Are you contemplating the best ways of taking care of your aging parent? If you are, you know first hand how hard that can be to find the best care for them.
I’m currently dealing with this in my own family as both of my parents are aging and my sisters and I are trying to come together to help them.
If that’s not enough, the pandemic has really made things challenging to get the best care for our elderly loved ones.
Many elderly people in nursing homes have been kept from their friends and families for over a year due to Covid.
Keeping visitors away from the aging population can mean loneliness and isolation. I don’t know about you, but I love people and I sure wouldn’t want to be living my last years on this earth alone!
But that’s where we are due to the pandemic.
Today we have a guest post from Johanna, one of our Flipper U course members. She quit her $70K job, brought her mom home from the nursing home, and became her full-time caretaker!
Johanna has learned how to flip items and has been making an extra $500 per month to help with their family budget. Taking care of your aging parent is hard. Finding a way to earn extra money and take some of the stress away is a huge benefit.
Let’s Hear Her Story
My name is Johanna and I live in South Central Pennsylvania in a quaint little town called Camp Hill. I have two daughters, ages 23 and 17, who both live with me.
My fabulous fiancé Scott and I are engaged. We love live music, being outdoors, traveling, and spending time with family.
In 1992 I got my Bachelor’s degree from Shippensburg University in Social Work, then returned there for a Master’s degree in Counseling a few years later.
I worked as a social worker in a variety of settings. For the past 17 years, I worked as a high school counselor.
But all of that changed in December 2020.
Covid-19 Changed Everything
Like a lot of people, Covid-19 has put a wrench in quite a few things. I come from a very close knit family. Pre-Covid, we gathered together a few times each month for family dinners, travelled together, and did lots of family activities!
Last year was really tough with the pandemic. My parents had moved into a retirement community in 2019 and their building was locked down for most of 2020. Taking care of your aging parent is extra tough when you can’t even see them.
They did finally allow some family in with them and we spent the summer rotating family in and out of the retirement community to be with them.
My dad was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis in 2018 and sadly he passed away in September 2020. It was a devastating, anxious, whirlwind of a time.
At the same time, school was starting back for me with the new online mode due to Covid. I was leading my department of high school counselors remotely.
Something Had to Give!
My mom had to move into Assisted Living for a higher level of care shortly after my dad passed away. I found myself dealing with all of the phone calls and actions that one must take when a parent passes away.
My mom was completely miserable. She was alone with no visitors allowed (this section of the building was still 100% locked down.)
She was experiencing being alone for the first time in 61 years and she was grieving terribly and falling 1-2 times a week.
I knew something had to give! But what? The assisted living was about to move my mom into a smaller one-room situation due to her falling when I put the brakes on it all.
I had always worked full-time. For nearly 30 years, I had worked full-time and then some! But in that moment, I decided to leave my job, buy a new house with my mom, and bring her home to live with me.
In an instant, I went from full-time employee to being her full-time caretaker
On top of that, in just under 40 days I found us a house, put my current smaller home up for sale, sold it, and we moved in on December 15.
My mom was paying an outrageous amount of money each month for assisted-living. We decided together it would be better for her if she paid a mortgage and the bills and I would become her full-time caretaker!
Flipping Provided New Income!
Right before I was quitting my job and me and my mom were moving in together, I started thinking about how I needed to find a way to bring in a little extra money per month to help make things easier with bills.
I happened to come across Flea Market Flipper one evening in October 2020 while I was scrolling through the internet.
For the past several years, I had been making about $100-200 per month by selling online. After reading about Rob and Melissa, I had a thought that maybe this could be something to help us financially.
The few bucks I was making every month was wonderful, but I knew I needed to greatly increase that to make our budget work. Could flipping be my answer?
“I was really impressed with Rob and Melissa. Everything they said made sense to me!” It just seemed doable. And that’s all I needed to get started.
I realized I could learn from them on how to grow this business into more profit each month! And I thought, “I can do this. I can take my online selling business to that height!”
Used Flipping to Heal From Divorce
I first got the bug for flipping used items as a kid when our neighborhood would host their annual community yard sale event.
My mom never really enjoyed this so she would give me a pile of stuff and I would price it, organize it, make signs etc. Then, I would get to keep the money! I have always had annual yard sales and have set up at flea markets many, many times.
But my leap into flipping items started when I got divorced in 2004. There was a new need for extra money so I thought about what I could sell. I decided on all those beautiful formal pieces I had received as wedding gifts 10 years before and never used!
I had formal china dishes, crystal stemware, good flatware, gorgeous Lenox vases. All items that I had never used!! It was a good way to work through the bitterness and anger of my divorce.
As a newly single mom, with two small children, I needed cash and fast!
I began selling on eBay that year and I also used to email everyone I knew with pictures of items I was selling. I called it my own online yard sale!
For several years, I worked part time for an auction company and that fascinated me. Through that, I got into attending estate sales and auctions. I was still just attending these sales for the purpose of buying things for myself and not thinking of flipping things quite yet.
