Are You Throwing Money in the Trash?

money-in-trash-can

Guest post from Asheritah of One Thing Alone

When my husband and I went minimalist, we quickly realized that our trash habits had to change too. With a little research and some planning, we saved over $684 — and lightened our carbon footprint.

Here’s how you can too:

1. Sell old appliances and electronics ($100)

Our electric company pays $50 for refrigerators that still function, and offer reimbursements for energy-efficient replacements. And when our laptop crashed, we bought a new one and sold the dead computer for $50 online. Easy-peasy!

2. Reuse veggie scraps ($204)

I save all my veggie scraps and rotisserie chicken bones in the freezer and make crock-pot stock once a month. One batch equals $17 savings, and if I’m not planning on making soup that week, I simply freeze the stock for later use. The other scraps go into our compost.

3. Recycle aluminum, glass, and plastic ($68)

The average American drinks roughly 16 oz of soda a day (source), the equivalent of two aluminum cans or one plastic bottle. If those containers were recycled, a household of five could recover at least $68, if not more in certain states. You can also recycle wine corks, cooking oil, tennis balls, and golf balls for cash.

4. Drive scrap metal to a junkyard ($48)

When we remodeled our bathroom a few years ago, we took the old cast-iron tub to a junkyard and got $48 for something we were going to throw out anyway. Since then, we’ve also sold old wiring, aluminum house paneling, our old water heater, and other miscellaneous metals.

5. Get a tax deduction for clothing and furniture (varies)

The best way to get money for things around the house is to have a yard sale. But for those of us who just don’t have that much to sell, donating items to thrift stores results in an easy tax deduction.

6. Sell books ($156)

You know those old college textbooks you’ve been hanging onto “in case you might want to refer back to them someday?” (Please tell me I’m not the only one.)

Five years after my graduation, I still hadn’t opened the cover on a single one, and I decided they had to go. Some I listed on Amazon and others I sold in bulk for easy payments. I also sell books I receive from publishers to do video book reviews, so I get to read books and make some money off of them. Voila! More shelf space and more money.

7. Pay less for trash collection ($108)

As a result of our collective effort to throw out less stuff, we found our 120-gallon trash bin was nearly empty each week. I now pay only when I need a pickup. We went from paying $10/month to $2 every two months, and they pick up our recycling for free!

Have you tried any of these methods? How else do you throw away less trash and make more money?

Asheritah helps overwhelmed women find joy in Jesus on her blog and through her books. She likes giving away free stuff to encourage women in their walks with God.

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“Dancing” To a Successful eBay Business

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Guest post by Kimberly of Garage Sale Heaven

My online selling success story began with a “dance”. Prior to selling online, I was working as a part-time writer and full-time homeschool teacher to my three children. My husband’s job as a public employee paid the bills, and the little bits of cash I made here and there for writing gigs paid for our little extras.

My oldest daughter, Madison, has danced since the age of three and in February 2013, she was accepted into Nashville Ballet’s Summer Intensive Program. Dance is her passion. She eats, sleeps, and breathes dance.

Needless to say, she was beyond excited to get this opportunity. The only problem was that it was going to cost over $3,000 to attend the 3-week program.

My husband and I knew what an incredible opportunity this would be for her, and we wanted her to have it, but we didn’t have an extra $3,000 sitting in the bank to pay for it.

While brainstorming different ideas, my husband remembered that he had several boxes of toys in the basement from his childhood. Since they were just collecting dust, we decided to try and sell them on eBay.

To our surprise, the toys sold quickly, and for great money! And to top it off, I really enjoyed selling and interacting with customers. After our success with the toys, we wondered what else might sell.

In June of 2013, I opened my online store, This and That Shack. In July 2013, Madison attended the Nashville Ballet Intensive, where she had the opportunity to follow her passion thanks to my eBay sales! And by a happy dance accident, I also found my passion. I haven’t looked back.

Since that time, I’ve expanded my sourcing to garage sales, auctions, antique malls, and the clearance racks of brick and mortar stores. I work, on average, about 25 hours per week. My sales have continued to grow, and I’m earning about $2,500 profit each month after expenses!

While dance is my daughter’s passion, eBay has become mine. I love sourcing and listing cool stuff, and I love hearing from happy customers that I helped them find exactly what they were looking for. This is definitely the most enjoyable and lucrative part-time job I’ve ever had, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.

My family is grateful, too. They are enjoying many more little extras since I started my new endeavor. We’ve enjoyed a few small vacations, and Madison has since attended another Ballet Intensive in Michigan.

