Money Making

Declutter Challenge: Get Rid of 5 Items Everyday for 30 Days Plus How To Maximize Your Stuff

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

by Cassie on March 7, 2014

30-day-declutter-challenge

 

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As a reminder, the 30 Be Intentional baby steps are designed to get you on the right foot, the right track and give you energy, efficiency and organization which will propel you into a life that is able to develop an overall financially smart, happy and frugal home.  We encourage couples and families to do these challenges together so the whole house can function well!

As the 30 steps go along, we will be focusing on 5 areas for the Be Intentional Month:

  1. Self
  2. Home
  3. Budget
  4. Schedule
  5. Frugality

See the full list of baby steps HERE. 

This next baby step is a decluttering challenge!

This challenge is to get rid of 5 items everyday for the next 30 days!

This will end up being a total of 150 items!  

After that, we are going to recommend that you get rid of 5 items a week as maintenance!

There will be some great results from this baby step!

1. Your home will become decluttered!

2. You will find things that you may have been looking for!

3. You may be able to make a bit of money or get a tax write-off for donations.  Either way, this is helping your home and financial goals.

So why 5 items?

Well the answer is quite simple really….we are doing baby steps.  Five items a day is easy, quick and doesn’t require a huge change.  Finding five things somewhere in your home each day can literally take less than 10 minutes.  If you want to do more, don’t stop – just try to at least find 5 things!

When getting rid of your items, you can do these declutter recommendations:

Set up a spot in a basement, garage or empty room with a few different boxes. Then mark each box with this label:

#1 = Donate

#2 = Garage Sale

#3 = Upsale

Each of these can bless others and make you a bit of money in the process.  Obviously, the donate box isn’t going to generate a lot of money as the money would come in the form of a tax-write off, just get a receipt.

Your garage sale box(es) will get you closer to making money in the form of a garage sale (and that season is coming up soon for most of us!) and we will be sharing garage sale tips again this year soon to maximize your garage sale opportunity.

Finally, your “upsale” box are items that are best sold via other routes than a garage sale.  Really, garage sales use to be the only and main form of selling second hand items.  Today, you have the online world.  If you have something of higher value, rare, unique, or a large item – a garage sale is probably not going to be the best route.  

Sell books, dvds and other items to Amazon for potentially a lot more. Sell furniture online locally for a greater return,  and the same for unique, rare and valuable items. 

This way you are getting your clutter cleared out and making money at the same time to also help you and your family reach your financial goals sooner.

There is a caveat!

If selling your stuff is too daunting and difficult – don’t hold on to it! It is better to get rid of it in a donation or one-day garage sale (even if you aren’t getting top dollar for it!) then to hang onto it forever in hopes of selling it. 

The goal is to declutter with the potential side benefit of making money.

This declutter challenge starts today and ends in 30 days and then go onto a maintenance program where you have a box out in the garage/basement where you can put 5 items in each week and then donate when it’s full!

Will you join us for this 30-Day Declutter Challenge? 

What tips do you have for those deciding what to keep and what to get rid of? 

Be watching for tips and updates from us over the next 30-days too! 

One final thing….. we also have a Facebook Group where you can engage in discussions, receive encouragement and talk to others that are participating in the challenges too for more ideas! Head to the Be Intentional with The Thrifty Couple Facebook Page HERE and ask to join us there! You can also invite friends and spouses too!

Alex & Cassie
 

Be Intentional Baby Step 16 – Brainstorm Extra Money Making Ideas (With Free Download Helper)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

by Cassie on February 24, 2014

brainstorm-money-making-ideas

As a reminder, the 30 Be Intentional baby steps are designed to get you on the right foot, the right track and give you energy, efficiency and organization which will propel you into a life that is able to develop an overall financially smart, happy and frugal home.  We encourage couples and families to do these challenges together so the whole house can function well!

As the 30 steps go along, we will be focusing on 5 areas for the Be Intentional Month:

  1. Self
  2. Home
  3. Budget
  4. Schedule
  5. Frugality

Baby Steps for Self

Baby Steps for Home

Baby Steps for Budget

We have one more baby steps under the budget category of our Be Intentional Baby Steps to help you get those 5 areas on track! We are continuing on with generating extra income in your household this year to help you meet  your  financial goals – whether to be debt-free, pay for college, fund retirement…anything, and that brings us to the next challenge!

Baby Step #16 

Brainstorm Extra Money Making Ideas This Year

We encourage you to be sure to take Be Intentional Baby Step #15 HERE first before this one to know what goals you are shooting for this year.  Once you have done that, then let’s talk about some ideas!

We have shared MANY, many ideas and talk about them continuously.  Instead of going through many of our ideas again, we will post links to those ideas with over 130 ideas and counting! And as always, we will continue to talk about ideas as we find them!

