Turn Your Trash into Cash

This post Turn Your Trash into Cash appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

Dear Rich Lifer,

eBay is an interesting place. If you’ve ever been working on a project and needed some odds and ends, the chance of you finding someone selling what you’re looking for on eBay is pretty good.

I’ve bought all kinds of things from eBay over the years and it’s saved me a ton of money. From used tools to furniture, vinyl records to gift cards, you name it.

Even downright weird things, like empty egg cartons for DIY soundproofing, I’ve been lucky enough to find sellers.

What this means is that you could also be selling these things too. For example, what do you do with used toilet paper rolls? If you’re like most people, you throw them away.

But, you could collect them and resell the rolls on eBay for a few bucks. There’s a surprising number of weird things people will buy online.

So before you declutter your house this holiday season, check online to see if someone might be interested in buying what you’re throwing away.

Here’s a list of 10 things you probably didn’t know you could sell on eBay for decent money:

Toilet Paper Rolls

Yes, the cardboard rolls that your kids refused to change can be sold for a few bucks on eBay. As long as the rolls are clean and not crushed, you can usually get anywhere from 10-50 cents for each one. Crafters and other hobbyists will buy them in large quantities for projects.

Paper towel rolls sell well too. Just make sure when you ship them, you use a box to avoid crushing them. The great thing about selling cardboard rolls is they’re super lightweight so shipping is typically cheap.

Wine Bottles and Corks

Do you drink wine? Is that even a question?

What do you do with the leftover corks? If you’re like most people, you probably recycle the bottles and toss the corks.

But there are people looking for both wine bottles and corks. The going rate seems to be anywhere from $20-30 for two hundred corks. Wine bottles sell for about $1 each but you usually have to clean the labels off and sort them (blue, green, etc.).

Egg Cartons

Like I said earlier, I’ve bought egg cartons on eBay for a DIY soundproofing project, and I was amazed at how many sellers there were.

It doesn’t matter whether you have cardboard, plastic or styrofoam cartons, people are buying them all on eBay. Crafters and backyard chicken enthusiasts seem to be driving this market.

Instead of throwing away your egg cartons why not sell them to someone who will use them and make a little extra cash! Most cartons are selling between $10-49.

Remote Controls

Next time your TV breaks, or if you bought a new one over Black Friday, look online to see if someone’s interested in buying your old remote. For every broken TV, there’s usually a perfectly good remote someone else needs.

It helps if you know the model of the TV that the remote goes with. And make sure you specify the condition and whether you’re including batteries or not. Also, you’re not limited to TV remotes.

People are looking for remotes for all sorts of electronics. Stereo systems, projectors, air conditioners…whatever you have in your junk drawer, someone might be willing to buy.

Box Tops for Education

If you have kids or grandkids, there’s a good chance their schools run competitions for collecting the most box tops.

Instead of throwing them out, stop. You might be able to earn some cash with a few seconds of work. Parents are looking for cheap ways to get these codes and would rather pay a few bucks for a bag of trimmed BTFEs than collect them individually. You’ll get anywhere from $4-25.

Coupons

If you’re not into couponing that’s okay. But there are a lot of people who are and would be willing to pay you for your coupons that you get in the mail.

Depending on the discount and store, buyers will pay $2-10 for 10%, 15% and 25% off coupons. A great example is Pottery Barn – those coupons can go for a few bucks because of how much the savings could net you.

Next time you get a pack of coupons in the mail, take a look at eBay and see if anyone’s buying.

Old Software/ Installation CDs

I bet you’re surprised that someone would pay you for an old copy of Windows or Microsoft Office, right? Well, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

Some people are still using old computers to handle simple jobs, or they’re collecting software to display in their office. In any case, if you have a junk drawer filled with installation CDs and old software packages, you might be able to offload them on eBay.

Empty Makeup Containers

Vintage containers are a big seller online. But you can make some money off newer containers too. M.A.C. a cosmetics brand offers a Back to M.A.C. program that lets you exchange six empty makeup containers for a free lipstick.

If your daughter or wife likes M.A.C. makeup but not a fan of the lipstick, why not sell the containers for cash to someone who will participate in the program.

Huge Pinecones

Crafters love these. If you’ve ever visited a place where there’s massive pine cones, grab a few to take home with you.

There’s a ton of people buying “big” pine cones on eBay for arts and crafts. Big is usually close to the size of a can of soda but anything bigger than average will do. Some of the giant ones, the size of wine or champagne bottles, sell for $10!

