Author Topic: Upgraded mountain bike w/ CC rewards and selling garbage  (Read 562 times)

ChpBstrd

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Upgraded mountain bike w/ CC rewards and selling garbage
« on: November 19, 2020, 10:19:43 AM »
I wanted to upgrade my 12 year-old mountain bike and had my eye on the following item from bikes direct.com:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/full-suspension-mountain-bikes/fantomds-eagle-sx-pro-full-suspension.htm

However, spending almost $1300 on a bicycle (the price is $200 higher now thanks to a weaker dollar and costlier shipping) really chafed on my mustachian ethos. It seemed like a very consumer-sucka move to buy a shiny new toy for four figures when I had not yet secured my financial freedom and already had a functional bike. Plus my spouse had just lost their job and it looked like we might have a breakeven year if I could keep my job and keep expenses down! My stache was down $150k, which really didn't put me in the mood to spend a paycheck. I struggled with this for months.

Finally, I made a deal with myself. If I could sell my old bike and earn the entire difference in price by doing things I would not otherwise do, then I could buy the bike. This way, I was not spending my salary or reducing my savings rate to buy a shiny manufactured object.

The pandemic complicated things. Most gig work, yard sales, or selling plasma would expose my family to more risk. However, I could sell some of the junk around me online and just tell people to pick it up off my front porch. I just asked people to drop the cash in my mailbox. Most of the following items sold within 24 hours of posting. All were sold with no exposure risk.

Legend:
*  given to me for free by acquaintances / family who didn't need it
**  found on people's trash piles

Here's how I raised the funds during a pandemic:
$425 - sale of old bike (surprising because this was $100 more than I paid for it 5 years earlier. Sold within hours. Thanks Covid!)
$200 - sign on bonus for credit card used to buy the bike
$150 - sign on bonus for another credit card used for an insurance payment (also shopped for new insurance to save a small amount but didn't count that because I would have done it anyway)
$100 - recycled a few hundred pounds of lead - actual chunks of toxic lead - the previous owner stored under my backyard barn
$64 - sold an old computer on Facebook *
$60 - sold some old chairs on Let-go
$35 - sold two unreliable chainsaws on Facebook
$30 - sold an old computer (assembled from old spare parts) on Letgo *
$30 - sold a piece of stained glass on Letgo *
$30 - sold an unreliable weed eater on Letgo
$25 - sold 4 bicycle tires on Craigslist **
$20 - sold an old stroller on Facebook
$20 - sold an old grill we never use on Facebook
$20 - sold a glass storm door on Facebook **
$15 - sold an antique push mower to a neighbor **
$10 - sold an old record player without a stylus and an old amp without a volume button on Facebook *
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$1234 Total so far


Still to be sold when I get around to it:
$15 - bed frame *
$15 - old bike rack
$20 - 2 near-mint hub caps for a '61 Impala found in my backyard barn
? - an iPad 4th generation *
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$45 to go and the bike is paid for

This was probably a very low hourly rate, but I feel good about keeping the pedal to the metal on my FIRE goals. I'm also glad I invested my $1200 stimulus check instead of buying a bike. The experience makes me think about starting an eBay business or a side gig liquidating my friends' junk.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2020, 10:25:53 AM by ChpBstrd »

PMG

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Re: Upgraded mountain bike w/ CC rewards and selling garbage
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2020, 10:32:52 AM »
Such a satisfying project! 

Back in 2013-2014 I saved for a new computer that same way.  Any extra money went into the computer fund.  Credit card bonus. Unexpected rebate. Gift. Side gig.  It adds up quickly and I'm still using that computer. 

Car Jack

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Re: Upgraded mountain bike w/ CC rewards and selling garbage
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2020, 02:50:47 PM »
This is a great way to get things you want (un-mustachian) but making it "ok" by making up the money in other ways.  I've sold literally thousands of things on craigslist in the past.  With covid, not doing it anymore.

I did manage to get a tradeline company payment that they had forgotten.  It was every tradeline sold in the last year and a half!  I'm using that money (hit my checking account today) to buy a log splitter.  I heat my house mainly with wood and this year, with me home, almost entirely with wood now.  I've always split the logs by hand (I also cut the trees and haul them with a tractor and trailer) and although I'll continue the hand splitting for the exercise, it would be easier to be able to use a machine.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Upgraded mountain bike w/ CC rewards and selling garbage
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2020, 09:38:33 PM »
This is a great way to get things you want (un-mustachian) but making it "ok" by making up the money in other ways.  I've sold literally thousands of things on craigslist in the past.  With covid, not doing it anymore.

I just text people to come to my address, the item will be sitting on the porch, and if you like it drop the cash in my mailbox. 100% compliance and success so far. It would be trickier if it was a car or something worth several hundred dollars, but for the low-value crap we all have laying around the house it's easy money.

okcisok

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Re: Upgraded mountain bike w/ CC rewards and selling garbage
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2020, 12:42:32 PM »
Love this idea! I'm nearly to $1,000 from selling on FB Marketplace in the past year. Same deal--taking items given to me or taken from big trash day piles, with the addition of items I'm decluttering from my home.
Porch pickup has worked great for me. Either Vemno in advance or money in the mailbox.

kpd905

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Re: Upgraded mountain bike w/ CC rewards and selling garbage
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2020, 06:41:30 PM »
This was probably a very low hourly rate, but I feel good about keeping the pedal to the metal on my FIRE goals.

I see what you did there. 

If you had a good experience with the credit cards, I'd encourage you to look into checking/savings bonuses as well.  They can be very lucrative, we just surpassed $10,000 YTD from them.

The best place to find them is here: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/best-bank-account-bonuses/
I have basically signed up for every account available in my area as soon as it became available this year.

If you can meet the spend, there are also credit cards that give much higher bonuses than $200.  Chase Sapphire Preferred and Citi Premier will both get you $500 after accounting for the annual fee.

Accrual

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Re: Upgraded mountain bike w/ CC rewards and selling garbage
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2020, 08:03:12 PM »
This is actually a really cool idea. It prevents compulsive spending and declutters your living space. I may have to do something similar in the future. Thanks for posting.