Attending a conference is expensive—no doubt about it. Every year, many people longingly look at information about the conference they would love to go to, then look at the cost, shake their head, and think, “If only I could afford it…”
But what if you can afford it? What if you’re sitting on the money that will pay your way and you don’t even know it?
What am I talking about? Every house is cluttered with “stuff” no longer being used. It sits in our closets and takes up space on our shelves, counters, and cabinets. Yes, it will take a little bit of work to translate the physical assets into cash, but maybe not as much as you think.
Here are some ways you may be sitting on money. Some of these ideas could be worth up up to $100 or more over several month. All money you can use to go to the conference of your dreams.
1) Books (especially textbooks) – Pull books off your shelves that you know you’ll never read again. Selling on Amazon and Half.com is easy, even if you’re only a little tech savvy. Enter the ISBN no. (above the bar code or on the back of the title page) into the search bar at either site to check the value.
2) Toys – If your children are older but you’ve saved some of their toys, some of them might be collectible now. To check what they’re worth, type in the item at the top of E-bay, as usual, but before you click “Search,” scroll down and look at the left-hand column. Click on “Sold Listings” under “Show Only.” The prices that show up in green indicate the prices of the items that sold.
3) Strange Stuff to Sell on E-bay – You wouldn’t believe some of the things people will buy on E-bay! Here’s just a few: paper towel and toilet paper tubes (to use for craft projects); old cords and TV remotes (people lose theirs and need a replacement), empty boxes for high-end items like iPhones and American Girl dolls; acorns and large pinecones (crafters again!); instruction manuals for vintage items (these instructions aren’t on-line); old overalls (sell well in Oct. for scarecrow costumes); broken electronics (people use them for parts)
4) Yard Sale – It’s a lot of work, but it’s a tried-and-true way to make some extra money from things sitting around the house. This works especially well if you have some larger items to sell, like furniture. People are also more likely to pick up knick-knack little items that won’t sell on-line at a yard sale.
It will take longer accumulate savings with these ideas, but every little bit moves you closer to your goal of attending a conference.
1) Coupons – Another tried-and-true method is to use coupons. The money you save can be set aside for your “Conference Fund.”
2) Cut back – If you usually buy a soda every day at work, buy one every other day. If you go out to each once a week, cut back to twice a month
3) Recycle aluminum cans yourself – Why give more money to the government when you could turn the cans in yourself and get the money? Look for the closest recycling center to you. Even if you have to drive a half hour to get to one, it’s worth the trip every 2 or 3 months to get .50/lb (price varies)
WORK FOR IT:
1) Dog sitting – Dog sitting pays well because the alternative—putting your pets in kennel—is pricey anymore. It’s not unusual to get $200 or more to take care of a couple of dogs for a week. Do that a few times and you’ll be well on your way to having enough money set aside for attending a conference!
2) ShopKick – Use this app to scan in UPC codes at places you shop regularly. As long as you have to go out shopping anyway, why not take a few extra minutes to pick up some ShopKick points that you can exchange for gift cards once you reach their (very reasonable) thresholds? The awards are small, but every little bit gets you closer to your goal.
3) Trade Babysitting – Instead of hiring a babysitter, make arrangements to trade babysitting with friends or family you trust. If you go out very often, this could quickly increase your conference fund.
Now start dreaming! What conference have you been wanting to go to? Look over the lists above again and start planning now. Next year, you’ll be wearing a smile when it’s time to register instead of a frown
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