10 Things Frugal People Do (Part 2)

Frugal people do things differently. Plain and simple. And regardless of where you stand on the frugality scale, you can incorporate changes today to save you a lot of money (and even stress) in the future!

If you missed part 1, check it out here!

Cut the unnecessary. In our modern world, we are bound to fill up our lives with unnecessary expenses from time to time! Do you use your gym membership? You could easily run around the neighborhood for free or do an at-home fitness video. Do you need your cable TV if you also have Netflix? Do you read all the magazines you pay for, and do you eat all your produce before it goes bad? Think of the ways you can cut out the unnecessary; once you start thinking, you’re sure to come up with something.

Use everything you have. I recently wanted to do some crafting, but I didn’t want to spend any money on any part of the craft. I had some burlap my mom gave me and some cardboard from Aldi, so I made a cute, J-shaped door hanger. When you start thinking of using only what you have in your home, I bet you’ll surprise yourself with how creative and inventive you are. This is also how I stopped buying paper towels in exchange for other household items.

Find ways to make money. Recycle, do side work, sell unused and unwanted items online or locally, sell clothes online (I’ve used Poshmark and Mercari, and they’re both good for different reasons; here is more about that). I’ve taken my juicer to work, along with some produce, and set up shop on my lunch break, making juices for coworkers; of course I also set out a tip jar (just make sure you’re following your company’s protocol for this!). The possibilities are practically endless!

Take care of what you have. Clean your vacuum cleaner when it’s time, not waiting until the belt is broken from overload or the filter is irreplaceable. My husband’s expensive Colehaan shoes have to be resoled and polished regularly, and using a shoehorn is best because it helps absorb sweat and keep a good shape. Resoling and polishing and shoehorns all cost money, but those costs are better than a new pair of expensive shoes! Bottom line: If you need it or if it means something to you, take the time and money to take care of it. Usually the maintenance is cheaper than the replacement piece, and it’s almost always cheaper than replacing it altogether!

Don’t turn down help when it’s offered. It’s amazing to me how God has always given us wonderful friends who love to help us. We have a beautiful kitchen table, thanks to some very wonderful friends. We have a nice 6-foot Christmas tree, thanks to some other very wonderful friends. When you live in a way that is “unlavish,” often your friends or family notice without your saying a word. And they usually want you to enjoy nice things, especially if it’s in their power to help. So if they offer, let them! If they are asking if you want to take home left-overs from an event, say “yes!” (This does not mean to go around, sounding like an impoverished soul that needs some help, in hopes that someone will feel sorry enough for you to offer to have you over for dinner or something!). I can’t count the number of coupons I’ve received – coupons for free things! – because a friend knew I could use some help.

Do you consider yourself frugal? Is there a tip or two you can incorporate today? Do you have tips to add? Let me know what you think of the list! If you missed part 1, check it out here!

Photo credit: Ken Teegardin | Cropped

Buying and Selling Clothes Online 

TLDR (Too Long; Didn’t Read): If you have extra time and clothing and want to make some extra cash, check out Poshmark! (See end of post for free $5 off!)

If you’re on a budget, purging and shopping might not be words you enjoy hearing. If you’re tight on money and do some purging, what happens if you get rid of it but find out later you need it? And shopping for new clothes? Remember the word budget? Yeah. I get it. I’ll suffice it to say that if you’re not using it, why not try to make a few dollars selling it online? And in doing so, you might find something you want to spend your earnings on, so then you’re basically trading, not buying or spending!

Here are my opinions of selling and buying clothes online using a couple of the most popular clothing resale and retail apps.

Poshmark

Pros for selling on Poshmark: 

You can market your closet as much as you’d like! (Sharing others’ closets usually yields to others sharing your closet which betters your chance of sales).

You can cash out promptly with no minimum.

You can do direct deposit or request a check.

The system automatically bundles your items and discounts the price according to your discount choice.

They have customer service personnel so you don’t have to deal with unsatisfied customers directly.

You get paid on time, as long as the customer is satisfied (otherwise your clothing will be returned to you). No waiting and wondering if the buyer will mark your item received.

Total earnings via Poshmark in 12 months: $307
Cons for selling on Poshmark:

Poshmark takes out 20% of your earnings if the price of your item is $15 or more and takes out $2.95 for items under $15.

The buyer is charged $6.50 for shipping, so it’s harder to sell a $5 shirt (in which you make $2!), because the buyer actually has to pay $11.50.

It can be somewhat time-consuming trying to share your clothes and others’ clothes in order to make a sale.

It can take some serious deals, cute clothes, and a decent amount of time to get some good headway in making money.

