PinchingPennies

Saving money to pay off student loans and consumer debt

The New Selling Used Crap Economy

It sucks.

We are trying to get rid of 75% of our stuff before we flee to Europe and selling on Craigslist is slow and infuriating. I had someone offer $50 for my $300 jogging stroller because the brake (a bike-type brake) needed to be adjusted. People hem and haw about a $5 purchase. It is flat out not worth it.

Taking books to the big used bookstore near me is almost as bad. On my last trip, I took 2 big boxes of books and had over an hour wait for an offer. There were seriously more sellers than buyers. I asked the guy that helped me about the wait time and he said it has been really busy all summer. Cleaning and decluttering, I guessed? No, the economy. People are broke.

A recession is the wrong time to sell all of your stuff. Dave Ramsey might want to update his advice for this new, sucky economy.

August 16, 2009 Posted by | Earn Money | , , , , | 1 Comment

Big Garage Sale #1

We’re doing it! We are going to sell most everything we own and moving to Europe. The husband was offered a job and it will be a good way to minimize our stuff and pay off some student loans.

Preparing for the garage sale, I’ve been going through things and pricing them, with my 4 year old’s help. LOL Then I go back through and reprice the really egregious pricing problems. We are planning on holding the garage sale this Saturday to get rid of wave 1 of stuff. I’ve found that we have a ton of buried things we can get at least $100 for. My student loan balances are going down in my head.

Dave Ramsey would be so proud.

July 21, 2009 Posted by | Earn Money, Student Loans | , , | Leave a comment

Paying off Husband’s Baby Student Loan

Now that husband is employed and not enrolled in school, it is time to pay his student loans. Good thing they are itty-bitty compared to mine. So I decided to pay off the loans by mystery shopping and writing articles. As the beaucoup bux goes into my paypal account, I will send it off to the loan company.

Husband’s Student Loans

$98.19
$146.09
$160.44

So far I earned $20 hitting the computer store down the street from my house and writing about the interaction. It will take up to 2 months to get the money but when I do get it, off to loan #1…

February 4, 2009 Posted by | Earn Money, Student Loans | , , , | Leave a comment

We’re Employed!

First the good news: Husband got a job. He had been a grad student for the last 3 years while I worked but when I got laid off, we both went looking for jobs. He found one first and it is enough money so I am going to stay at home for the time being and be mommy.

I had to take some time off this blog because it was just too stressful thinking about money every day. But I’m back! w00t!

We still have our EF plus some and as soon as I find out when husband’s first payday will come, I will start planning the return of the debt snowball.

January 12, 2009 Posted by | Earn Money, Employment | , , | Leave a comment

Anyone Try Scour to Search for Cash?

A friend sent me a referral link to Scour to search and earn Visa gift cards for searching. I signed up it and received 50 bonus points. My friend who I signed up under gets 25% of the points I earn, so yes, this is a bit like multilevel marketing. It took a while to figure out how many points it took to get a gift card but here is the breakdown.

25,000 = $100
12,500 = $50
6,500 = $25

I am not recommending the site because I haven’t spent enough time on it but if you want to sign up:

Sign up for Scour – I will update after I get my first gift card.

July 14, 2008 Posted by | Earn Money | , | 4 Comments

Associated Content Frustrations

I have been writing a little for Associated Content to earn a little, OK very little, cash. Part of the idea behind writing for AC was to improve my web writing and I am finding that just isn’t happening. There just isn’t any feedback on my writing. Since AC only gives a basic stat counter (number of hits only) per article, it is impossible to tell how people are getting to my articles or what they are doing when they get there.

The other major drawback of Associated Content is the lack of editing ability. Are they stuck in the pre-web era? If I write two related articles, it is impossible to edit the first one and add a link to the second. This lowers my total hits per page, which decreases my revenue.

If AC added some more stats information for each article, I could overlook the editing thing. Otherwise I am going to look closer at the other online publishing sites. Off to take a look at the forums to see if the powers that be will be adding better analytics.

June 20, 2008 Posted by | Earn Money | , | 1 Comment

Stimulus Check is Here

Our stimulus check finally arrived. A friend of mine didn’t receive hers, something about a screw up that will be fixed in July. Too bad since she needed to buy a new washing machine unexpectedly. Ours arrived last week and it was for the expected amount too!

I expected to put all of it toward our debt but I think I will take a little bit out for a couple of things. Err, I mean to stimulate the economy. I bought some shelves for the kid’s room because her toys swallowed the floor and I thought she might sleep better if her room wasn’t so chaotic. lol That implies she sleeps in her room which just is not the case. I’m hoping to transition her to her room though and in my mind shelves will help. The other thing I want to buy her is a bike. Used of course. She won’t care though, she is 3.

The rest of the money will go toward our debt. Since I like crossing off lines in my spreadsheet, I am planning off husband’s smallest student loan ($98). I will probably put a couple of hundred toward one of my student loans so that it goes to the next lowest thousand mark. The rest will go to the car loan.

June 9, 2008 Posted by | Car Loan, Debt Snowball, Earn Money, Splurges, Student Loans | , , , | Leave a comment

Textbook Sold for $75

Husband’s statistics textbook sold today on Half.com for $75. When I looked into selling back his book, I looked at the university bookstore as well as those places online you ship books to and they sell them. We earned an extra $25 by listing the book on Half.com and waiting a couple of months.

This money is earmarked toward husband’s student loans. According to Half.com, we should have the money by the 1st of July.

June 2, 2008 Posted by | Earn Money | , | Leave a comment

Earning Extra Cash Writing Articles

I’ve been writing articles for extra cash at AssociatedContent.com. They pay somewhere between $4 and $8 per article plus some extra for each page view. The pay isn’t great but it goes right into my Paypal account and I can send that money to debt.

Suite101.com is another site for freelance writers but unlike Associated Content, Suite101 has strict requirements. This site requires an application complete with sample writing. If you are accepted, they have a required minimum number of articles per month. Suite101 also doesn’t pay per article, only on ad clicks, however the upside is higher for authors committed to publicizing.

Both sites do pay.

March 28, 2008 Posted by | Earn Money | , | 1 Comment

Make Extra Money Mystery Shopping

When I was out of work a few years ago, I earned a little bit of extra cash (and free food!) mystery shopping. Generally the pay is pretty low per visit but it is fun to do and if you are opinionated like me, it is a good part time gig. Last night someone pointed me to a big, free list of mystery shopping companies. I signed up for a few and have already found a couple of shops.

With gas prices as high as they are, I am only signing up for shops near my house. Fortunately there are several.

March 12, 2008 Posted by | Earn Money | , | 1 Comment