Within three minutes, I can easily come up with a list of five or more projects I’d love for us to complete in the near future. Don’t believe me? Here’s what comes to mind:
- Refinishing the hardwood floors, at least in the most highly-trafficed areas. My daughter actually got a splinter from walking barefoot on the hardwood floors in one area!
- Redoing our deck, which is looking really rough. My husband has already had to replace several rotted boards.
- Replacing the carpet in our bedroom. My sweet Tony was wonderful in many ways, but at some point, he decided to stopped peeing in his litter box. I’ve probably used 25+ gallons on Nature’s Miracle on that carpet!
- Paving our driveway. I love the natural look of a gravel driveway, but not when the weeds start growing through the gravel in the summer. And snow-blowing gravel can be tricky.
- Painting the trim on our house, which is peeling in some spots that are nearly impossible to reach with standard ladders.
- Replacing our stone front walkway. When we moved in, there was just a ratty mulch path, and my husband found some (ugly) pavers/stones behind our house and used them to create a path. Several of the stones have literally disintegrated in spots from the snow melt I throw on the walk in the winter.
Some of these are more cosmetic, (painting the trim and replacing the front walk), than others. The deck is becoming a safety concern, since the boards become weak as they rot. Last year, one broke when my daughter was standing on it, and she fell down with her leg sticking through the floor of the deck. But the thing they all have in common is that they are going to be costly, some very costly. My husband is pretty handy and loves to do DIY projects, but he works full time, commutes almost an hour each way, and no matter how much he’d like to, he simply cannot pave our driveway on his own.
I work very part-time at a “real” job, so I’ve been doing various side hustles to increase my income for the past few years. (Our daughter is six, and we prefer that I be home to get her on the school bus in the morning, and off in the afternoon. As you can imagine, this schedule is incompatible with most jobs requiring more hours.)
To help pay down our debt faster and pay for the house projects, I’ve become focused on bringing in more money. I’ve settled on selling items online – mainly eBay, but also Craiglist and in Facebook groups – as my primary additional income stream. I’m doing a combination of selling unused items from our home, and dabbling in retail arbitrage. Despite netting $429 at last weekend’s children’s consignment sale, I still have some items that didn’t sell and I brought home. I’ll be putting most of them up on eBay. The same is true of some of my remaining inventory from my small business selling children’s books. And I’ve purchased some clothing items that were on deep clearance – like cute baby Christmas onesies for $1.99 at Gymboree – and will be selling them on eBay, too. There’s some risk with purchasing items to resell (“retail arbitrage”), but I’ve done a huge amount of research, and am proceeding cautiously. My plan is to achieve $1,000 or more in sales (on eBay, Craiglist, and Facebook) by Labor Day.
Do you sell on eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook? Do you have other side hustles?
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