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Showing posts with label Finances. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Finances. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Baby Registry | Tips & Tricks

Baby Registry | Tips & Tricks

On Monday when I shared the latest of what's happening in Little Love's nursery, I mentioned spending the cash/check gifts to purchase her vintage French provincial dresser. And I thought I would share tips and tricks on what you should do with all those monetary gifts including gift cards.

One of the greatest pieces of advice I was given during my pregnancy was to hold on to all my gift cards until after the baby comes. I gotta say this one piece of advice benefited us greatly. Mostly as new parents you really don't know how to separate what babies actually need to what's nice to have. I remember asking my friend for advice on my registry and she pointed me to Babies R Us Registry Checklist and said it was pretty accurate for the most part and in some aspects it is and in another aspects is not.

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Stormie Ramirez

Monday, April 18, 2016

Tips & Tricks for Making Money on eBay

Tips & Tricks for Making Money on eBay

A few months ago, I shared some ways to bring in a little extra money. One of those ways was selling items on eBay and since that is where I bring in most of our extra income I decided to expand on what type of items I sell and what my monthly profit has been looking like to give y'all a general idea.

1. Clothes - this is the biggest category of items I try to sell. They range from brand new never worn items with or without tags and used clothing that is name brand and in good condition. The reason why I only sell name brand on eBay is because buyers are looking for a good deal on brands they love and typically you can't get much for clothing items that are not of a popular brand. For example, I have sold an H&M shirt, Under Armour clothing items, Nike, Kenneth Cole, etc.

2. Shoes - the shipping cost on shoes is high because they weigh so much and most times require you to do Priority shipping. I charge the buyers for shipping but you must know the exact weight of the item to determine what you should charge for shipping. I don't have a postage scale so it's kind of a hassle but I do plan on getting one so I can get better at charging the correct amount. I have cut into my profit numerous times by undercharging for shipping. This is one of the highest profit items though so it's worth trying to sell shoes as long as they are in good or better condition.

3. Hats - I really thought this item would be the fastest selling item yet I only sold 2 hat out of the 7 I had listed for the past two months. Hoping they sell soon though as I made some adjustments to their listing!

4. Watches/Activity Trackers - these items are the quickest and highest bidding items I have sold. People go into bidding wars for these items, I guess because of the fitness trend right now. 

Extra Tips & Tricks

Before listing an item, if I do not know their worth I try to find the exact item on the stores website. If the item is new with a tag, I try to get the actual value amount. If the item is new without a tag, I try to get at least half the value or more (this is where setting the item as an auction item comes in handy). If the item is used than I typically go with eBay's suggested starting bid price and hope I get numerous bids. Sometimes I do research the eBay site for similar items that others have sold to get an idea of what buyers are willing to pay.

If an item doesn't sell I relist it, sometimes at a reduced price depending on how desperate I am to get rid of the item. For example, I have a pair a KSwiss shoes I'm trying to sell and I have the bid starting at $30; I noticed I get watchers and a lot of views but no one has placed a bid so after relisting it numerous times I now dropped the starting bid to $20. We will see what happens. Sometimes you just have to be patient for the right buyer to come along.

My Monthly Profit

So how much profit have I made these last few months? Well I have had good months and I have had really slow months. I can't make a living off eBay but it helps having extra cash here and there. 

November - $43.54
December - $80.25
January - $284.69
February - $159.45
March - $8.01
April - $56.40 and counting

I determine my profit by subtracting shipping cost, shipping materials (I buy these in a bundle as needed), eBay fees and PayPal fees from my sell price. I have created a spreadsheet in Excel to help keep me organized and calculate my profit for me.

I hope these tips and tricks helped you out and you were able to get a realistic view into how much profit a regular person makes selling stuff around the house.

What do you do to make extra cash? Do you keep account of your profit? If so, do you have an excel spreadsheet or do you do it by hand?
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Stormie Ramirez

Monday, January 4, 2016

Extra Income Ideas | A Review

Extra Income Ideas | A Review

So you know how on other blogs, you always read stay-at-home moms are making money and it makes you wonder if these people are for real or if its just a scam? Well, since we will be losing one income once Little Love arrives, I decided to try different ways to bring in extra money to see what actually works and is worth while so I can still bring in some money as a SAHM. I decided to give ya'll my thoughts and reviews of what I have tried and if I actually made money or not. These are not get-rich quick jobs, these are just ways to bring in a little extra money.

1. Fancy Hands - This was the first company I tried, it is a virtual assistant job where you take on task that a client sends in such as calling to make a reservation, doing internet research, calling to compare prices, etc. Each task states what you will be paid for completing the task which majority of tasks pay about $2.75 however there are some that pay more depending on the difficulty of the task. Also, each task normally doesn't take more than 20 minutes to complete. While I like that this job can be done when you want to do it, I just haven't had the motivation to actually do the tasks that are available but that may change once I am a SAHM. All in all, money can be made with this company and it is legit. You are paid through a company called Dwolla that can be linked to your bank account. Disclaimer: I do get a small compensation for you using my referral link to sign-up however all opinions are my own.

