How to make $1000 a week selling used clothing on ebay!

work at home mom

How to make a living selling used clothing on Ebay

Do you have a passion for fashion? Are you obsessed with clothes and your closet is bursting at the seams? Just admit it! You are a clothes hoarder! I am a self confessed hoarder of clothes and I’m going to show you how you can turn your obsession into profit! Learn how you can actually make a living selling used clothing!

I’ve been selling ebay on and off for over a decade and I have learned a lot of tips and tricks along the way, so many in fact I wrote an e-book about selling ( and few tricks on buying) on ebay here’s a link if you are interested.

http://amzn.to/1OGGgIR

Let’s just jump right in

1)Find your niche. Narrow your focus. This is a mistake I made in the early days and I’m sure a lot of other sellers do too. Are you selling baseball cards, shoes and watches?! Stop right there, re-direct your focus. This will save you time and money. I used to frantically be calculating postage or finding huge boxes for larger items. It got stressful and very confusing.  What do you know about? What products do you find yourself buying the most yourself? Stick with what you know and love because chances are you will know price points, stay focused, intrigued and which will allow you to be a lot more successful.

2) Decide how much you need to make and the time you can invest. If you only have a couple hours a week to dedicate to ebay then you most likely won’t be able to make $1000 a week or even a month, well unless you find the right niche. More on this later.

For me, my niche is women’s name brand clothing. I have always sold name brand clothing, because, well I love clothes, if I started selling baseball cards for example, I would get bored and burned out quickly since it’s not my specialty or my expertise and I would probably lose money simply because I wouldn’t know how much the cards are worth, which would be detrimental to buying and selling these items.

3)Buy low and sell high. How low can you go? This is the name of the game! If you remember nothing else from this article, remember this phrase… BUY LOW, SELL HIGH! This is something that you will understand and learn about more through trial and error. In my genre, name brand clothing, I try to find things at the lowest price to make the maximum profit. Some of the best places I’ve found for finding re-sale items are yard sales, thrift stores, rummage sales, etc. I’ve had the best luck with church rummage sales because you can usually get things for $1 or $2 a bag on the last day of the sale. Same goes for yard sales, on the last day people really just want to get rid of stuff so they are much more willing to negotiate. Don’t be afraid to tell the sellers that you are a reseller, I find that being upfront and honest about your intensions for the items can help…sometimes. You really just have to weigh the situation and know when to talk and when to keep it zipped. If you frequent a certain store chances are you will get to know the owner or workers and it will eventually come into the conversation. Sometimes this is a very good thing because once they know you are kind of in the same business they are more willing to negotiate. One thrift store owner I know gives me a deal and free items every time I go in. Like 50 an item. I recently went to a school rummage sale on the last day, it was a half hour before they closed. I saw a ton of good name brand clothes that I knew I could flip for a profit. I asked the sellers , “could you make me a deal if I bought a whole box? I’m an ebay reseller.” The lady running the show said, “absolutely! How about all of them for $20”! So I literally bought all of the clothes left, now keep in mind not all of these clothes were ones I was wanting, but I didn’t have time to sort through them, I had my two boys in the car and I figured I could sell some, give some away and donate the rest. Always be on the lookout for deals like this.

4)Know you market and your buyer. Who is your customer? What is your customer into? What are the current trends this customer would be interested in? Let’s take for example, teens. There will always be a market for teen girl clothing. Most teen girls love to buy clothing. Study what your customer would be buying. Research on google and ebay, look at all the current fashion magazines, research key words and think like your targeted customer. Study, learn and grow daily. Be a sponge and learn as much as you can about this industry. I also watch videos on youtube. Youtubers like Pickin’ Profits and Resale Rabbit are good examples of ebayers that know what to buy and how to sell.  Dedicate an hour a day to learning the business. Even if that is just reading a few blogs.

The good stuff: So how much can I make?

Let’s talk for a minute about money and unfortunately there will be some math involved in this equation, yes some math humor, I tried. I really hate math, not gonna lie, so I will try to simplify it as much as I can.

How much is your time worth? Only you can answer that question. One person’s time might be worth $10 while anothers time might be worth $100. If you spend one hour on this business how much do you need to make in order to make your time count in that one hour?

Let’s say you make $15 an hour at your full time office job. If you are selling on eBay you probably want to make close to this amount for your time. Now you have to calculate expenses, like how much it costs to buy the items, shipping costs and packaging supplies, as well as ebay and PayPal fees. So here’s a scenario to break things down for you a bit.

You buy a pair of jeans at a rummage sale for $1 you decide they are worth about $30 on eBay after doing a few minutes of research and seeing what other sellers have these jeans listed for you have your price point.

After the cost of the jeans is factored in you will be left with $29. Let’s say $1 for packaging supplies and then $5 for fees. So you are left with $23 so for me that is worth my time.

Now listing a pair of jeans only takes about five minutes so what if you could list 12 pairs of these same kind of jeans or items? Could you do this in one hour’s time? It’s very possible, especially if the jeans where nearly the same you can copy listings to save time.

So if all of the jeans you sold were sold for $30 12x $23= $276. So how’s that for an hour’s worth of work? In my opinion enough to quit your job and make a full time living with ebay. Just think about having five hours per week or even five hours per day.

$276 (one hours work)

$276 x 5 (one week) =$1,380 Could you find five hours a week for an extra $1,380?

My guess is yes!

What if you had an extra five hours a day? You could generate an extra $6,900 a month, probably enough at that point to quit your day job right?

