“Pop-Pop J. Money – Lil Vee is Up $4,100!”

I got this amazing comment on the blog yesterday and just had to share it with ya… Not only is it chalk full of lessons and ideas, but it’s freakin’ hilarious and gives me a case of the jellies* every time I read it, haha… Side Hustle Nation represent!

WhadUP, J Money! Lil Vee from Charlottesville, VA here. Love, LOVE this and your entire challenge series. Wanted to let you know that you have inspired me to go on a serious challenge of my own. I am calling it the $10K challenge and have enlisted the help of my husband, friends and colleagues to meet this goal.

I started September 15th after reading your blog. The idea is that, instead of being a spend-machine, I will sock away ten grand by getting rid of crap and doing side gigs from your Side Hustle Series – and I will hit my savings goal by Christmas.

A bit ambitious, right? Well, pop-POP, J Money – Lil Vee is up $4100!!! The biggest chunk of my mad cash came through selling used books. I used bookscouter.com to find who would give me the most cash for my books, went to the sites to get a pre-paid USPS shipping label, sent off the books and *poof* they send a check.

I’ve sold designer clothes, shoes and handbags (ebay is my friend), made some mad cash secret shopping, and have started selling other crap at a local auction house. (The auction house is surprisingly lucrative since folks are on the prowl for holiday deals.)

But TODAY, J. Money – TODAY I made the proudest addition to my $10K challenge collection by selling my junk mail. You heard me, brother. Yesterday, I got a coupon from Tommy Bahama in the mail for $50 off a $100 holiday purchase. Worthless to me… (I bought a gift for my cousin a few years back and have been getting junk mail from them ever since.)

So, I decided to pimp it out on ebay with a starting bid of 99 cents. And BOOYAH, BABY – $14.51 for my junk mail: http://www.ebay.com/itm/141460508129?ssPageName=STRK:MESOX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1561.l2649

Since I only have two months to go, I have gone into high gear and everything must go! My colleagues in the super-cube have been tracking my progress with me and this challenge has inspired them to purge for the holidays rather than spend. We are sharing new ideas every day and having a blast. Brother J., your challenge has brought joy to our work.

I look forward to reading more about your progress and wish you the best – although I wish you would just give up on Craigslist already… it’s for losers. You’ll never make any money there.


Did y’all count all the hustles she’s got going on?

I counted a total of 6:

  1. Selling used books
  2. Selling designer clothes, shoes and handbags (this leads me to believe you’re a girl?)
  3. Secret Shopping
  4. Selling crap at local auction houses
  5. Selling junk mail!
  6. Craigslist hatin’ ;)

[The links up there go directly to our side hustle articles VEE is actively workin’]

That’s the biggest takeaway with this letter: TAKING ACTION. How many people do you know who talk a mean talk when it comes to ideas or making money, but then just sit there on their asses and do squat? Or worse, bring your ideas down with 1,001 ways it’ll never work out?

Well not Lil VEE and crew up in her “super-cube” haha… She’s amassed over $4,000 in a little over a month and a half! And she still has almost two full months left until Christmas to keep racking them dollars up too – that’s crazy. And incredibly smart on surrounding herself with a positive community too. It’s all about ridding yourself of the toxic people in life (like the downers I just mentioned above) and replacing them with lovers and supporters. It was one of the ways my friend Mario increased his net worth by $100,000 the past two years – by sticking with the right crowd!

I also love that VEE came up with a new hustle of her own: The selling of spam mail! Brilliant!

tommy bahama $50 off coupon

I may be slow to the game, but I’ve actually never seen this done before. And now I’m kicking myself for literally trashing away a good 5 coupons just this week! I can’t believe this works!!

I was originally going to ask her to write up a detailed Side Hustle post on this for us, but I think it’s pretty self-explanatory:

  1. Grab your junk mail from the mailbox
  2. Pluck out all coupons
  3. List them on eBay, or, God forbid Craigslist (which works perfectly well, thank you very much ;))

Then, whammo! You can get the proudest additions to your cash pile too, haha.. And this would be the only time when you actually WANT to receive junk mail going forward… In fact, if you really wanted to put this in overdrive you could even go out of your way to sign up to every single store and coupon site out there until you’re just bombarded left and right where you’d need an entire assembly line going just to push it all online and get that $$ into your pockets, haha… It could be a real production! Or at the very least, an interesting experiment?