As some ideas that we have done in the past and currently to bring in extra income:

  • Delivering Newspapers (this was the first extra income job we had and we made around $400 a month.  It was hard work and we only did it for about 4 months because getting up everyday at 4 am was tough – BUT it was a HUGE blessing to get the ball rolling and a great one for kids too!)
  • Upselling items we bought used (usually a 200% profit each item)
  • Selling on Ebay/Craig’s List (about a 50+% profit)
  • Blogging (income in blogging doesn’t start for about 6 months, but it can bring in a few hundred a month with consistent posting)
  • Delivering Phonebooks (We’ve made a couple thousand each 4-week round – but our guest posters made $7,000 in a few weeks!)
  • Donating Blood (you can make $25-30 each time!)
  • Surveys from home a few minutes per day (about $15 – $30 a month from each company)
  • Helping someone with whatever they need help with (babysitting, cleaning, weeding, snow removal, etc. and we’ve made about $10 -$20 an hour doing this)
  • Swagbucks
  • Amazon Trade-In program (selling back not only items in our home, but using our smart phones and scanning items at garage sales/thrift stores to find valuable items and then buying them cheap and selling.  We typically will buy items for $1 and have sold them for $20 profit each!)
  • Selling hand made items at craft shows.
  • Using skills we currently have (Alex is a Software Eng. by trade and so he sells his services on the side for an hourly fee for those that need 1-hour of work to those that have a lot more work needed).

This is a subject that has lots of ideas and innumerable ways to earn extra income. We just want to encourage you to get started with generating ideas that can lead into some fabulous money making opportunities for your family!

Just print off this Brainstorming Download and start planning! This is a very basic planner and not meant to be comprehensive, but it will be enough to make a plan!

This is also a fantastic learning, growth and responsibility task for children and teens!

<== Download your printable Brainstorm Extra Income Ideas Plan HERE

One final thing….. we also have a Facebook Group where you can engage in discussions, receive encouragement and talk to others that are participating in the challenges too for more ideas! Head to the Be Intentional with The Thrifty Couple Facebook Page HERE and ask to join us there! You can also invite friends and spouses too!

Alex & Cassie
 

Be Intentional Baby Step 15 – Write Down Extra Income Goals Based on 2 Percent Rule (Free Download Too)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

by Alex on February 21, 2014

create-your-extra-income-ideas-using-2-percent-rule

As a reminder, the 30 Be Intentional challenges this month are designed to get you on the right foot, the right track and give you energy, efficiency and organization which will propel you into a life that is able to develop an overall financially smart, happy and frugal home.  We are going to have different themes each month this year (and we have very exciting stuff planned) and this month is your foundation!We encourage couples and families to do these challenges together so the whole house can function well!

As the 30 steps go along, we will be focusing on 5 areas for the Be Intentional Month:

  1. Self
  2. Home
  3. Budget
  4. Schedule
  5. Frugality

Baby Steps for Self

Baby Steps for Home

Baby Steps for Budget

We have 2 more baby steps under the budget category of our Be Intentional Baby Steps to help you get those 5 areas on track!

Now that we have talked about debt and also reducing our spending to reach financial goals, the second part is increasing income a little bit each month too!

Baby Step #15 

Write Down Your Extra Income Monthly Goals (Using 2% Rule)

First, EVERYONE has the chance the ability to make extra income if you really want to.  Whether you spend 1-hour per month or many hours, don’t think that your situation prevents you or someone in your family to earn extra income.

Again, what are we talking about with this 2%?  Well, we have mentioned the 2% cut a few times in various blog posts here, but for the most clear perspective, we suggest you read about our 2×2 plan HERE which is what we used to pay off our over $100,000 consumer debt and what we use today to help us continue to reach our goals.

So we want to help propel you into reaching your financial goals.  But we want to do this incrementally so that you don’t overwhelm yourself and so that it becomes a lifestyle.

After your are finished reading those posts (no need to restate them here) come on back here and print off this form (there are 3 months on each form, so print off 4 to plan for the year).

First, how do you figure out what the 2% income increase is?  Well, we all have different types of jobs, schedules and budgets and so we recommend choosing one of these ways to calculate what your extra 2% income would be:

1. If the main income in the household is salary based, you can also calculate your increase on your take-home pay, which is hopefully higher than your expenses :) Let’s say you bring home $3,500 per month, then your 2% increase would be $70 ($3,500 x .02 = $70).

2. If you have varied/commission based income then you can calculate your 2% on your actual bills and living expenses to set your goal.  If you spent $2,800 in January between bills/living expenses (debt payments not included) then set a goal to increase your income by $56 this month, etc.

3. If you have varied/commission based income then you can calculate your 2% by looking at what you made this month last year.  Let’s say last February, you made $4,000, set a goal to make an extra $80 each month this year.

4. Finally, no matter how you earn your income, one last way to choose how to set your 2% extra income goal, take your take home pay from last year (whether salary or varied income) and divide it by 12. Then calculate 2% of that.  For example, let’s say that last year, you made a total of $50,000, your 2% goal increase each month this year is $83 more per month.  ($50,000/12 x.02 = $83.33 and round to nearest dollar).

Choose whichever method makes the most sense for your family!

This is also a fantastic learning, growth and responsibility task for children and teens!

Now what we are saying is to add that each month.  So the first month is $60, second month is $120, etc. these are goals that you are setting and some months you will far exceed the 2% and other months you will come short.  But the goal is to do something and you will see lots of amazing progress towards your financial goals!

