I learned several years ago that my ebay sales might only average $3 per sale, but if I saved every single money order that came my way at the end of the month I had about $100 extra. That $100 was small potatoes, but it made a deep dint in our debt repayment over the course of a year...$1200 at year's end and in two years time my 'little bits' had helped reduce our car loan by two and half years. It paid off our always hefty balance on the credit card. This experiment proved beyond a doubt that every little bit helps. One of John's favorite reminders is that little rivulets make up big streams. The following are suggestions to myself to save/earn in order to net the extra cash that will ease the tight budget.
1. Save all $1 bills by putting in the savings account.
2. Convert survey site cash rewards to Paypal and use for necessary purchases online or bank.
3. Figure out minimum goal required to earn a gift card each week and devote at least one whole hour daily towards earning that goal amount.
4. Use Swagbucks Shop and Earn judiciously. If we're making an online purchase anyway, then use Shop and Earn to do it. Ditto for making reservations for travel. Get those points for spending that is planned.
5. In years when we have pecans on our trees, pick them up and sell them. Two years ago I earned enough to buy a 3 month supply of meat from the butcher shop we like so well. And that wasn't a great year for pecans.
6. Keep doing rewards programs such as MyCoke, etc. Look for rewards programs on other brand items we use and be vigiliant about entering points. We get free soda or snacks and the occasional magazine subscription for MyCokeRewards. Pick up caps when I see them on the ground...It's found money.
7. Get free, or nearly free, items whenever possible combining sales/coupons/rewards. Hook up with a good site to alert to such possible free items and work it.
8. Sell all extra unwanted items.
9. If I come across good quality items at thrift stores, purchase for resell purposes. One girl told me that she frequently comes across nice clothing items that she sells on eBay or through consignement. Her extra sales purchased her children Christmas gifts and school supply needs.
10. Work diligently to get booth into monthly profit zone. It was suggested I have a bigger space. Until I am consistently making a profit I don't think paying more rent is the answer. However, I am underusing my space. I can fit another shelf at either end of the two I have for a small investment. I've talked it over with John and that seems the best thing. I've lots of other ideas on this particular subject which might turn into it's own post for Retirement Remedies.
11. I'm going to keep a running list of ideas as I come up with them for possible craft ideas that might work in an Etsy shop or at local craft fairs.
That's the start of this category for retirement remedies. I'm going to let my brain flow free at least one day a week and see what else I can come up with.