Why pay for exercise equipment, cooking gadgets, sports equipment, furniture, yard tools, lawn mowers, bikes, kids toys, kitchen and bath tiles, cabinets and loads of other items you are likely to need or want over the next few years — when you can get them all free?
Baby Boomers are retiring and downsizing by the thousands every day. They don’t want to have to dispose of their possessions they are’t taking with them. They don’t want to have to try to sell them on eBay. They don’t want to have to pay for storage lockers.
You can’t believe what they’re giving away.
And it’s not only Boomers – many affluent couples want you to haul away their nice patio furniture, dining room sets, china cabinets, granite countertops and ellipticals — because they’re upgrading.
Look Before you Spend
Before you make any purchase over $50, look for it free on Craigslists, NextDoor or Facebook Marketplace. That’s right — free.
Just check out the free items section on these websites whenever you need a new tennis racquet, juicer, ceiling fan or floor tile.
You can also send email blasts to friends when you have a specific need. You’ll often find one who writes back, “Yes! I have one sitting in my garage/basement/attic. Please come and get it and take it away. Thank you!”
Here’s how I’ve done it: How I saved $900 Using Facebook, Craigslist and Emails to Friends.
To learn about swaps, read this post on our sister site, Smart Healthy Living: Swap Party: Outfit Your Kitchen for Free (Almost).
You Can Also Sell This Stuff
Not only can you drastically cut your expenses, you can earn extra money by selecting a niche (e.g., exercise equipment, bikes, kids backyard playsets) and picking up freebies, then selling them once a month or each summer at a specialty yard sale.
For example, you could niche your buying and pick exercise equipment. Imagine having 30 treadmills, ellipticals, exercise bikes and Gazelles gliders and selling them each for $30. You’d make a quick $900.
You can’t imagine how many free kids bikes are available online. Just grab them each weekend and at the end of the year sell 50 bikes for $10 each and make an extra $500.
If you can make an extra $2,000 a year selling free stuff you get off the internet, how does that affect your retirement savings?
You can pay down credit card debt. At 20% interest, you not only save $200 each year, you also raise your credit score. This will help you get a mortgage, auto loan or other credit card at a lower interest rate.
If you put the $2,000 into a 401(k), get a $1,000 match from your company and earn 7% for 30 years, you add an extra $15,200 to your retirement fund. In our article on cheap eating, we show you how to pad your nest egg by more than $75,000 without giving up things you like.