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How to Have a Successful Garage Sale

How to Have a Successful Garage Sale

Spring is coming and with it comes spring cleaning! This is the ideal time to make some side cash, because you can gather everything you don’t use and sell it in a garage sale.

If you are really serious about making money from your garage sale, there are several tips and techniques that can help you get there, and we’ve listed each and every one of them below. Follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to having a few hundred dollars in your pocket.

Give Yourself Time

grab a box

    There’s no way that you can have a successful garage sale if you are rushed and stressed. Setting up a sale takes time and effort. For example, today would be a great time to start if you want to have a sale a month or two from now.

    Go through every room in your house one by one—spend a weekend on each if you need to. Grab a big box and a garbage bag to bring with you when you clean; everything that’s trash goes in the garbage bag, and everything that’s for sale goes in the box.

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    Store your boxes of items from each room in the same place.

    Organize and Clean

    organize stuff

      Now that you have all your boxes in the same place, it’s time to organize.

      Empty the boxes and pack like items together. All kids clothes go in one box, while all toys go in another. Wipe down items with mild soap and water to ensure they are clean and look their best.

      Price Everything

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      price tag

        Most people will not want to ask the price of something, so if it’s not clearly listed, they might walk away. In order to make sure that you earn the most money possible, be sure to put a price tag on every item.

        If you have a lot of smaller pieces, you can put them all in one box with a clearly marked label. For example, you can say “All Books $1” or “All clothing items $5 each.” This saves you time and lets the buyer know what you are expecting.

        Have Your Sale On a Saturday

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          Garage sale enthusiasts plan their Saturday mornings around them, so, it’s best to choose a Saturday in the spring so that you have a better chance of selling everything. Start your sale very early in the morning, but be sure to actually set it up even earlier than that. My most successful garage sale officially started at 8, but I sat outside early and sold almost 30 items before that time even rolled around!

          Advertise On Multiple Channels

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          Businesswoman at her desk using a digital tablet

            With the Internet age, it’s important to advertise your sale in multiple ways.

            First, you should make signs to put around your neighborhood. Don’t choose small signs with small writing, since no-one can see them! The letters on your signs should be as big as a ruler: any smaller, and cars passing by won’t be able to read what you have on them!

            Also, be sure to put an ad on www.Craigslist.com with a picture of your big-ticket items. This could include your sofa, or a stack of hardback books. Ads without photos are easy to ignore, and most people won’t even bother to look at them, so make sure that you have a big, bright picture that’s enticing to buyers. You can also post a reminder ad on the morning of saying, “Sale going on right now!”

            Pro TipDon’t forget that old-school methods like putting an ad in your local newspaper are also an effective way to get buyers to come to your house.

            Accept Low Offers

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              People go to garage sales to get quality items for low prices. They will bargain with you, and you should definitely haggle with them. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how low you should go, but just remember that the entire goal of the garage sale is to clean out your house and make money. So, if someone offers you $10 for a side table that you spent $60 on, that’s okay—remind yourself that you didn’t want it anyway, which is why it’s out on the curb. You’d be surprised at how much you’ll make when these little items add up, so be generous and accept low offers.

              Only Take Cash

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                This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s an easy one to forget. Many people might try to pay you with a check or offer to pay you online but don’t accept it! Although most people are likely genuine, you don’t want to be scammed. Cash in hand is the best and the only approach. Even if people have to drive to the bank to withdraw cash from the ATM, go ahead and let them do so for your own security.

                Donate the Rest

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                  When your garage sale is over, pack up the leftover items and donate them to a local thrift store. Be sure to pick up a receipt for tax purposes so that you make a little extra money at the end.

                  We hope that these tips help you to have a successful garage sale this year! Good luck!

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                  Catherine Alford

                  Catherine is the go to personal finance expert for educated, aspirational moms who want to recapture their life passions.

                  11 Reasons Why It’s Important to Follow Your Dreams How to Make Money Right Now How to Have a Successful Garage Sale 30 Money Questions to Ask Your Fiance BEFORE Marriage 42 Amazingly Free Things That Will Make You Smile

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                  Last Updated on September 2, 2020

                  How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                  How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

                  Personal finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. That’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

                  In this article, we will explore ways to set financial goals and actually meet them with ease.