Poshmark pros for buying:

The filters are user-friendly.

You can shop your liked items.

You get notifications when a liked item has dropped in price.

You can negotiate the price with the seller, using the offer button.

You can find some awesome deals if people are just trying to get rid of their stuff!

You can return the item and get your money back if the item does not meet the description.

Cons for buying on Poshmark: 

As stated above, there’s a $6.50 shipping fee no matter what item you buy. The price goes up if it’s 5 lbs or more.

Sellers are not required to state if they have pets or if they smoke. It’s up to you to ask.

Of course, as with any online shopping, nothing beats trying on an item for yourself before purchasing!

Mercari

I don’t have as much to say about Mercari because… well it’s Mercari.

Pros for selling on Mercari:

You can sell just about anything, not just clothes.

They take out 10% of what you make, which is better than Poshmark in many cases.

You choose whether or not you, the seller, pay for shipping. This could get you more sales as people like the words “free shipping!”

You decide how soon you’ll ship it.

Total earnings via Mercari in 9 months: $65
Cons for selling on Mercari:

You can’t market your closet whenever you want to.

You have to wait for people to discover you.

There’s no real customer service; if you don’t like an item or if it’s taking a while for your money to come through, you’re stuck for the most part trying to talk it out with the buyer.

They started taking out a seller fee; they didn’t used to do that.

They only direct deposit your earnings on Mondays.

The customers are in the market for a serious deal, so you have to price items at $10 or less to have a fighting chance at a sale.

Pros for shopping on Mercari:

The search engine works well.

You can buy a variety of items from just one seller which can also lend itself to a deal.

You can negotiate via the comments section.

Cons for shopping on Mercari:

It can be overwhelming to know where to start.

The sellers are not always responsive to questions (not sure that the notification settings are up to par).

Again there’s no real customer service, so if you don’t like an item, it can make returns difficult.

The short of it is, Poshmark is the better place to buy and sell. I started using Mercari when they weren’t taking out a seller’s fee. Now I just have clothes there in case someone sees them there that isn’t on Poshmark. I enjoyed using earnings from Mercari to buy things like essential oils (you can’t find random stuff like that on Posh). Next on my list to try is EBay!

Have you done any online shopping? What’s your favorite place to go?

PS: if you’re going to try your hand in Mercari, you can use this code to get $2 off: ZDSRWG. If you want to check out Poshmark, use this code to get $5 off your first purchase: JXAXJ. (BTW, I get the same amount of credit as you do when you use these codes.)

PPS: I wish I knew how many hours it has taken me to get these earnings; I just know that it was A LOT of time!

20 Items to Remember to Budget!

Ever built a budget for the month and realized later that you forgot about something so obvious? Been there! If you’re like me, you had an extensive meeting with your spouse to make sure every detail was cared for, but yet something came up that you probably should’ve expected and should’ve discussed in that “extensive meeting” and just didn’t.

Well here’s a list of basic things to be sure to add to your budget so you can build your best budget possible. It works for our family of 2, but I think it will be a decent guideline for any size of family (food is still food and bills are still bills, right?). I’ll start with the obvious and move to the less common.

Side note 1: we use a free app called Every Dollar for our budget, and we love it!!

Side note 2: get out your calendar for the month so you have an idea of the extra items like birthdays you’ll be spending money on!

Side note 3: for extra tips on saving money on your bills, check this out!

Here we go! (and if you use Every Dollar, you can choose to have your budget copied from last month, create an entirely new one, or edit your last month’s budget for the coming month…so no need to remember these items each time!)

1. Mortgage/rent

2. Food – groceries and restaurants (will you be having company at all this month?)

3. Gasoline

4. Electricity/gas

5. Water/garbage

6. Phone bill

7. Car insurance

8. Car maintenance/savings for car maintenance

9. Clothing – dry cleaning or needed items

10. Entertainment (Don’t forget your friends asked you to go to that show with them!)

11. Gifts (Whose birthday or baby shower is coming up?)

12. Emergency fund (for a flat tire, sudden death in the family, etc; $1,000 is a good goal for this!)

13. Savings

  • Short term funds (for things like computers and vacations that need more than one month’s budget to purchase)
  • Long term savings (for a house, a new car, bigger emergencies; Dave Ramsey suggest saving 3-6 months worth of income for the bigger unexpected things)
  • Retirement (don’t rely only on the government, please!)

14. Life insurance

15. Health/health insurance

16. Travel

17. Home maintenance

18. Homeowners/Renters insurance

19. Education

20. Miscellaneous

Bet you didn’t think the list could be so long for “basics!” Let me know if I missed something!

Photo credit: Pictures of Money | Cropped