Earlier this month, I turned in my paperwork for my twelve-week maternity leave. While I plan on doing a post in the near future with all the gory, number-crunching details, the short story is it is entirely unpaid. Our income won’t drop for another five months, but we’re already looking hard at what to do with any extra income that we side hustle up, and now we’re also making some simple changes that will help the savings add up over the next few months.
Getting back in the resale game
For the past two years, I had a decent run selling items from my closet, netting over $1300 last year. Recently, though, I’ve lost some steam. Mostly, I’ve been holding on for dear life, trying to not get sick in the middle of grocery stores or my classroom. I did manage to unload a designer bag on Tradesy last month, but that was only because I had listed the item pre-morning sickness.
Now that I’m starting to feel better (Knock on wood. You, too. I need all the help I can get!), I’m ready to post away with new listings. The fact that I don’t fit into most of the items in my closet and am no longer in the mood to try to make heels work is icing on the cake. It’s much easier to let go of things when you realize how little you need them stuff and how much you can use the money.
Here are a few of the selling secrets I’m back to using:
Stocking up on home items
If announcing this pregnancy has taught me anything, it is that people are more than a little excited to have another little one in their lives to love, to cuddle, and to shop for. While we’re trying to downplay the stuff side of things, we have a pretty distinct sense that this baby will have onesies out the wazoo.
Rather than stockpile clothes and other baby items this early in the game, I’ve gone back to a much milder form of couponing. I’m not hoarding Sunday papers, and there’s no coupon confetti covering every flat surface in our kitchen. But I am keeping my eyes peeled for deals on household items like toilet paper and detergent. The excess fits better in our budget now that we have two full incomes. Plus, I figure I have the time now. In another five or six months, I know I won’t be saying the same thing.
Saying yes to used
Considering how much time I spend on resale sites, it might come as a surprise that I only sell and never shop. The best way I can explain this is by saying that I don’t need anything. Well, I don’t need anything besides less stuff. But that’s changed a little bit, and if my appetite has anything to say about it, it’s going to change a lot more.
I can still sport most all of my sweaters and tops, but my pants are another story. After accepting some misguided advice from a well-meaning, money-saving mom about a DIY baby band waistband made from a rubber band, I spent the last class of the day with a binder clip holding my pants together. Needless to say, maternity pants are now my jam. Though I did pick up four pairs from the store, I’ve also learned how to accept used clothes. Two different coworkers have lent me all of their maternity duds, including a Halloween costume. I felt funny saying yes at first, but it seems silly to let thousands of dollars worth of clothes sit in someone’s attic. Now that I have the used goods bug, I’m also selectively hunting down baby books from our library’s book sale shelf. The two Dr. Seuss books I scored for twenty-five cents a piece were brand spanking new, and I saw the exact copies for $10 each on my last Target run. We could build quite the library for $20 at a quarter a pop.
Since Mr. P and I both have our decluttering mojo back, we’ve unearthed more t-shirts that weren’t quite fit for the donation pile. In addition to using them for garden ties to hold up the tomato plant jungle, we cut up white ones to use as cleaning rags and makeshift paper towels. The only thing better than scoring sales on paper towels is realizing that you really don’t need them. We also already do a lot of our cleaning with vinegar, and we’re slowly working to swap out other chemicals. While some eco-friendly brands cost a pretty penny, vinegar and baking soda are about as cheap as they come.
So Tell Me…Have you ever had to brace yourself for a cut in pay? How did you get ready five months out?