Let’s talk about the power of having a *goal* too

It’s one thing to say “Oh, I’ll try and make some money this month doing this or that” but an entirely different one by not only stating a solid number, but also attaching a deadline to it. Nothing gets done without something to shoot for. Even if VEE “only” ends up with $5,000 at the end – it’s still $5,000 more than she probably would have just poking around without any real purpose.

There’s two tricks with making extra money:

  1. Figuring out how to actually get the money
  2. Being motivated to do so.

The first part we all generally know how to do as we’re not idiots, but just like with losing weight or stopping smoking or eating healthier, etc, without any real motivation or purpose behind it we rarely accomplish our goals. In fact, they’re not even real goals until you attach a plan and a deadline to them anyways. We all want more money in our lives, but what’s the driving force to actually making it happen? Why do we want money? To survive? To buy stuff? To retire early? You have to really lock on and focus on this answer to keep that hustling going. And a goal of $10,000 by Christmas is one hell of a specific mission.

(Though interestingly enough we actually don’t know the entire motivation behind VEE’s plan other than “to purge for the holidays rather than spend” and to have a little fun with her co-workers. So it’s safe to say excitement and getting wins under your belt can push you off to a great start as well. Especially if the time period for a goal is relatively short (it’s not like she’s giving herself 10 years to hit $10,000). Pray tell, what will you be doing with this $10K, Lil VEE?)

And notice she also *told people* about her goal

She specifically enlisted “the help of her husband, friends and colleagues” which alone can produce amazing results ‘cuz once it’s “out there” you have this extra desire to go and make it happen. Who wants to fail after just blabbering about something to all their friends? So your motivation gets super charged even more. And if you tell kick-ass people like VEE is obviously doing, it’ll help generate even more ways to reach your goal too – just like I’m sure her junk mail idea came out of. You might even inspire them to join you!

All this to say it’s possible for any of us to make more money if we really set our hearts to it. The more specific you are and surround yourself with supportive people, the quicker you’ll reach that finish line.

You can check out 50+ other interesting ways to make money here. And please share some of your own down in the comments as well! I’m always on the hunt for more creative ways to bring home that bacon, especially as Thing #1 and Thing #2 continue to devour my wallet…

Thanks for dropping by, VEE. Pop-Pop, baby!

UPDATE: Did Lil’ Vee hit her $10,000?? Click here to find out (and everything NEW she learned too!)

*Jellies = Jealousy in 16 y/o girl talk… and, apparently, in 34 y/o guy talk too.

[Photo by dno1967b]

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    1. Jay @ ThinkingWealthy November 7, 2014 at 10:34 AM

      I have never ever thought of this… brilliant! I have a 40% off Brooks Brothers coupon on my desk right now that I’m not planning on using.

      Any takers!?


      1. J. Money November 7, 2014 at 2:25 PM

        Haha… see what you can get for it this weekend! Even better – walk outside their store and try to hawk it to customers coming in ;)

  1. Brian @ Debt Discipline November 7, 2014 at 6:07 AM

    Wow, great stuff Lil Vee! No idea junk mail would fetch cash on e-bay. Might just have to borrow that idea. Good luck meeting your goal!

  2. Shannon @ Financially Blonde November 7, 2014 at 7:11 AM

    Wow!! I am seriously impressed with Lil Vee!! I get those spam coupons ALL the time and just throw them out. I figure everyone else is getting them too, but apparently not. I am also going to check out the book site because I have a ton of books that I could stand to get rid of. Keep on rocking it Vee and share all of your tips here so the rest of us can join in the fun!

    1. J. Money November 7, 2014 at 2:26 PM

      You know… it also brings up a good idea for stuff we need to *buy* too. Might be worth picking up a coupon if it means saving big bucks on a purchase later!

