As summer comes closer and closer, I’m getting read to hit up all of the yard sales in our area, and I’m getting so excited!
Please tell me I’m not the only one?!?
I literally love everything about summer – the sun being out, the temperature, lazy days in the pool, even gardening! But mostly, I love yard sales! Where else can you score $50 kids toys for less than $5? And where else can your husband pick up a $1,500 road bike for less than $50?
At yard sales, my friend!
However, all of the digging through other people’s junk to find the things you actually need for your kitchen, the kids, or the garage can really tempt you to overspend. And hopefully by now you know how bad that can be for the budget!
Last year, I developed a system to keep myself in check while shopping yard sales, keep my purchases in perspective, and keep my budget in mind. I didn’t share it with you then, because quite frankly I was so darn busy, but this year I totally want to share it with you, along with a pretty (free!) printable so you can use the same system!
Take Stock –
The first step in any successful garage-saling plan is to take of what you have and what you need. Usually, what I need for the kitchen comes to me while I’m cooking, what I need for the kiddo tends to come to me while I’m changing a diaper, and what The Big Guy needs tends to come every time he texts me.
So, I create a Yard Sale Planning sheet to keep track of what I think I need, or really, really want if the price is right. I actually use this sheet all year round, as it really takes me quite a while to come up with what we need, and those needs are always changing!
Check Your Budget –
Once you know what you need around the house, then it’s time to take a look at your budget and determine exactly what you can afford. Be it weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, determine your total budget for yard sales.
Then, head back to your list of needs and give each item on it a maximum dollar amount that you’re willing to pay! Once you’ve assigned a maximum dollar amount you’re willing to pay, tally up everything, and move on to:
Be Willing To Sacrifice –
If the total of all of the items exceeds your total yard sale budget, then you need to be prepared to sacrifice some items. Of course, you are shopping yard sales, and you may not find everything, but I find that tallying my maximum spends really helps me visualize whether or not I will have to walk away from any items.
This is why I have two columns on the Yard Sale Prep worksheet. One is for “Wants” and one is for “Needs.” Both are important to recognize, but this should help you recognize which items you may potential have to walk away from, and which ones you should absolutely go for!
So now that we’ve gone through my method for shopping yard sales and staying on budget, are you ready for the printable?
Download The Worksheet!
Happy Yard Saling!
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This is a little besides the point, but one of my favorite things to do at a yard sale is to buy something from a little kid that is trying to run a lemonade stand or bake sale. They light up so much when you hand them a dollar! Young entrepreneurs in the making!
I’d never thought of it that way, but I’ll definitely buy from the kids next time!
Michelle Schroeder says
Love this! I haven’t been to a yard sale in forever but I know they are a great way to save money. Plus, they are fun!
You’re totally right! sometimes I go even though I don’t need anything because it’s just fun to hang out with my friends and make fun of other people’s junk!
Great information! Who doesn’t like a good yard sale. One thing that I have experienced with yard sales is to map out spots that you know will have the items you need. Or you can always give the drive by test to check and see if it’s worth the time to get out and look more.
Thanks for sharing this yard sale info!
Dividend Beginner says
Thanks for the tips here. Planning is everything when you want to stay within your budget so that’s a nice worksheet you included. Can definitely find some good sales in yard sales though, good luck & have fun!