Anything Discontinued

This last one seems obvious but I’m not talking about just anything vintage. There’s a ton of random things you can sell that are worth a lot of money that you never would have guessed.

For instance, remember Lehman Brothers? A Lehman Brother’s mousepad can net you $10. The Lehman Brothers 2007 annual report sold for $99!

If an iconic company goes bankrupt, there’s usually some money to be made with the junk that’s left behind. Surprisingly, people want to own this “historic memorabilia.”

These are just a few of the weird things you can make some money off selling on eBay. There’s no doubt a lot more. Next time you’re doing a purge, see if you can make a few bucks by selling your old junk online.

To a richer life,

Nilus Mattive

Nilus Mattive

The post Turn Your Trash into Cash appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

Is Your Wallet Dragging You Down?

This post Is Your Wallet Dragging You Down? appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

In mid-2000, one of the most successful advertising campaigns running was Capital One’s “What’s In Your Wallet?”

Remember the commercials?

The first year the ads ran, Capital One total US accounts went from 29MM to over 40MM, and card consideration among consumers tripled!

This was the first time ever Capital One executed a sustained advertising campaign and they knocked it out of the park.

But if they were to launch the same campaign today, the ads might be a little different…

Instead of “What’s In Your Wallet?” they might be better off saying “What’s In Your Phone?”

We’re at a point now where you can safely leave your credit cards at home and pay for almost everything with your mobile device in store.

If you own a smartphone and have the right apps downloaded, you no longer need to carry around most of the things in your wallet.

Not convinced?

Another reason you should consider emptying your wallet is for your health. Up to 85% of Americans suffer from back pain at some point in their life. For many men, a common cause is sitting on your wallet.

If you’re ready to thin out your wallet, here’s what can go first.

  1. Credit Cards

There are several stores and restaurants that accept mobile payments instead of cash or credit cards.

All you have to do is download the mobile app and link one or more of your credit card accounts. You pay by tapping, this transmits a payment code via near-field communication (NFC) technology to the retail terminal.

The security measures are similar to using a chip card. Mobile wallets you can trust:

Apple Pay
Google Pay

Samsung Pay

  1. Checks

When was the last time you wrote a check?

There are easier and less cumbersome ways of transferring money to people now. Most mobile banking apps allow you to send money from your bank account to anyone simply by using their email address or username.

Using a money transfer app means no more carrying around checks in your wallet. These are some popular money transfer apps:

Venmo
Cash App
Dwolla
PayPal
Google Pay
Facebook Messenger

  1. Coupons

Unless you actually like cutting coupons, there’s an easier way to take advantage of all the savings.

Couponing apps and other cash back apps can replace all your paper coupons, freeing up a lot of wallet space.

Here a few coupon apps you should have on your phone:

Coupons.com
Ebates
Flipp
Ibotta
Checkout 51
Krazy Coupon Lady
RetailMeNot

  1. Loyalty Cards

Almost every store you go to now has its own customer loyalty card with perks and discounts. Carrying all these cards is not only annoying and bulky but unnecessary.

Since most stores can look up your store loyalty account using your phone number, you really don’t need to carry the card around in your wallet.

But if you really want a way to store your loyalty cards that’s convenient so the cashier doesn’t have to look up your account every time, try one of these apps:

Stocard
Key Ring

  1. Contact Info

Another culprit of wallet bulk is business cards and small pieces of paper with important information written down — addresses, phone numbers, travel rewards program account numbers, etc.

You don’t need to carry stuff like this around and risk losing it or having it stolen.

You can store all this kind of information with access to it any time through a few digital apps:

Google Keep
Sec Notes
ABBYY Business Card Reader

  1. Insurance Cards

Car insurance, health, dental, and vision policy cards can all be stored on your smartphone. The best way to capture these cards is to take photos of each one, front and back.

You can organize these cards in a folder on your phone for easy lookup. And if you’re worried you won’t be able to read the numbers on the cards, don’t forget you can zoom in on the photos easily.

  1. Photos

Speaking of pictures, wallet-sized photos of your family are great but you’re limited to how many can fit comfortably in your wallet.

New phones have enough storage now to keep thousands of photos on hand. Don’t settle for only a few photos when you can store whole albums in your pocket.

Good cloud storage apps for photos are:

Google Photos
Prime Photos

  1. Receipts

If you travel a lot for business, you might find yourself storing paper receipts in your wallet to keep track of all your expenses.

Not only is this annoying to have to store a bunch of receipts in your wallet, the paper and ink typically rubs off making reading the receipts near impossible.

