Pay it Down: How to Pay Off Debt When You’re Broke
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Last week, I told you about the ways I was focusing on physical fitness for free. Part of the reason I’m not investing anything in gym memberships or fitness programs is
It was then I learned to get creative with how I would pay it off. I would look for ways to make over and above my current income and put that amount towards my debt. My hope was that I would pay off debt quicker and have more financial freedom moving forward. So here are a couple of ways you can pay down your debts when you’re broke.
1. Sell Your Stuff
There are a few ways I go about selling my stuff to ensure I get the most money. We’ll likely always have things we don’t need, so why not turn that stuff into cash? Last year I successfully made $1000 in 3 months just selling unused stuff. Here’s how I’ve done it.
From time to time I go through my closet and purge things I don’t need anymore. I then start by taking these things to our local consignment shop Uptown Cheapskate. It’s such a cute shop. They are pretty choosy about what they buy and when, but it’s always my first stop for quick cash. They give you back anything they don’t want to buy.
Anything that Uptown Cheapskate doesn’t want to buy, I box up and send to my favorite online consignment shop, ThredUp. You can ship your stuff to them and they’ll pay you for the things they want. You will have to pay them if you want them to send back things they don’t want. But, I never do this. If I’m getting rid of it, I’m getting rid of it without any conditions. The only issue is their processing times take quite a while. It takes them about 3 weeks to process the stuff and then another couple of weeks to cash it in.
Household Items & Electronics
My go-to place to sell other things from around the house is Facebook Sale groups and Marketplace. You can typically find them for your community by doing a search
If you don’t have luck there, you can always try Ebay. They are specifically great for electronics and collectibles. My last line of defense is a garage sale. They are a lot of work, but will make you a good deal of cash in one or two days.
2. User Testing
This past year, I recently started doing User Testing. A few different sites offer this service, but I particularly like UserTesting.com. You basically go through a review of different websites and give your thoughts about the look and functionality of the site. Companies use the information you provide to improve their websites. The great thing is, UserTesting pays $10 per test (sometimes more in special instances) and the tests usually last between 10-20 minutes. You can’t make a full time income off of this, but I’ve made about $150 in a month doing them. I typically keep the dashboard open throughout the day and try to grab a test or two as they become available.
3. Sell Your Craft
Most people know that I have an Etsy shop. My success
Maybe crafting isn’t your thing, but you can string some words together. Maybe you can consider writing a small ebook and selling it! Kindle Publishing Direct allows you to do just that and sell it on Amazon.
Whatever your talent is, you can look for ways to sell it. Busk on the street corner. Babysit for a family. Clean houses on the side. Take whatever you’re good at and put it to use to earn some extra cash.
4. Sell Your Plasma
Now, for purposes of full disclosure, I’ve never done this. I hate needles. I do, however, have friends and family who have done this with some success. Every dollar adds up. So, if needles don’t make you queasy, put your veins to good use for some extra cash!
5. Cut your Bills
Sometimes extra money is as simple as decreasing your monthly bills. For me, I got rid of cable and started using streaming services for our entertainment. We swapped all our regular light bulbs out for LEDs ($1 a piece at the Dollar Tree) to save money on our light bill. I reached out to our internet and cell phone providers to see if there were any ways of decreasing our current monthly bill. Take a look at your expenditures every month and see where you can cut. We started spending less on groceries and we definitely do not eat out at all (unless we have gift cards).
I’m hoping with these tricks (with the exception of the plasma one), I’ll be able to eradicate my debt this year. The most exciting thing is I should be able to have my car paid off in the next couple of months using these ideas! Once I do, I’ll take that monthly amount and put it towards another bill (thanks, Dave Ramsey, for your snowballing ideas).
What are ways you make some extra money? Have you ever paid off major debts? How’d you feel? How is life different for you?