The trick is finding the right items, finding them for the lowest price and consistently listing, the more listings you have going at all times, the more money you will generate.

My advice is start with 100 items on a buy it now auction. Even if you found $10 jeans and they all sold on a buy it now auction that is $1,000 generated (before fees and cost of items) even if you have 100 items that sell on a 3 day auction for the average price of $5 that’s still $500 generated. Can you list 100 this week to make an extra $500? Or even if you do 25 listings a week you would still make $500 extra a month (minus fees). That’s still not bad for a few hours worth of work right?

Even if you are an eBay newbie, this platform is so easy to learn, I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to learn about selling online. Even if your business outgrows ebay, this is the perfect and simplest platform I know of to get you started and teach you the ends and outs if the business. From sourcing items, to pricing, packaging, shipping, postage, marketing, etc. There are so many invaluable lessons I learned by starting on eBay over ten years ago. I was in my early twenties, 22 I think when I listed my first item. A college textbook, which sold for $53

I’m at the point in my life were I value my time more than money. It’s not that I don’t value money, it’s that I realize my work is worth more, I guess I value myself and my skills more, I’m older and wiser than I was in my twenties, and to be quit honest going through a divorce recently toughened me up and changed the way I work and value my time. When I was in my twenties I was ok with making $10 an hour at a 9 to 5…here’s the thing I learned over the years though.You have to find a way to work smarter not harder. I think a lot of us don’t learn this until we are older and we also decide to start making our money work hard for us rather than working so hard for our money. More on this subject later. This is something that Dave Ramsey teaches. I highly recommend his financial advice and books for anyone struggling in this department.

When deciding to go back to work as a mom, or really anyone going back to work, you really have to focus on the amount it costs you to work for that _ an hour, for me I just interviewed for a seemingly great job part time for supplemental income after realizing they start @$10 an hour, it wasn’t so appealing anymore. I can’t take a job making $10 an hour if I know I could make three times as much or more at home. Here are some factors that I factored in to decide if I could take this job or not.

The number one factor. Childcare. One son will be in school (in August) for summer I would have to pay for two. For one child in my area it’s still $100 a week. The job only pays $250 a week. So just after childcare I’m left with $50, now let’s think about things like gas, food, clothing and taxes.

I would actually be in the red about $100 a month I calculated by taking this jobChild Support. I would be losing about half of this income by taking this job.

All things considered I would be actually making around $4 an hour. Do you think I can make up the difference and bring in an extra $4 an hour? The answer is yes! And you can too!

I’m sorry but isn’t that sad? I wonder how many other moms are in this same dilemma, they want to work outside the home but can’t because they make more money staying home. I guess it is sad but true. This is actually the person I write for, the moms that are in this situation. But that’s ok, because there is hope. There are ways around this problem. Work at home! You can follow my work at home blog bringingmomshome.wordpress.com for more tips and advice.

Just a little food for thought for anyone thinking about going back to a “traditional” job.

More on this subject later, I really feel like this is an important topic!

 

 

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How to make $100-$200 extra income every single week using one free website!

baby with computer 2

Kids these days! Am I right?! My 2 year old knows how to use my Kindle to watch youtube videos,  while my 5 year old son keeps wanting a cell phone and a laptop. I remember being happy with barbies and dressing up my cat when I was little. Times sure have changed. If you have a child that’s computer savvy and likes taking pics, you can get them on board to help with this way of earning. It’s a great way to learn how a business operates and helps to promote creative thinking and how to think outside the box. For me I hope that I can teach both my kids to think this way and inspire them to see other ways of living and ways to promote self reliance.

This method of earning is one that I have done so many times I could do it in my sleep. I actually figured this out really because I got lazy about doing this the way I had been doing it years ago, I was still earning money but it was very time consuming. I thought to myself. What if there was a way to do the same thing, earn the same amount,but simplify and streamline the process. Here is what I did and why this works.

I started selling on ebay in 2000. Ok, just say it, I’m old. I turned 38 this year, time flies. So anyhoo, I have learned so much from this website. I learned the value of my time, how to work smarter, not harder. How to take great pics (a picture is worth a thousand words right?) How to deal with customers, how to under promise and over deliver! How to print labels, pack and ship, how to mark up at least 40%..so many amazing things that have laid the foundation for the way I think today, independently. Yep, I’m a bit of a free spirit. oK maybe a little stubborn, but I like to think of it as determined. 😉

So here’s the million dollar question for you? Do you have free 2-5 hours a week? If so read on. If not, this might not be for you and be sure to check out my other posts.

So how can you make $100-$200 a week with only 1-2 hours of time? After all time is money right? It’s all about trading your time for money. But what if you could trade less of your time for more money, would you be in?

Of course you would. Who wouldn’t?

This is the simple process….

You will be selling…drum roll please…clothing lots!!!!

What are clothing lots?

Clothing lots are a group of clothes sold together. This is a time saver for so many reasons.

#1 Less pictures to take and upload

#2 Less listings to complete, this is a very tedious process for those of you that are new to this.

#3 Less packages to ship

#4 Less annoying emails, questions and customer service work involved.

#5 One consistent product

You have to first figure out how to get these clothes at the cheapest, most rock bottom price to maximize your return.

Now some math, I know I hate math too, but this will be easy and lead you to a great profit so it’s worth it.

Let’s look at selling baby clothes as an example, you can sell any you kind you want, kids, womens o r mens, but this is just an example.

