Get Out of Debt: 20 Things You Can Sell To Pay Down Debt

Sell To Get Out Of Debt

Time to get out of debt. Time to not only make a budget, but time to sell something! What should you sell?

Things You Can Sell!

Here are some ideas of things you can sell or downgrade in order to get your debt payment going. Selling stuff is just one of many ways you can make money!

1. A house.

This is the biggest – and hardest – thing to let go of, but if you can do it, it will help the most in many cases.

2. A car.

You can downgrade in car, or sell one and live on one (or none!). Most of us would make great headway financially if we would step down in car, even just slightly.

3. Furniture.

When getting out of debt, a card table works as well as a fancy wooden dining room table. Do you really need 4 TVs in your house?

4. Clothes.

Many people have helped themselves get out of debt by selling clothes, especially children’s clothing. My wife and I had two garage sales where we sold almost nothing but our children’s clothing that they had outgrown.

5. Toys.

Besides helping with debt, this is a great teaching tool for kids. One toy in, one toy out!

6. Plasma.

Okay, selling parts of our body may be a little extreme, but plasma could save someone’s life and you get a few bucks, so, why not?

7. Books.

Unless you must keep books for work, you can sell older books online or in yard sales. Also, the library will help you save money on getting books. It’s free.

8. Cable/Satellite.

We turned off our DirecTV three years ago and have never missed it. We have since subscribed to, but we are still spending over $60 per month less than we did with DirecTV. Check out Hulu Plus, Netflix, and other online resources. Sports fans (like me) can watch tons of games online for free now.

9. Internet.

Okay, so you don’t want to go to dial-up, but could you downgrade your speed just a bit to help out? Most of us could, unless you do a lot of graphic work online.

10. Old Gadgets.

Why do you still have five old computers and three old cell phones lying around? Clear off your personal data, and sell them. If they no longer have market value, give them away, and you’ll at least have more space and peace of mind!

11. Your Own Creations.

Do you bake? Do you can fruit? Do you make scrapbooks? Can you sew? Paint? Are you a woodworker? Web designer? Why not sell some of your own creations! Today, you can sell most of them online and it will cost you very little, if anything.

12. Your Own Services.

Maybe you have small yards in your neighborhood. Why not offer to mow a couple of them on your day off? Or you could walk dogs, clean gutters, rake leaves, shovel snow, pressure-wash driveways, prune trees, paint rooms…the possibilities are nearly endless.

13. An eBook or Download.

Got an idea for a how-to book or just some information that is too long for a blog post? Create an ebook or a pdf download that people can purchase. This is a great way to earn a few extra dollars each month, and it can go on for as long as you leave the information available online.

14. Produce.

Sell some of those prized tomatoes from the garden.

15. Online Games.

Do you really need to be paying for all those online role-playing games? Maybe keep just one going, and use the extra money to pay off debt, and the extra time to talk to people–in person!

16. Magazine Subscriptions.

Which ones do you actually read? Which can wait until you are out of debt?

17. Gym Memberships.

Most people can get much of the health benefit by working out at home, and it will cost far less.

18. A Storage Unit.

Now that you are selling stuff, do you really need that extra “pod,” shed, or unit across town?

19. Rental/Vacation Property.

When you are out of debt and have tons of money, you can buy again. While you are in debt, you are asking for trouble from extra real estate.

20. Non-retirement Savings/Investments.

Do not – I repeat, do not – cash out a 401(k) or other retirement account to pay off debt unless you are literally facing bankruptcy or foreclosure. But, if you just have a $10,000 account out there that you built up a few years ago, sell it and pay down debt. You’ll get your $10,000 back soon enough!

Obviously, this list could go on and on. The idea is help us all see that it is just stuff, and there are nearly endless ways to help our budgets by selling things or downgrading a bit in what we use. When you do, that sound you hear will be your financial wheels finally getting some traction.

What are some things you have sold to help you get out of debt? Leave more ideas in the comments!

