preparing for a garage sale

yard sale

Ever since I can remember, my family has held at least two huge garage sales each year. Growing up, I was surrounded by four aunts and a mom who were amazing at cleaning and minimizing. Trinkets that once held sentimental value were quickly ushered out the door with a price tag. Through the years, I learned a lot about purging and selling.

Not to mention, we have many “customers” who return year after year looking forward to our garage sales. To me, that says we are doing something right!

Preparing for a garage sale:

  1. Find out if there are any ordinances or regulations where you live concerning hosting a garage sale. Some cities and counties require that you have a posted permit on the premises and others limit the number of sales you may have per year. The town that I live in even has certain times of the day the sale must be between.
  2. Choose a date with a good weather forecast — mild weather is always preferred — and no large out of town events going on. Also, try to avoid holiday weekends.
  3. Make signs that are bold, bright, and easy to read! Additionally, make sure all of the necessary information is on the sign: address, dates, and times.
  4. Advertise, advertise, advertise. Posting online about the garage sale can really expand the number of customers who show up. Try sharing on Craigslist, Facebook, Offer Up, and in the local paper. Doing so ensures that as many people as possible are aware of your garage sale.
  5. Price items in advance. Plus, be realistic about the prices you ask and be willing to haggle. Most people who go to garage sales do so for a good deal.
  6. Keep plenty of change in your cash box. In fact, visiting your local bank or credit union to get a surplus of coins, ones, and fives is a great idea!
  7. Allow yourself plenty of time to set up. Not to mention, be prepared for people to show up as you are in the middle of setting up. Try to keep like items together and even think about having signs stating the types of items that are on the tables.
  8. Put all of those plastic bags accumulating in your home to use! Offer bags to customers to make it easier for them to carry their items to their car.
  9. Expect people to show up late. Admittedly, it is frustrating when you are trying to close down. However, if they purchase something that is one less thing to put away later!
  10. Most of all, have fun.

What are tips you would share for preparing for a garage sale? 

learning how to budget

how to budget

starting simple.

When I first began budgeting I started as simple as possible. I did not want to become overwhelmed or wind up confusing myself. So, to start off, I made two columns. One column had my expenses while the other had my income. I began gathering my bills and writing down what they were. Expenses include anything you must pay for each month and income includes anything you earn each month. See the examples below of how to budget for expenses and income.

expenses:

  • Mortgage or rent.
  • Car payments.
  • Insurance (car, dental, health, home, renters, and vision).
  • Utilities (electricity, garbage, gas, sewer, and water).
  • Cable and internet.
  • Cellphone.
  • Credit card payments.
  • Student loans.
  • Entertainment (Netflix, Hulu, etc).

how to budget:

Once I listed all of my expenses and sources of income, I started filling in approximate costs. Some expenses are the same each month. For example, car and mortgage or rent payments. Other expenses will fluctuate throughout the year such as the electricity or water bill. For the fluctuating bills, choose the higher costs so that you are over-prepared.

After you have each column filled out to the best of your knowledge, subtract the expenses from the income. This is where you hope that your result is a positive number! If it isn’t, you need to rethink your expenses. This number will signify excess money that you can put towards things such as gas, groceries, and savings. Or you can use this money to get your hair done or treat yourself to something. It is absolutely up to you! However, I will suggest you put as much as possible in a savings account.

emergency funds:

An emergency fund is exactly what it sounds like: a fund for emergencies. This savings account should have a minimum of three months’ worth of expenses saved up. If something were to happen (you are unable to work or lose your job), you need to be prepared. Please remember, an emergency fund is separate than your regular savings account.

what is your favorite “how to budget” suggestion?

Don’t forget to check out my post about becoming frugal!