52 Week Make Money Challenge: Week One Results

The first week of me doing the 52 week make money challenge wasn’t at all what I anticipated. I thought it would be rather routine with me selling some stuff I wanted to get rid of, but that changed with an invitation to go to the beach.

I was invited by a friend to go to search for sea glass. I don’t actually collect it, but my friend does, and I’ll never turn down a day at the beach. I had an ulterior motive as well. There is an avid base of collectors who covet rare pieces, and sea glass can be used in jewelry as well. That means that if I happened to get lucky and find a top quality piece, it could be worth $50 – $100.

Now, this isn’t simply walking along the beach looking for sea glass that happens to wash ashore. This is pretty hardcore searching. Most people who do this don wet suits and spend the day digging in the gravel and sand (sea glass tends to accumulate in gravel) out where the waves break. They create their own special tools to scoop out the gravel and search for the glass. Here’s a photo of me going at it to give you a feel for what I’m talking about:

Looking for sea glass

While we did find some rare colors, most of the pieces were pretty small and I gifted all those that I found to my friend. The result was that no money was made in this instance. I do believe there may be an opportunity to make some money this way at a later date, especially if a few good winter storms come through (this churns things up and is usually good for hunting sea glass).

What we did find while out on the beach were a lot of whole sand dollars:

beach sand dollar
I thought that these might have some value, so I collected ones I could find, and ended up gathering about 90. Of course they were still wet, so I had to lay them out to dry.

sand dollars drying in the sun
Once dry, my dilemma was how to try to sell them. I didn’t want to try eBay because of how fragile they are, (a number of them broke during transport and while moving them around when drying) and I didn’t want to take the risk sending them anywhere by mail. I ended up contacting a number of my artist friends to see if any of them were interested in the sand dollars. I ended up selling the best 50 from the lot for $10, or $0.20 a piece, to one of them. I don’t need to send them through the mail as I will simply deliver them to him the next time I’m in his area.

I probably sold them for less than I could have gotten if I’d tried a little harder. The main purpose this time was just to see if I could sell them. I will certainly be keeping my eyes open for more sand dollars on future trips to the beach now that I know that there is a market for them, and I can make some extra money picking them up.

It also was a good lesson in taking advantage of opportunities as they come. Selling sand dollars was never a plan or anything I even considered before. I could have very easily seen the sand dollars and left them (or picked up just a few). Anyone could have gathered them, but I was the only one on the beach who decided to do so. Simply deciding to see if there was a money-making opportunity by gathering them allowed me to earn an extra $10. Part of being able to earn extra money is recognizing opportunities that might allow you to do so.

Week 1 Total: $10.00

Goals for Week 2

I started to go through stuff that I have, but no longer use or need, and I have a lot more than I thought I did. It’s a bit overwhelming, but at least I dragged some of the boxes out of the garage and began to go through them. I didn’t put anything up for sale this first week, but I have started to go through and sort the items in them. The big goal will be to get more of the stuff sorted and begin to put some of it up for sale. If I can get this area organized enough to sell one to five items a week, I should do quite well going forward.

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8 Responses to 52 Week Make Money Challenge: Week One Results

  1. Shannon says:

    I look forward to more of your savings opportunities! I took some time after vacation to move around furniture, and cleaned out trash that had collected. I will try to do better about my clutter this year!

  2. MrPaseo says:

    Thanks for posting these ideas, I look forward to seeing your progress throughout the year. What is your plan for selling items that you find in your house? Local, eBay, Craigslist?

  3. jeffrey says:

    It will be a combination of all of the above. Add in there a garage sale and possibly a flea market stall. I’ll make the decision on the individual items what I think the best selling option will be to get the most for it.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I hope the sand dollars were all dead ones, some beach populations are struggling. Also, if anybody else wants to do this (beach glass or sand dollars) be aware that this cannot be done on public park lands. It is a federal offense to collect pretty much anything from federal lands including sea debris, wildflowers, sea glass, ceramics, nails, and other items that might be coming from an archaeological site, etc. I’m not saying you were doing this, just warning the readers who might not know this. I collect sea glass myself but have never tried to sell any. I may just give this a try.

    I made my first week $1 from a survey group that sent a $1 bill in the mail for signing up. Not a big earn but it gets the week checked off. :-)

  5. Paulette says:

    My Week One gain was $20, a surprise from a generous Dead Pool administrator for placing second. We’re sharing unusual ways of saving/getting money, right?

  6. It sure looks like you’re doing some west coast pickin’!
    FYI… I’ve seen one very rare sea glass gem go for over $500!
    Not a bad score for a day at the beach!
    Gary de Blois
    Sea Glass Journal

  7. Susan says:

    Jeffrey, I have Christmas Ornaments made out of sea dollars! They were a gift from a high-end shop in Florida. Good idea to sell them to artists. I’m also curious to see how your selling goes – I have not had the best of luck yet.

  8. Minny says:

    These look lovely, an interesting project.

    There is a British website called ‘Money Saving Expert’ and on the forum section people sign up to a make so much a day. It seems that having set a target ideas come to help. It is done on a monthly basis. I give a link.

    This site is a godsend for people in Britain wanting to save, pay back debts, live frugally etc. I have used it to great benefit over the years.


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