WHAT'S HOT RIGHT NOW:
Ever since I started reading The Dollar Stretcher, I’ve been intrigued by consignment stores as a place to sell clothes for cash. (See this article from 2002, for example.) One reason I haven’t done it is that I don’t think my own clothes are consignment-worthy. Except for rare occasions, I don’t buy expensive brand-name clothing, and I don’t own many clothes in the first place. But the idea that one could walk into one’s closet, pick out some stuff, and make cash from it is pretty appealing.
Today, I came across a great guide to selling children’s clothes on consignment at Baby Cheapskate. I love the guidance she gives when it comes to quality: Ask yourself if you would give the item you’re considering as a gift. If yes, it’s consignment-worthy. She also has good info on the different ways consignment stores can work and how to find one in your neighborhood.
Alas, at this point, I have only a few pieces of kid’s clothing that are consignment-worthy. (I am pretty ruthless about decluttering – no matter how nice the item is, if the kids won’t be comfortable in it or won’t wear it for some other reason, I pass it on to someone else.) But I still find the idea appealing!
- Sell some of the stuff that got you into debt in the first place. Hold a garage sale, list your stuff on Amazon.com or eBay, or put an ad in a local newspaper.
- Never spend change. Put all of your coins into a big jar at the end of the day. Once a month, sort the coins and put them into sleeves that you can get at the bank. Deposit the coins and write a check to your lender.
- Cook more at home and take leftovers for lunch. (More on that tomorrow in the Financial Tip of the Week.)
- Cut back on “extras” for a week, add it all up, and put it toward your debt. If you skip that morning coffee and afternoon soda, wash the car yourself, use Dryel instead of going to the drycleaners, and have dinner at Baja Fresh instead of El Torito, you might find yourself with a good amount of cash for the week. It might even be enough to motivate you to skip the extras until you’ve paid off all of your debts!
- Spend an hour online shopping around for the best deals on insurance, phone service, and banking.
- Check your house for energy efficiency before winter arrives. Many utility companies will perform a free energy efficiency check.
- Sell underperforming investments.
- Make sure you haven’t forgotten about old bank accounts or other deposits. The Dollar Stretcher has a list of links to each state’s Unclaimed Property website.
- Check your tax withholdings and increase your number of exemptions if you will have overpaid at the end of the year.