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Posts tagged with: newspaper

The Facebook Garage Sale?

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I was reading an article in last Sunday’s newspaper about new ways to sell things called, ‘Count the ways to sell your stuff’ by Dan Sewell. He suggested two new and different ways to sell household items or clothes: Facebook & Plato’s Closet.

I’ve heard advertisements for the Plato’s Closet chain but hadn’t researched how it worked. I have always donated my used clothing to the local thrift store and hadn’t looked into other possibilities. Plato’s Closet will pay you for your clothing (if it’s 12 – 18 months old and made by one of their acceptable designer brands including Charlotte Russe and Forever 21). My first thought was, ‘12 to 18 months? If it’s that ‘young’ I’m probably still wearing it.’ But hey, we all know that somewhere, hidden from our husbands, is a shirt or two or three in the back of our closet with the tags still on that didn’t look as good at home as it did in the store.

Sewell also sites Facebook as a great way to sell things. He referenced a woman who sold nearly all of her possessions in 24 hours. While I think her experience is rare, I think it’s a great idea to use Facebook in combination with other methods like garage sales or swap meets.

My grandparents are moving into my parent’s home next month. My mother was asking me for ways to sell the duplicates from their newly combined households. When I shared this article with her, she volunteered to be the guinea pig to see if these new methods will actually work. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Have you ever used Facebook or Plato’s Closet as a way to sell things? Where have you successfully sold the most items?


Ways to get by while on unemployment…

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My budget was already threadbare but living with 50% less salary and on unemployment benefits has forced us to find ways to somehow reduce more.

First, we cut our dental and vision insurance. This is something that can easily be re-instated but the $25 a month can help me now.

Second, I cancelled all my appointments health related or otherwise. None of my appointments were an emergency and I requested that my doctor renew my prescriptions without the annual check-up since the last 6 years have been clear of any problems. These appointments and tests run in the neighborhood of $500.

Third, I called my cable company to cancel our cable, reduce our internet speed, and reduce our phone service. I explained our situation and was surprised when they offered reduced internet costs, reduced phone costs, and added free services and free channels for a 12 month period. I would tell you how much I’m paying – but I’m afraid they’ll figure out they made a huge mistake and ‘correct’ the discount… or fire the guy who gave it to me. I would have cut out the internet and phone entirely but my husband needs internet for school purposes and job searching late at night when he gets home (free internet at the library is closed) and I’m uncomfortable without a home phone for emergencies.

Fourth, I contacted my student loan company for a deferment.

Fifth, my husband and I contacted friends and family and let them know we’d be available for odd jobs. Since unemployment doesn’t start for nearly a month after a job loss, my husband has done everything from pulling weeds to insulating walls. I have been helping a company with paperwork at night after work. We use this money for groceries and for the important bills like electric and water. At no time should you feel you are ‘too good’ for any type of job.

Sixth, we cut off all our subscriptions and memberships. If you’re like us, you may not even remember you have some of them since they are automatically billed to your credit card and you may not look at each item on your online statement. Some examples: gym memberships, club memberships, magazine and newspaper subscriptions (some automatically renew unless you cancel). Savings – $50 a month.

Seventh, we’ve been using more public transportation. It takes twice as long to get somewhere, it’s uncomfortable, and it’s far from fun, but it saves $50-$75 a month.

It’s not a lot, but each item buys us a little more time.