How to Make Money Without Actually Spending Money

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How to Make Money Without Actually Spending Money

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I'm going to share with you how my husband and I make money without actually spending money, or very little money. 

We call it "junking" and you can make as much or as little as you want. All you need to get started junking is a good eye for items that can be repurposed or brought back to their former life and then sold for a profit. 

So how does junking work? 

Well, the items you select need to have good "bones"; or, in other words the items are not pieces of junk that are falling apart. We like to work with furniture so we make sure the legs and arms are strong and the main frame of the piece is still in good condition. Look for furniture with timeless and classic lines such as wing chairs and overstuffed claw foot sofas. Don't let the peeling paint or scuffed finishes scare you away. Those things can easily be fixed with a little sanding, refinishing or painting. 

One of the most common places to find old upholstered furniture with tears and stuffing coming out is in the trash because most people don't know how to repair these types of furniture. This is a true trash to treasure situation.

If you can pick up things for free, that's even better.  

Drive around your neighborhood on trash day, and collect some items that can be salvaged and cleaned up to be sold. You won't be spending a dime, but you will be able to make some good money. Our best "kicked to the curb" find was a 19th century fainting couch. We actually drove by 3 times before we stopped to load it up. The fainting couch was in near perfect condition - even the upholstery was excellent. It had ornate wood trim that didn't need any touch up at all. We didn't have to do one thing to this junked item except haul it home and put it up for sale. 

We are still wondering why the owners put it out for trash pickup. Selling the couch didn't cost us much both because we made flyers on our computer and posted them around town. In less than a week, it sold for $100.00. Keep in mind, this is not a "junking" norm; but, there is still money to be made for items of lesser value.

Old dressers, chests and tables left sitting on the curbside are easily repurposed into book cases, dry bars, and coffee tables, sink bases for the bathroom, a comfortable bench with storage below and much more. 

For ideas, check the internet.

Aside from picking up stuff that has been kicked to the curb, flea markets are prime sources for cheap, yes, I said cheap, things to repair or repurpose for resale. For instance, old house windows - you know the wooden kind with four panes. I love finding great deals on old wood windows at flea markets. However, as they are growing ever so popular, they are getting harder and harder to find, and they are being snapped up immediately. 

One very easy way to repurpose a window is to sand the original finish, paint with dull white paint, and sand it off for a weathered look and glue pictures from magazines to the window.  It's so easy to do and so easy to sell. 

I sell these windows for $40.00 each and have probably sold ten already this year.

Your own home is an excellent place to start finding items to sell. You probably have a house full of collected items you've picked up over the years. Pick out a few things and give junking a try. Why not have money instead of useless items taking up space in your home? 

If you have some of your grandma's doilies in a box, get them out and turn them into what I call "Doily Art". Sandwich various doilies in a pattern between two sheets of Plexiglas. Surround the Plexiglas with an ornate vintage frame to complete the look. Vintage frames can be picked up at flea markets, garage sales and even "kicked to the curb". You can paint the frames or leave them as is. I have made several pieces of doily art and sold them, depending upon the size of the frame, for $20.00 to $50.00.

Junking is exciting because you never know what you are going to find and what you will turn that find into. 

Whether you want a few extra bucks or cash coming in on a regular basis, junking is just the thing to put money into your pocket. 

Kimberly Johns, Debt Management Plan Customer with Leading Provider of Debt Relief, CareOne Services, Inc. Kimberly Johns

Kimberly is enrolled on the CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Kimberly is very active in the Community Forums, some of you may recognize her Community user name; Tiquie. Recently retired, Kim shares how she and her husband manage the financial challenges of living on a fixed income in their home state of Illinois. The John's have found some really creative and fun ways to offset the limitations of a retirement income. Kimberly generously shares smart and tested tips in her A Straight Talk on Debt blog! Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.


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    Wouldn't it be easier to find a part time job instead of scrambling around trying to make an extra dollar?

  • Hi Tom - In answer to your question, I enjoy finding creative, fun ways to  add to my retirement income.  A part-time job does not interest me because even a part-time job limits your income.  What I am doing has no limit.

  • Great Idea!  I think I'll try this out and attempt to sell on my local yardsale website.  Thanks for the info.

  • Good Luck to you Orlando!

  • Got some interesting ideas, thanks!

  • Moniqo, if you decide to give junking a try, let your imagination guide you.  You will be surprised at the ideas you come up with to repurpose items and make money.


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