Ever wondered how the rich not only get there-but stay there?
At one point in 2019 I began working as a personal assistant for a multi millionaire with a Ferrari and photos standing next to Donald Trump. I am not going to delve into the details with this one, but there is one important factor that you must know. He shopped at the 99 cent store. Yup, you heard that right.
One of the most important questions I receive as a self-employed woman, is how do you afford all of your expenses without a steady income?
The answer to this is quite simple, and something I have been lucky enough to observe through handfuls of different figures and firsthand experiences.
1. The first step to anything is keeping yourself incredibly organized. Use whiteboards, set alarms on your phone, a calendar, sticky notes, whatever you decide works for you.
2. Decide on a handful of different projects that you feel have good potential to create cashflow for yourself. Examples of "projects" include listing profitable items on OfferUp, flipping clothes, flipping cars, creating websites for people, etc.
3. Don't let discouragement stop you from trying! I have struggled with this for years, but once you stay on a schedule it becomes so much easier to track your own improvement and make adjustments according to what works!
So what DOES work?
Here lies the most difficult part about becoming self employed. The very beginning. Keep in mind that it is a big process, and it can take time to transition to full time self-employment. Lucky for you I have some tips on how to start.
It has been statistically proven that the resale industry is growing faster than retail itself. I personally got started in resale due to my interest in clothing. There are many categories you can specialize in, such as media, beauty products, toys, electronics, fashion, etc. Sourcing from places like Goodwill, Wholesale Websites, AliExpress, and even Craigslist allow you to have higher profit margins. An extra source that just crossed my mind this year is neighborhood dumpsters! Sounds trashy, I know, but it works!
Other than new or lightly used items sourced via online, finding items for free by searching "curb alerts" on CL and neighborhood ads is always another route to go. You will frequently find me picking up broken furniture or old mattresses that people have left for dumpster pickup. I swiftly clean and refurbish whatever I can, then put it back on CL or OfferUP and wait for my extra cash.
In terms of clothing, the most successful platforms I have seen and tried tus far are Mercari, Ebay, and Poshmark. My journey began on Poshmark. As of this day I still sell a few small items on there, but it is no longer my main focus. Poshmark is an excellent resource to get started on clothing OR accessory specific retail. It is both an online platform and a handy app that allows your listings to be in front of hundreds of thousands of users instantly. Much like Ebay, Poshmark also offers pre-paid shipping labels allowing for a smooth and simple shipping experience as a seller. There are hundreds of online forums on how to use the platform, and what brands sell best on it. Many items can be found in common thriftstores, and online in wholesale batches. Wholesale purchases can also be made directly from Poshmark once you achieve a particular seller status, but I do not recommend this as the profit margins are much lower out of convenience to the seller.
Here you can find the link to set up an account and start Poshing! Use code: UPSCALEALLIE for $10 off your first purchase, and don't forget to give me a follow, I would love to see your listings!
One last option I am eager to research in depth is Dropshipping. There are endless results if you simply Google the word. What it means, is that, as a seller, you are able to order products from their distributors and have them shipped directly to your customers. Your only responsibility in this case would be placing orders on time, and promoting your listings to sell. Hate shopping, packing, and shipping? Dropshipping might just be perfect for you!
2. Modern Tech
Our younger generations of course have a MAJOR advantage here. Much like Vocal Creator, something I consider ANOTHER one of my hustles, there are lots of phone applications and online sites that help connect hustlers alike.
Rover Inc, is one of these. I used Rover for over an entire year to connect with people that need a dog sitter, dog walker, or even cat sitter. You can select what services you would like to provide to your neighbors and their pets, and set your own rates. I used to host up to three dogs per night, and would charge my rate of say $40/dog. If you live alone or have a suitable home with roomates willing to comply, this is an excellent source of bonus income.
Care.com, a more well-known app/site connects sitters with families and neighbors that need it! The sitter app for IPhone specifically is called "Caregiver". You can find more jobs on Urbansitter, a similar platform for additional opportunities.
Freelancer.com is an excellent website for us writers and creators. Here you can find paid jobs for writing scripts. essays, website design, graphic design, etc. Get creative!
Lyft, Uber, Instacart, Postmates, and UberEats are evidently much more well known choices for "independent" style employment. One thing you may have known, however, is that there is even an app to help you get on wheels in order to work! HyreCar connects you to people in the area willing to rent out their vehicles when not in use. For as low as $20/day you can get into a vehicle and start saving for your own!
My final app suggestion to you is Handy. No, I mean it is literally called "Handy". This one is primarily for the young men, and highly active females out there! Handy provides people that are in need of furniture assembly, hole patching, painting, etc with active and capable folks that can do the job! Prices are negotiable, and you can see what you would earn before you commit. Grab your tool box, and go make that profile!
3. Finding a Niche
All in all, in order to actually make money from home you have to have an audience. I always try and take into consideration how the economy is behaving, what people are able and willing to purchase at the time, and what there is a high demand for. Take for example a few months ago, when the pandemic was causing a LOT of people to adjust to new "work from home" lifestyles. At this time I discovered that I could purchase HP printers for $10'each with no issues and sometimes even ink already them from my local Goodwill. Each one I sold within the day for $40/each on OfferUp.
