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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Trash To Cash & My Goals

This week I've been working on finishing up my construction estate sale and getting ready for a multi family estate sale this Saturday- look for pictures on Friday.  I only had 5 items to list on ebay this week, but the good news is... they all sold.   Here's my top two sellers...
Women's David's Bridal Size 10 Green Apple Cotton Dress.  I paid 1.00, it sold for 23.55

Women's BCBG Max Azria Size XS Slinky Little Black Dress.  I paid $1.00, it sold for 18.50.  My craigslist sales have been outstanding, but they've all been for my construction estate client.  My only personal sale was this 18" tall Industrial letter E that sold on craigslist for 25.00.
The customer who purchased it, is spelling "Eat In" on her kitchen wall- so cool!

 Lately, I've made mention of some financial goals that I've made for myself.  I had a few emails asking me to share what they are, so here goes.  Essentially, I'm trying to pay off a credit card AND meet all of the unexpected expenses that come with a family of 7.  We've taken a few cuts on our income this last year and had a few unexpected expenses.  We've also recently put two kids in braces- but mostly I just got lazy about my budget.  Even though I'm totally anti-credit card- I soon found myself with a sizeable balance.  When I quit working as a full time theatre arts teacher, 6 years ago, we cut our income in half.  I didn't know how we would be able to make bills.  However, through careful budgeting, a few sacrifices and lots of prayer- we were blessed.  Each day I could see the blessings that our family received.  Even though our income was cut in half- the next summer we took our first major family vacation which was a 10 day trip to Colorado- all paid for with cash.  A few years later My Dear Trash was born- which has been a huge blessing.  As our income increased I've become lazy with budgeting and not paying attention to my spending.  I also wasn't seeing the blessings as I did before- mainly because I was relying on a credit card to take care of unexpected expenses, rather than prayer.  We sat down as a family and discussed the situation and the kids took scissors to my husband and my credit card.  It was a leap of faith as we could instantly name $2,000 in impending expenses that we weren't sure how we would pay.  I can tell you that all of those expenses have been met.  I hadn't had an estate sale all year and now I have 4 in the works.  I've paid cash for my plane ticket to Savannah as well as spending money.  Ebay is my sole source for my credit card payment- with a goal of $250 per week, It will take a year to pay off my debt.  Craigslist, Qcumberz, estate sales, interior design, event planning and furniture painting will pay for one of our necessities:  FOOD and the extras like braces, unexpected expenses, back to school clothes, piano and dance lessons and home projects.  So why home projects when we're trying to pay off debt?  The home project that I'm saving for is actually a business venture.  We have a guest area that I call "the studio". It's where we store all of my stuff!  It's a little mini "Hoarders" I must admit.   I'm hoping in the next 3-4 months to convert the studio into a show room where I can sell my craigslist furniture and host future boutique type events for myself and other creative moms trying to earn extra income.   I can't tell you how blessed I feel to be given the talents I have and to be able to use them to support my family.  I'd love it if some of you would join me in the fight against debt.  Review your budget and see how much you can pay off in a year.   I find that when I set goals I stay focused and I'm able to accomplish things I never thought possible.  I'll keep you posted.  Love, Kelly.


  1. I sooo need to cut my debt. I am a horrible $10 here $20 there and all of a sudden I have spent $200. What do I have to show for it??? Nothing! I love the idea of your showroom. If that does well would you ever think of opening up a shop like Qcumbers in the east valley?


  2. Thank you for sharing! Me and my husband have three children and I knew we needed an extra income source when my husband decided to go back to school to finish his master's. I started selling on ebay/craiglist after reading your posts. Your blog has been a blessing to my family in more ways than one! Not only have I learned so much, but sometimes I read a post and it is just the inspiration/motivation I need. So thank you and best of luck in your debt free adventure!

  3. Thank you for this post. Just a few minutes ago I was pondering how we will manage until the next paychecks come in 10 days from now with a low balance. My eBay sales have been slow but steady. I thought what you did, I said "I can just unexpected expenses on a credit card". Thank you reminding me to rely on prayer and not on a credit card. THANK YOU.

  4. Hi Kelly;

    Like your post. I really appreciate your constant willingness to self-assess and improve. :)

    Also your bravery in giving up half your income!

    My husband and I have great jobs so we don't have any credit card debt. However, we just refinanced our house and had to use ALL of our savings to pay down the loan balance (we were underwater on our mortgage). And we bought our first new car in 10 years. And we are still paying child care for our kid. So, I feel you about having to watch your budget and trying to save money each month for emergencies.

    I also agree with you about the importance of prayer. I try to act like it is all up to me and have faith like it is all up to God.


  5. Wow! This post is inspiring me to get motivated to take charge and pay off some bills. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Thanks for the truthfullness of your post. All too often we all fall into the "credit card pit" its very easy to fall into adn very hard to get out. My husband and are have signed up for a class offered at our church this summer called "Financial Peace" its a christian based program taught by Dave Ramsey and has help hundred's of thousands of families get out of debt. If your interested, contact me and I'll get you the info. Its Tuesday nights from 7-9pm June 12th-August 14th. $99 includes all your materials and childcare (if needed) it has changed so many people that I personally know lives. Just an idea!! :-)

  7. Kelly, I am one of those that asked about your financial goals. Thank you for posting.

    My goal is to make $1,000 this summer. I have aprox 12 weeks. If I break this down, it is $80 a week. Making $1,000 sounds hard. Making $80 a week sounds much easier. This is WHAT I want to do. HOW am I going to do it ? I am going to list one thing ( no procrastinating ) on eBay or CraigsList everyday. I hope if I can just keep focused on Listing that the cash will come in.
    I may also check out the furniture consignment stores. I would love find my Goodwill treasures and then dump them off with someone else. However, checking out all the stores could be a rabbit hole of wasted time fo me. It would be a fun rabbit hole to fall in to......
    ~ Christie

  8. This post was honest and inspiring. I LOVED the details. I really did. We have always lived on a tight budget putting my husband through school and now on a teacher salary. We have always used our credit card to earn skymiles but always paid it off every month. After DAVE RAMSEY we decided to cut the card and pay only with cash. How easy it was to go over budget when you paid with a card even if it didn't seem extreme! NOW on a cash system when that envelope is gone we start searching the food storage for dinner!!!! The only debts we have are our van and our house. Because of your inspiration from My Dear Trash I hope to pay off our car loan using ebay and craigslist. I need to make $100 a week to do it. THANK YOU for your inspiration!