                  4 Steps to Setting Financial Goals

                  Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task, if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps to get you started.

                  1. Be Clear About the Objectives

                  Any goal without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream, and this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

                  It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore, if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it’s for. It could be anything, including your child’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car, etc.

                  Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives that you foresee in the future and put a value to each.

                  2. Keep Goals Realistic

                  It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a Pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going beyond what you can realistically achieve will definitely hurt your chances of making meaningful progress.

                  It’s important that you keep your goals realistic, as it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

                  3. Account for Inflation

                  Ronald Reagan once said: “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman.” This quote sums up what inflation could do your financial goals.

                  Therefore, account for inflation[1] whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far into the future.

                  For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years from now, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is a mere 3%. Always account for this to avoid falling short of your goals.

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                  4. Short Term Vs Long Term

                  Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach to achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It’s important to bifurcate goals into short-term and long-term.

                  As a rule of thumb, any financial goal that is due in next 3 years should be termed as a short-term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long-term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short-term vs long-term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

                  By now, you should be ready with your list of financial goals. Now, it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

                  How to Achieve Your Financial Goals

                  Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a two-step process:

                  • Ensuring healthy savings
                  • Making smart investments

                  You will need to save enough and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals.

                  Ensuring Healthy Savings

                  Self-realization is the best form of realization, and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

                  This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

                  1. Track Expenses

                  The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your spending. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you will be surprised by how small expenses add up to a sizable amount.

                  Also categorize those expenses into different buckets so that you know which bucket is eating most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pumping up your savings rate.

                  If you’re not sure where to start when tracking expenses, this article may be able to help.

                  2. Pay Yourself First

                  Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classic mistake when setting financial goals. We pay ourselves last!

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                  Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world, i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and manage all the expenses from the rest.

                  The best way to actually implement this is to put the savings on automatic mode, i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (mutual funds, retirement accounts, etc) every month.

                  Taking the automatic route will help release some control and compel us to manage what’s left, increasing the savings rate.

                  3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick With It

                  Learning to create a budget is the best way to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be organized

                  Nowadays, several money management apps can help you do this automatically.

                  At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely, but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

                  Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options, and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

                  You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

                  4. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

                  In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that, in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

                  Make savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counterintuitive to many, there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

                  • Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Weekends are more expensive.
                  • If you are a travel buff, try to travel during off-season. You’ll spend significantly less.
                  • If you go shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

                  The key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice, which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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                  5. Talk About It

                  Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission.

                  Therefore, in order to stay the course, surround yourself with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

                  6. Maintain a Journal

                  For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

                  If you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

                  When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energized to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot easier for you to track your progress.

                  Making Smart Investments

                  Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However, savings, when invested wisely, can do wonders.

                  1. Consult a Financial Advisor

                  Investment doesn’t come naturally to most of us, so it’s wise to consult a financial advisor.

                  Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings, and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

                  2. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

                  Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about the common ones, like a savings account, Roth IRA, and others.

                  Just like “no one is born a criminal,” no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference[2].

                  As a general rule, for all your short-term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature, for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds, etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less compared to equity instruments.

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                  3. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

                  Einstein once remarked about compounding:

                  “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.”

                  Use compound interest when setting financial goals

                    Make friends with this wonder kid. The sooner you become friends with it, the quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

                    Start saving early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

                    4. Measure, Measure, Measure

                    All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments and taking stock of how our investments are doing.

                    If we don’t measure progress at the right times, we are shooting in the dark. We won’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not, whether the financial advisor is doing a decent job, or whether we are moving closer to our target.

                    Measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

                    The Bottom Line

                    Managing your extra money to achieve your short and long-term financial goals

                    and live a debt-free life is doable for anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort. Use the tips above to get you started on your path to setting financial goals.

                    More Tips on Financial Goals

                    Featured photo credit: Micheile Henderson via unsplash.com

                    Reference

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