For those of you who might be interested in selling on eBay too, here are a few tips:

1. You will need to set up a PayPal account. All payments on eBay are done via PayPal.

2. You’ll need to register as a new user on eBay. Just click the Sell your item button on the eBay home page, and you will be walked through this relatively quick process.

3. As far as tools/supplies, you’ll need a computer, tablet, or smartphone with internet access, a digital camera or phone that takes good pictures, a shipping scale, shipping tape, bubble wrap and boxes. You can order free Priority boxes from USPS.com.

4. You will need a space to keep your inventory neat and organized. Once you sell something, you don’t want to have to dig to find it.

5. If you’re wondering what sells on eBay, the answer is practically anything. The trick is always to buy low and sell high.

6. It’s a good idea to get the eBay app on your phone. When you are at garage sales, thrift stores, or auctions, you can easily look up items you’re interested in to see what they are selling for. Keep in mind that eBay and PayPal fees will take about 10-13% of each sale.

Any other tips from experienced eBay sellers?

Kimberly is a wife, mom, teacher, and eBay Top Rated Seller. She created her blog, Garage Sale Heaven, in order to share her frugal finds and reselling adventures. She loves a good garage sale! If you feel the same way, she hopes you’ll stop by.

photo source

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We Paid Cash: A Homeschooling Room

We paid cash!

A testimony from Mandy from MissMaesDays.com

The day had come when I had had it with storing all of our school supplies, projects, lesson plans, and books in our kitchen drawers and cupboards. For years, I was using the kitchen island and drawers for homeschooling our kiddos and it just was not working.

I had an “a-ha moment” when I looked at our hardly-used formal living room…it was the perfect space for a classroom!  When I saw it in my mind I knew it could be done.

But we didn’t have the extra cash to transform an entire room in our house into a school room. How in the world could I afford the furniture and supplies to make the conversion?!

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks! Sell the formal living room furniture — the couches, tables, lamps, and decor. Then, USE that money to purchase the items I need for our school room!

Voilà! A school room paid in full, without using credit cards.

Here’s how I did it:

  1. I listed my formal, living room furniture on Craigslist.
  2. I sold smaller items on eBay.
  3. I purged my entire home of unused, unwanted items, readying them for a garage sale. (Any items that didn’t sell on Craigslist and eBay were sold in the garage sale.)
  4. I planned and orchestrated a successful garage sale.

After my efforts to create some extra cash, I found that I had over $1,000 cash IN HAND. So, I set out to get some deals!

How did I do it?

  1. I shopped garage sales for furniture pieces.
  2. I shopped discount stores for decor, teaching supplies, classroom supplies, manipulatives, and games.
  3. I researched curriculum to invest in. I found coupons and deals to purchase curriculum.
  4. I scoured the internet for deals on things that you simply can’t find locally.
  5. I sought the internet for my “dream, can’t live without” pieces. (Mine was a double-sided whiteboard easel on wheels!)
  6. I shopped for discounted paints/supplies at my local hardware store for decorating my school room space.

Once all of my hard work had paid off, I sat back and prepared to design our homeschool room knowing that we paid CASH for it!  It was the greatest feeling in the world. (Here’s a look at our finished room).

Full Shot of Kidspace #2

MissMaesDays.com is the creation of Mandy Mae; wife, mother, teacher, and frugal-DIY-enthusiast. Hoping to inspire mothers to take action in making a positive influence in the lives of their children with simple, DIY, crafting, thrifting, and teaching projects, Mandy Mae enjoys sharing both her successes and hiccups with easy-to-follow tips & tutorials.

Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? Submit your story for possible publication here.

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My Daughter’s Make Over Your Mornings Video (adorable!)

Rachel gave me permission to share this email and video:

Thank you for your Make Over Your Mornings program! You were the jumpstart I needed to get my morning routine going again now that my third daughter is 8 months old. Thank you so much for inspiring me to set goals again and get back into regular Bible reading, prayer, and working out!

You have a genuine gift for motivating women in practical ways. I finished your program about a week ago and I am excited to continue what I learned and the habits I started. I am finding such joy and peace starting my days ahead rather than feeling like I am behind and trying to catch up all day.

I challenged another friend to do the course as well and now we are keeping each other accountable as well as exercising together several mornings a week before our kids wake up.

My 4 and 5 year old daughters saw me watching your videos some morning when they woke up. Soon, they became little accountability partners! One night recently I heard them chattering in their room after bedtime. I went in and found out that they were “being Crystal Paine ” and pretending to be on a video.

So I recorded them doing their Crystal Paine impression yesterday and wanted to share it with you! You are inspiring little girls too! By the way, my daughter Annika made up the whole script herself. -Rachel

Oh my goodness! Is that video not the cutest thing ever?? I had to watch it multiple times because I just couldn’t help myself!

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