Show Me the Money on January Money Diet Day #12

Garage sale at Happy Simple Living blog

It’s Day 12, and it’s time to tackle Challenge #3 of the January Money Diet.

As you may remember, we’ll be tackling 5 challenges throughout this month to strengthen our relationship with money. If you try all five of the challenges, you’ll be eligible to win prizes at the end of the month.

In case you missed them, here are links to the first two challenges:

Challenge #1 – Give 31 things away.

Challenge #2 – Figure your net worth.

Challenge #3 is this:  Do something to earn an extra $25 or more this month.

One of the easiest ways to bring in extra cash is to find something unused among our treasures we can sell. We’ll eliminate clutter and free up some space, and we’ll keep one more thing out of landfill.

I’ve sold several things right around my neighborhood on the site, which is a site that connects local neighbors. Classified ads are free, and you can choose the neighborhoods in your locale to target. Craigslist can be great for getting rid of larger items like unwanted furniture or appliances. Selling something locally has the advantage of being quick, and you don’t have to mess with shipping or waiting for payment.

I’ve also sold unwanted books, DVDs and CDs on Amazon. You don’t need to take any photographs; just sign up for a seller account, list your items (Amazon gives you very specific guidelines so you can accurately list the quality of the item) and wait for the orders. Books and discs are easy to ship, and Amazon reimburses you for the postage. If you use the USPS’s media mail, you might even make a little profit on the shipping fee. The one thing I will say is that prices are low on Amazon, so you might have to sell a handful of items to make it worth your time.

eBay takes a little more effort, but the results can be amazing — especially if you have a hot collectible. I’ve sold hundreds of things on eBay, and their Quick Start Guide shows you how easy it is to list your items. Just set up a seller account, take a photo of your item, write an accurate description, and carefully pack and ship your item. If that sounds like too much work, you can use eBay Valet and a professional seller will take care of the transaction for you in exchange for a cut of the sale.

If you have unworn clothing in good condition, you might try selling it at a consignment store. Retailers like Plato’s Closet pay cash on the spot for trendy clothing. My neighbor sells her daughter’s lightly-worn clothes to a children’s consignment shop nearby. Do you have gold or silver jewelry you no longer wear? JMDer Kathy wrote that she sold her single earrings and a few other pieces she no longer wore for cash.

If you live in a warmer climate, you might consider holding a garage sale this month.

Or snag a pet sitting job, or babysit, or teach a cooking class, or get a quick freelance job, or volunteer to work overtime at your job. For more ideas, our friends at The Penny Hoarder have compiled a fun list of 29 ways to make money on the side.

Challenge #3:

Get creative and bring in an extra $25 this month. Hang on to the money and don’t put it in the general fund, because you’ll need it for Challenge #5.

We’d all love to know what you come up with to earn a little extra money this month – will you leave a comment on this page about your ideas and successes?


The signature for Eliza Cross

Photo: chazzvid

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Show Me the Money on January Money Diet Day #12

  • Virginia

    I took on some additional adminstrative work that I can do from home for some extra money this year! We don’t have outstanding debt other than our home, but am looking toward an extra special family trip at the end of the year!

  • Amy

    I went through my books and sold some on Amazon and took some to half price books. One trip of two boxes, I got $80! Not sure what gems were in there but I no longer have books on the floor. Going to try the same thing for February until I get my cases less jammed and more organized. I also picked up a few more shifts at work…easy way to earn extra money but have to balance it with family time.

  • Helen Shaw

    This challenge really got me thinking, I’ve been stricter with myself about logging my work expenses and measuring mileage properly – turns out I always underestimated the distance so have been losing out. Couple of items bought before Christmas on a whim have been returned after a long, hard think. eBay auctions being set up to run the first week of February – waited until people have been paid and hope to maximise the price items sell at. Going to make eBay a regular monthly event and try and sell five items a month. Might even start looking in charity shops for items I can buy then sell for a profit whilst I drop off items for the charity to sell. Win win!

