A Little Extra Cash?
Ernie Neve, CPA
August 6, 2020
No matter how you’re weathering the pandemic, the truth is, most of us are still looking to keep our cash reserves as high as possible. Whether it’s a rainy day fund we’ve let get low or we’re just needing to pay off some debt that has crept up, the team and I have some ideas to generate a little “extra” for you…
Sell some old electronics. Old phones, old gaming consoles, even “vintage” electronics from your parent’s time all seem to be in demand on many online auction sites like eBay. The popularity – or at least novelty – of older equipment has driven prices for home stereo units into the triple digits, when only a few years ago, no one wanted them. Earlier generation iPhones in optimal shape always seem to sell quickly, too. If you’ve got older stuff sitting in a drawer, it might be worth it to dust it off, charge it up, and get it listed.
Precious metal scrap. Just like old electronics, broken jewelry has a lot of value, too, and is likely sitting in a drawer at the house. Check with several metals dealers, both online and at storefront locations, to get quotes. These days, you can reasonably expect to receive about 85% to 90% of your gold or silver’s melt value.
Clean out the closet. As Americans, we seem to have a fascination with clothing. If your closet is overflowing but your wallet isn’t, selling gently used and name brand clothing online on sites like eBay can generate some quick cash and help you thin out the closet, too. And even though I said “gentle” remember, the “worn” look seems to be fashionable these days, so if those jeans are broken in “just right” they might be worth even more to someone else. The same is particularly true of kid’s clothes, since so many children seem to grow out of clothing before they can ever wear it out.
Redeem those rewards points on your credit card. This might seem too simple, but I’m always pleasantly surprised when I go to pay my credit card bill and realize I’ve “saved” some points. Personally, I use those towards the balance, but we’ve also used them for vacations, airline tickets, and even rental cars.
Of course, there are loads of other things, too. Unused furniture (there’s actually a website for this – Chairish.com!), old books, and nearly any type of unwanted housewares. These have long been the realm of charitable giving, but these days, as many people keep working hard to make ends meet, a tax deduction in April is a long ways away.
Freelancing “gigs”. We’ve discussed the many ways that freelancing has taken over many “old” departments in businesses, and if you are a sharp graphics creator or a great copywriter, many companies will be very happy to have you on board as a 1099 employee. Opportunities range from online boards like Zendesk and Fiverr to simple word-of-mouth in your hometown, but they are out there for the asking.
Cash is only easy to find when you’re looking for it, so use these techniques and you’ll probably be amazed at how quickly you can generate a lot of it. Keep that momentum going, because making money is a habit and you can train yourself to do – over and over again.
Oh, and yes, to a degree, ALL these have some tax components to them, so make sure to document how the money showed up and, if you have any questions, be sure to ask me and the team – we’re always ready for a phone call!
All the best-