The next baby step coming next week is to brain-storm ideas on making extra income.  We have lot of sources on our site for this too.  But for now, just fill these downloads out so that you can catch a vision for what the goals are!

It shouldn’t take you long to set your money making goals – have fun!!

<== Download your printable Extra Income Monthly Goals Plan HERE

One final thing….. we also have a Facebook Group where you can engage in discussions, receive encouragement and talk to others that are participating in the challenges too for more ideas! Head to the Be Intentional with The Thrifty Couple Facebook Page HERE and ask to join us there! You can also invite friends and spouses too!

Alex & Cassie
 

Earn $5 For Small Online Tasks Through Fiverr.com with Review

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

by Cassie on February 21, 2014

earn-5-dollars-for-small-tasks

Note from The Thrifty Couple, this is a review by a guest poster from her experience with the site Fiverr.com to earn extra income! 

A while back, my 14 year old daughter and I signed up for Fiverr.com to see if we could make a few bucks.

If you haven’t heard of Fiverr before, here’s the scoop:  it’s a thriving web marketplace where you can find just about any service you could think of (and more than a few that I bet you wouldn’t) available for $5.  You can find translation, editing, songwriting, puppeteering, online marketing…you name it.  You can even pay somebody to crack an egg over their head for you.  If you are so inclined.

I’ve been marketing myself as a proofreader and writer, but so far I have had no bites – probably because I don’t spend much time trying to get myself seen.  I also am working on a parenting advice gig, but I’m such an awful photographer than Fiverr won’t let my gig go live ’till I get a better photo to put with it.

My daughter Erin has had better success.  She’s written several articles for a pet review website, and earned $12.  We have not put hardly any effort into this venture; it is not uncommon to make quite a bit more.  Fiverr keeps $1 for each $5 gig you sell, so you will net $4 per sale.

Here’s how it works.  After you sign up on the website (free and pretty painless), you can get started creating a “gig.”  You choose your category, and write up a little ad.  You need to have a good photo to go with it, one that you own the rights to.  Once you get it put together, you submit it to Fiverr, and once they approve it, you’re live!  

fiverr-gigs-examples

Example of “gigs” people are willing to do for $5. 

To be successful, you will need to market your gigs a bit.  The most successful Fiverr users get good reviews, and get themselves promoted to a point where Fiverr with allow them to up-sell to more involved gigs to generate more revenue.  Using these methods can lead to a very successful venture – but it will take time.  If you are looking for a way to start a longer term business that uses your skills, I can see Fiverr being a reasonable site to consider.  In fact, I think I will head over there and dust off my neglected gigs, and see what happens!

Head to Fiverr.com here to get started marketing $5 gigs/tasks!

Another note from The Thrifty Couple, the author of this review, Desiree’, markets herself on Fiverr.com to write short articles for $5.  So we paid her $5.01 to write up this review and to beat Fiverr :)  If you are interested in writing short or medium quick posts or providing pictures or how-to for an idea, we too pay our own inside group of people performing gigs for us (pay varies based on type of post).  Just email us at thriftyus@thethriftycouple.com with “guest article” in the subject so we can find your email. 

For more money making ideas, visit our 100 Ways to Earn Extra Income HERE

Alex & Cassie
 

You May Have Lost Money Out There and Here’s How To Find It: We Just Found $100

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

by Cassie on January 29, 2014

floating lost money

We mentioned this back in 2010, but since it has been a few years, we thought it would be good to remind you about possibly finding lost money! In fact, it comes up again here on our site because we check every once in a while and every time we have come up dry….. except this time! We had just under $100 waiting to be claimed from a medical bill we made an “overpayment” on! SWEET!

In fact, we have checked this over the past few years because we know it works! Last time we found $75 for a family member that was waiting to be claimed! We didn’t have any then, but we do now!

And apparently many people do! There is around 33 billion dollars from 117 million accounts* that have unclaimed money sitting, waiting to be claimed from bank accounts, stocks, dividends, paychecks, etc.  The average account holds around $280!

So if you have you ever wondered if you have unclaimed, lost money floating around out there that you just need to claim? It would be difficult if not nearly impossible to think back over your whole life to determine whether any portion of that unclaimed money belongs to you! Well, thankfully it is actually easy and FREE to claim any lost money that is due to you.

There are two sites that you check this information from:

Each of these sites walk you through the steps to enter your name and any any state that you have resided in and then informs you if you have missing money to claim.  These sites are officially endorsed by each of the states.

We actually heard about these sites many years ago and checked it then.  Neither of us had missing money then and we just checked again today and found money today, so check it often!

When you do a search (like in the case of me searching under family members names) it does not give you any details.  The actual person has to make the claim.  But you can do your close family a favor and check for them too!

We are curious if you have missing money coming to you. Let us know! With 33 billion unclaimed, surely someone is a new millionaire amongst us!

* The actual facts regarding the 33 Billion dollars and 117 million accounts in this article were taken from unclaimed.org/what.

Alex & Cassie