  3. Mrs. Frugalwoods November 7, 2014 at 7:12 AM

    That’s awesome, Vee. I just went and retrieved a Pottery Barn coupon from my recycling bin. I’ve seriously never heard of selling coupons before, but that is one great idea. I bet I go even go hyper-local and just sell them to my co-workers…

    1. J. Money November 7, 2014 at 2:27 PM

      YES!! I think hyper-local will get you even better (and faster) results. You and Jay above should both walk in front of the stores and see who makes more selling them to customers walking in :)

      1. Mrs. Frugalwoods November 8, 2014 at 7:59 AM

        Hah! I like it. But then I’d have to go to a mall… worst nightmare for moi.

  4. Will.i.am @firstqfinance November 7, 2014 at 7:36 AM

    It’s so awesome Budgets Are Sexy isn’t usually blocked by internet filters. You would think having the word sexy in the URL would set off some sort of anti-porn rule. LinkedIn is blocked at work but BAS isn’t, lol. Anywho, it’s great it’s not blocked so we can all share the site with our colleagues like Vee obviously has!

    1. J. Money November 7, 2014 at 2:29 PM

      Haha… well, don’t worry – this site is blocked for many others ;) And worse – my emails/newsletters sometimes go to spam, ugh… didn’t quite think it through when building this site, haha… (that, and I figured I’d quit in a matter of weeks/months anyways. oops!)

  5. Dee @ Color Me Frugal November 7, 2014 at 8:00 AM

    Love this! I’m totally going to check out the book selling site she mentioned because I have a bunch of books listed for sale on Amazon and they haven’t been moving very fast. Thanks Vee!

  6. Mrs. Bug November 7, 2014 at 8:07 AM

    Great side hustles! I never would have thought of selling my junk mail coupons! I need to try this.

  7. Sarah November 7, 2014 at 8:15 AM

    WOW!!! Way to go, Vee!! You are awesome and a huge inspiration :)

  8. Chris @ Flipping A Dollar November 7, 2014 at 8:15 AM

    The coupon business is all the rage on eBay. This is especially true for the people who buy stuff at places like Target to re-sell on Amazon. You look out for a certain item when it goes on sale and then just buy huge packs of coupons to lower your costs (generally shipped/received before the sale ends). Not for me but re-selling them is a great idea!

  9. jestjack November 7, 2014 at 8:15 AM

    What an interesting post. This is some pretty amazing progress. Her success is very unique IMHO….I have had very poor results trying to sell books….any kind of books…Whether it be text books that DD2 had just used at college and are in excellent condition OR books that I no longer use and wish to sell. I have tried the many websites and it’s common to be offered $2-3 for $75 text books that are 8 months old. Aaaand paper backs?…Forget about it….So her progress selling books is truly amazing…As for selling on E-bay…I’ve not had the luck this gal has had….Lot of crazy e-mails with crazy offers and demands. But Craigslist is free …more local clientele and I have had good results. Just sold a bookcase on CL that a tenant left behind…$50…and they picked it up at the house. But with CL ya have to be persistent and “tweak” your ads…Once sold a $7 yard sale bike for $155…in a week… on CL. BUT I’m likin’ the “selling the coupon” money maker. I see these all the time on CL for Home Depot and Lowes gift cards and coupons. I didn’t think these were transferable…evidently they are…

    1. J. Money November 7, 2014 at 2:31 PM

      Oh yeah – CL can be tricky for sure. You can usually tell right away whether something’s off with the ad or price/etc. When you do it right you get a flurry of emails within 24 hours.

  10. zut November 7, 2014 at 8:48 AM

    lulz. I love the last paragraph. She sets you up high by giving you props then BAM!!! slaps you upside the head. LOL! That made my day.

  11. Brit November 7, 2014 at 8:49 AM

    This is brilliant! Love her enthusiasm. This is really motivated. Selling stuff in local auction houses is new to me. Going to research this. Thanks Vee!

  12. Cristalle November 7, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    Yes!!! Like others, I am so impressed by the idea to sell spam mail coupons….never thought of this and it is completely GENIUS! Keep up the hustlin’ VEE!

  13. Dude on a Mission November 7, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    Awesome article – loved the motivation and enthusiam of Lil Vee. Her coupon selling jogged my memory (I’m 39 with two kids so my memory is like the past 14 Flyers goalies on any given night – a total seive! And I’m a Flyers fan, haha).

