Pop Pop – Lil’ Vee’s Back! Did She Hit Her $10,000?

Remember our friend Vee who set out to hustle her way to $10,000 come Christmas? Through secret shopping and selling all kinds of books, designer clothes/shoes/handbags, and even her JUNK MAIL?? Haha…

Well, she’s back :)

Last time we chatted with her she was up $4,100 with two months to go. Think she made it?

What UP, J. Money! Happy New Year! It’s me, Lil’ VEE – I just wanted to give you an update on how I did with the $10K challenge during the Chrsitmas holiday now that the holiday crazies are over!

Bottom line is that I was up $8,200 and change on Christmas day, but I would have definitely hit my mark had I known at the beginning of my challenge what I know now.

You may remember that I had a TON of clothes that I sold online through twice.com and local consignment shops. Big mistake. Consigning designer clothes, shoes and bags is a racket – resellers are making hand over fist and I learned how the hard way… they buy your stuff for pennies on the dollar and resell them for about 50 cents on the dollar. Everyone wins but the seller. In December, I found a site for consigning clothes that I wish I had known of at the start – tradesy.com

Tradesy takes a 9% commission from sellers and they take care of the buyer payment, shipping, and returns – no dealing directly with buyers, no dealing with scammers on ebay, and no meeting strangers in parking lots like Craigslist (really, J. Money… have you never watched Law & Order??). I used Tradesy to sell a full length mink coat (hey – no judgement) that I’d had real issues selling for the entirety of the challenge. I wanted $400 for the coat and got an offer from a furrier in NYC for $150 flat and a local consignment shop for 40% of whatever it brought in (which would have been pretty dismal since everytime I wear it in my uber-hippie town people look at me like I kicked a toddler). I listed it on tradesy and had an offer about two weeks later for the full amount. Pop-POP!!

That is what put me over the $8K mark by Christmas. If I had sold even half of my clothing, bags and shoes through Tradesy from the get-go, I would have easily pocketed over $10K in the challenge. Expensive lesson.

The biggest learn from the challenge was how it changed the way I spent money during the super-spendy holiday season. Busting my a$$ to make 20 bucks off a coupon really made me rethink the frilly $20 cocktail.

Opening a new account in which I could deposit my savings was key (a lesson I learned from you). Because I lack the discipline to not touch the cash, I opened a new account online with Capitol One 360. Without this, I would have transferred the money to my regular account. Watching the cash build up was awesome and I felt like I really accomplished something big. Everyone I told about it was likewise stoked, and it made for amazing water-cooler conversation.

And what did I spend all my mad money on? DEBT! Pop-POP, J. Money – Lil’ Vee is in the BLACK! Awww-yeah!!

BIG thanks to all your blog-peeps who kept me motivated to push the envelope and keep on keepin’ on. You have the best fan-fam on the interweb.

I’m definitely going to do this again in September, although I am loathe to buy anything that I think will end up hustled in the challenge. This challenge taught me A LOT about my spending habits and the truth was super-ugly but absolutely necessary.

Hopefully, your fan-fam can learn from my mistakes – someone should!


Vee – you deserve our Sexy Saver Award. Print this bad boy off and put it on your fridge!

sexy saver award

What a firecracker that one, haha… Always keeping it real.

So many lessons in here it’s crazy…

Here’s everything I caught:

  • Always keep your eyes open for alternatives
  • Don’t meet strangers in parking lots (hey! I’m still alive, aren’t I? ;))
  • Don’t buy fur coats (you pick on me, I pick on you Vee!)
  • Busting your ass to make money helps you to SPEND LESS OF IT
  • Putting it all into a *separate* account helps you not to touch it.
  • When it is time to touch it, it’s best to apply it towards an important goal of yours – like debt!
  • Getting rid of your stuff makes you realize you shouldn’t have bought 1/2 of it to begin with
  • And of course, TELLING EVERYONE of your goals to hold yourself accountable! And hopefully gaining extra motivation if you have a great “fan-fam” as Vee likes to call all of y’all, haha…

If this doesn’t motivate you to get to hustling, I don’t know what will. This chick made $8,000 in a matter of months – who does that?? And then involves all her friends? The power of a single goal, I tell you… Gotta go all in and fight for what you want. Ain’t no one gonna do it for you!

Here’s the original article on her again here. A GREAT read that gets into why she set up this $10k challenge to begin with, and details on all the hustles she jumped into like her book selling stuff and the junk mail idea – something I didn’t even know could be turned into cash??

A.B.H. baby. Always be hustlin’.

[Money cat by Marissa / Commentary by J$]

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  1. Emma Healey | Money Can Buy Me Happiness January 28, 2015 at 5:05 AM

    “…since everytime I wear it in my uber-hippie town people look at me like I kicked a toddler”.
    That is the line of the year. So funny.

    Excellent work Lil VEE.