Think about this. On  ebay each piece of baby clothes goes for about .50- $1 in a lot so you need to find this stuff for .10-.25 a piece to make it worth your while. I find mine for around .10 a peice.

If you have 100 pieces of name brand baby clothing for example you could fetch $100 for this lot. If you sell them for .50 each @ 100 pieces this lot is $50. Easy right?

Here’s what a typical transaction looks like.

100 pieces $10.00 cost out of pocket

Sell for $100-$10.00=$90 profit minus ebay and paypal fees about $15

so I’m left with a $75 profit on one box..not too bad. Now if I sell two a week that’s an extra $150

$150 x 4=$600 extra income. You might have to sell between 4 lots a week to make it to $200. Which is totally reasonable. Only four-eight boxes to pack and ship. And USPS comes and picks them up if you ship priority.

So where do you find things this cheap?

#1 Frequent rummage sales. I always look on craigslist. Either under garage sales or community. The best ones are church ones. I love bag days because you can get bags of clothing for $1 or $2 each. If you go on the last day, they just give you stuff a lot of the time because they want to pack up and go home.

#2 Garage sales. These are probably one of the best places to buy used clothing since you can get things so cheap. If I see something in a box and I know I could re-sell the whole box I will just make an offer on the whole box instead of going through everything. I’ve gotten full boxes of name brand clothing it way for $15-20. The downside to this is most yard sales and garage sales happen on the weekend so you might have to give up a day each weekend or at least the morning.

#3 Thrift stores. Most thrift stores have a discount day. Even goodwill has these days. Sign up for newsletters and sale alerts. A thrift store in my area has dime day once a week where everything downstairs is a dime, clothes, household items, shoes, kids clothing, tons of stuff. This place is a rare find and how I get most of my re-sell items.

#4 Make thrift store owners you new BFF. Be friendly, ask questions. find out when the best stuff comes out. Ask what they do with stuff that doesn’t sell. They might either give it to you or give it to you for a huge discount. Let them know you are a re-seller and you are basically in the same business. It helps to network and connect with others in the same business. I have a good friend that owns one thrift store down the street from where I live, he basically let’s me have first dibbs on things that come in or he will hold something for me that he thinks I would be interested in.

#5 Start with what you have. If you have kids I’m sure you have a bunch of stuff they outgrew just sitting around. Why not start with this as your foundation. Sell and now you have some money to use to buy some clothes for you next lot. A great way to start free!

Now some tips.

You need a scale (you can buy on…you guessed it ..ebay for about $15 free shipping)

Use calculated shipping based on the persons location. Make sure to not over look the shipping. Since this is a large, heavy package going out, you need to calculate this right or you could lose your loot quickly.

Make sure to inspect for rips and stains. Don’t sell anything you wouldn’t want to receive yourself.

Always wash everything and dry with some good fabric softener. I always include a dryer sheet in the box so when the customer opens it everything smells fresh, I think customers really appreciate that because they know things are clean and ready to wear.

Go the extra mile. Include a little thank you note saying how you appreciate the business and how they are helping a stay at home mom.

Make sure the pics look nice and everything is folded.

Take several pics and highlight the main best items in some close ups.

Natural lighting works best. If you can open a window and take in front of a window this works great.

Let me point out. I haven’t done this consistently, i.e. each week for a month like this because I have had so many other things going on lately but I will try to do this for one month consistently and show you profit vs. costs and time etc.

If you like this post. Please leave me comment and let me know. I plan on doing a lot more of these so stay turned.

*helping moms build (real) multiple streams of income at home, on the cheap!*

The dark side of blogging!

lady with computer

 

I always knew in my heart that I should be working an “unconventional” kind of job, no, not pole dancing or singing on Broadway but *gasp* writing and blogging.

I should have listened to my gut instinct years ago, but instead I pressed on , doing the whole daily grind thing, like a rat on a proverbial wheel.I kept trying to fit into a mold that society crafted a long time ago, like a two year old trying to fit a square block into a round hole ( ok, enough analogies already right?), it just wasn’t working, and I was miserable.

I knew I had a passion for writing, for business and for helping people,with the work I do now, I fulfill all facets of my passions. Sounds amazing right? But wait! Could I actually make money doing what I love I asked myself. It’s not rocket science creating a website or blog it’s easy right? Then comes the challenging part. Growing an audience and monetizing you blog for income.

Let’s take a step back to 2010. After I gave birth to my first son I stumbled across a blog called hip2save.com one day when my two month old was napping.It was out of necessity that I came across this website, because quite honestly I was scared! Let’s be real! I was freaking out! My husband had just lost his job and I was a stay at home mom…we had no income briefly, yes a very trying time in my life and I’ve had quite a few of those. What I’ve learned from the struggles is this, in the most challenging times is actually when we experience the greatest discoveries. When we are tested and backed into a corner, what I like to refer to as ‘sink or swim time’ only then do we have a period of self discovery and growth

Would I be a bloggger had I not went through the challenges? Would my passion be helping moms who are in the same position I once was, probably not.

In the months to come I became so excited about money saving and couponing that I ended  up starting my blog mommiesfrugalfinds.blogspot.com (yes it was free, I had no money)

I eventually also wrote a best selling ebook on secret couponing strategies. Here’s the link if you would like to check this out.

extreme couponing ebook

Just copy and paste this code into browser

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FXNCS7W/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00FXNCS7W&linkCode=as2&tag=mommfrugfind-20&linkId=PZJBKBH7OMCZ37S3

So, that’s how this whole ‘blogging thing’ came about.