    Anyways, my wife signed up for Similac baby formula coupons when our first child was born, They were legit coupons too – either $5 or $10 off a can, and at least three coupons at a time. After Thing #2 (love that) was too old for formula we kept getting those coupons to the tune of two mailings per month or six coupons worth a total of $30-$60. At first I was oblivious and gave them away. Then I realized I could monetize them and sold them on ebay for at least half their value. Alas, I gave away far more than I sold (which is a good thing?) but still – I made some serious free coinage off that annoying “junk mail” and used it to help pay off our cars early. Good stuff!

    1. J. Money November 7, 2014 at 2:33 PM

      Nice work! You’re smarter than the rest of us reading this today who never figured it out :) I actually think we might have some of those exact coupons laying around a drawer too! We’ve never used baby formula so if I can find them I can give it a shot!

      1. Dude on a Mission November 7, 2014 at 3:00 PM

        Haha excellent! I’d love to hear what happens if you do actually end up trying to sell them.

        My wife wouldn’t have used formula either, but Thing #1 had an Atrial Septal Defect in his heart and was in the NICU at CHOP for his first 3 weeks. He had a feeding tube in him that we were going to have to use at home…but thank God(!) he started taking the bottle the day we took him home.

        1. J. Money November 10, 2014 at 2:17 PM

          ouch!!!! I’m sorry to hear man, I’m glad things are (hopefully?) better now! breaks your heart, doesn’t it? our 6 m/o has his 2nd ear infection in two weeks, ugh… poor guy can’t sleep at night and now neither can we :(

    2. Violet Roach September 28, 2016 at 4:37 AM

      I am very interested in making extra money. I can’t get a decent job to save my life. Can u plz give me some pointers on which site to get these great coupons. I see you are on your way up. Congratulations. Thanks in advanve

  14. John @ Building Financial Freedom November 7, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    A comment like that really makes you feel good about doing what you do, doesn’t it? It’s awesome that you can have such an influence on someone! It’s one of the cool things about being a blogger in today’s world. You never know how much of an impact your words can have.

    1. J. Money November 7, 2014 at 2:35 PM

      You got it, man. And the only way you really know the impact is when people *tell you* which they rarely do (unless they’re complaining ;)). So not only was this comment incredible to see in general, the fact it made for a great blog post and could continue influencing even more people was gravy. One of these days I’m gonna just ask people how this blog has helped them – if at all – and then compile them for something… I think I’ll do this on my birthday and they can be presents :)

  15. Tiffany A. November 7, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    Selling junk mail is SO brilliant and a win-win for both parties involved… Totally just found my next new side gig. I used to froth at the mouth (not really) over how much junk mail I have to sort through in order to actually dig out the important stuff like bills and postcards from friends. NO MORE!!! :)

    1. Dude on a Mission November 7, 2014 at 11:15 AM

      If you want to reduce (can’t stop it entirely) how much junk mail you receive you can sign up on the Direct Mail website. I did it years ago and it’s awesome.There is also a list to stop pre-approved credit card offers, emails, and telemarketers (I assume everyone has done this alread) which is equally awesome.


      1. J. Money November 7, 2014 at 2:35 PM

        Thanks for the tips, Dude!

  16. Debt Hater November 7, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    I had never heard of trying to sell coupons or even discounts on eBay, but I guess if a coupon has a specific value you will save people will be willing to pay under that value. They’ll still save money that they wouldn’t have saved otherwise and you make some money too.

    I’m with you on Craigslist though, it can be valuable for both buying and selling.

  17. Asset-Grinder November 7, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    Wow that whole selling junk mail bit is something I never seen or thought of. I admire the creative ways of hustling. She is one to watch!

  18. Tre November 7, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    Seriously impressed! I wonder if we will see a flood of coupons on eBay now…

  19. Charlotte November 7, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    Way to go, Lil Vee! I love your goal and it sounds like you’re actually having so much fun working towards it. Wishing you loads of luck! Also, thanks for inspiring me to sell my junk mail hahaha I never in a million years would have thought of that.

