Gettin’ Guesty with Jennifer Spencer

Jennifer Spencer

This week for Gettin’ Guesty Jennifer Spencer who writes the blog How Nicely I Burn has written an essay about how she turned some elbow grease into some cash! This is my kind of idea!

Woot. Woot! Booyah. Hoot Hoot. Holla. You go girl! etc… ;)

Please help me welcome Jennifer Spencer!

We’ve all had that moment. The moment when you realize that you can’t keep plopping down your credit card every time you want a new DVD or deluxe bacon cheeseburger. For me, a 27-year old twice college graduate, that moment occurred much later than it should have. I was already in $8,000 worth of credit card debt and $48,000 in student loan debt when I decided to take a trip to the Oregon Coast for four days. It was in celebration of the new job I hadn’t even started yet. By then I was only a week without income but considering my trip cost me over $500, that may have not been the smartest move. *cue sarcasm*

The moment my debt really hit me though was when I realized that my trusty reserve line for my bank account (aka my last defense against the wolf at the door) was soon to be no more. We all know that feeling when the truth finally sinks in. Panic, terror and the need to flee; basically, a Godzilla movie. However, I took some comfort in the fact that I was beginning my new job soon that paid well enough. Alas, my comfort was soon shattered. During the months at my new job, I had to sell everything I could on Craigslist just to stay afloat. I even sold my precious collectable record albums that literally made me cry to hand over. As painful as it was to see my possessions picked off one by one by Craigslist vultures, it taught me an important lesson: I don’t need any of this stuff. When was the last time I even watched an episode of Oz, despite buying the entire six seasons? I realized that I was an impulse spender. I would say to myself, “I liked that scene where Ben Stiller made a joke” and then end up buying the DVD.

However, most of my debt incurred from spending money on others. I, like many others, used things to buy people’s affection. “Maybe she will like me more if I buy her that slotted spoon she wants.” Luckily, those days are over but the remnants (aka debt) still haunts me. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life living with Casper the Financial Ghost so my family and I starting thinking outside the box. Here is one idea:

Destroy your debt with some elbow grease!

My wise mother gave me a great idea on how to help support myself without feeling like a mooch: clean her garage! Sounds like slave labor, I know, but here’s the catch: whatever I found, I could sell.

I wound up with dozens of items I promptly put on Craigslist and have made over $500 AND I’m still selling things! So ask your family, your friends, your neighbors, etc. if you can clean their garage for free in exchange for selling anything they don’t want. Craigslist works great for people like me who live in an apartment sans garage. It’s a win-win situation. They get clean and you get the green.

Jennifer Spencer •THANK YOU• for being a part of And Then We Saved! 

If you have something to say on a topic related to personal finance or getting out of debt send me an email at: to be considered as a Gettin’ Guesty columnist. xo Anna

P.S. Looking to make more money? CLICK HERE for over 195+ side gig ideas


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