Now on to the dark side of blogging

Here are things no one tells you about blogging…

The struggle is real. If you are starting a blog for just income alone, you are in the wrong business.You will not make a living the first month, the second or maybe even in a year. For me it started as a hobby and it was free. Blogging for me was a way to vent and help other moms, it was my creative outlet when my son napped. Sure I wanted to make money with it. I just didn’t have the tools to do it right. In October of last year I decided I would either delete my blog and four years worth of posts, or I would give it everything I had and absorb as much knowledge as I can about this industry. I’ve spent countless hours doing research, watching videos, podcasts, youtube videos, reading my favorite blogs, looking into social media marketing and SEO.

Your blog title is the core of your business. Don’t pick something in five minutes. Think long term. Are you going to hate it five years from now? I do. I wish I would have put more thought into my other blogs title. I was trying to be cutesy and clever, oh yeah,  and momsfrugalfinds was taken. So, the name didn’t catch on and now it just looks like I’m illiterate. Think about what your blog is about and don’t have such a narrow focus in mind that you can’t expand and  grow. Make sure it tells potential readers what they are clicking on. I kind of wish I didn’t use the word ‘frugal’ in the title too because it kind of gives the impression of someone re-using paper towels and pulling apart 2-ply toliet paper (Tyra Banks does this). Extreme frugality isn’t what my blog is about. It is more about living a good life on the cheap. I still like nice things like designer clothes, I just refuse to pay full price, like ever.While there are a lot of very successful frugal living blogs, it is kind of self limiting.

It’s pretty cut throat. It’s not for wimps.You will be putting yourself out there which opens the door for negativity and criticism. You have to be able to take rude messages with a grain of salt. I just have to remember if someone is taking the time to read my post then they are still making me money in the long run, hater or not.Some people feel so protected by the internet that they can just say anything they feel or they are just bored and want to stir the s$%t pot(who ever stirs licks the spoon right?) Ok that was just wrong.I’m obviously getting so tired right now I’m losing it). You have to understand not everyone is going to agree with what you have to say, and that’s ok. It opens up interest as well as conversation and that’s what you want.

The hours are awesome but they also suck at the same time. What do I mean by this? Sure, you can set your own hours it’s 12:40a.m as I type this so some days (early mornings rather) I can work when my kids sleep which is wonderful…but. Yes, there’s a but and a big one at that. The hours are grueling. You might be working 60 hours a week to get your blog really up and running, to gain followers, set up social media, market social media, design pin and blog posts and still make time for family, friends, cleaning, phone calls, helping out at your sons school, etc. There is just not enough time in my day, ever. I never feel like I got everything done at the end of each day. I always feel like I’m slacking in one area or another. As women we try to be everything to everyone, we just can’t *period*. My son always picks out super woman t-shirts for me when we go shopping, I’m obviously not superwoman but he thinks I am and that’s ok with me. As long as he’s happy, I’m happy. I have to keep reminding myself to slow down and just be present in the moment. Make time. Schedule well and delegate tasks.

It takes money! Yes you can start free but to take it from blog to business it is going to take money! Once I realized this myself and started to put a little money here and there into it. I started seeing progress and gaining momentum. Let me tell you FIverr has been a god send for my business. Using this service has saved me time, money and my sanity.

Sometimes you have to be a b@#ch! Being nice doesn’t get you paid. Don’t devalue yourself by giving too many things away free or trading services. If someone wants your services, set your price, be fair but firm. Once you start seeing value in your work, others will too.

More blogging tips to come! Stay tuned for more helpful insight and a little craziness!

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to make the most of your time when you work at home

mom with three crazy kids shoppingTime is money right? You either have enough money and very little time or you have an abundance of time, but lack money. The trick to living well is finding a balance between these two things: time and money.I really feel like working at home is that balance we as moms need. It just makes sense. If you kids get sick, you have an appointment or need to run errands, you can. When you own your own time it becomes so much more valuable and you become so much more productive.

I wanted to show you how I make things work as a stay at home and work at home mom. It’s not always easy and some days I feel like there are not enough hours in the day, ever feel that way?

I have two boys, one is in pre-school, which has weird hours. Hello, 12-4? This might be the weirdest school schedule ever, but we make it work. My other son is 2 1/2 so he is home all day. I also have my own school work to do (finishing my B.A. in Business/finance). So here’s a break down of how I make it work. This may or may not work for you, but it might help give you a general idea of how you could work around your daily life.

Typical day

Wake up at 7 (sometimes a little later depending on how my night went and how long I worked)

funny coffee cup

*****must have coffee*****

Then (assuming boys are still sleeping) I get to work. I jump online. I check both email accounts. Check on my blogs, check ebook sells. Jump on Pintrest look for some pins. Check my other social media accounts and work on some posts and writing assignments.

lady with computer

Apply for freelance work, send emails, add affiliate links to websites, work on ebook, Ebay, Etsy (a couple times so week depending on how busy my shop is), do some listings, check fiverr (I sell gigs on here and I hire exclusively on here) super cheap work done like editing or graphic design. I do all my own writing as of now. Which is getting difficult and time consuming but I won’t hire out for this unless I have to.