    1. jesse.anne.o January 28, 2015 at 12:40 PM

      It’s a great line because it’s almost true!

      All that aside, I’m really impressed with how much $$ she made and I had no idea about tradesy!

  2. Josh January 28, 2015 at 5:23 AM

    Hahahaha! Lil’ Vee is how I would imagine J$ would sound if he were female. :D

    1. J. Money January 28, 2015 at 2:54 PM

      Haha… maybe it is me pretending to be someone else???

      (yeah right, like I could pull that off ;))

  3. How To Save Money January 28, 2015 at 7:06 AM

    Congrats Vee! :) Every woman needs to experience a fur coat at least once in their life haha!

  4. Jon @ Money Smart Guides January 28, 2015 at 8:00 AM

    Great lessons here! I learned about not really needing half the crap I bought when I was getting out of credit card debt. I just looked at all of this stuff and wondered what the heck I was thinking at the time. Now when I buy things, I make sure I ask myself if I really need it or if I am just blowing my money away. This simple step helps me to not buy junk 95% of the time.

  5. Brian @ Debt Discipline January 28, 2015 at 8:29 AM

    Lil’Vee needs her own reality show! :) Glad to hear it worked our for her. Pop-POP!

    1. J. Money January 28, 2015 at 3:00 PM

      haha – yeah she does.

  6. Shannon @ Financially Blonde January 28, 2015 at 8:32 AM

    Congrats to Lil’ Vee!!!!!! It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you put your mind to something, but she never would have had the motivation and direction without her awesome money coach, so congrats to BOTH of you!!!

  7. Mrs. Frugalwoods January 28, 2015 at 9:02 AM

    That’s awesome! Congrats Lil’ Vee! I think your point about how hard you have to work for each dollar is so spot on. I definitely think twice before buying stuff when I put it in terms of hours worked/hustled to pay for it. And I’ll add: Always Be Frugalin’.

    1. J. Money January 28, 2015 at 3:01 PM

      A.B.F. baby!!

  8. Dominic Castelli January 28, 2015 at 9:12 AM

    If you have a savings account that is connected to a checking account, you can still run the chance of succumbing to momentary temptation and transferring it back to checking in order to cover your purchase on which you only devoted a few moments of critical thought! This is good for people who need that little bit extra bit of impulse control.

    Here is an idea that my daughter uses to step up the difficulty in getting her money. She actually has about 10K in cash in a safety deposit box. This makes the money liquid, but a super pain in the rear to get because she has to drive about 20 minutes to the bank. It has been steadily growing over the past two years and she hopes to have enough to start a business in a couple more years.

    Huzzah. :)

    1. J. Money January 28, 2015 at 3:02 PM

      Haha yes – that will DEF keep your hands off your cash :) And you’d feel like a baller too holding all those stacks of bills!

      1. Dominic Castelli January 29, 2015 at 10:18 AM


        I was there when she hit the 10K mark, she was fanning herself with the bills. It was awesome!

        1. J. Money January 31, 2015 at 2:16 PM

          That is beyond bad ass :)

  9. John @ Frugal Rules January 28, 2015 at 9:28 AM

    Big congrats Lil’ Vee! So many say it can’t be done, but so often it comes down to they’re not wanting to put in the work to get it done. I couldn’t agree more on the getting rid of your stuff line about why you bought 1/2 of it in the first place – I went through the same thing when I was paying off my debt. No wonder why I had so much to pay off, lol!

  10. Tonya@Budget and the Beach January 28, 2015 at 9:33 AM

    Congrats Lil’ Vee on your dedication! I said that taking one more look around my apt and seeing what I can sell. :)

    1. J. Money January 28, 2015 at 3:03 PM

      Don’t sell your Tim Riggins sticker!!!

  11. Nick Pavlidis January 28, 2015 at 9:43 AM

    Awesome job! I hadn’t heard of tradesy but just shared it with my wife who is clearing out the closet to try it out and wants to do some garage sale flipping once we get used to the site/process.

  12. Serena @ Thrift Diving January 28, 2015 at 10:16 AM

    You couldn’t have said it better: “Busting your ass to make money helps you to SPEND LESS OF IT.” Since losing my job recently, I second guess every purchase and have decreased what I spend! I added up what I spent last month when I was “gainfully employed” with a steady paycheck every 2 weeks and I’m surprised to admit I spent nearly $400 on eating out and $600 at the grocery store. I’m sorry, but $1,000 is way too much for a family of 5!!! This month, I’m sure we’re much less. I haven’t added it all up yet!

    1. J. Money January 28, 2015 at 3:06 PM

      Sounds like the perfect blog post to me ;)

  13. Will L. January 28, 2015 at 10:19 AM

    Hey, Craigslist is not scary as long as you use common sense. I met my girlfriend there.

