I’m just going to come out and say it – kids are freaking expensive. They’re amazing, but boy do they cost a lot. And this is coming from a mom of one, so I’m sure you mamas with multiples are nodding your head double time. With an only child, I’ve definitely been guilty of giving in to whatever Zelda wants if it means seeing her happy or forgoing a public meltdown (hopefully I’m not alone here). But as she’s growing into a little human and is at an age where I feel it’s important to start teaching her about money, we’re working on it.
I feel grateful that my parents instilled the value of hard work and money in me at a young age, and it’s my duty to do the same with Zelda. It’s something Spiro and I very much believe in as parents. We’re currently trying to teach Zelda that no, money does not grow on trees, we don’t have a money printer hiding in our home, and that we actually have worked our butts off to be in a financially secure place. We’ve also had to teach ourselves a ton when it comes to being financially smart over the years. I’m super excited to partner with Country Financial over the next couple months and to kick off this series talking about financial planning!
Heck, only 28% of Americans even have a financial plan in place, while 44% don’t and another 28% aren’t really sure. I totally get it – been there! Finances, and especially long-term plans can be not only incredibly intimidating but foreign. I remember being a twenty-something when “the future” and “retirement” were just words – they didn’t mean much to me. And though I understood the value of money and hard work, actually having some sort of a plan is fairly new to me, if I’m honest.
Spiro and I have been working together to create our immediate, 5-year, 20-year and even our 40-year plans, and we’ve been including Zelda in ways that make sense. No, she’s not organizing our 401Ks or investments, but we are trying to slowly instill messages behind money. Case in point, a fun little project that Zelda and I have gone into together.
You see, we wanted to start her with a few simple steps into her own financial plan. By teaching her that there are easy ways to create an income and even save money, we’re hoping that those lessons will carry on into her adult years. Yes, finances can be overwhelming, but it’s just like anything in life – step by step, day by day. It’s all about taking that first step to developing a plan for the future.
So, before lecturing Zelda about her college funds or sending her out for a job, I’ve developed a really simple, really fun way for us to start instilling the value behind money. And in a way, it is her first job! If you’re a parent, I think you’ll really love this idea, too. I’m about to teach you that there’s money hidden in a place you probably haven’t thought about. There’s also a playful way to bond with your child while teaching them a thing or two about money.
What is this amazing idea? It’s reselling your kids’ clothes!
This might not be a huge surprise for those of you who know my career history. I’ve literally pioneered an industry out of finding value in closets, so when it came to teaching Zelda small money steps, I thought I’d start there. After all, the girl likes to shop, and all parents know just how many clothes kids go through. It’s actually kind of heart-breaking when you go through their closets only to see your money flying out the window once a piece hits the giveaway pile, right? Which is why this idea of reselling their clothes is brilliant, if I do say so myself.
Here’s how to get started:
1. Start the activity off by putting on music in your kids’ room and get them involved. Yep, remember that you are teaching them financial value here – put them to work!
2. Take everything out of their closet.
3. Put back anything that still fits and that you don’t want to get rid of.
4. For the other items, I actually like to save a few killer pieces that I might use in the future (if we have a child) or give to a friend. You don’t need to do this, but it’s a personal step I like to take. Again, just a few here.
5. For all the items that you can say goodbye to, lay them out on the bed or floor.
Now, for the tips on how to successfully start the reselling process (and actually make cash), there are 5 things you’ve gotta do:
1. Create an Instagram or social media account specifically for the cause. For us, that’s ‘Zelda’s Closet‘ on Instagram. We don’t share anything other than items that are for sale, so people know what to expect. When doing this, create a handle that makes sense – make it clear; include “closet,” “resell,” etc.
2. Take clear photos of the items. This is such an important step for reselling in general, and one that people constantly fail at. You don’t need anything fancy, just get a white background and use the ‘square mode’ on your phone. If you don’t have a white rug or countertops, buy a large piece of foam or poster paper. Show both sides of the item if there’s a special detail.
3. Next, you want to promote each item with a simple caption. I actually use the same canned text for every item which I store in the ‘notes’ section on my phone. Then, just change things like condition, size, and price.
4. Make the buying process simple. If you want people to buy the clothes, you’ve gotta make it easy. I promote followers to use the heart emoji on an Instagram post if they want to buy something. Then, I slide into their DMs and ask for their Paypal info, where I’ll instantly invoice them for the item. I can also get their address in DMs.
5. Next up, shipping! Don’t worry, this step is super easy for you. UPS offers free supplies if you request them, so I usually request their plastic postal envelope bags. UPS will also pick up the envelopes/items from your home for free. Told you it was easy.
And that’s it! Throughout all the steps, Zelda is involved and I recommend keeping your child involved too. Zelda even helps me pack everything up. She’s there for 100% of the process, learning the steps it takes to make our profit and establish a financial plan.
As for the profit, we’ve been splitting it 50:50 – half goes into her savings account and half is left for fun. This part is really important because it does two things – it puts a financial plan in place (that we show Zelda), and it also lets her have a reward (obviously very important for a child of her age).
Depending on what your child likes, let them spend that 50% on something that acts as a reward. Zelda uses this 50% on more clothes and accessories (shocker), which is so much fun for her. She’s actually begging me to clean out her closet on the regular, so she’s starting to understand that her hard work there turns into more cash. Which is the whole goal here! Plus, starting her college fund feels good as a parent, as does making money on items that would usually just be donated or in hidden places like your child’s closet.
There you have it – a very simple, fun idea for making small adjustments that benefit your financial future. And since I partnered with Country Financial for this post and some upcoming ones, I’ll actually be talking a lot more about money on the site. You know I like to talk about the things that other people don’t like to, but don’t worry, I’ll keep it as simple and pleasurable as possible! Stay tuned for all of that, and in the meantime, visit Country Financial for their fabulous tips.
I’d love to hear how you and your family plan for your financial future. How are you planning for your kids’ future? Have you found money in unexpected places like us? As always, let me know if you have any questions about this post – especially about any of the specific tips for successfully making money here.
Thank you to Country Financial for sponsoring this post. It’s partners like this that make documenting our journey possible.
Photos by Hallie Duesenberg