Dave Ramsey, financial guru, once said to get out of debt he held a garage sale, selling so much that his kids thought they were going to be next. While this may seem like an extreme thing to do, the fact is that it is a good strategy to use in your arsenal of tools that will get you out of debt.
First of all, selling unwanted and unneeded items will earn you actual cash money that can then be used toward paying down your debt. A typical yard sale can earn you anywhere from $300 to $2,000 for just a few hours of selling on a Saturday.
Once you see the actual money coming in, don’t be surprised if you get a little addicted. Most people who host yard sales find themselves heading back into their homes to see what else they can bring out to sell. Witnessing household clutter being turned into real money can give you a great feeling and motivate you toward your financial goals.
Getting all of that stuff out of your home and onto the lawn or out for sale in the garage has another effect. It helps you to see how much money you may have spent over the years on items that you no longer need or maybe never needed. With rare exception, you will never get all of that money back, even if you do turn your clutter into some cash. Just witnessing this reality may inspire you to spend less in the future.
Spending less is another way to get out of debt. Living below your means gives you the extra resources to start paying off your bills and build a solid financial future. Every time you use a credit card, you are taking out a loan. If that loan is not paid in full, the purchase continues to cost your more and more money in interest. This is money that should belong to you and not the credit card companies.
Garage sales are a good source of inexpensive items for purchase. While it might not be as convenient to shop a yard sale as it is to simply get in the car and head down to your favorite retail store, you will spend quite a bit less on your wants and needs and will not have to pay tax on them. For example, you could pay $200 plus tax for an average bicycle that is new or just $10 for the same bicycle that is slightly used. The difference of $190 can help you to pay off a debt.
Some good finds at garage sales include tools, furniture, children’s clothing and toys, books, older electronics, lawn equipment, kitchen items, office equipment and antiques. Use the newspaper and online classifieds to find garage sales in your area. To ensure the most success, target community sales and multi-family sales, so you will be exposed many different items for sale in one area.