(two hours work)

I jump online for about 2 hours then I get ready, make breakfast around 9-10. This is when boys wake up. We eat, get showers, get ready for the day, come back down stairs and then I will jump back online for a few minutes and boys will watch cartoons. (2-4 hours work done in morning)

I then drop of my oldest son at son, then run errands, if I have packages going out I mail those, go to the grocery store ( about twice a week),go to the Dollar Tree ( I find myself there a lot for office supplies, cleaning supplies or things like paper towels, shampoo, etc. or even snacks. On Mondays I try to make it a habit to going thrifting for re-sell items (more on this later)

about 12:30 -1 make lunch, or my youngest son and I grab lunch on the run if we are in a huge hurry (I know I get the mother of the year award for that one right? Eating in the car). Ideally my younger son lays down for a nap for a couple hours when we get home. (two hours work)

I clean up the kitchen, straighten the downstairs then work on up-stairs, run a load of laundry then I get back on the computer to get more work done.I just started a youtube channel so I will do videos a few times a week. At some point I find time to edit them….eventually. Some of the videos I do are Dollar Tree and thrift hauls, I make money making videos about re-selling, home business ideas as well as parenting, lifestyle videos, beauty products hauls and reviews.

Then around 3 I start thinking about what I’m making for dinner and maybe desert. I will go ahead and prepare some of it, then do a few things like put away laundry and straighten rooms and wipe down bathroom, take out trash, etc. Then I go pick up my other son at 4. I get home, finish up dinner, we eat and during the summer we go for a walk on the trail near my house or the park. We spend some time as a family watching a movie or playing a game or work on homework a few nights a week.

After the boys go to bed,which lately has been the most challenging part of my days.I swear if I had half the energy they have I could get so much done, do kids this age ever get tired I wonder?

So about 10ish I will work 2-4 hours. Sometimes from 10-12 or even til 2 sometimes. I love this period of time because there are no distractions like the phone ringing or mom I need___. No knocks at the door or mail deliveries, just peace-and-quiet.

So that’s my typical day seven days a week. I should add that twice a week I have to work on coursework too so at night I have to put work aside and do school work about four hours a week. Which isn’t too bad….I make it work.

Looking at this is eye opening because I am putting in more time than ever. About 50-55 hours a week but I have never wanted to work so much. Working for your own cause and your own dream makes you more motivated than ever. A lot of what I’m doing now is to building passive income. Knowing later I won’t have to work as hard and my family will have a good foundation to build on makes me keep going! More on making passive income later and why it is so important to your future (and breaking free of the paycheck to paycheck cycle) in a post to come.

I make less money now and no money from this blog as of yet, but I also have less expenses than when I was working so financially it makes sense. My monthly income is around $1700- $2500 when I factor in everything like tax refund, financial aid, scholarships, grants, etc. I feel like I’m living reasonably well, my expenses are only around $1300 so it works.

Since I’m home more I spend about $200 less on gas (I now spend $50 a month on gas) and I eat lunch at home most days, so that saves about $100 a month. I don’t have to buy special clothing so that saves about $100 a month and I have coffee at home. I was spending about $5 a day on lattes. This saves another $100.

So $500 right there saved by working from home.

Could you find a way to make an extra $500 a month to be a stay at home mom?

More on this subject to come.

I might do a youtube video on this subject soon. Be sure to follow my youtube channels…mommiesfrugalfinds and mommas2monkeys

Frugal Finance Friday: Five Questions you should ask yourself before making any non-essential purchase!

girl looking confused on laptop

#1 Is this the lowest possible price?

Have I done my research, checked Ebay, Amazon, Half.com, and price scanners like shop savvy? A lot of times you can price match too. For example, Target will even price match online stores like Toys R Us and my go to price matching , site, go ole’ Amazon. If you are considering making a large purchase, it pays to check online. It only takes a few minutes and it could save you big! Here’s an example, when I worked for a company inside of Target I wanted a Galaxy S6 tablet but it was a little pricey, it was one sale for $199 but I still thought I could get it for less, and I was right! I did a quick search and saw that it was only $149.99 on Amazon. I went up to customer service and asked for a price match adjustment, easy, peasy! I saved $50 by just taking a few minutes to do some research.It seriously pays to do this for purchases like electronics, household items and even toys. Toys are expensive!!! With two boys ages five and 2 I buy a lot of toys. Have you seen the prices these days on some toys? Fifty dollars for a toy that will be played with a few weeks? I think not! Sorry bubs, I love you but that Batman robot is a no! My oldest son wants  Batman Robot toy so bad but I’m only going to get it if I can find it for half off or less.

#2 Can I get this free?

Have I checked Craigslist, asked  friends and family, church, facebook groups, or could I maybe even get it free through couponing? There are so many items you can get free if you just know where to look. Under the FREE section on Craigslist you can find things like, furniture, clothing, toys, wood, gardening supplies, all kinds of stuff. You can look for facebook groups in your area that have free items posted as well. If you learn the secrets of couponing you can get cosmetics, and beauty products and more. Here is a link to my best selling ebook Extreme Couponing 101: What the stores don’t want you to know.

http://www.amazon.com/Extreme-Couponing-101-What-stores-ebook/dp/B00FXNCS7W/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1456045345&sr=8-2&keywords=extreme+couponing+101+ebook

#3 Will this purchase make me money?

