So if you’re like most Americans, you probably own a lot of stuff. It’s an interesting fact that many of us are living from check to check and have less than $400 in savings BUT we all have storage units filled with things we usually don’t need or stuff lying around the house or yard. It’s kind of the American way isn’t it.
Well, if you are wondering when it might be a good time to sell some of those items, keep on reading! 🙂
But first let me provide some disclaimers. I own a business that helps connect online borrowers to online lenders (extrafunds.com). We of course like what we do and love to help people use credit to their benefit. But, we also love to help people get a hold of their finances and encourage borrowers to exhaust other resources before applying for any small dollar loan.
One great way to avoid getting a costly installment loan is to look at whatever assets you have that you can liquidate. The best time do this is when you are not desperate to sell.
So here’s a friendly bit of advice. Avoid pawn shops and anything like unto them. Play It Again Sports, for example, is not a great place to get good value for what you may own. First try a friend, if you’re selling a bicycle for example. Play It Again’s goal is to buy as low as possible and sell as high as possible. Since they are selling used items and are looking to be a better value than a normal retailer, you will get beat up when trying to sell to them. Same goes for used car dealers, pawn shops, etc. Try Craigslist first or the local paper or radio. You’ll even have better luck at your own garage sale.
You might be really surprised at how much money you can get by selling things you don’t need anymore. And I guarantee you’ll feel better. Something amazing happens inside when you de-clutter your life.
My recommendation for when you are swimming in cash is to pay off bad debt. When I say bad debt, I mean high interest loans, old credit card balances, friends, old doctor bills… all the stuff that causes you to lose sleep at night. I’ve said this before but it’s worth repeating. Don’t feel like you need to make minimum payments on everything – sometimes that’s a waste of hard earned money. Pay off as much as you can when you can. For example if you have an extra $1000 and you owe $5,000 on credit cards and your balances are $250, $1,000, $500, and $3250. Your minimum payment is say $50 on each card. I’d recommend taking your $1,000 and paying OFF the $250 and $500. Make minimum payments on your $1,000 and $3250 plus whatever is leftover, pay down one of the balances. Then I’d make sure I NOT use those cards again if I can help it. Or at least only use them responsibly.
If you own a home and have any potential value in it, NOW is the time to refinance or sell. Interest rates will NEVER get any lower and I think we are nearing the top of the real estate market in most areas of the country. Remember that economic cycles typically last 7 years. The last market correction came in the fall of 2008 so 2015 could be our year.
The Fed is also already talking about raising interest rates this fall. Rates rising might also quickly spike demand in real estate and/or cause people to refi or sell, or buy before the rates go back up. This could be great for you if you’re looking to sell and make more money. But, either way, the safe bet, if you are thinking about taking advantage of any asset value in your home, is to start looking at this option now.
I have a friend who just refinanced his home. He was able to lock in a lower rate for 30 years and get $30,000 out to pay off credit cards. He’s closing those credit accounts and he’s saving $800 per month! Smart move.
Well, the best time to sell stuff is today. Don’t put it off if you’re feeling like you’re wasting money and space and could use the cash to get out of debt.
Thanks for reading and continued success in working towards getting your house in order!