Selling Your Belongings To Pay Your Debt Is Not a Good Solution
What happens on your next big purchase?
Many people believe that selling their stuff will get them out of debt. So they look for things they don’t use and sell them. Usually, those belongings are sold in a price way lower than the original price they bought them. And so, using this money, they pay some of their debt. At the end of the day, they still have debt and they don’t have that belonging anymore. Frustrating.
They advanced one or two steps towards freedom, but selling our belongings doesn’t solve the problem for the long run.
Here’s what I started doing. I lay it out here for you and hope that you may find it useful.
Last February, I told my parents about my debt, and through their help, I committed to paying all of it as soon as I am able.
It’s not an easy task, but I set out to do it anyway. I thought about the monthly payments and how can I pay them faster. I have a pretty good salary so far that allows me to cover all of the monthly expense and leave me with a bit of change.
But I wanted to pay faster. It doesn’t help me if I cover my monthly expenses, but those monthly payments will last for forty more months. I don’t have time for that. I needed to cut deeper into my debt. Hopefully, this will save me some of the planned interest money if I pay sooner.
So, I thought about selling some of my stuff. Most notably, I have a Macbook and a tablet. Now, I do already have a laptop from work. Not a Mac but good enough for most uses and definitely works for writing.
I wanted to sell it and preferably make up some of the money that it cost me (a lot). That way, I can at least repay some of the money immediately.
I let the idea simmer in my head for a while, and I went to play some Anno 1800. As I was playing Anno, a concept I was familiar with rose back to my memory: increasing income before buying new things.
In Anno, you run a city with a budget. You have a monthly income from people that live in your town, and you have your expenses. One of the critical concepts of the game is that you should remain on top of your budget.
Everything you own — besides the houses of your citizens — incurs a monthly expense. That’s why you should always have a higher “free” income before you buy something new that might put you in the red and then instead of earning, you’ll start to lose money.
This fundamental concept, coupled with the fact that I had just thought about my debt and how to solve it — sparked an idea.
One I couldn’t ignore anymore.
My income is static at the moment — a salary. That’s what I earn. I do occasionally earn from the MPP too but not enough to change my life. Perhaps to buy myself a few coffee cups as I write.
I don’t have any other streams of income at the moment. I made one Udemy course some time ago, and I’m preparing to create a paid newsletter too. But for now, I don’t have anything that I can say will keep me in the green.
I needed to change that, and fortunately, I had the right tools to do so — my old belongings!
Usually, we want to sell old phones, computers, tablets, etc. These are the things that have enough value to be worthwhile the agony of selling something on the internet.
People will come to look, and they won’t be decisive. Your time is your most valuable possession. You may waste it on showing your old computer to many people until one of them will decide to buy it from you, if at all.
What we don’t understand is that these old tech products that lie around our house are what we need to produce digital products! Your old mac could be used to develop an app for the Apple app store. Your Android phone could be used to test an app you built on your Windows machine for the Google Play Store.
Your tablet could be used to watch Netflix while you walk on the treadmill. A good PS4 you don’t use could be used to stream games you never play on the internet, to make some extra cash from views on YouTube. If it becomes something that will make you money, you won’t feel guilty about doing it.
Do you see where this is going?
Instead of selling your old belongings, use them to create new income streams or to invest in yourself.
It’s not an easy idea — but it’s brilliant all the same! One thing I want to do before the year is over is to release an app using my Macbook. Whatever money that app will make me will be an amazing bonus.
If you have something at home that you can’t find a use for, like an old iPad that is so slow that you can’t run stuff on it — then don’t hesitate to sell it. Selling stuff is still a legitimate solution. This story is not about keeping your stuff. On the contrary, paying your debt is all that matters.
What I suggest is to do it while increasing your monthly income, just like playing Anno. It’s the difference between getting 100$ one time or getting 100$ monthly. No matter how you look at it —‘monthly’ income becomes profitable to you at some point.
Hopefully, with what you learned here today, you will go over your belongings and find some uses for them that may make you money.
Here’s a good starting point — remember how much you paid for this tablet? Find a way to use it to earn that amount. It’s not something that looks impossible like your entire debt — it’s what you already paid for it. 200$? 300$? A bit more? Perhaps it was a Macbook that you spent a crazy amount for like 3000$ — but it’s a computer. It opens many doors to earning money, and you need to be creative.
Earn the worth of your old belongings every month and see your life change. If you can’t do it, then sell them. Don’t just sell them outright because that won’t be a good solution.