If its something like a computer you need for business then the answer is yes! Are you a graphic designer and need Photoshop? Then the answer is yes. Are you a re-seller who found a killer deal on close-out designer shoes or clothing? Then….yes. If you just want the latest and newest handbag or shoes, think twice about making this purchase if you are trying to save money, are on a fiscal fast or are just try to do better budgeting. I’m an avid thrift store shopper and I re-sell on ebay so when I find an item I want, I have to question, why I want the item in the first place. Asking myself these questions kind of keeps me on track and makes me not just start buying stuff I like, I’ve been known to get a little shopping tunnel vision. Is that a real thing? Hmm, Is anyone else with me? You just go into a shopping vortex that kinda sucks you in? Oh wait, I think that’s called the mall. Maybe that’s why I don’t go in there anymore. Anyone? Ok, maybe it’s just me! lol

#4 Is this purchase going to save me money?

Maybe you are going to be using a device like Roku and ditching cable, then this purchase will be saving you money. Here’s a great deal on Roku Roku 3500R Streaming Stick .

http://amzn.to/1mPW8AK

I love the Roku. I bought a nice 46 in t.v that wasn’t a smart t.v so I needed to be able to stream movies and shows because I pay for Hulu and Netflix every month. I’m actually thinking about ditching cable still but I only pay $120 for three services, cable, high speed internet and home phone. There is also a device called the Magic Jack that will eliminate the cost of your monthly phone

 #5 Is the purchase going to last?

Is it something I will be using all the time? If so it needs to be quality and therefore that needs to be factored in as well. Here is an example of this and something I know a lot about.I go through laptops like crazy, they keep getting viruses. Probably mostly my fault because I am so bad about renewing the Anti-virus program once it expires. I have considered purchasing an Apple Mac, rather than buying another cheapie laptop. I know that I will probably have this for a good five years at least so I’m considering buying one used on ebay. They are about $1000 new but if I can find one for $500 or less I think I might get it instead of buying another $300 laptop that I will only get a year of use out of. If you think about it $300 x5 is $1500. And that’s about the average I’m spending on computers. If I buy the Mac it will save me $1000. I found one on ebay for used for $300 so I think this is for sure the route I’m going. Normally electronics are one thing I only buy new but since Mac’s are so reliable and well made I think I’m going to chance it this time.

 

Do you have questions you ask yourself before making a purchase? What do you do to control your spending if you are on a budget? And frankly, who isn’t these days? If you aren’t, you probably should be. Even people with millions tend to over-spend. Look at poor Kanye West these days! Sorry that’s the best example I had at the moment. I’m following the Principles Dave Ramsey teaches about finance, I like to call it, think like your grandma, so that’s what has prompted a lot of my finance driven posts.

Here are some great books of his about finance that are all best sellers.

http://amzn.to/1L0vSPF http://amzn.to/1L0vWPk

All of those money lessons that my mom taught me growing up I thought were crazy, the older I get, the more sense it makes. She lives on a no-credit system. She has great credit, just never uses it, she pays cash for everything, if she needs a couch she buys it used or at a yard sale. She says, if I can’t pay cash I don’t need it. Shifting my mind-set into this mode has helped me considerably. I always have money in my bank account and my bills going out every month are minimal now, believe me, that wasn’t always the case. My total monthly bills are about $1000, that doesn’t include food. I spend around $500 on food right now, but working on a plan to reduce that. I’ve been getting lazy with meal planning and haven’t been couponing as much after I had my second son. I’m going to be putting more effort into this area in the months to come after I get some important projects out of the way. 

More posts like this to come as well as youtube videos. See my new channel Mommies Frugal Finds, and my old channel mommas2monkeys

Frugal fashion: How to save hundreds per year!

