Survival Kit: Find the hidden cash in your home

A recent social experiment highlighted that many South African households have more money than they realise tied up in unwanted goods and that disposing of these assets could be their survival ticket in tough economic times.

The experiment set out to prove that most households could dispose of unwanted goods to stretch their wallets for the holidays. It surveyed several households and identified unloved and unused items valued at thousands of rand which were catalogued and appraised by a professional valuator.

In all cases owners were surprised by the combined value of the household items and, given the current economic climate, it came as welcome news.

One of the participants, Faith Masthinga-Bolosha is the owner and fashion designer at Faith Couture and plans to use the R15 710 she can make towards redecorating her lounge in time for Christmas.

Cindy Alfino, married with three kids, owns an insurance brokerage and writes weekly for her parenting blog. The combined value of unwanted items in her household was R6 400, which they spent on camping equipment for the family’s holiday.

Ntsikakazi Hene, a brand manager, plans to put the R4 650 she made from selling her unloved items towards her December holiday travels.

“It’s such a lovely surprise to see how much money I can make from the items I never use. Now I can put away my credit card and use the money I made from selling on OLX,” says Ntsikakazi.

Karla Levick, head of marketing for classifieds platform OLX, said recent reports from financial and academic institutions show that consumers are more cash strapped than previous generations and less able to fund their families’ aspirations.

The current situation is, therefore, forcing South Africans to become creative in how they make their salaries stretch.

“Buying less is the obvious solution, but selling your unwanted items or buying second hand is probably the easiest way to save money,” says Levick.

Gerald Mwandiambira, acting CEO of the SA Savings Institute, says the results of the experiment are not surprising.

“In the age of consumerism where people spend more than their means and live on credit to buy goods and services they don’t need, clutter (in the form of unused items) is the result. What most people don’t realise is that selling items they have standing around could help them get out of debt, save or pay for something they really need,” says Mwandiambira.

“Part of the debt restorative process is also to de-clutter your life and focus on a financial plan. As part of the budgeting process, selling unused goods often allows one to pay off debt. Many people have old cellphones, gadgets and appliances that can be used to free space and release cash. Many people end up asset rich and cash poor when they hang on to unwanted goods.”

Source: Fin24 via News24Wire