  1. Finance Yoga

    This is an awesome post. I have done almost all of them other than selling my house, but I didn’t need to to get out of debt either. I am living proof that you don’t need a gym to loose weight and get into shape. I got rid of both of our cars and bought a couple cars for cash with our tax refund one year, it is amazing how much that cleared up in our finances! Plus, they get better gas mileage than the SUV and truck that we had. To touch on “sell your own creations”, I actually started making my own fishing baits at home and selling them after I tested them out, I don’t make a whole lot of money with it, but it pays for my hobby so I could spend that money on debt relief.

    Word of advice to everyone out there trying to get out of debt… DONT GIVE UP, it feels great to be debt free… and as Dave Ramsey would say it… it feels great to be “Weird”.

  2. Tim @ Faith and Finance

    #20 is a tough one to include. I would say that for someone facing a massive amount of debt, they’re probably not the best at saving. Cashing in a retirement fund of $10,000 may eliminate the problem short term, but the big problem – inability to save – is still there. Unfortunately I don’t think that rebuilding a $10,000 retirement fund will come quickly for people facing big debt unless they completely reshape their spending/saving habits.

    Good tips overall though – I just wouldn’t recommend cashing out any amount from a retirement plan to pay down debt.

    • Andrew

      I think that’s what he is saying. The first sentence in that tip is to not cash out any retirement accounts. I think the tip is referring to random investments that can be easily cashed out that are not in a retirement account.

    • Adam Faughn

      You are right, and I should have included that caveat. It is not worth cashing out retirement if one has not changed his/her habits. Well said.

  3. Alice at Dont Debt

    I would say that if any of your readers are college students, be sure to sell your books back at the end of the semester. Buy used if possible to start with, and this will give you the best return on your money.

    Also for college students: if you had to have a fancy calculator for that class you hated, try to sell it online or to another student who is in that class next semester.

    • Adam Faughn

      Very good tips for college students. The tip about books needs to be heeded!!!

    • Judi

      My daughter is able to rent college books at a fraction of the cost to buy new or used. No hassle to return and she doesn’t have to try to sell it when the term ends.

  4. Marianne

    We have done/ are doing nearly all of these but not to pay down debt. Currently all extra $ made goes into a car fund for when we need to replace our vehicle. These are still great ways to clear out clutter and make extra money even if you have no debt!

  5. Nate @ Vertex42

    We have done most of these suggestions at one point or another and they can work. When we sold our home, it was a major relief and helped us financially. Some of these help in big ways and some in small ways, but they all add up.

  6. Julie @ Freedom 48

    Lots of great ideas! Unfortunately when cleaning house I just want the stuff gone – so i load up the car and drop off a bunch of donations at the local goodwill. Knowing that I could have actually sold the books, furniture and electronics is tough. I should try to be more patient, and try to make a few bucks.

    • Adam Faughn

      Not necessarily. We have given away tons of “trinkets” and some of our adult clothing, too. Even though you don’t make the money, it’s still a great personal habit to remind yourself to be generous, even in the midst of removing debt.

    • MEL810

      I hope you got a tax receipt for those Goodwill donations! That can help reduce your tax burden, which in turn helps out with debt and finance.
      At our local Goodwill, they give you a ‘frequent donator card.’ You get 20% off any Goodwill purchase after four donations. Then if you need things, just back to Goodwill!

  7. A Cover

    its a helpful article who is going to debt. can protect bankruptcy by selling his own assets. but in the real life its so pathetic to sell house, car and etc.

  8. djboo

    You’re right when you said sell old clothes! But in our case we just gave them out to our less fortunate brothers and sisters. But yea you can sell them and earn just a little from it.

    Another thing that you can sell is your old gadgets. especially those who are obsolete and outdated.

    God bless!

