Saturday, June 27, 2020

FWOTW: buying used clothing

Our growing kids change sizes so often and so quickly that they always need new clothes.  While some families see this as a new opportunity to go shopping, we try to approach the situation from a frugal mindset.  Buying new clothing is expensive, even if it’s on sale.  My wife does a great job scouring online marketplaces such as Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, LetGo and 5Miles looking for deals on used clothing.  We are also thankful to have friends with kids just a little bit older than ours that are happy to donate their used clothing to our kids. 
This week, my wife scored 2 great deals on used clothing for our kids.  My wife picked up 88 pieces of clothing total for $140!  This comes out to be about $1.60 per item of clothing.  She purchased all this clothing from sellers on Facebook Marketplace and OfferUp.  The clothing is in great condition and many items are unworn with tags!  The sellers mentioned that since their kids have grown so fast, they never had the opportunity to start wearing their new clothes.
My wife always tries to buy our kids clothing second-hand and always kindly accepts hand-me-down clothing – it’s such a huge money saver.  The monetary value of clothing depreciates extremely quickly.  Children (unlike adults) may end up only wearing an outfit a handful of times before they grow out of those clothes.  My wife will often look to buy clothing for our kids the next size up so we won’t be scrambling for more clothes as they grow.  Even if these clothes don’t end up getting worn, purchasing used still saves far more money than buying new.  And we can pass on those items to another frugal family.    
Purchasing used clothing is great for the environment and reduces unnecessary waste.  Such waste can include fuel costs to pick up or deliver the items, packaging costs, manufacturing labor and pollution.  The fashion industry is one of the biggest polluting industries in the world; production and distribution of fashion materials contributes to water, air and soil pollution.  Buying new clothing is terrible for our environment. 
We buy used clothing and this has saved us thousands of dollars over time!

Monday, June 1, 2020

Side hustles May 2020

The great thing about doing side hustles to generate extra income is that you can hustle on your own terms.  The more hard work, time, and creative effort you put in, the more extra money you can make.  You can hustle as little or as much as you want, whenever you want.  It’s your extra money, and you can choose how you want to spend it.  Instead of focusing on what ideas don’t apply to you, try focusing on different side hustle ideas that you can implement to work for your situation.

Once a month (usually on the 1st), I like to post a short summary of our personal and financial situation for the previous month.  While I don’t often post articles, I am committed to documenting all of my side hustle income.  Here I’ll share some of what’s been going on with our lives and our side hustles. 

Welcome to June! How are you holding up in these broken times?  It’s been a very emotional time for the world.  While I usually avoid seeking out the news (we don’t have live TV), it’s hard to avoid seeing and reacting to what’s been going on.  We continue to do what we can to live our best lives and try to stay positive while we move forward. 
Our kids have found all sorts of fun ways to play with each other.  They’ve turned the dirt patch in our backyard into the beach.  
They pretend our neighborhood is a jungle full of fun creatures to watch (birds, squirrels, lizards, insects, dogs, cats, etc).  I’m very glad that our kids have each other. 
Our son loves drawing pictures and his skills are steadily improving.   
Our dog loves all this extra attention she’s getting every day.
Here’s our monthly summary of side income that we have generated in the previous month of May.
Cash Back
On 5.8, I received a $4 statement credit on my Chase Freedom credit card from Chase Offers for getting 5% cash back on purchases made at Petsmart (dog food).

Rental Income
We still have not received any rental income profits this past month due to our tenants being unemployed suddenly due to the covid19 outbreak and shutdown of non-essential businesses.  We do have a healthy emergency fund for our property and understand that this is one of the risks of owning an investment property.  Our tenants are hopeful that they will be resuming work again soon.  The income we have received from our tenants so far does cover our expenses, so that’s good.
Side Job Income
Since the local university is closed due to the coronavirus shut down, I have not had any opportunities to teach in April.

Survey Income
On 5.1, I received a $10 check from Kantar Media for completing a survey.
On 5.4, I received a $5 Amazon gift card from the Vision Council for completing a survey.
On 5.11, I received a $5 Amazon gift card from the Vision Council for completing a survey.
On 5.26, I received a $5 Amazon gift card from the Vision Council for completing a survey.
On 5.26, I received a $25 virtual Visa gift card from E-Rewards Medical for completing a medical survey.

Monthly Totals:
We earned $4 from cash back
I earned $50 for completing online surveys

All of this totals $54 from our side hustles for the month of May.  This may be the month with our lowest side hustle income to date!  Since everything has been closed, we have been saving much more money than usual.  Our gas expenses, travel expenses, and dining expenses have all dropped significantly and we are not sure when we will increase spending in those categories again.  Stay safe everyone.      
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