Thursday, August 18, 2016

Paying Debts As A Stay At Home Mom Working From Home

As a "modern" vintage style housewife I have "modern" debts. Some readers of my blog know that I am in my third and last marriage. Many of us have had a past life in one form or another. Many women and men go into new marriages with some type of debt from their past. Some have credit card debt, an old car loan and yes, those college loans from years ago.

I have past school loans from my college years that I thought I needed when I was a single mom with two toddler girls. When taking on school loans and other types of debt we have the best intentions at the time and our lives look like they are on the right track. Enter, LIFE with all it's twists and turns, and a lot of times our bad choices.

I remarried again and let's just say it was a very, very, very bad decision that I stayed with for almost 12 years.I made efforts to pay on my school loans but I was in a bad situation that effected everything including financial.  Three more children later and I had a mounting debt and at the end I was homeless with 5 children. Any hope of paying those school loans off would have to take the back burner again.

Here I am 5 + years into my last marriage and I can say I am ready to finish paying my debt off and have the weight lifted off and get my financial life straightened out.

I am able to stay home with my 3 children who are still at home and also focus on this debt I have. I don't want my husband to pay any of my old debts. I know he would and could but I don't feel that is fair since he supports me and my children and we have a comfortable life.

What can a stay at home mom do to pay back debt? Good question. With so many online selling venues like ebay, Amazon and etsy to just name three big ones we can do it. I also have been listening to and watching Dave Ramsey and his snowballing debt solution.


Here is an excerpt from the download that explains "snowballing" :

"The idea of the snowball is simple: pay minimum payments on all of your debts except for the smallest one. Then, attack that one with gazelle intensity! Every extra dollar you can get your hands on should be thrown at that smallest debt until it is gone. Then, you attack the second one. Every time you pay a debt off, you add its old minimum payment to your next debt payments. So, as the snowball rolls over, it picks up more snow. Get it?" 

                                                                                                                         ~ Dave Ramsey

This brings me to how I am trying to pay my debts off. Ebay and Amazon are my main focus at the moment. Amazon is #1 and Ebay is #2 in the online selling world.  The return of selling online is quicker than doing affiliate programs and blogging at this point. Blogging is more of my hobby and destresses me.  I am also getting ready to do my very first Fall craft fairs with jewelry and ice skating accessories that I make. I use Craigslist for things I can't ship out because of size for example; a set of vintage ski poles.

I have an ebay store that I work on daily, listing about anything I can. I sell books, clothing, shoes, magazines, jewelry, and anything I can to get those dollars rolling in.

I also work on Amazon as a merchant fullfilled seller and Amazon FBA. Merchant fullfilled is much like ebay. A person orders something and I pack and ship it out from my home. Amazon FBA is when I pack a shipment of goods and send them into Amazon warehouses and they sell it to "Prime" members and pay me. I do essentially no more work other than collect the money in my account. I read the book "Retail Arbitrage" by  Chris Green. If you would like to know more about selling on amazon this is the blueprint to do it. To be honest I started selling on Amazon in April 2016 and I have sold just shy of $7000 in goods as of today. That isn't bad starting out with $100 to spend on "arbitrage" to resell.

I could work on Amazon FBA exclusively, but I'm a believer of not putting all your eggs in one basket because Amazon could decide tomorrow that they won't be having FBA anymore. It's their business afterall.

I will also be opening a new etsy store offering my handmade vintage style necklaces and brooches and more atomic goods for the home.

My advice would to be start on Ebay with selling things you already have in your home and take some of that money to reinvest in your inventory. Remember you need to have "inventory" to sell and that means setting aside funds just for that or your out of business.

If you are going to pay down debts working online you will need some tools. You may already have these sitting in your home.

Tools & Tips for Selling Online:

  • Computer/Internet - If you don't have internet you can go to a coffee shop and use theirs.
  • Digital Camera of some type or even your phone camera. Take good photos on a white background. I use a poster board.
  • Printer for printing out labels
  • Printer Paper
  • Measuring Tape - giving measurements in descriptions on ebay helps sell the item quicker,
  • Small Postal Scale - Digital 
  • Packing Tape 
  • Small Boxes - I find these in cardboard dumpsters and also order priority bags/boxeds free from
  • Bubble Wrap - I also get this from a local dumpster outside a craft shop.
  • 8x11 Envelopes - I use these when sending first class items like T-Shirts, Jewelry etc..
  • Area for your office - this can be a corner in a hallway, bedroom or anywhere that gives you workspace. (I have a year round sunporch as my office)
  • Your own bank account
  • A place to store items you are selling online. 
I try to sell items that are 13 oz, and under on Ebay. Usually shipping for these items cost's me $2.60 to $3.45 First Class. T-shirts, back issues of magazines, children and baby clothing, and jewelry falls into this weight range.

I also don't go to the post office very often. I have a large mailbox out front of my home that will fit quite a bit of mail that I send out on a daily basis. I leave the flag up and out it goes since I buy postage right here at home. That's why having a postage scale is so important and it will save you time and gas money without driving to drop it all off. Ebay also gives me a shipping discount.

The last thing that I will stress is to make a schedule and try to stick to it. It seems like being a stay at home mom everyone takes for granted you can stop what your are doing anytime. If you are working online from home. You have a job or essentially a small business. Make blocks of time that is for working online/selling and blocks of time for housework and time for yourself as well. 

Get dressed and ready every morning. Working in a robe and slippers is counter productive.  Takes breaks so you won't get burnt out from listing for hours. If you don't have a schedule

If you want to start somewhere, list 10 items a day..that's 300 items a month. What if each of those items sells for $4.00. That's $1200 without fees taken out of course. If you are starting from $0 you will be on your way to paying back debt doing this. 

I hope this helps with working from home and paying back debt.

Happy Housewifing!


  1. Good luck with your endeavours Jenn. I know first hand what debt feels like and am so thankful to be out of it and now we don't even have an overdraft or a credit card, it's very liberating x

    1. Hello and Thank You for stopping by to comment.

      You are very lucky to have your debt cleared up. I hope to be in your situation sooner than later. PS: Love your blog!

      Mrs. Jenn