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April 2017 Savings Update

In March I saved $1,000 towards our wedding. I realized that I’m actually attempting to cashflow TWO things – one is a wedding and the other is a trip to and from Nashville, where I’ll be spending the summer.

April savings update // stephanieorefice.net

April Savings Goals
Starting: $1,250
Goal: $750
Actual save: $850 (113% of my monthly goal completed)
Total Saved since March: $2,150.04 (43% of my overall goal completed) (that .04 is massive amounts of interest being paid by my bank)

May is going to be hard. I’m only working two weeks in May… AND I need to spend some money at the dentist, and I need to make my car payment, and I need to travel to Nashville. As much as this sucks, I may need to pause my savings for the month in order to fund those things. I’m going to use the extra I paid this month to offset my goal for next month. Instead of a goal of $750 for May, I’m going to work. my. butt. off. to save $600 in addition to the aforementioned expenses.

Wish me luck… I literally have no idea how I’m going to do all of this!…any suggestions?!

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The Poshmark Series: Poshmark vs. other options

Welcome to the second installment of The Poshmark Series, where I’m walking y’all through how to make some moolah on Poshmark. You can read the intro post here, or you can keep scrolling to find out why I recommend Poshmark over other reselling options.

Check out my closet here, and sign up for Poshmark here with my code BWCTE for $5 credit towards your first purchase! 

How Poshmark compares to other selling platforms

Poshmark VS. ThredUp

ThredUp is an online consignment store. They send you a big bag, you shove it full of high-quality name brand items and send it in. Prior to them sorting the bag you can pay a fee to have anything they won’t accept returned to you, or you could forgo that expense and they’ll discard the unaccepted clothing. They take the shipping charge off of what your bag is worth and then they give you a ThredUp balance of that amount. After two weeks or so you can redeem it for a visa gift card sent via the mail. The waiting period is probably in hopes that you’ll choose instead to spend it on their site.

ThredUp is better than Poshmark if you have piles of clothing you’re on the verge of donating and making $0. If you have a bunch of clothes you want out of your house ASAP, then ThredUp is the best option for you. You can join with my link and receive off your first purchase.

Poshmark is better than ThredUp if you are wanting to have control of the money you make and you have the time/space to dedicate to clothes you’re waiting to sell. Your items may not sell immediately, but you get to choose the price and you get to control how low you’re willing to sell them.

Here’s why I choose Poshmark over ThredUp: I once found a pair of Athleta leggings at the bins. I only paid 75 cents or so for them. They weren’t in my size, but I thought they were a pretty good find. This was pre-Poshmark for me, so I sent them to ThredUp expecting to make some good money off of it. They gave me $4ish dollars for the leggings, and within 24 hours they had sold them for $54. No. Thank. You.

Poshmark VS. eBay

I have been selling my old Victoria’s Secret PINK sweatpants on eBay since… well, forever. Most of my sweats came from various thrift stores, so I tend to acquire overflowing drawers full, then I’ll sell a bunch and then re-fill the drawers. Most people know how eBay works, but here’s an overview just in case. You can list your item to sell or auction and it’s seen by a lot of people. Buyers can bid and outbid and they have a bit of a choice over how much they’re willing to pay. You, of course, can set the starting bid or buy it now price.

Where ThredUp is the middleman between buyers and sellers, eBay is less so. You are in charge of determining shipping costs and deciding which shipping method to use and invoicing the buyer, unless you have a set shipping fee.

eBay is better than Poshmark if you want to sell a variety of items. Poshmark is strictly clothing, shoes, accessories & NWT makeup items. If you have lotions, trinkets, etc. eBay is your way to go. It also is more widely known, so your potential audience is much greater.

Poshmark is better than eBay if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of shipping. I’ll talk about this more in a later post, but they charge a flat shipping rate of $6.95 for 2-3 day delivery up to 5 lbs. The buyer automatically pays the shipping cost and your only hassle is making sure you have the correct packaging.

Here’s why I choose Poshmark over eBay: There was a pair of NWT Old Navy jeans that had been sitting in my Poshmark closet, unsold. I’d picked them up at the Bins and I decided I just wanted them gone. Shipping is confusing, and even though I’d weighed the jeans beforehand when I went to buy the postage, I ended up paying almost exactly what the buyer had sent me to cover the whole transaction – meaning I sent away a brand new pair of jeans and made less than a dollar on them. I’m sure there’s a learning curve, but I’m not down to lose a bunch of money while I figure it out.

Poshmark vs Vinted, Mercari, other clothes reselling sites/apps

Vinted is similar to Poshmark, but online. They have forums and encourage a lot of user engagement. There’s just not a huge buyer audience there. There’s a reason you won’t find a J. Crew store in a little Main Street shop in the middle of nowhere. If you’re selling a product you want people to buy, you should probably sell it where the buyers are. This is why so many big name stores have been closing lately. The buyers are not walking through their doors, the buyers are shopping online.

