How We Raised $634 to Pay for Our New Tires

Tires2911742343_5710d8736e_mAs Facebook fans know, my husband and I have been looking high and low to find money to replace our nearly bald tires.

We started saving in the middle of January, but we felt pressure because we were driving to Michigan at the end of February to help take care of my mom as she recovers from knee replacement surgery.

Where we live, we could’ve gone a few more months on bald tires–we’ve only got 10 inches of snow this entire winter, and the roads are maintained wonderfully.

At my mom’s, well, that is a different story.  The trip to her house in winter usually requires driving through lake effect snow that can make the roads slippery at best, treacherous at worst.  Plus, she lives in the country, so it’s almost guaranteed her road will be icy because now they just plow but don’t salt the roads.

While we were trying to save for tires, we were also saving for our big, hairy, audacious goal of paying for Japanese school, so we really didn’t have much money to work with.

Here is how we raised the money:

Selling kids’ clothes on eBay round 1:  $220  This is the amount raised after deducting eBay fees, shipping, and PayPal fees.  I also made a dent in our basement clutter, so it was a win win.

Turning in loose change:  $50  We have a jar where we always throw our lose changes.  It was a little more than half full, so I cashed it in.

Selling kids’ stuff at Once Upon a Child:  $10  This was a less than thrilling experience.  They rejected most of my stuff and then gave me a pittance for what they did take.  Still, I was glad to be rid of the clutter and to have $10 more in the fund.

A large extra job:  $120  Normally this money would go in our Japanese school fund, but at this point our trip was only two weeks away, so I thought it was best to put all of this money toward tires.

Selling kids’ clothes on eBay round 2:  $75  Ebay had a President’s Day special–all fixed price listings were free to insert, so I relisted what I had listed before that didn’t sell and some of my son’s clothes I hadn’t had time to list before.

A rebate check from the hospital:  $108  This is too funny.  Just when we thought we wouldn’t have enough money, we received a rebate check from our hospital from way back in 2010!  They said that we had overpaid when we brought our son in to be checked for a concussion.  Thank you!

Two small extra jobs:  $50  Finally, money from two small extra jobs sealed the deal.

There is a reason many people are in credit card debt.  It’s so much easier to just swipe the card and worry about it later.

Still, raising the cash to pay for the purchase beforehand feels really good!  Even better, we were also able to meet our monthly savings goal for Japanese school.  We’re very grateful everything worked out.

By the way, as luck would have it, we just returned from staying at my mom’s and managed to make our three day trip between snow storms, so I guess we would have been okay on bald tires, but I’m glad this expense, at least, is taken care of.

I shared this post at Gratituesday.

Photo courtesy of Leo-seta on Flickr.


  1. That’s cool. It goes to show that there is always money lying around somewhere, it’s just a matter of finding it and going through the process of making the items turn into actual cash.

  2. Once Upon a Child is horrible! Back when K was a baby (11 yrs ago), we went with a basket full of neatly hung & folded, WITH the tags Ralph Lauren and Baby Gap clothes. They were rude about it and didn’t want to give me but maybe $3 an outfit! I talked to some other moms, and that was the general consensus – that they would buy cheap and sell high. No fun!

    Congrats on raising the money for the tires, ebay must work really well for you! It has for me in the past, but it really seems hit or miss, depending on what you are selling.

  3. Great job! THe selling of kids clothes to that place and there’s adult places where you can sell clothes too, I find that so far, you get almost nothing. It’s pretty sucky really. I know they turn around and sell our stuff for much much more than what they give us and that’s just bogus. But by the time you get there with all your stuff, you really just want to be rid of it, right? So you take the pittance and leave. Glad you at least got $10.

    • You’re so right. I think those kinds of stores know that people don’t want to just drag their stuff back home.

  4. I’m glad you got the new tires. You don’t want to compromise on safety on these long trips. Great job.

  5. I love your attitude and how you make needing to delay a purchase to first raise the funds seem like an adventure! I’m rejoicing with you that you met this goal and wish you continued success as you save towards Japanese school. : ) Thanks for the great example!

  6. I always enjoy reading your stories about how you earn money and I am particularly interested in the clothes you sell on eBay. Do you have an estimate of how much time it took you to take pictures, create the listings, package the clothes and ship them? I am a working mom of five and trying to decide if the money I would make by selling clothes is worth the “hourly wage” or if I am better off donating the clothes to charity and avoiding adding the stress. Thank you!

    • It took me about 3 nights to take the pictures and create the listings, so I would say about 9 hours there, and then about 2 to 3 more hours for shipping. That gives me an hourly wage of $24, but in March when I relist the things that didn’t sell, I’ll have to work less because the listings are already stored in eBay. It is time consuming, and I wouldn’t call it a fun process, but I sure like seeing the money come in!

  7. Love the creativity to raise the funds, reduce clutter and pay cash for the tires! I’m inspired!

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