That was quick. January seemed like it lasted all but one week.
My goal at the beginning of the month was to sell 30 things on eBay. I’m sorry to say, I didn’t get to my goal.
Even though I didn’t reach my goal, I was still able to bring in a lot of money. For the month, I sold $402 worth of goods on eBay.
Items I sold included:
- A used pair of basketball shoes (went for $26)
- An old eMachines notebook
- Used Bluetooth headset
- Used watch
- Gift Card to Express
- CFP® study materials
- Other “stuff” I have no used for
Why I Did This
The reason I choose this 30 day challenge was to encourage readers to get a head start on their financial goals for the year.
Personally, one of my financial goals for 2010 is to save enough money to take a trip out to San Francisco to visit family in the fall. This 30 day challenge already has paid for one round ticket from Chicago to San Francisco.
For you, it doesn’t matter what your financial goals are for 2010, selling stuff you don’t use, is a great chance to get ahead. This is especially true if you’re barely getting by. For example, if you needed to save $1,000 to start an emergency fund or wanted to start paying off your credit card debt, selling junk is a great way to make huge strides very fast.
What I learned
The most important concept that I learned from this challenge is to never forget the resale value of an item. For example, one item I sold this month was a set of flashcards for the CFP® exam. The flashcards cost $100 back in September. At that time, I was questioning whether or not I should buy the flashcards. Originally, I purchased the self-study materials without the flashcards. However, after thinking about it for a few hours, I called up to change my order to include the flashcards.
If I had known that I could have gotten $50 back for the flashcards just a few months after purchase, it would have made the decision a lot better.
The second thing I learned was to sell used textbooks right away. I had six textbooks leftover from the CFP® courses I took over the last 18 months. What I didn’t realize was that all textbooks had been updated since I completed the course. Basically, these textbooks are now worthless. This was the main reason why I didn’t reach my goal of selling 30 items.
My next challenge is to try out the envelope budgeting system on certain spending categories. If you have never heard of this system, here is a quick introduction.
Today at lunch, I will be stopping by an ATM and withdrawing $300. I will be putting $200 into the groceries envelope and $100 into the entertainment/dinning out envelope. This money needs to last me the entire month of February.
The reason for this challenge is to remember how it feels to actually spend cash. With more and more technology today, personal finance has been all about automation. My theory is that the more I automate, the farther away I get from spending my money consciously.
I’m excited to tell you my findings.