In case you’ve just joined us, the January Money Diet is a challenge to take a 31-day break from nonessential spending. You can learn more about the money diet here — and jump right in!
Today’s challenge is one of my favorites. Find something unused among your treasures, sell it to a buyer for cash, and either invest the money or pay down debt. It’s what I like to call the Happy Simple Living Trifecta – you’ll eliminate clutter and free up some space, you’ll improve your net worth, and you’ll keep one more thing out of landfill.
One of the easiest ways to get started is by selling unwanted books, DVDs and CDs on Amazon. You don’t need to take any photographs; just sign up for a seller account, list your items (Amazon gives you very specific guidelines so you can accurately list the quality of the item) and wait for the orders. Books and discs are easy to ship, and Amazon reimburses you for the postage. If you use the USPS’s media mail, you might even make a little profit on the shipping fee.
eBay takes a little more effort, but the results can be amazing — especially if you have a hot collectible. I’ve sold hundreds of things on eBay, and their Quick Start Guide shows you how easy it is to list your items. Just set up a seller account, take a photo of your item, write an accurate description, and carefully pack and ship your item. If that sounds like too much, you can use a third party seller who will take care of the transaction for you in exchange for a cut of the sale.
Craigslist can be great for getting rid of larger items like unwanted furniture or appliances. If you have unworn clothing, you can take it to a consignment store or a retailer like Plato’s Closet that pays cash on the spot for trendy clothing. If you live in a warmer climate, you can hold a garage sale this month.
Homework Assignment #9: Look around, see what you’re ready to part with, and find a buyer. Just don’t put the money in the general fund. Instead, use the cash to directly improve your net worth. Be sure to let us know what you sell this month!
Win a Deluxe Happy Simple Living Gift Basket
In honor of the January Money Diet, I’ll be giving away a gift basket chock-full of home and garden goodies plus several books at the end of the month. On January 31, 2013, I’ll draw one random name from everyone who commented during the month and that lucky person will win the gift basket. I hope you’ll stop by often this month and share your own ideas, thoughts and experiences about taking a 31-day break from nonessential spending.