 frugal fashion pic

 Don’t impulse buy If you see something you love in a store and can’t seem to live without it, but maybe the price tag just doesn’t sit well, do this. Take a pic of the item and brand. When you go home do some comparison shopping. Once you get home you might even forget about it and that will save you a whopping 100% buby not even buying it. Shop online if you would be willing to buy it used to save up to 80% off! I know I would. I like to compare prices. You can even use a price comparison app like shopsavvy to see if the item is cheaper online or you can even check out Amazon or websites like swap.com and threadup.com. So that $100 jacket from Macy’s could be $40 online…that’s a pretty big savings. Bonus: Look for for coupon codes at websites like retailmenot.com for percent off and free shipping codes. Also, re-set your browser to a website like swagbucks to make money back on items you purchase online. You can get free gift cards for Target, Starbucks and more!
Shop with a plan You make a list when you grocery shop. Why not shop with a plan when you shop for clothes? Go through your clothing and inventory what you have and what you need. Piece together outfits in your closet to see what you are lacking and what you have in excess. This will help you see what you really need. Then make a list to keep in your purse and check things off the list as you go.This will save you big and will allow you to buy only what you need.
Shop at consignment stores Consignment stores area a great way to find very gently used items for up to 80% off or more. Most of these stores only take the best items that are in style and in good used condition, clean, free of stains, rips and tears.
Yard Sales Don’t over look yard sales for clothing. You might be looking for something else like a bookshelf or lamp, but think outside of the box and look for clothing. $1 shirts and purses? Yes please! I’ve found all kinds of name brand items for pennies on the dollar. Tips: Shop early, the early bird get’s the worm right? This applies to yard sales too, beat the crowd and get first pick. Map your route to hit the most yard sales without wasting gas driving in circles. Negotiate, why not ask for a discount? Sometimes I will come across a box of boys clothing and instead of rooting through a huge box I might make an offer for the whole box. I might offer $20 or so depending on the brands, etc. I get it home, sort through it, take what my kids will use and sell or donate the rest.Also shop the last day of the sale, usually Sunday. By then people are more willing to negotiate, or want to unload free items just to get rid of the yard sale leftovers.
Learn how to sew. Sewing is not just for grandmas. I love to sew and I can honestly say this skill is invaluable. If you have a zipper that breaks you don’t have to throw out your favorite skirt or if you need to replace a button, no biggie. You can find that great designer piece that no one wants, that was once loved but maybe has a rip in the seam, why not repair and wear? You can also make clothing for your kids, make costumes, sew home decor items like curtains or make pillows. You can even make a business out of it by making custom items or doing alterations.
Ebay Ebay is an often overlooked place to buy clothes these days with so many online options I think a lot of us don’t think to use ebay anymore. I recently bought a pair of American Eagle jeans on here for $4.99. I’ve seen some amazing deals on clothing, if you aren’t squeamish about buying used it’s a great way to get designer clothing for at least 50% off or more.
Ross I love Ross! Ross is my go-to spot for last minute event dresses. I have been able to find super cute name brand dresses for as low as $8.99. I’ve seen tanks and summery tops for as low as $2.99. Be sure to have some time on your hands because you will need to sort though a lot of items to find the goldmine. Be sure to shop early for best selection. When swimsuits first come out now get them! By your summer stuff now for the best selection. When it’s 100 degrees outside you won’t be able to find shorts or swimwear and will probably end up over paying at another store, just to find what you need. Plan ahead!  Always check out the clearance sections of the store too. You can find some amazing deals for very little cash.
Craigslist Ever think to shop Craigslist for clothes? Craigslist is a good resource for all things used. I’ve seen bags of clothing sold as a lot of here for as low as $20-$30 or even kids clothing and shoes. It’s a great place to unload your unwanted clothing items too. Just group sizes together to get the most bang for your buck. I don’t know about you but I can’t spend time taking a bunch of individual pics. Sell as a lot! Takes far less time and I would rather get $30-$40 for my effort, than deal with phone calls and emails for $5 items. I don’t have time for that. I just fold the clothing up nicely, take a few pics from different angles and list. No fees and a time saver!
Thrift Stores I love thrift stores! Every time I go I feel like a kid on a treasure hunt. It’s so amazing what you can find, for basically pennies on the dollar. Here’s a tip: Never judge a book by it’s cover There’s a thrift store in my area that I would often drive by but never stopped in because from the looks of the outside, I didn’t think it was my kind of store. It looks old, cluttered and nothing outside looks appealing. Well, one day recently I decided to go in and I was blown away by the things I found! How about nice designer shirts for .50. Some of the shirts were a size up but I’m going to alter those (see where sewing skills come in handy?). I also found a brand new bed set with all the pillows for $30. I was able to negotiate and get it for $20, it’s doesn’t hurt to ask right? All they can say is no! I also found a set of old fashioned malt mugs for .50 each and some Toms glittery shoes for $1. That retail for $40. See my hauls on youtube. I have two channels mommas2monkeys and mommiesfrugalfinds. I do Dollar Tree and thrift hauls as well as money saving and money making tips and more.
Dollar Stores What?! I thought this was about saving on clothing you might be saying to yourself! It is. Here are some clothing items you can find at dollar stores. Socks, Slippers, Flip flops, Plain basic t-shirts (perfect for projects too) Nylons, Tights, Scarves, Bra and panties (some dollar stores like .99 stores) Leggings, gloves, hats, etc. Think outside the box. Stores like the .99 store even have jewelry.
Buy off season Buy when the price is right and the demand is low. I just bought my boys Teva’s for summer for $9.99 and $7.99 on ebay. This retails for around $50. I bought a size up for both. I’m just going to put them away for warmer days ahead. They will get a ton of use out of these this summer I’m sure. These are so versatile. I have one pair I’ve had for about 10 years and they still look new. And another that are more rugged for camping and hiking. If you buy quality items.you can get a lot of use out of your clothing and shoes.
There are so many ways to save on fashion. I recently discovered swap.com as well. I spent $45 and got two pairs of jeans four shirts and a pair of shoes, plus found a free shipping code for new customers. Not a bad deal in my opinion.
I also love to alter clothing, check out my test shops
Earthangelclothing.etsy.com
And
Endlesssummerfashion.etsy.com
For some inspiration. I also have another blog on just unicycle projects
Earthangelclothing.etsy.com
More fashion ideas to come.
I hope this helped give you some ideas of ways you can save hundreds on clothing every year! More articles like this to come as well as thrift, yard sale and ebay haul videos.

Hustling Housewife Series: Starting a blog for profit… (simple Steps)!

 

laptop pic

 

Hustling Housewife Series: Starting a blog for profit… (simple Steps)!

#1

How do you start a blog for profit? So you want a home business or side hustle but don’t know where to start? Here’s the first step. Evaluate what you like, as well as what you are good at. You should start by asking yourself the following questions….

What do I enjoy doing?

What would I do free?

What do I do for fun in my spare time?

What jobs have I had that I really enjoyed doing?

When thinking about starting a side business or full time home business you need to think about these things because, if you enjoy your work, it won’t feel like work. I love blogging and writing, to me it’s fun. I find myself daydreaming about my next post or ebook. My passion is helping other moms create businesses plans to be able to find that elusive balance we all long for, right moms? Are you with me?

