Ever since the 2008 crash, people have been trying to figure out how to get back on top of the debt reduction game. Lots of folks ended up underwater on their mortgages. Many lost value in their 401K plans. And a sickening number of people are now realizing that the student loans that were supposed to have been well worth it are now reminders of a college IOU that is doing nothing for their careers.
There may be programs to help deal with the mortgage issue, if you can get in on them. 401K plans will slowly rebuild, and the market has fully recovered. But student loan debt can not be discharged in bankruptcy. Student loans can take your tax refund that you were counting on to get that vehicle repaired.
So folks are willing to try anything to get their debt paid down. Personal finance guru Dave Ramsey advocates the “debt snowball” debt reduction approach, working from your smallest debt to the largest, paying as much as you can afford to past your basic budget.
Others say Ramsey has it backward. Pay the highest-interest stuff first. Both debt reduction arguments have merit, depending on your personality type.
But there are others for whom the slow-and-steady approach is just too damn slow. For those people, we present this short list of some of the craziest lengths that some have gone to in the quest to get Sallie Mae off their backs.
Sell Your Plasma
This is pretty common debt reduction trick among college students and unemployed folks. Lots of blood bank outfits will give qualified donors as much as $100 for their first visit, and allow up to two visits per week after that. Some people pull in as much as $65 a week, maxing out their visits. That’s $260 a month to go toward paying down those loans.
Tips from frequent donors include drinking lots of water, cutting back on sodas, drinking a spoonful of olive oil, and cutting back on fatty foods. These tips are said to speed up plasma donation times. A quick donation takes about 45 minutes. A slow one could be twice that long.
Sell Your Body Parts
The idea of selling parts or products of your body puts some people off. For others, it’s worth the run at it to get the debt paid down.
Women can sell their eggs for as much as $8,000 each. Sperm donations can bring $100 per donation. And some states even allow you to sell your bone marrow for about $3000, which is as much as you would earn selling plasma in a year.
Finding one man’s trash to convert into another man’s treasure and sell on Craigslist is one way to go with the dumpster diving, or curbside cruising, trash repurposing. Watching the Free sections on Craigslist can net some real finds. These may include furniture, pool supplies, clothes, and a host of other things. Many of these items need no processing at all before they can be posted right back on to Craigslist for a 100% profit.
But some people go even further, knowing which restaurants and grocery stores to hit on certain days of the week in order to score produce and food that they feel is perfectly edible. They greatly reduce their grocery bills this way. And since a penny saved is a penny earned, they put the saved grocery money toward their debt reduction.
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