  • Kelly

    This was hard! I’ve had things listed on Gumtree and Ebay on and off for months. In 2015 one declutter exercise raked in $2800 with such listings and two garage sales. The remaining stuff is more specialised and slow to sell, but we finally sold a school skirt for $25. It’s a senior girl’s uniform in size 8 (6 in America) and seniors are yr 11 and 12, so normally at least size 10. Well, a girl as petite as my compact daughter has finally bought it! Her mum is so happy, as these cost $55 new and it is in excellent condition. So I made $25. Meanwhile, my daughter listed some of her surplus dolls and made just over $500!!!

  • Kimberly

    I pet set for a friend and of course we got a foot of snow where I live and more where she lives. I made $30 but it was hard work. She lives on a hill which my car wouldn’t go up so I had to walk slide it. But doing all the challenges, need to win

  • Annette

    Yesterday I sold 3 winter coats that haven’t been worn in a while. They were in perfect condition but I just didn’t wear them. I made $125!

  • Vesta

    A friend asked that I crochet 2 scarves like the one I made here last year for 2 of her daughters. I finish one and delivered it this past Sunday morning. I received $25 for my work. Unfortunately I was told I have pneumonia on Monday so am laying low this week

  • Colette

    On Facebook, we have some great selling groups as well as a vintage/antique auction group. Yesterday alone, I sold a vintage glass Pyrex teapot for $25 and four Limoges bowls for $8. I will continue to sell on these groups throughout this year as I down-size and cull.

  • Jessica

    So far I have sold 2 ballet leotards and still have 10 for sale on eBay. I also have two purses and an advanced calculator up for sale. $60 mad so far!

  • Catherine

    I loved this challenge. Starting 01/24 I’ll be Pet sitting 2 cats & a dog @ my house so there isn’t a commute which saves in the $$ earned. Instead of cash I asked for gas or food gift cards we can use on our vacation @ the end of March.

  • Elizabeth

    Oooh, Marlyn, I have been meaning to see if I can get a better car insurance rate. Thanks for reminding me!

  • Elizabeth

    I sold a bag full of DVDs and Blu-rays last night for $55 at the used media store. 🙂

    I might have gotten more trying to sell them one at a time over NextDoor or Craigslist, but it would have been much more time-consuming, I feel good about my decision.

  • Lynn Louise

    I took some pictures of a few items in our china cabinet that we never use. They are pretty but I have several pretty items and don’t need all of them. I am posting them on craigslist to start as that is easiest for me. I have sold quite a few things through Craigslist. I have 3 items and they should sell for at least $25 total. I’m also considering a few other items that we don’t use. I bought them as collectibles as they don’t bring me joy anymore so I’d rather sell and use the money for things we really need.

  • Steve

    I’m chaperoning a student dance at my school.

  • Catharine

    I’ve arranged a pet sitting job . £ 10 per day .

    C x

  • Lynette

    I sold a lot of things last year on eBay and my local auction house. I have a few things left to go time to list them!

  • Marlyn

    I called out car insurance and made sure they knew we had snow tires on all our cars. Got $168.00 rebate.

  • Sarah

    I make soap as a hobby and my neighbor sold $38 worth for me at her job! Time to make more!

  • Kathy

    I completed this one yesterday. I had some old jewelry (gold, silver) single ear rings, necklaces, rings I no longer wear and cashed in the gold and silver to use the money to donate to charity. This was part of my give away 31 items. I used all the cash except $30.00 purchasing items on the wish lists for 2 different charities. I still have the $30.00 and dropped off the donations yesterday. Guess it’s good I still have some cash left since we need it for the challenge. I actually was surprised at check out that I still had money left. I had thought I would have to add a bit. My goal is 31 bags of stuff. Only 4 more bags to complete my goal.

Leave a Reply to Elizabeth Cancel reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>