A better solution is to download a receipt organizer app. Here are few to check out:

Expensify
Shoeboxed

These are just a few things you can store on your smartphone to free up space in your wallet, saving you the hassle and back pain.

To a richer life,

Nilus Mattive

Nilus Mattive

The post Is Your Wallet Dragging You Down? appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

8 Ways to Spring Clean Your Wallet

This post 8 Ways to Spring Clean Your Wallet appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

In mid-2000, one of the most successful advertising campaigns running was Capital One’s “What’s In Your Wallet?”

Remember the commercials?

The first year the ads ran, Captial One total US accounts went from 29MM to over 40MM and card consideration among consumers tripled! 

This was the first time ever Capital One executed a sustained advertising campaign and they knocked it out of the park.

But if they were to launch the same campaign today, the ads might be a little different…

Instead of “What’s In Your Wallet?” they might be better off saying “What’s In Your Phone?”

We’re at a point now where you can safely leave your credit cards at home and pay for almost everything with your mobile device in store.

If you own a smartphone and have the right apps downloaded, you no longer need to carry around most of the things in your wallet.

Not convinced?

Another reason you should consider emptying your wallet is for your health. Up to 85% of Americans suffer from back pain at some point in their life. For many men, a common cause is sitting on your wallet.

If you’re ready to thin out your wallet, here’s what can go first.

1. Credit Cards

There are several stores and restaurants that accept mobile payments instead of cash or credit cards.

All you have to do is download the mobile app and link one or more of your credit card accounts. You pay by tapping, this transmits a payment code via near-field communication (NFC) technology to the retail terminal.

The security measures are similar to using a chip card. Mobile wallets you can trust:

Apple Pay

Google Pay

Samsung Pay

2. Checks

When was the last time you wrote a check?

There are easier and less cumbersome ways of transferring money to people now. Most mobile banking apps allow you to send money from your bank account to anyone simply by using their email address or username.

Using a money transfer app means no more carrying around checks in your wallet. These are some popular money transfer apps:

Venmo

Cash App

Dwolla

PayPal

Google Pay

Facebook Messenger

3. Coupons

Unless you actually like cutting coupons, there’s an easier way to take advantage of all the savings.

Couponing apps and other cash back apps can replace all your paper coupons, freeing up a lot of wallet space.

Here a few coupon apps you should have on your phone:

Coupons.com

Ebates

Flipp

Ibotta

Checkout 51

Krazy Coupon Lady

RetailMeNot

4. Loyalty Cards

Almost every store you go to now has its own customer loyalty card with perks and discounts. Carrying all these cards is not only annoying and bulky but unnecessary.

Since most stores can look up your store loyalty account using your phone number, you really don’t need to carry the card around in your wallet.

But if you really want a way to store your loyalty cards that’s convenient so the cashier doesn’t have to look up your account every time, try one of these apps:

Stocard

Key Ring

5. Contact Info

Another culprit of wallet bulk is business cards and small pieces of paper with important information written down — addresses, phone numbers, travel rewards program account numbers, etc.

You don’t need to carry stuff like this around and risk losing it or having it stolen.

You can store all this kind of information with access to it any time through a few digital apps:

Google Keep

Sec Notes

ABBYY Business Card Reader

6. Insurance Cards

Car insurance, health, dental, and vision policy cards can all be stored on your smartphone. The best way to capture these cards is to take photos of each one, front and back.

You can organize these cards in a folder on your phone for easy lookup. And if you’re worried you won’t be able to read the numbers on the cards, don’t forget you can zoom in on the photos easily. 

7. Photos

Speaking of pictures, wallet-sized photos of your family are great but you’re limited to how many can fit comfortably in your wallet.

New phones have enough storage now to keep thousands of photos on hand. Don’t settle for only a few photos when you can store whole albums in your pocket.

Good cloud storage apps for photos are:

Google Photos

Prime Photos

8. Receipts

If you travel a lot for business, you might find yourself storing paper receipts in your wallet to keep track of all your expenses.

Not only is this annoying to have to store a bunch of receipts in your wallet, the paper and ink typically rubs off making reading the receipts near impossible.

A better solution is to download a receipt organizer app. Here are few to check out:

Expensify

Shoeboxed

These are just a few things you can store on your smartphone to free up space in your wallet, saving you the hassle and back pain.