  20. Mario November 7, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    That’s amazing! Here’s something she says that I’m wondering about though: “I’ve sold designer clothes, shoes and handbags”

    Is she buying these designer clothes, shoes, and handbags at wholesale or bulk prices then turning around and selling them at retail prices? Or is she just selling off her own, used clothes, shoes, and handbags?

    The former, I’d be interested in hearing more about. The latter, I don’t think I could do because all the clothes and shoes in the world probably wouldn’t be worth 1/10th of that :(

    1. J. Money November 7, 2014 at 2:37 PM

      Hah! I thought the exact same thing, “How much designer stuff do you have???” But then realized whether it was hers already, or she’s flipping them, it’s still a damn good habit to get into, so I’m still equally as impressed :)

  21. Kipp November 7, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    Not sure how to describe how awesome that is… selling coupons… I think I need to sign up for a dedicated junk mail account online to start collecting these things to sell!

  22. EL November 7, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    Good ideas for side hustles indeed. The best part of this post is that she will hopefully save 10K in 3-4 months. That’s some crazy good savings. Imagine if she does the same thing in 2015 for the entire year? Boatload of dollars.

    1. J. Money November 7, 2014 at 2:37 PM

      I think I should get a commission :)

  23. Michael Trout November 7, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    Make sure to read the fine print on the coupons you’re considering selling. They always say or have a link to a website with the legal text that says buying or selling the coupon will void it’s value. The FTC has prosecuted people for selling coupons on ebay in the past and I wouldn’t doubt that it will happen again.

    1. J. Money November 10, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      Ack!!! I would have never guessed that!

    2. Vicky M November 11, 2014 at 4:26 PM

      Selling a coupon is illegal, however charging for your time in finding, cutting, mailing etc a coupon is not illegal. I am pretty sure if you look at some of the listings something like that will be mentioned.

  24. Connie @ Savvy With Saving November 7, 2014 at 5:02 PM

    Wow, that comment is just all kinds of awesome. Good job Lil Vee! And thanks for the idea. I literally have 5 of those 20% off Bed Bath & Beyond coupons sitting on my desk. Doubtful anyone would want one though since those things are everywhere.

  25. Even Steven (@EvenStevenMoney) November 7, 2014 at 7:32 PM

    I like the idea its like a paper version of retail me not or one of those coupon sites. Keep hustling kids!

  26. Kassandra November 7, 2014 at 8:05 PM

    Make sure to tell Lil Vee to come back with an update by the end of December because I and I’m sure everyone else wants to know how this ends! I like her – she thought outside the box and got paid for it!

  27. Prudence Debtfree November 8, 2014 at 12:32 AM

    OK, Lil Vee just makes me feel inadequate – in a good way : ) I’m thinking she’s an extrovert and type A personality. As an introverted type B, it would take me months to come up with the strategies she’s managed in a short period of time. This is another area where I won’t try to keep up with the Joneses. I’ll just be inspired and do my best : )

    1. J. Money November 10, 2014 at 2:19 PM

      Haha… it’s good to know yourself that well at least :)

  28. Kalen Bruce November 8, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    What an awesome idea!!! My wife and I have been into mystery shopping lately and it’s a blast! But back to selling junk mail, I can’t believe I never thought of that. It wouldn’t hurt to try.

  29. AJ November 8, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    Okay Vee is AWESOME! And selling coupons can be a great money maker. After I had my son, I kept getting those formula checks in the mail for a formula I didn’t use. I listed $80 worth in a lot on ebay and made $67!! I don’t understand the logic from a buying standpoint, but as far as selling, hell yes. It’s definitely an easy way to make a little extra cash. This post makes me want to get off my ass and start selling again!

    1. J. Money November 10, 2014 at 2:20 PM

      Hey! You and “Dude on a Mission” up above too! I forgot to ask my wife about our formula coupons this weekend, so thx for the reminder :)

  30. May November 8, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    Wow! That coupon trick is epic. I would have never thought of that. Bookscooter looks promising too – unload books without waiting for someone to pick them up on Amazon. Gotta go empty my bookshelf now…..