    JUST KIDDING! I wouldn’t go shopping for women on the site. But I have been using the site for 9 years and countless deals and nothing remotely bad has happened. Take that, television dramas.

    1. J. Money January 28, 2015 at 3:07 PM

      I was gonna say, I thought your girlfriend looked familiar! ;)

  14. Dee @ Color Me Frugal January 28, 2015 at 10:26 AM

    Awesome job Vee!! Good for you!! And I’m so glad that you mentioned Tradesy. I’ve been selling some clothing on eBay but have not been overly impressed with the returns so far. I’m definitely going to check out Tradesy!!

  15. Carol in Mpls January 28, 2015 at 10:49 AM

    Great job Vee! And this is why I like BAS! Informative piece, with new ideas to check out (definitely looking into tradesy). Along with the challenge everything *attitude* it’s what inspires me to look for more and better ways to improve my finances. Usually in places that surprise me.

    1. J. Money January 28, 2015 at 3:07 PM

      So glad you liked! Sometimes I double think whether some of these posts will be helpful or not, but gotta remember to keep going with my gut :) As soon as I saw this note I was like – “THAT’S GOING ON THE BLOG!!” haha…

  16. Mel January 28, 2015 at 11:19 AM

    Pop-POP, Lil’ Vee – I wish you six seasons AND a movie worth of your hustling successes, and then some. What a great attitude you’ve developed and it’s so true, sometimes these challenges we set ourselves wind up rewiring more than just our bank account balances.

  17. Chris @ Flipping A Dollar January 28, 2015 at 11:39 AM

    Tradsey’s really fascinating. The creator had a great podcast with Tim Ferriss. Guys can also sell their stuff there even though they don’t have the categories built in. I’ll stick with eBay for now since I don’t mind dealing with the shipping and all that, but it’s still a great alternative for high end women’s clothing.

    1. J. Money January 28, 2015 at 3:09 PM

      Well that’s kinda cool… Tim Ferriss is a beast so that gives some street cred to Tradesy!

  18. Ben Luthi January 28, 2015 at 12:21 PM

    Amazing! And congrats Lil’ Vee on getting into the black! That takes a whole lot of hustlin’ and stone cold determination.

  19. dojo January 28, 2015 at 2:20 PM

    Really motivational and interesting. Love the story. You don’t always have to hit your goals perfectly, making a great progress and learning a lot are great, too. It will be simple for her to just kill it next time, with all the information she got from this amazing attempt.

    1. J. Money January 28, 2015 at 3:10 PM

      Exactly. $8,200 is much better than $0.00!!

  20. Jason B January 28, 2015 at 3:21 PM

    Congrats to Lil Vee. She set out a goal and made it happen.

  21. Connie @ Savvy With Saving January 28, 2015 at 4:49 PM

    Aside from Lil Vee just being absolutely hilarious, her story is so motivating. It’s impressive how motivated and committed she was to reaching her goal. Putting your mind to saving money is half of the problem sometimes!

  22. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life January 29, 2015 at 9:37 AM

    Wow, I can’t imagine having enough clothes and bags of value to make 10k. I think the whole reason I’ve been so unsuccessful in selling my stuff is that nothing I own is worth much, haha.

    1. J. Money January 31, 2015 at 2:22 PM

      That’s a better problem to have :)

  23. connie kolita January 29, 2015 at 11:22 AM

    I’d rather watch J$ and Lil’ Vee on a reality TV show (about hustlin’, natch) than anyone currently on! J$ – first it’s print (Forbes), then television! Cannot wait!!! :) xo you two!

    and ps thanks for the Tradesy tip. I have a couple pairs of gently used Uggs (Uggs = too expensive, IMO, lol…) that I’d love to unload somewhere but didn’t know where. Voila!

  24. Kali @ XY Planning Network January 29, 2015 at 2:09 PM

    How awesome! It’s wonderful to see someone have such a great success with hustling. Here’s the proof that you CAN get out there and take action and earn a few extra bucks (or in Vee’s case a few THOUSAND!) It’s all a matter of what you choose to do and how you choose to spend your time.

  25. Gretchen January 29, 2015 at 3:55 PM

    Lil Vee needs her own blog – or at least a regular guest spot on yours. She is awesome!

    1. J. Money January 31, 2015 at 2:24 PM

      I wholeheartedly agree.

  26. Chloe @ Marriage and Money Blog January 29, 2015 at 5:54 PM

    This is sah-weet!!! What an inspiration – I also have some clothes I could probably sell and will for sure check out Tradesy. Right now I’m in the process of figuring out how to side hustle – any side hustle will do – and this is getting me in the mood to bust my butt to pay off our debt. Great job!

  27. Christine March 16, 2020 at 8:10 AM

    Love this blog and the comments. I would totally watch the J$ and lil Vee show. Appreciate the tips and making it fun with your high energy. Will check out Tradsey too