2. Textbroker - This company is a freelance writing company and the one I was most excited about however I was very disappointed. When you apply, you submit a writing sample that will be rated from 2 stars to 5 stars, depending on your rating depends on the pay you receive. The higher your rating the more pay and the more assignments available to you whereas the lower the rating, less pay and less assignments available. Once you have written multiple articles with this company, your rating is based on the average of your last 5 assignments. This is the disappointing part, I joined textbroker in the beginning of November, I was rated 3 stars with my sample writing. I honestly have no idea how I scored low but I pushed through because I can make up my rating by submitting really good articles. There are barley any articles available for 2 stars or 3 stars writers and the ones that are available just don't interest me but I still pushed through so I can boost my rating and write about good content however the editors of textbroker have yet to rate my articles and it has been 2 months. If you get a high rating with your sample writing, maybe you will enjoy this freelance writing gig but I have given up on it. The other thing is, in order to get paid, you do have to submit an IRS form which you do with any job but I wanted to wait until I reached a decent amount of money before submitting personal information and as I only have $3.33, I have not done so, so I cannot say if this company is fully legit. I did read reviews that others have received money from them but they were just as unsatisfied about the rating thing as I was.

3. Receipt Hog - This app is really neat and basically free money. You take pictures of your receipts and earn coins from any store that sells groceries, health items, beauty products, etc. such as Target, Kroger, Wal Mart, Petsmart, Raceway, etc. Depending on the amount you spent at the store determines how many coins you earn. You can redeem your coins for either a PayPal payout or you can redeem an Amazon Gift Card (1000 coins=$5, 1800 coins=$10, 3200 coins=$20 and 4500 coins=$30). Again, this is not a get rich scheme, just a little extra money in your pocket. If you do sign up and use my referral code fot39693 I earn extra spins at the Hog Slots.

4. Ibotta - I really don't have much to say about this app as I only used it for 10 minutes before giving up. I just didn't like the fact of how much effort it took. With Receipt Hog, I just snap a picture of my receipt and I am good to go, Ibotta offers coupons on items but you have to search for the ones you want and you have to submit your receipt and take a picture of the item you are trying to get qualified or something like that. It sounds simpler written down but actually searching their app was difficult. Also, if you do sign up and decide you don't like it be sure to contact Ibotta telling them you want to cancel your account or else you will be charged for inactivity (something else I didn't like). There is not a cancel option, you have to actually contact them via email.

5. eBay - This is where I have had most of my success thus far. I sell items we no longer need or want or have yet to use. Make sure to take good quality pictures as that is what attracts buyers. Also, do your research on shipping cost, its not that hard to figure out but you don't educate yourself on it you can lose money, something I had to learn my first month selling on eBay. The items I have sold range from used clothes (that are still in great condition and are name brand such as Under Armor, Nike, Adidas, etc.) watches, shoes, activity trackers, Pokemon cards, Nintendo 64 games and accessories. Basically stuff we don't use or need that is laying around taking up space.

6. Craigslist - I sell items here, that I am not able to sell on eBay such as old TVs, laptops, furniture etc. I just don't want to deal with trying to ship a 42 in TV or a dresser so I choose to sell items locally through Craigslist.

7. Local classifieds - Same as above and I also list our puppies in the local classifies when we have litters.

8. Blogging - I have been blogging off and on for about 5, maybe 6 years but I have never tried or really knew how to make money with blogging. Its something I am still learning and we will see how much extra income I can bring in by doing something I already do and enjoy.

9. YouTube - Same as above, I have posted videos sporadically through the years mostly of our dogs and just learned you can make money off your videos if its original content. This last litter of puppies we had, I posted daily videos of them before learning about monetization. I have now monetized all my videos so we shall see what kind of income this will bring in for me.

And that folks, is what I have tried so far. Am I ready to quit my day job today? Um, no unless Little Love decides to come early than I have no choice but no I do not. All these extra income jobs, gigs, hobbies or whatever, take time and some only give you extra change but it's extra change you didn't have. So for the third time, these are not get-rich schemes just little things you can do for extra money.

Sharing at: Made In a Day, Remodelacholic  and A Life in Balance
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Stormie Ramirez

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Mission: Let's Get Serious COMPLETED

The past few months, Anthony and I have been working on paying down our debt. Honestly we don't have that much, just our house, Anthony's student loans and our credit card. It's not a lot of places we owe but the amounts do add up to quite a bit. We decided to start with the smallest debt which was our credit card.

We have struggled to pay down this debt for years, as soon as we would make progress, we would max it out. For years this happened but we decided to get serious (hence the name).

Before we decided how much to pay a month or our goal date, we broke down our bills with the average amounts. Other monthly expenses followed including Mission: Let's Get Serious.

Once we were able to see what our income looked like in ratio to bills and necessities, we decided on a goal date. To find out the amount we needed to pay each month to make our goal we divided the debt into the amount of months. For example, we started in February and wanted to pay off our credit card by June so we divided the amount of our credit by 5 which gave us the monthly payment we needed to pay. It was a reasonable amount so we decided it was a go.

We completed our mission and have now began discussing which debt we will tackle next. We started with the smaller debt first because we knew it would be easier and now discussing the next one is difficult because it's not going to take only 5 months or even a year to tackle the rest. However, that won't stop us from our bigger goal of being debt-free.

I share this with you not to brag but to give inspiration to others to tackle their debt now. I was inspired by Kelly at View Along the Way when she humbly shared the news of being completely debt-free.

Do you have debt? How are you tackling it, smallest to biggest or biggest to smallest?
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Stormie Ramirez

Follow @stormieariel