  31. Steve November 8, 2014 at 11:30 PM

    This is amazing and gives me a kick in the a$$ to get hustling harder – man if Lil Vee can make $14 off a free fricken junk mail gift card, I can get hustlin :D

  32. DivHut November 9, 2014 at 2:51 AM

    Awesome side hustles to say the least and in inspiration to us all. I have to admit, major points for the junk mail coupon selling. went on eBay and couldn’t believe how many people are bidding on these coupons. Thanks for sharing.

  33. Dan @ Our Big Fat Wallet November 9, 2014 at 5:42 PM

    Those coupons are great, I bought one for a trip I took to Hawaii a few years ago. It was a buy one get one free coupon for a day trip hike in the area. It saved me $85 and the coupon cost $10, which is funny because it was likely just someones junk mail. I love finding coupons like that on eBay

    1. J. Money November 10, 2014 at 2:26 PM

      Nice! Works the other way around I guess too :)

  34. Vawt @ Early Retirement Ahead November 9, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    I throw away some great coupons a lot from a few stores that I used to be a big spender at. I need to try and list the big ones! What a great idea, I can’t believe I had not thought of it before.

  35. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank November 10, 2014 at 4:09 AM

    I remember those days in college where I was selling used books in front of the library of our school. I made lots of money there! Not only did I sell my books but also sell others which I had commission. I started being a hustler in college.

  36. How To Save Money November 10, 2014 at 5:06 AM

    Wow!! I’m so jelaous and inspired at the same time!! **starts to look for stuff to sell**

  37. Natalie @ Budget and the Bees November 10, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    I wouldn’t have thought there would be a market for selling coupons just because I’ve never considered buying a coupon to go buy something else! Brilliant!

    1. J. Money November 11, 2014 at 9:44 PM

      Yeah, can help you both as a buyer AND seller actually if you play the game right :)

  38. Liz November 13, 2014 at 6:53 PM

    Wow I loved reading about this! And I have an anti-consumer story to add:

    Myself and my two best girlfriends are on a No Shop November inspired by No Shave November, only a version that makes you look fabulous instead of like a mountain person. (No offense to mountain people. Love y’all!)

    The idea is, other than necessities like transportation and food, we do not buy clothing & accessories and those types of stuff.* And we have weekly check-ins with each other too! So far we’re bankrolling it like crazy, and putting our hands over our eyes anytime we get hit with yet another Black Friday ad.

    So here’s to financial freedom for all of us! And here’s to doing it now, not waiting for the New Year or the Time We Get a Very Large Bonus or a tax return or Cosmic Alignment of the Stars or whatever. Here’s to doing life and $$$, RIGHT NOW.


    *We did make group agreements to allow one of us to buy a coat, and another one to buy some socks. Because, ya know, November and cold and all that.

    1. J. Money November 16, 2014 at 9:15 PM

      There you go! LOVE IT! Especially the accountability part – that can def. be needed :)

      That was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my financial life too. Tried it for Lent (40 days) 6 years ago and have never been the same since – in a good way :) I reckon I’ve shaved off at least $300/mo just from being more aware of stuff now than I used to be… And the one tip I learned the most was to just *not* walk into stores! Amazing how much harder it is to spend when you do that ;) (though unplugging the internet would be even better)

  39. Virginia January 25, 2015 at 6:18 PM

    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 $8200 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.

    Maybe we can make this a thing? It would be really fun to trade tips with the fan-fam. Hopefully, they can learn from my mistakes – someone should!

    Lil VEE

    1. J. Money January 26, 2015 at 12:21 PM

      Haha welcome back! And way to go on your final results – that’s awesome friend!! $8k or $10k doesn’t matter – you KILLED it and accomplished the mission :) And love all the tips within too – I just may have to do a follow up post, eh?

      Stay connected for sure… loving your enthusiasm!

  40. B.C Kowalski November 12, 2015 at 1:50 PM

    I liked her already for the Community, Magnitude reference (“pop-POP!”) but then that side hustle! Time to dig through the recycling! I’m thinking those Kohl’s or Bath and Body Works money off cards would do well!

