, but I keep about 85 percent of it.
I have made it a second job for me. Right now, I have 100 things listed and am selling about 30 a month. It is not going to make me rich, but it is extra income so that I can finally feel like I can make some good progress.
Then, this last month, I decided to participate in a local consignment sale called totswap. It is basically for kid’s items and so I listed many items that my children no longer needed, but that I felt were too bulky or might not sell on ebay. It was a one weekend sale, but my profit was $429 dollars. I got 65 percent of what they sold for. I did not sell about 20 out of my 177 items, but I am very happy. I will get that check in about a week and am already planning what to do with it.
I’ll add that I got my kids involved. I let them choose which toys to sell and then gave them the profit from those items. My kids made 15 dollars each from their unwanted toys. Given that they are in kindergarten and first grade, they were both quite excited by that kind of money (we don’t do allowance) and now they see the benefit of being frugal in this manner (we also shop with them at thrift shops for the same reason and just got my son a bike for 10 dollars, but that is another discussion).
My partner works for the federal government so she is looking at the furlough coming in June. We are actually working together to come up with ways to make it through the 14 decreased paychecks. For example, she used her tax refund to pay off her car loan so that is now 450 dollars less per month in bills. Between now and June, she is going to put that $450 in savings so that we can use it for bills once her income decreases. Because I work for the school system, she is the bigger income earner and always will be. I still make the same amount that I made when I started my job 8 years ago, but given the current economy, I am grateful to have a job.
And, this furlough of hers has started us talking more about money and working on getting through this together. We have had issues with this in the past so even though I am not happy to have less income coming in, we are benefiting by working together regarding money better than we every have.
Anyway, I am getting off topic, but my point is that you should look into some money making alternatives. Don’t get fooled by scams, but selling off unwanted items is a great way to bring in some extra cash.
In fact, last month, I went myself to another kid’s consignment sell looking for summer clothes for my own kids. Items that were boutique brands were selling for one to two dollars so I actually bought some of them to sell myself on ebay. I am now making this into a little bit of a buying and selling business and am excited to see how far I can take it to decrease the amount of time until I am debt free. My goal is to have the credit cards paid off by the end of December and I am still hoping to make it even with less income coming in from my partner.