As for the other reselling sites and apps, I just don’t have time to manage that. Cross posting, making sure the inventories are accurate.. I just have not the time. Instead of spreading my energy thin by learning a zillion different selling tools, I’ve chosen to focus on ONE: Poshmark. If you want to learn more, here is a post about selling on Mercari and here is one about selling on Vinted.

So now that I’ve shared with you why I choose to use Poshmark over other platforms, join me next Friday for the next installment in The Poshmark Series, which is going to be all about getting started – the lingo and the basics! As always, hit me up with any questions you may have because the last post in the series is going to be full of YOUR questions!

 

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The Poshmark Series: How to make money with Poshmark

How to start selling clothes on Poshmark // stephanieorefice.net

A few months ago I was scrolling through the #debtfree hashtag on Instagram and I stumbled upon a few people who were paying off their debt by selling/re-selling clothes through Poshmark. I remembered downloading Poshmark years ago but being so confused by it that I immediately deleted the app.

I decided to give it another shot and one day before work in the middle of February, I uploaded 5 or 6 items to my Poshmark closet and got to work following people in hopes of gaining a following, even though I had no idea what that meant or how it would help.

It’s been a crazy, exhausting two months since then and this is how well it’s gone for me so far:

 

I keep encouraging my friends to start selling their stuff on Poshmark, and I’ve been getting so many questions that I realized it’s worth it to share on my blog, because I want to see people succeed.

This is going to be broken down into a zillion few blog posts. Here’s the list; you’ll notice the last blog post is for questions – please hit me up with your questions throughout this series, and I’ll answer them in the last blog post!

If you don’t have Poshmark, here’s a quick overview. It’s an app (and site, but functions primarily as an app) where you can post and sell clothes OR you can shop and buy clothes. It’s easy peasy lemon squeezy kanye yeezy. I added that last part in. You can download the app here and use the code BWCTE and you’ll get $5 to spend (and so will I!). You can shop my closet here:

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March 2017 Savings Update

Nearly two years ago, I began a debt repayment journey. I was $23,983 in debt and desperate to get out of the town I live in. I began the start-stop-pause-rest-run-sleep-repeat journey of getting out of debt. Last month I finally paid off my 16.82% interest credit card (PRAISE HANDS EMOJI!!!). I still owe a gross amount on my car, but I announced in my last debt repayment recap that I was going to pause the debt repayments and start saving money – for my upcoming summer in Nashville and something that was on the horizon. A wedding. Nailed it.

Until Justen and I get married, my monthly financial check-ins are going to be Savings Updates.

March Savings update // stephanieorefice.net

For March, I decided I wanted to save $1,000. Here’s how I did:

March
Starting: $0
Goal: $1,000
Saved: $1,250
Total Saved: $1,250
125% of my monthly goal completed / 25% of my overall goal completed

From here on out, I want to save $750/month so that by September 1, I have $5,000 to be used for our wedding. I’ll use the format I used above to show where I started, what my goal was, how much I saved, the running total, and the % of my goal(s) completed. I freaking love those percentages, you guys.

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February 2017 Debt Repayment Recap

I’ve been waiting for this day for awhile.
Let’s just start and then we can talk, okay?

January 30, 2017
Car: $16,894.50
Credit Card: $699.16
Total: $17,593.66

February 28, 2017
Car Loan: $16,702 (-1.13%)
Credit Card: $0000.00000000000 (-100%)
Total: $16,702 (-5.06%)

ZERO DOLLARS AND ZERO CENTS OWED ON MY CREDIT CARD. Praise hands emoji times infinity.

I’ve had this idea in my head that once I paid off my credit card, I was going to quit one of my part time jobs so I could have more space to focus on some creative ventures like this blog and helping others with social media stuff and this new world of re-selling clothing I’ve discovered and made a few hundred dollars from so far. So I did that. I quit one of my part time jobs.

I’m still a few-days-a-week nanny, but here’s what I’ve been realizing:

When I work for someone else, my earning potential is limited. It doesn’t matter how hard I work, I get paid the same amount of dollars per hour until/unless we discuss a raise. If I work for myself, I step into a limitless earning potential. The sky is the limit, and I have flexibility, which is something I love. It’s almost like all of the small little decisions of my life had led me to this place that I’m so excited about.

Instead of aggressively paying off my car, I’m pausing the debt snowball for two reasons. First, I’m going to be driving to and spending the summer in Nashville, watching Lucy and Layla. Best summer ever, and this is the first time I’m saying anything about it publicly. So you’re the first to know 😉 . I want to have money saved up for the trip there and back so I don’t have the temptation of putting it back on my credit card. Second, I’ve made a goal of saving up $5,000 for something that’s on the horizon. I’m in a cash flow right now.

