It’s been just over a month since our period of daycare cost-related “fiscal restraint” began. Saving money has helped us a ton! However, sometimes saving money doesn’t feel like enough when household emergencies happen or there’s a big ticket item (like say one of your closest friends is having a destination wedding) on your calendar and your regular income isn’t going to cut it.
Since I’ve been back at work I’ve missed my kids (the minions) a lot, and the idea of being out of the house for a second job was too much for either of us to handle physically or emotionally. Plus, it’s not worth the return on investment.
When we were first discussing our new budget, a friend who was preparing to move suggested, “Why not sell some of your old stuff?” She had recently made enough money to pay for her movers by selling old CDs, DVDs, textbooks, and books that she didn’t want any more, and had significantly less stuff to move. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t thought of it myself. Here are some things I’ve sold or considered selling, and how it’s worked out for us…
If you’ve been in school recently and aren’t going to use your textbooks any more, August/September and December/January are great months to sell them. You can either sell on line (I used Amazon) or go to a local college or university bookstore. Some book stores will give you a higher price if you can prove that you got an A on the course. Textbooks expire quickly, so they may not be worth anything if a new edition came out. You can check what others are selling the texts for on line by using ISBN numbers before you list yours.
To date we have made $140 on the sale of textbooks — this is after shipping costs and listing commission fees.
DVDs, CDs and books
We kept the series, movies, and books that we continually trade and lend to friends — but the ones that we know we’ll never watch or use again, we decided to sell. The series has to be worth a significant amount of cash to be worth the shipping costs and effort, so you’ll need to determine whether it’s worth it to post online or take to your local used book/media dealer.
So far we have made $95 on the sale of television series alone. Seller beware: I am an idiot and unknowingly listed a season of a television series as a Blu Ray rather than a DVD and am currently in the process of sorting out my first return.
Clothes and shoes
I have three pairs of name brand shoes that I bought a few years ago, spent a ton of money on and wore one time because they killed my feet. Last week I sold the first pair on eBay and made $40. Much better on closet and wallet space. Same goes for dresses or clothes that are bought for special events and weddings that you know you won’t wear again. Research eBay vs. consignment shops to figure out what will work best for you.
If you’ve got young children: Baby supplies
We have a lot of baby stuff that my twin toddlers have already outgrown. Anything clothes-related, toy-related, or basically anything that has been handed down to us, we’ve passed on to our ever growing circle of friends and acquaintances who are expecting. That being said, you have to do what you have to do and you can’t always afford to pass on or donate to charity. We have some twin-specific items that will be no use to the parents of singletons, and some gifts that we received that were barely used that we’ve decided to sell. Baby consignment shops, mom websites and groups (or twin specific groups) have some great options for mom-to-mom sales that can work for you. You can also go out to friends first before you post on line on these sites or on other sites like Kijiji or Craigslist. I offered some items to some friends at a reduced rate before I posted on line.
So far we’ve made $95 selling baby/twin stuff that we don’t use any more.
You know that fun hobby you always talk about how you wish you had more time for — subversive cross stitch, knitting, jewelry design, or moderately offensive garden gnomes, anyone? Make it a reality and start selling on Etsy or another crafty sites. Just make sure you sell the items for enough money to cover your supplies and time. This isn’t something I’ve done personally, but I have a lot of crafty friends who would benefit from selling their art on line thus forcing them into making time for something they love and making a few bucks at the same time.
The biggest challenge for me in this endeavor has just been making it to the post office regularly and shipping the items promptly.
If anyone has any other suggestions for selling I’m listening… while I work on my plan to sell origami frogs for cash or interesting trades.