In previous articles we talked about ways to save on existing expenses, teaching your children to save and how to regain control of your finances. This article will address unusual and often un-thought of ways to save on existing expenses as well as offer a few ideas on finding money where you may not have looked before – other than the couch cushions or under the car seats –although both are great ways to pick up loose change.
Let’s begin by examining your closet…..
Folks spend hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars on clothing, shoes and accessories. Let’s face it, under most circumstances, name brands are made of higher quality material and last longer than knock-offs or bargain store varieties, but often times these items are outgrown or out of style before they even look worn. With this in mind, consider shopping at thrift stores, Salvation Army or Goodwill shops. Churches often have closets or bargain centers where clothing is donated by members and sold and the money used for missions or other worthy causes. You’d be surprised at how much money you can save by looking for ‘gently used’ items.
Let’s talk furniture, appliances, etc.……
We’ve all heard the old adage ‘one man’s trash is another’s treasure’ but you’d be amazed at how true this is. Yard or garage sales, estate sales, flea markets, and auctions are notorious for bargains. Furniture, pots & pans, silverware, appliances, and knick-knacks can all be picked up for very little and are usually a lot of fun to visit and shop.
Another idea – instead of buying new furniture or toys, try refurbishing what you already have. A fresh coat of paint, decorative molding or appliques can make even ancient items look and feel brand new. Same goes for bicycles, roller skates or blades, and other entertainment items.
How about trading stuff? Swap shops are becoming popular and are a great way to get what you need while ridding your home of unwanted or unused items.
Spend lots of time on the computer? Check out places like Ebay and Craig’s List where items you need can often be found for pennies on the dollar. Got old collectible items? Try selling them on these sites and put the money you make toward the new things you need or stash it into your savings account.
These are just a few ideas, but in today’s economy it pays to open your mind and think outside the box on ways to save or earn extra money.
Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. She has over twenty years experience in bookkeeping, insurance and tax preparation. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”
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