One of the components to increasing our savings account balance was "finding money." I am a stay-at-home mom, and for LOTS of reasons, me going out and getting even a part-time job is just NOT an option. So, I decided to find money instead. Here are some ways I have successfully done just that.
1 - CONSIGNMENT - I don't like to throw out things that are perfectly good, so we are big into donating to the Salvation Army. (I always get a receipt, and this ends up equating to HUGE amounts of money back on our federal and state tax returns each year.) But I decided that some things will be sold on consignment instead. I have a box (of clothes that are REALLY nice, but way too small for me) and two bags (of clothes that Harrison's outgrown) collected. I will be taking them to the various local consignment shops. This will not be immediate money, but we have some time. This needs to be done soon.
2 - EBAY - Through the years I have ebayed several really nice things and gotten decent money for them. We have several "big ticket" items that have just sold or will be listed in the near future - things like my breast pump and an old (but still in good condition) Minolta camera with all the fixin's.
3 - CRAIG'S LIST - There are some things that aren't Ebay worthy, or shipping would be a nightmare, so they're getting sold on Craig's List instead.
I think it's important to note that we're not just selling off all of our stuff! We're not doing this to "survive" we're just pulling available resources. The only things that are being sold are things that we really, really don't want or use, but are of some value. I don't want to give the impression that you're gonna drive by and see all of our furniture headed out the door. That's just not the case!
4 - WWW.CASH4BOOKS.NET - They mostly specialize in recent non-fiction (cookbooks, text books, etc.). You go to the website, and just type in the ISBN number (found on the back of your book), and they tell you if they are or aren't currently buying it, and for how much. Once you are finished, you print out a packing slip, and a mailing label (they pay the postage), you stick it in a box, and drop it in the mail. They will send you a check or if you let them deposit it in your paypal account, you get slightly more money for the books.
5 - CANCELLING MAGAZINES - When Aaron and I were first married we didn't get any magazines, we didn't have the money for it. But over the years, spending $10 or $12 on a subscription "hurt less." We now have quite the assortment - Aaron specializes in car magazines and tech ones, and I get decorating and parenting ones. A lot of the magazines we ordered because the name sounded good, but then we ended up being disappointed once they arrived. Last week we went through the stack of what we get, and decided which ones we really, really like, and which ones we don't. I phoned and canceled the ones that didn't make the cut. They are each sending me a check in the mail for "unused" funds - in our case this has really added up! One magazine alone is sending a refund check of $26.00!
6 - GIFT CARDS - Okay, so maybe this isn't finding NEW money, but it's definitely finding money that's not being fully utilized. When we first instituted this saving frenzy, I took inventory of all the gift cards, gift certificates, and reward checks we had floating around this house. We get them for different occasions - birthdays, Christmas, or even the reward certificates I'm mailed from Staples or Hallmark (I'll email more about them later). I added them up, and we had more than $150 worth! Now that I'm more aware of them, my shopping is more centered around them in a different way. For example, I need some more blank note cards, so I should get them from Borders and use up the final $2.59 that I have on a gift card there - if I look I bet I can find a set on sale for that price. That way they'll be FREE for me!
7 - LOOSE CHANGE - Have you ever gathered up all the loose change around your house and counted it? The amount can be simply staggering! When I was in college and on a very tight budget, I made a point NOT to spend my change. That way when my money ran out, and it was still two days till payday, I could put all the change together and still have enough to get a few more gallons of gas, or an ice cream, or catch a movie with the girls. Saving our change has been a habit for more than 10 years now. We currently have less in the house than in months past because a month or two ago we donated all of it to a fundraiser for a local charity (where you fill baby bottles with loose change) - we filled 2.5 bottles! But even since then, we have quite a bit already accumulated. If you decide to do this, DO NOT use one of those coin counting machines at the grocery store - they charge you a percentage. What a waste!
Well, those are my ideas so far for FINDING money. I'll post later ways we have saved money, and even ways to get things totally free! Do you have any ideas you wanna share with me/everyone else who reads this blog for how and where to find money?
#55 - Get me off this mountain
8 years ago