The estate sales were so enjoyable that I even started my own estate sale company for a few years. I loved it so much, but I found it was very time consuming and I could be much more efficient selling online and making money other ways.
You Name It, I’ve Sold it!
Oftentimes, people get into niches. Maybe they find an item that they enjoy selling and they tend to focus on that one item.
For me, I sell lots of different things! When I first started, I sold my own items I no longer needed. Old wedding gifts I had never used, my kids clothing and toys, and household items.
Today I am still doing that, but now I have learned so much from our flipping group that I have also begun sourcing items to resell. This is all new for me as I have never really done that before.
I have certainly broadened myself in the variety of items that I sell!
I sell mostly small items and some furniture. Some new, some used, some upcycled, some antique and vintage!
Just recently, I sold two golden yellow plastic trash cans from the 1970s that had been in my parents’ house for 40+ years. They were just trash cans!
My parents used one as a recycling bin for 10 years. Both were in great condition and had a cool vintage 70s vibe to them!
But really, they were just plastic trash cans! And two different people bought them and had me ship them to them! It constantly amazes me what people will buy!
That is one thing I have learned. There are so many things to sell. The possibilities are endless.
From Full-Time Work to Full-Time Caregiver
I have to say it was scary leaving my full-time job where I made $70,000 per year. It helped knowing that my mom’s financial situation was solid and this situation was definitely better for her than where she was living.
We decided together that my mom would cover our mortgage and household bills and that I would bring in $500 per month to cover my personal expenses and unexpected bills.
My first goal when I started flipping seriously was to reach $500 per month.
For the first three months of 2021, I have exceeded that goal!
Things have been pretty crazy here with moving in and just trying to get settled, so I am not quite yet working my business to the maximum hours per week.
Currently, I am probably only working at it about 10 hours per week. My goal is to be more like 15 to 20 hours per week.
Now that things are settling in with unpacking and getting my mom situated here in our new home, I plan to up my goal to $700 per month and I have no doubt I can meet that new goal!
Proper Training and Support Brings Success
When I first found Flipper U, I knew a lot of the basic flipping skills already, but I knew I needed to amp it up! When considering jumping into the course, I felt it was a good investment for my future and that I could learn a lot.
I am very happy with how taking Flipper University has really helped me succeed. Since going through the program I think the biggest mindset change was the idea of sourcing items to flip items instead of just selling my own items.
I had never really done that before. Getting trained and getting the support I need has really opened my eyes to a whole new avenue of income!
Getting the support with like-minded people has also really been helpful in my success.
I love being able to bounce ideas off others and hear from their experience in the members’ private Facebook group.
Being in this supportive environment has helped me learn a great deal about packing items for shipping. I use all recycled boxes and materials for packing and I have been able to get really organized with these things.
It has been really inspiring to hear about others’ success stories and that has helped me build confidence in this business.
Making it All Work
It’s been a very hard year with a lot of changes, but I love how easy it has been making my flipping business work for me and my mom.
I have found I can work my business anytime of the day, any day of the week. There is no work schedule to tie me down, which is really helpful being a full-time caregiver for my mom.
“I’m able to care for my mother, keep my family together, and make money! That’s a great combination!”
Being able to have my mom here in my home has been a game changer. I no longer worry about her loneliness, her safety, or that she is grieving alone.
Instead of keeping her in isolation 100% of the time like she was at her last place of care, now I cautiously am able to bring family to come to visit her. This has absolutely been wonderful for my mom and for our close-knit family.
I never really had an office in my other house and so I established a really great office and working space in this house complete with a photo area, shipping station, and storage.
It’s been a lot of new things to learn
Of course there are always learning curves increasing inventory, sourcing, and learning more about eBay to reach more people. This is all new for me since I had been using pretty much just Facebook marketplace for the past two years or so.
All in all, it’s been challenging, but amazing! I have so much more confidence and am pushing myself to my new monthly goal of $750 a month! I plan to increase little by little as I continue to get adjusted to my new life as a full-time caregiver for my mom.
The other big benefit of working my flipping business is that the income potential is really limitless. The more I put into it the business, the more I get out of it.
Learning about sourcing for items with my Flipper U family has really upped my income
And I have had really good experiences with people picking up, shipping going well, and customers being satisfied.
I’ve even been able to expand my business by doing some consignment deals with friends. I’ve helped an elderly friend to liquidate many items as she downsized.
These items are just things that were going out to the curb for trash! In the past two months, I’ve taken these unwanted items and put an extra $900 in her pocket while being able to earn some profit for myself.
I have always been in helping professions. Even though I am no longer in a formal job in my field, it feels good to still be able to help others.
This year has been a whirlwind. Losing my dad, selling and buying a house, quitting my job, moving in with my mom and becoming a full-time caretaker has been a lot to get used to. Moving and getting settled has been challenging for me.
But being able to make an extra income from flipping and be with my mom is something I am very thankful for.
Thank you so much Johanna. The sky is the limit for your future in flipping!
What about you? Do you want to earn extra money to do the things you want to? Check out our Free Intro Flipping Webinar to see if flipping might be a way to make that extra money!