Sometimes The Money’s Not Worth Your Time

in Plan by Lacey Langford, AFC®

I’m all about earning extra money—anything from cleaning to selling stuff online but sometimes the money’s not worth your time.”  This may be a surprising statement coming from a person that deals with money-life all the time, but it’s true Recently, I’ve been scaling back on the extra crap filling my house.  I’m not sure if it’s because of a lack of space or if it’s that I’m just sick and tired of picking up stuff but either way I want all the excess to vacate my living space lickety split. This weekend I decided to kill two birds with one stone, make some money and get rid of stuff lying around my house.  Yes, I decided to have a yard sale.  I figured, why not make a little dough and get people to haul away my stuff.  It sounds easy enough, all I did was take out a $12 ad in the paper, mark the items and make a couple of signs for the road. Yes, it was easy, but it took a lot of my time.  I had to create the ad online—then I messed it up by not adding the date or time.  In my defense, I was trying to create the classified while my boys were yelling and wrestling in the same room with me, I was under duress.  Because of my mess up, I had to call and sort it out with the paper.  Also, there was the extra time I took to beat myself up over making a stupid mistake.  All-in-all it took me about an hour to get the ad done. time After the headache of getting the ad created and fixed, I had to gather up all the items to sell.  This meant dragging everything out of my two son’s dressers and closet to have them try on potentially too small clothing items.  All the while they’re moaning and fighting to keep a shirt that is basically now a crop top on them.  That was a tense solid hour of work.  Later that evening, I had to do the same operation with my husband’s stuff.  Thankfully it wasn’t as tense as my afternoon with our boys but still an hour of work. I also took about 10 minutes to make a couple of signs for the road.  It would have been longer but I conned my Dad into putting the signs out for me.  I may have said something like I wasn’t strong enough just so he would do it.  I’m not proud. Pricing everything came next but didn’t take as long as I thought because at that point I was regretting the whole yard sale idea and wanted to be done.  I quickly went through the piles of stuff and slapped stickers on everything.  Strategically pricing items to sell and be carried away.  I wasn’t trying to make a killer profit, just a little cash, and my unnecessary household items to disappear.  It took me about 30 minutes total. Come the next morning, yard sale day, I wake up already dreading hauling all my belongings in the front yard for people to drive by and gawk at.  Thankfully, one of my sisters brought her stuff over to sell and share in my discomfort. We put all the tables together and placed our stuff to be sold on them.  That took about an hour because I did have to price a few last-minute items.  Also, I had to keep my boys from asking my sister for all the toys she was selling—that slowed me down. time Then we sat and waited.  That was probably the best part only because I was able to chat and catch-up with my sister.  We waited for three hours.  People came and went but no one bought a lot.  After all that time, I made about $20!  Really only $8 after I take out the cost of the newspaper ad. That’s $8 for 4 hrs and 40 mins of work or $1.82 an hour!!  The way I look at it is, I would have been out only $8 by bagging all the stuff up and hauling it to the Goodwill to save myself almost 5 hours of time. That would have been a better deal. Lesson learned.  That was my last yard sale.  The $8 was not worth all the time I put into it.