I’m switching my Debt Repayment to a Savings Update for right now, and then after the summer and the $5,000 savings goal, we’ll get back to the Debt Repayment to pay off my car ASAP. Jamie from Earnest.com sent me my personalized 2017 Financial Goal infographic. I told him my goals and areas I needed help budgeting/spending less, and he created this for me! I love that it’s broken down into small, realistic goals. I’m all about that. Anyway. Thanks for being on this journey with me, everyone. <3

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An Introduction to Dave Ramsey

It amazes me how many people don’t know who Dave Ramsey is or what he’s really about. Maybe it’s because I’ve heard of him for awhile, but I thought he was kind of a no-brainer in terms of household name personalities.

Two years ago I started my  journey to get out of debt. I knew a few things about Dave Ramsey and his “methods,” but I wasn’t serious or committed to them. Then I discovered the Dave Ramsey Show podcast and started listening to it whenever I could. I’m definitely not a Dave Ramsey know-it-all, but I’ve gained a pretty good understanding of what he’s all about. Since realizing that not everyone knows about Uncle Dave (my new name for him), I figured I should share with you guys the information he’s handing out for free if you spend the hours listening to and reading his material.

an introduction to Dave Ramsey // stephanieorefice.net

Dave Ramsey was a millionaire once, but it all hung on borrowed money. When his accounts got shifted to a new creditor who took a harder look at his borrowing habits, they gave him 90 days to pay $1.2 million worth of short-term notes. He filed for bankruptcy. That’s when he began living what is now called the “Total Money Makeover.”

The Total Money Makeover is a 7-step process that harnesses the power of focus by giving you what they call Baby Steps. The idea is that most people have so many financial goals: they’re trying to pay off credit cards, cars, and student loans. They’re trying to save for big life events, they’re trying to buy a house and save for retirement. When you try to do 50 things at once, you do 50 things really poorly. Instead, the baby steps force you to focus ALL of your energy on tackling one baby step at a  time.

The 7 baby steps to financial freedom (aka The Total Money Makeover) are as follows:

  1. Have $1,000 in a small emergency fund
    Not more, not less. A survey released last fall said that out of 7000 Americans polled, 69% of them had less than $1,000 in savings. Do WHATEVER you can to get $1,000 fast. If you have more than $1,000 you’re going to drop that down (you’ll find out what to do with it in step 2). If you have less than $1,000 you need to work extra jobs, sell things, eat every can of food in your house before going to the grocery store. Get $1,000 FAST.
  2. Pay off all debt using the debt snowball
    List all of your debts based on balance from smallest to largest, with no concern of interest rates. You are going to pay the minimum payment on all of them except the one that’s on the top. Then you’re going to attack that one like it stole your puppy. Extra jobs, selling things, over time, a scaled-back lifestyle. Whatever you can to get extra money, you throw it at the smallest one. Once that one is paid off you take the minimum balance on that one PLUS all of that extra money you’re earning and add that to the second smallest. Get the snowball idea? My friend Brittany wrote a post about it, so you can read more about it here.
  3. Fully funded emergency fund
    Having only $1,000 between you and disaster should scare you into destroying your debt. Once you’ve paid off debt, it’s time to start throwing all of that money into a real emergency fund that has 3-6 months expenses.
  4. Invest 15% of income into retirement
    Dave says to PAUSE all of your retirement investing prior to this step. Some people will say you can get rich on $20 here or there, but your greatest wealth building tool is your income and you need to free it up to build wealth before you really can. Having $120,000 in retirement funds that you can’t touch without penalties does you no good when someone loses their job and it takes 2 months to find a new one. Your emergency fund is what will save you, not a huge nest egg.
  5. College funds for kids
    4, 5 and 6 happen all at once because your income is yours, remember? You’re not sending someone else your money to take care of things you did before you could afford it. Start setting up college funds for your children.
  6. Pay off the home early
    Most people who commit to the Total Money Makeover pay off their house in SEVEN YEARS. We live in a society where debt is SO NORMAL and SO ACCEPTED that nobody even thinks of a mortgage as debt, but imagine if you have LITERALLY NO PAYMENTS. You don’t owe ANYTHING to ANYONE. That is the beginning of wealth, which is step 7.
  7. Become outrageously wealthy and generous
    The tagline of this whole thing is “live like no one else now so that later you can live – and give – like no one else.” The idea of the Total Money Makeover isn’t so you can sit and pat yourself on the back with how much money you have. When you have wealth, you are set up to give in ways that are unfathomable. You make sure your money is divided into three categories: enjoy, save and give. There’s really nothing else to do with money at this point. You’ve changed your family tree and can be a huge blessing to other people.

This is the foundation of all of Dave’s advice he gives on The Dave Ramsey Show and it’s a quick glance at what he writes in depth about in The Total Money Makeover. If you’re interested in the idea but think it might be a boring read, check out his daughter Rachel Cruze’s book Love Your Life, Not Theirs, which is a different spin on the Total Money Makeover.

PHEW! If you’ve made it to the end, I congratulate you! AND I want to know what your story is! Where are you at with your finances? I’m no Dave Ramsey, but do you have any questions?

ps never forget:

Me and Dave Ramsey // stephanieorefice.net

 


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