Photo: Livia Gershon
Rick Everhard was pulling little pink shirts from a box when I saw him. He was setting up a display at a yard sale outside his new home.Rick needed to get rid of some stuff, he said. He was downsizing from a three-bedroom apartment down the street where he paid $1,100 a month to a room in a friend’s apartment that he’s getting for $400.
The clothes Rick was selling were things his two-year-old daughter, Giana, has grown out of. She lives with him half the time, and in their new place she’s going to share a room with his friend’s daughter. The arrangement works out especially well because the friend’s girlfriend also takes care of Giana some of the time when Rick’s working.
He isn’t working as much as he’d like, which is why he had to move. He picks up different types of work, but lately he’s mostly doing drywall, he said. Sometimes he gets 30 hours a week or more, but the last couple of weeks he’s worked less than 10. Until recently he was making $10 an hour, but he just got a bump to $13, he said.
Rick keeps his expenses low. One of the big things he spends money on is energy drinks, he said—he thinks he might spend more on that than on food. He knows it’s not the most sensible choice, but he tries to stay healthy in other ways.
“I don’t drink. I don’t smoke,” he said.
Rick is also a rapper, and he tries to keep his music positive. “It’s actually real motivational stuff,” he said. His tracks include a tribute to his father full of lines like “I wouldn’t be half the man I am if it wasn’t for this man.”
When it comes to the things his daughter needs, Rick said his ex, who waitresses at a nice restaurant, helps him out, making sure he can pay for Giana’s expenses on the days he has her. “She makes good money,” he said.
And he said other people help too. “If I’m over at a friend’s house they’ll cook dinner for her,” he said.
Aside from Giana’s old clothes, Rick was selling some of his stuff at the yard sale. He’s a bit of a hoarder, he said, but if he can get $50 for some of his old movies and things he said he’d be happy to get rid of them.
He used to work for a property management company, clearing out empty homes. Sometimes people who got evicted left everything behind, and he’d be able to bring it home and sell what he could.
Small-scale reselling is a regular thing at the house Rick is moving into. They have yard sales like this one every few months. Rick told me his friend’s father, who lives on the lower level, collects items all year, shopping at consignment shops and Walmart closeouts. If he plays it right, Rick told me, he can pick up something for $3.99 at Walmart when there’s a big sale and then sell it for $5 later.
“It’s basically like investing,” he said.