  9. Joolie

    A note about selling your creations and/or services, especially online (vs. to friends and family); make sure you have the required licenses and collect taxes or you’re considered selling on the black market and Big Brother frowns on that. I found the burden of the rules and fees outweighed the benefits, so I limit my selling to friends and family. Especially with food (jams & jellies in my case) the rules are extensive, and you leave yourself open to litigation if a stranger discovers anything foreign in your product, heaven forbid. Finally, do the math! Make sure you’re making a profit after your expenses :)

    • Adam Faughn

      Very good point. Admittedly, I am not “up to speed” on the steps to take to do this, but I would be interested in learning the parameters of selling your own creations. Thanks for this reminder.

  10. Joan

    Good post! This past year we got in a bind and had a few garage sales to pay the bills plus, the groceries. Each week we needed money, we got lucky. One week we even sold some money my hubby had from his Merchant Marine days overseas and we got almost $200.00 – we were shocked! That money had been laying around for years! Sold some gold and silver too and got $570.00 that week. We stopped using credit cards and were bound and determined to get by without them! Luckily, we are doing better now.

    • Adam Faughn

      Totally should have included 21 things, and included “gold, silver, jewelry!” That one was obvious, and I totally missed it! Thanks for the reminder.

    • MEL810

      Yep! I have a sterling silver service for eight that I am going to sell. I don’t have much debt right now so that money will go into a retirement savings account.

  11. Penny

    You have included some great ideas. We originally started selling things on eBay when we first started the Dave Ramsey plan. It helped us get out of debt a lot faster and now that we are debt free, I continue to sell things on eBay to clear clutter and recoup some of the expense. I guess some habits are hard to break!

  12. Joe Morgan

    Do people still by books?

    There are people who buy new books, and there are people who thin the cost of a new book ($8 for a paperback!?) is ridiculous. The people in the first group typically don’t buy used, and the people in the 2nd group use libraries or don’t pay much in general.

    Sites like eBay,Half and Amazon sell pre-owned books in “new” condition for pennies. It’s a great deal for the shopper, but you don’t really make any money selling books these days.

    • Matt S.

      I have been selling books on Amazon for over 10yrs and have always made good money. I started selling as an FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) program and NET between $1000-1700/month average. Great way to earn extra money. Pays my rent & car payment every month.

    • Ruth Ann

      What´s necessary to become a FBA?
      How much do you earn for a book?

  13. Carl Lassegue

    Selling old gadgets can make you a lot of money. Keep in mind that even if you cannot sell some of the items, giving them away can help save money too if you keep the receipts and claim them on your tax return.

  14. Drew Custer

    Car. Most important one on the list. I find so often that people spend more than they should on their vehicles. It is one area of our life that we tend to live above our means with. Keep your head level when looking at that car that you know is outside the budget.

  15. We’ve sold our camping trailer, one of our vehicles, and lots of smaller items we didn’t need anymore. It can add up quickly, especially if you are using it to pay down debt that is incurring interest. Great post!

  16. MEL810

    We can’t get by w/o a car but we do have a used Subaru. Unless you live in a major city with great public transportation, in America at least one car is a necessity.
    I take the bus to work but my SO can not. My employer gives me a bus pass and pays 75% of the fare. The other 25% comes out my pay pre-tax. So my transportation to work is cheap.
    We live in a suburb w/ no public bus service after 7:00 p.m. on weekdays and none at all on weekends or holidays. What service we do have is lousy but at least the commuter bus is okay and stops right outside of our condo and again right outside of my office building. . However, in order to go to anywhere outside of walking distance on weekends or evenings, a car is mandatory.
    Having said this: I see so many people I know that buy fancy cars, new or used and think ‘ They are not wealthy; that is so stupid!”
    It seems many people’s egos are so invested in their vehicle. I prefer to get my ego buffing by being wise with my money!

  17. Kellie

    What a great list! Thank you. One question, though… Where do you watch games for free? We’re wanting to give up tv , but I’d love to know where I could watch my favorite team free without tv!

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