ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Finding Economic Opportunites in Your Everyday Activities

Updated on January 31, 2013
I found these gently used Asics running shoes left on my recycle bin and sold them on eBay.
I found these gently used Asics running shoes left on my recycle bin and sold them on eBay.

In difficult economic times, it is obviously helpful to find ways to make or save money even if it is a small amount. I would not call myself a financial genius, nor would I call myself successful. I don't even know if I could call myself "barely making it". But we do the best we can in the moment. I have come to believe that, no matter what your income, it only makes sense to live frugally and to not bypass an opportunity to make or save money. So I offer this small bit of advice: Do not be too proud to pick up that penny on the street. For many pennies make many dollars.

I do not go to a gym because (no surprise) I cannot afford to. So I try to get some basic exercise by walking. That means walking city streets. And right now that means walking the streets of Los Angeles. I typically walk for about 30-40 minutes, which is a recommended daily amount. It is certainly better than doing nothing for the body. When I started walking in LA, I would often take the back alleys (daytime only) because it avoided the busy streets. The other reason is that it is a great way to find things. I discovered that people in LA love to dump things in the alleys. I mean some really good things! You can find furniture (some good, some bad), sometimes lumber. I have found plenty of spare change. Sometimes quarters, sometimes pesos! My neighbor left his working large-screen TV in the alley. I didn't take it myself because I had no room for it, plus they are extremely heavy and a pain to move by yourself. A local with a pickup truck came by and I helped him put it in the truck. He was very pleased with the find.

My other recent discovery is that someone with an unwanted subscription to The Wall Street Journal has been dumping the papers in the local shared recycle bin. And it's not yesterday's paper. It is today's paper! Hey, that's $2.00 per copy on the newsstand! I have picked up five or six current newspapers now, all clean and dry and still in a plastic wrapper. Don't know how long my luck will last.

My daily walk also takes me past the local library. Inside the lobby they often have free books which the local patrons have left. OK, I'll take some of those, please. Did you know that if you are selective and pick out the better books you can resell them online? Today I found two good trade paperbacks and listed them both on www.half.com. This is my website of choice for selling used books which I try to get for free. One was only selling for 75 cents, but the other had a minimum price of around five dollars! So now it is listed for sale in my book inventory.

So I get my exercise and make a few cents (sometimes dollars) while I am doing it. You can pay to go to a gym or get paid to do it my way. OK, so there is no fancy workout equipment or sweaty hard bodies to watch while taking my walk. But there are always trade-offs...

I encourage you to look for opportunities in your daily activities to make or save money. It can be fun and you will probably learn to observe your surroundings in a whole new way. In fact, most of the human population already lives like this -- they hunt, they gather, they scavenge. It is what keeps the resources churning. No, I am not ready to live in a house built out of found objects (though some people do). But I am always willing to bend down and pick up that penny or two.

Oh, and I found this excellent pair of lightly used Asics running shoes left on my recycle bin with the original box (see photo above). I listed them on eBay and they sold!

PDXBuys

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • PDXBuys profile imageAUTHOR

      PDXBuys 

      6 years ago from Oregon

      This month - free high quality red couch (left in back alley) and two new sealed cases of protein drink worth over $50 left on top of the recycle bin. My neighbor put these out the same day so I knew they were safe. My free printer is still serving me well. Missed a free 6-foot ladder in the alley only because I delayed and someone else got it before me.

    • PDXBuys profile imageAUTHOR

      PDXBuys 

      7 years ago from Oregon

      Thanks for your positive feedback Old Geezer!

    • Old Geezer profile image

      Old Geezer 

      7 years ago from Newport, Oregon

      Hi PDX, Let's face it. We both are having fun being scavengers. I don't have alleys where I live, but I rarely miss a yard sale. I blame my upbringing for being frugal. Too many years living without electricity and running water. FYI I picked up a pair of new running shoes the other day: Bright Orange! When people ask me why an old geezer like myself is wearing orange, I tell them that I thought they were brown. Then I laugh and let them wonder. Good Blogs! and keep having fun!

    • PDXBuys profile imageAUTHOR

      PDXBuys 

      7 years ago from Oregon

      Today I picked up an HP PSC-1350 All-In-One printer with power supply and working ink cartridges. It was FREE! People leave unwanted items in the back alley. What a find! Cleaned it up and downloaded some drivers... Last week - more free food at Starbucks.

    • PDXBuys profile imageAUTHOR

      PDXBuys 

      7 years ago from Oregon

      Today: Free current Wall Street Journal (recycle bin), free paperback book (library give-away), free small pastry and free Wifi (using it now) at the local Starbucks.

    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 

      7 years ago from Houston TX

      Lovely hub,thanks.

    • PDXBuys profile imageAUTHOR

      PDXBuys 

      7 years ago from Oregon

      Thank you livingsimply. I always appreciate positive feedback!

    • livingsimply profile image

      livingsimply 

      7 years ago from Isle of Arran, Scotland

      love this hub. We don't always see the opportunities that are infront of us.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)