Before the Pandemic began, I was also picking up used cars. This is a GREAT way to make fast, big cash if you live in or near a big city. There is typically a much higher chance that you will find a surplus of listings for high value cars at low prices when you live in a populated area. After Covid (if the day ever comes), this is an excellent city-specific niche. Good sources are Craigslist, OfferUp/LetGo, and local auto auctions. You do NOT need a Dealer's License for all auto auctions. I typically look for vehicles being listed at least two thousand dollars below Kelly Blue Book Value. Small issues such as sparkplugs, new head gaskets, alternator and battery issues are very common considering most people do not have the time and knowledge to attempt to fix them. Most all issues can be found with a demo on how to resolve them on Youtube and car forums. Investing $300 in a good ratchet set and OBD-II code reader is all you really need to begin flipping cars!
Once a person finds a small niche they are good at, they have opened a door for a potential pathway. Rover and OfferUp may not sound like a sustainable way of employment at first, but you will soon come to realize that you can make a business out of anything. Take for example, Rover. For a little over a year, I had been building my relations with clients and growing my presence on the platform. I gained over 20 great reviews, then created my own website and referred every single one of my clients there. I turned it into a small business, accessible for viewing at www.thepamperedpup.net and although I work a completely different job now, I still own and run the company myself. My clients reach out to me and I work them into my schedule or send someone in my place.
4. Coupons, Freebies, and Penny-Pinching
I am almost certain you have heard of a coupon before, but did you know there are more than one ways to use them?
My number one rule when it come to shopping, is to Google "(store name) coupons" before I even walk through the door. The majority of the time, you will find a small dollar amount discount or a small percentage discount. Some folks see it as a waste of time, but that 10% means the difference between paying $50 and $45.
Have a coupon you do not think you will use? If it is for a rather specific product, you have the option of purchasing the product and reselling it for profit. If the coupon is for something in higher demand, say baby formula coupons, you can most likely find a buyer for your little piece of paper and turn trash into cash! Anytime I see Enfamil Coupons, big brand dollar amount coupons ($10 off $20 or similar), I list them on eBay and OfferUp for a few extra bucks. You can typically sell them for about 25% of their discount value.
Freebies, gift cards, and coupon vouchers can be earned in your downtime on websites like SurveyJunkie.com and SwagBucks.com from the comfort of your laptop or cell phone. I keep my bank cards tied to SwagBucks at all times for cashback on purchases across the board. In combination with points from surveys, these cashback bonuses can be redeemed for decent sized giftcards. These come in incredibly useful when money is tight.
Here goes my answer to your looming question. How to keep that cash in YOUR possession. There are a few things that I always do. The second I get paid, I physically stash my money in piles according to the bills I have to pay off first. I then typically set aside a small percent for savings or "investments" (ex: more necklaces from AliExpress that I can sell on Ebay for profit). Thirdly, and most importantly. When I have to purchase something, I ALWAYS find the lowest price. This is something that comes with time, and I will elaborate more in future articles. For the moment, here is my list of tricks to save the money you worked so hard for:
1. Use resources such as Raise.com and GiftCardGranny.com to get discounted giftcards on stores you shop regularly. If I am ever making a big purchase I start by checking for a discounted giftcard to the exact place I would like to purchase from. Gift Cards have a big advantage-they can be combined with coupons. Not only can you save up to 30% initially through the mentioned sites, but you can then add on any coupons you buy, locate in mail-in ads, or even online. Most places provide you with a discount if you sign-up for their club. This is a great money saver.
2. Never be afraid of who sees you shopping where! Places like Goodwill, Walmart, and the 99 cent store are not just excellent for sourcing resale items, but for saving money as well. Anytime I am ready to grocery shop for my household, I go to the dollar store first. Dry food, baking ingredients, unrefrigerated drinks, and even soups can be found far from their expiration dates. Many stores have requirements for the condition of the packaging on items as well, and I oftentimes am able to locate brand name products at dollar stores.
Going back to the idea of Resale, Goodwill and Buffalo Exchange; thrift stores are my go-to places for high end clothing. The majority of my closet consists of Calvin Klein, Bebe, and BCBG Maxazria. All of which have been hunted down and purchased by me for less than $5-10 a pop. I have even found Louis Vuitton Uniform shirts in Goodwill before. You never know what goodies might be hiding out there!
3. Clearance! Clearance! Clearance! Anytime you enter a store, there is a high probability of there being a "clearance section". This is another fantastic place to find very low cost merchandise that you can either resell or have for yourself. When I know I use an item on a regular basis, or am aware that I need something specific, I always stock up from clearance shelves and enjoy having it later.
Take for example baby clothes. I have a friend back home that is due soon and going to be a first time single mother. I have checked the clearance bins, Goodwill, and online resale for her for the last few months and collected 35 outfits in addition to about 20 pairs of socks, shoes, bibs, and mittens for under $200. Anything is possible if you have the time and knowledge!
I sincerely hope this read has changed your perspective on money, and if you are in a tight spot then perhaps you have some ideas on how to make rent this month! Best of luck amidst the 2020 chaos, and Happy Holidays!
About the Creator
Los Angeles >>> Las Vegas
I am a young entrepreneur with lots of stories and experiences to share! I have been on my own the majority of my young adult life, and love offering tips and tricks on how to make it in this world.