It turns out, buying a house is not cheap (shock of the century right there)! I always knew this but I didn’t know how much effort and money it would cost until I actually went through the process myself.
First, there’s the earnest money, then the inspection fee, the repairs, an appraisal fee, the rest of the down payment, and closing costs. After all that you have moving expenses, new bills, items you need for a different home, cleaning supplies, therapy, coffee, etc. By the end, you’ve spent thousands of dollars and are disgustingly exhausted.
I remember completing this journey not too long ago and being so relieved to actually be in the house. Unfortunately, we were also pretty broke after Moving Day. Well, not broke-broke, more like top-ramen-is-our-dinner-for-the-next-month-broke. Additionally, we bought an old home that needed some sprucing up so we had to purchase paint, cleaning supplies, and yard care tools.
Luckily, I discovered some simple ways to make a little extra money that we could do in addition to our full-time jobs. At first, it seemed like a lot of effort but $10 here and $20 there made a noticeable difference in our every day lives.
- Sell old cell phones.
We had a few old iPhones laying around the house which I found while packing. They still worked, we had simply upgraded a while ago. My mom had mentioned selling her old iPhones so I decided to look it up. I was only expecting to get $5 or $10 for each one and wasn’t sure it was even worth the hassle.
Gazelle ended up offering $25 for each phone! They send you a shipping label and ask you to erase everything on it before sending it in but all-in-all it was the easiest $50 I’ve ever made.
2. Sell on eBay.
In the midst of packing, we found unopened games and items that we’d collected over the years and never used. I decided to go to eBay and see if anyone was interested in these items. I was able to take photos and list directly from my phone. At first, I was discouraged at only receiving $7 plus shipping for one item but after selling 6 items it felt great to pocket almost $70 AND make some extra room.
Bottledrop is a new-ish way to redeem bottles and cans in Oregon without reeking of old beer and collecting a layer of stickiness. After signing up for an account, simply collect the items, drop em off and have the funds deposited into a Bottledrop account. Bottledrop charges 25 cents per bag of bottles/cans and 10 cents to purchase a bag, you profit the rest. This yields about three bucks per bag and there is no limit as to how much you can collect in your account. Obviously, it takes awhile to accumulate significant funds but the cash can come in handy when you really need it!
Ibotta is a cell phone app that allows you to receive rebates on certain products when you keep and scan your receipts. Rebates can be found on anything from cheap beer to shoes to groceries. I find that the best rebates for me are on produce, beer, and certain brands like Daisy. When you need a little extra cash, just hit the cash out button and have it transferred to your PayPal account!
These four things helped us through a rough patch in our financial situation which made it easier to focus on moving and unpacking in a new house!