    1. J. Money November 13, 2015 at 5:09 PM

      Give it a shot and let us know what you find out :)

  41. Clayton May 21, 2016 at 11:33 PM

    THANK YOU J. Money and Lil Vee!

    Like everyone, I’ve never seen such a creative idea of making money. I definitely am going to use this method for my future endeavors, and it never would of been possible if J. Money didn’t create this website and Lil Vee never stumbled upon it. For such a near impossible coincidence to occur, that eventually was made possible, is amazing in itself. You guys are awesome, pat yourselves on the back, you’ve earned it! :)

    In regards to this method, I was wondering how do you get gift card coupons in your mailbox in the first place? The only junk mail I’ve ever had was magazines, so I am unfamiliar with such things. Is going to stores like Home Depot, Rona, etc, and signing up for an account, while wanting to receive promotions, all it takes to receives these coupons?

    Can someone explain how to do this please?

    I want to take this to the next level and mold this method into a business. Like you said J. Money, getting barraged with junk mail, BUT, with the addition of Virtual Assistants and Assistants, or heck, a local high school student. Pay them a certain amount of money, either per hour or per card, to take each coupon gift card, make pictures, write descriptions, and setup it all up on Ebay. Repeat the process till every card is uploaded, and wait once I get more for them to do. Then develop a software or something(I’m unfamiliar with Ebay, so if Ebay has this already, disregard this), to send you daily notifications and notifications a few hours before the auction closes. Watch the money flowing in.

    I’m probably ranting around here, but I think this would work with some minor tweakings here and there. Can someone explain how to first get these gift card coupons coming to your mailbox? Thanks in advance!

    1. J. Money May 23, 2016 at 1:58 PM

      Haha…. glad you liked it man :) Will try and ping my old friend here and see if she’s still around – haven’t chatted with her in quite some time!

      Regardless, def. sounds like you have the energy and passion to rock some side hustle action over there… Here’s a list of 60+ others you can look into as well if you haven’t seen already – no one way to make that $$!


      1. Clayton May 27, 2016 at 4:53 PM

        Thanks for the reply J$! I know your busy with managing this site, doing side hustles and answering questions like mine, but I really appreciate your time spent on me. Thank you so much and sorry for the late reply! I’ll do better next time :)

        I’m actually one step ahead of you there, I read through your entire list in 1 day, coffee’s my friend. So far I’m looking into developing a Junk mail business, SIM card business, Pet sitting business and a yoga instructor profession for now.

        Junk mail: trail and error with random stores and restaurants

        SIM cards: still trying to understand what the heck a SIM card is and how figuring out location specifics. I’ve found SIM card wholesalers who’s willing to sell for $3 and less, but again, still in the research/learn stage.

        Pet Sitting: Developing business model, business plan and understanding the legalities of starting up a business in general. I don’t know if I can just come up with a random name, and put myself on Kijiji offering my services. Probably not that simple, but advice from anyone with experience is welcomed.

        Yoga instructor: I know a woman who’s very well known in my area and going to attend one of her classes for the sole purpose of asking her questions on what companies have legit certifications, go to them, research, save money, and sign up for their classes/courses.

        That’s all I got for now. I’ll update somehow as time goes on.

        Again, thanks for creating that article series J$, never would of developed the money-making/business mindset otherwise. Is there a way to sign up on this website? I see people with pictures, while mine is blank. Anyway, keep up the great work!

        1. J. Money May 29, 2016 at 5:01 PM

          Rock on! Just don’t forget to START any of them once you figure out which are the most promising! Researching is great, but just jumping in could be even better :) Specifically w/ the dog sitting one – plenty of people do those on the fly! Throw up a few ads and try landing your 1st client and then see how it goes from there…

          RE: Signing up to the site here, yup! You can get my blog posts emailed to you if you’d like:https://budgetsaresexy.com/subscribe/

          You can also find me on Twitter (@BudgetsAreSexy) or on Facebook too (facebook.com/budgetsaresexy)

          Glad this is helping! Let us know what you end up giving a shot!

  42. Violet Roach September 28, 2016 at 4:38 AM

    How can I get these sites as far as couponing or speech .anything that helps