To a richer life,

Nilus Mattive

— Nilus Mattive
Editor, The Rich Life Roadmap

The post 8 Ways to Spring Clean Your Wallet appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

7 Easy Ways to Save WITHOUT Coupons

This post 7 Easy Ways to Save WITHOUT Coupons appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

Next to housing and transportation, food is one of the biggest household expenses in the U.S. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2016 Consumer Expenditure Survey, the average household spends $7,203 annually on food. The survey breaks this number down even further to include food at home, $4,049, and food away from home, $3,154. 

Notice the numbers are relatively close, despite the fact most people tend to eat at home most of the time. If you want an easy way to save money every month, eat out less! This means buying more groceries. 

The good news is there are some simple ways you can save on groceries that don’t require extreme couponing. Here are 7 ways to save on your next grocery trip without clipping any coupons: 

Choose the Right Store

Unless you live somewhere with very limited options, you likely can choose where you buy your groceries. Figure out which stores offer up the best bang for your buck. 

This might take some trial and error but you should quickly be able to tell which store or stores offer the best deals on certain items. Set aside time once to do this price comparison, and your efforts will pay off at the checkout over and over again. 

Know the Sales Cycles

Once you choose your store or stores, learn the sales cycles. Most supermarkets place items on sale every 12 weeks or so. When you’re shopping and see a really good deal, try to stock up for at least 3 months worth of supply. 

This way you will be finishing your supply come the next sale cycle. Some stores also offer deals on certain days. Mark those days in your calendar or set reminders on your phone so you know when it’s a good time to shop. 

Circle Expensive Items on Your Receipts

The next time you go to the supermarket, hang on to your receipt and circle the most expensive items. Then, consider lower-cost alternatives for those items on future shopping trips.

Take red meat, for instance.

 The average price per pound for sirloin steak is $8.52, according to recent figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Spend less than half of that amount on your protein purchase by going with boneless chicken breasts instead ($3.21 per pound).

Another expensive category is organics. If you prefer buying organic produce, opt for cheaper alternative brands versus brand names. 

Whole Foods’ 365 brand or Walmart’s Great Value brand are significantly less than premium organic brands. Also learn what the dirty dozen and clean fifteen are by searching them online.

Skip Meat Altogether (Sometimes)

I’m not saying you have to become vegetarian. But going meatless once or twice a week has its benefits. First, you’ll save money in the long run. 

Second, you’re not just subtracting from your diet, you’re adding whole grains, lentils, beans, and more vegetables, which all provide health benefits. You’d be surprised how good meatless meals can be if you learn some tasty recipes.

Check Unit Prices

What’s the better buy, the smaller package or the larger one? An easy way to check is to compare the unit prices displayed by most grocery stores, either on a shelf sticker or on the product packaging. 

Unit prices break down the cost by a specific measurement. Meats and seafood are typically by the pound. Liquids are measured in ounces, quarts or gallons. And for non-food items, like say a package of diapers, the unit price is per diaper. 

But, unit prices aren’t uniform — and they’re only mandatory in a few states — so pay close attention to the actual “unit” being measured in the price. As a general rule of thumb, the larger the quantity, the less you pay per unit. But always double check.

Buy Seasonal, Including Frozen 

Fruits and vegetables taste better when they’re in season. So buy fresh seasonal produce when you can. But when produce isn’t in season, it can get expensive. That’s when you look at frozen fruits and vegetables instead.

The good thing about frozen produce is it’s usually harvested at peak ripeness, so you’re getting maximum nutrients. It can also be way cheaper than fresh produce, up to 75% sometimes . So if you have a large family, you can feed them on frozen fruits and veggies for a fraction of the cost. 

Have A Menu Plan

Never go to the grocery store without a plan. You should know what items you’re buying and in what quantities before you walk through the doors. 

Reducing food waste is one of the best ways to save money on food each month. To ensure you don’t waste, write out a menu plan for the week. Do this on Sunday or any day before you go to the supermarket. 

It doesn’t have to be more complicated than this:

Monday – Mexican food (tacos, burrito bowls, enchiladas)

Tuesday – Meatless meal (spaghetti, lentil sloppy joes, etc)

Wednesday – Crockpot meal

Thursday – Leftovers

Friday – Pizza night

Saturday – Surf or turf (steak, salmon, veggies, potatoes, etc)

Sunday – Leftovers

Themes are an easy way to keep things organized but allow room for creativity in your menu. Write out your own menu plan for the week and shop based on the themes.

To a richer life,

Nilus Mattive

— Nilus Mattive
Editor, The Rich Life Roadmap

The post 7 Easy Ways to Save WITHOUT Coupons appeared first on Daily Reckoning.