Friday, April 18, 2008

Its a Yard Sale Weekend

Earning Money and Keeping It - Lessons From a Yard Sale

The weather is beautiful. Warm weather is here and I am ready. Ready to have a yard sale. I have been cleaning the basement, garage, attic and all points in between over the past few weeks - decluttering my life. (The motivation comes when you are planning a move and selling your house.)

My daughter noticed the stack of boxes in the basement and when I told her I was getting ready for a yard sale. She asked if she could sell items to raise money for her band. Her and her friend are saving to buy guitars and drums for a band they started. They plan on being bigger than Hanna Montana. I wish them the best and told them they could practice at her friends house anytime.

Anyway....A yard sale is a great way for you and your kids to earn some extra money while decluttering your house and life. Change your stuff - change your life as the saying goes. My daughters have been busy all week going through their old toys looking for ones that they have out grown or don't use. They will sell them to earn money at the yard sale.

An interesting thing happened when they were collecting toys to sell. They both found toys that were almost brand new. Toys that had looked so great on TV ads that they had to have them. Toys that screamed "buy me" from the WalMart shelf that they just had to have.

As the girls piled these almost new toys into boxes to sell the oldest, Beth, remarked that she didn't know why she had bought a certain toy. She said it had looked so good on TV but in reality was nothing great. Her younger sister, Sarah, said it was because it didn't really talk like the TV showed. Beth agreed and commented that she wished that she had just saved her money instead of buying a toy that she never used.

Sometimes life just presents the perfect time to make a point and this was one of them. Seizing the moment I told them that we all fall victim to our emotions from time to time and buy things that we don't really need. The best way around this is to make sure that you plan your spending.

It takes patience to wait to see if the toy that your have to have is going to be that important tomorrow. Sometimes it is a good idea to wait a week to see if you really want it before you buy it. As they looked at their toys they both agreed that they wish that had not spent money on certain toys.

I hope that the message got through. I would like to see my girls develop into thrifty savers and spenders. Kids and teens that don't fall victim to flashy advertisements and peer pressure. Adults that are able to delay gratification.

As we put price tags on items I knew that my girls had learned a lesson on saving money. What I didn't realize was that this dad was about to learn a lesson from Betty Crocker when the oldest said with excitement, "Dad, we could sell cookies and lemonade at the yard sale to earn extra money! Can we dad!??"....


The cookies turned out great. The girls made some extra money and I gained valuable cooking skills!

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