So back to business… How to start a blog from scratch

#1 WordPress or blogspot? You need a platform. If you are a newbie blogger and have no technical or little technical experience I would highly recommend blogspot which is through Google. Blogspot is very easy to set up, if you already have a Google account you just have to go to settings to set up from there. Blogspot walks you through the process. You will be hosted through blogger so there is no fee for hosting…there is also no domain, the downside to this is less visibility, but even so, it is a good choice to get started to get a feel for blogging and see if you like it before stepping up. Or you can jump right in, head first, and go with WordPress, now for me personally, I started with blogspot and I think that is the best way to get a feel for blogging, others might disagree. WordPress is a little more complex but you can customize themes and make your blog look a lot more polished and professional. There are free themes that look pretty nice ( see bottom of this one)and you can even add social media links on some. The coding and monetizing is more complex, I had to have someone help me with mine in the beginning on my other blog mommiesfrugalfinds.com

#2

You will need a niche. I started out with a coupon blog five years mommisfrugalfinds.blogspot.com (still have it as well) ago that has evolved to a money saving and home business blog. It is still weird saying, ‘business’. Sorry about that. It’s weird when you take your blog, from blog to business. About six months ago I was at a crossroads with blogging and I was frustrated, I was actually going to delete my blog that I put so much work into and almost 1000 posts. I thought to myself I’m either all in or all out. If I’m all in I’m going to find out everything I can about blogging, writing, monetizing, social media, marketing, and really business in general. It is going so much better since I made that decision.

Back to your niche. Again, think about what you enjoy. You don’t want to pick a subject that will be boring, for you or your readers. Here are some ideas Kids/family Fashion, Technology, Art, DIY, Home Decor also financail planning blog are HUGE right now!

#3

You will need to come up with an amazing name. You want it to be about the topic you will be blogging about, but not so specific that it constricts your creativity. Think outside the box. What do you look up? What kinds of content? Is there a way of combining all things you love? If so, make the title a general, catchy title, about that theme. Love cooking, decorating and organizing? How about housebeautiful.blogspot.com or momshome.wordpress.com or something you can identify with that is easy to remember. Those might be taken, but those are just some ideas.

#4

Make Youtube your BFF. I seriously don’t know what I would have done without Youtube. Youtube is an invaluable resource for setting up a blog for the first time. If you need help setting up your blog, go here. This is my go to resource for all things techincal. I’ve looked up how to make a facebook badge, how to install plug-ins and more. I would also be happy to answer any questions you have. You can email me Attention Sandi @ 530shasta@gmail.com

#5

Start creating amazing content. Create catchy titles and try to think like the reader and don’t forget to use relevant tags and keywords. Try to keep your content appealing to the eye as well by adding amazing pics and make the pic PIN worthy as well, more on this later.

#6

Consider buying a domain. I use godaddy for domains. You an do this later it doesn’t matter, but if you have an amazing website name that you are worried someone might take, snatch it up now. Sometimes godaddy has domains for .99 be sure to check out websites like retailmenot for coupon codes before checkout to save big. Once you have your domain you can re-route your blog to your new domain. Here’s an example. I just set up a wordpress site a while ago…bringingmomshome.wordpress.com (so this means it was free and hosted through wordpress) now I bought a domain the one I wanted was bringingmomshome.com was sold so I went with bringingmomshome.org so when you now type in bringingmomshome.wordpress.com it automatically is re-routed to the new website. You can check out my theme I’m using there too. This is a free theme and I have all my social media links

#7

Show me the money! Ok, so at this point you are probably thinking so, how do I make money from my blog? This is where it gets a little tricky. Ok, so here’s the thing. I wouldn’t monetize your blog when you first start. The first thing you need to focus on is great content and driving traffic. Without traffic you won’t have visitors clicking on ads or buying products and without great content they won’t even come. You need to be able to reel them in! After you have been posting consistently for a few months at least a few times or more a week then think about putting up ads. If you have google blogspot. It’s relavily easy to set up one affiliate ad network and that is google adsense. Google picks the right ads for you. All you do is go to your google blog settings to set this up. Then look into other affiliate programs that would work for your website. I use Amazon Affiliates, adsense, zulily, ebay, avon (I sell it), etsy (I have a shop), and a few others.

#8

Create other sources of income! Consider your blog a launching pad for other ventures. Most bloggers make most of their money from other resources and products like, books, ebooks, courses, newsletters, emails, products they created or sell and speaking or teaching gigs as well as things like web design and business consulting.

#9

Don’t turn your back on social media! After your blog is all set up, take the time to make your social media accounts that are cohesive with your blog, as in the same name, I’m so guilty of this one, I got lazy with this and paid the price. It confuses visitors if you use a different social media account than your blog. Take the time to set this up and you won’t be disappointed. Also make it a personal experience, people love to read background stories about the blogger, don’t leave this out. Make your about me page engaging and your picture professional. I am loving Pintrest and I have read that it is following closely behind Facebook in popularity. Do not overlook this resource. Learn photo shop or use a photo editing website like picmonkey (which I used for the pic on this post) or Aviary.com. This is what I meant when I said make your photos ‘pin worthy’ you want to be able to make them shareable on Pintrest. Make viewers have no choice but to click on your pin! Don’t forget to share your posts on social media. I share mine on Twitter, facebook (just started), google+, and especially Pintrest if nothing else. I will be signing up for Instagram soon.

#10

Focus on building your email list! You can use a free mail service like Mailchimp that helps you organize emails and bring in subscribers. This is super important and something that I learned the hard way, I learned a ton about blogging through trial and error from five years of blogging. If I only knew then what I know now. Oh well, passing on the info to help other moms, so they won’t make the same mistakes I did.

Hope these tips help get you started, more home business ideas and side hustles to come!