In the face of a pandemic, many people are seeking ways to protect their existing funds, plan for the future, and discover new sources of income.
While there’s no telling how long it’ll take for the economy to return to normal, understanding the various ways you can cash in on, or leverage your assets in some way, may help you feel more financially secure during these uncertain times.
Here are four smart ways you can
leverage your personal assets:
1 Declutter and Cash In
Chances are you’ve accumulated a lot of personal belongings over the years. Whether you’re in immediate need of money, trying to pay off debt, or simply want to declutter your home, there are many ways you can cash in on gently used items like furniture, electronics, appliances, and clothing that you no longer need.
You can turn your used items into cash by listing them online or taking them to a local consignment store. If the item is bulky and you don’t want to ship it, but do want to try selling it yourself Facebook Marketplace has really worked out a streamlined system for connecting buyer and seller. Clearing your home of these items is a quick and easy way to make some extra money while also freeing up space in your home. This extra money may be just what you needed for an upcoming annual fee expense. Or, this could be your opportunity to contribute money toward future investments or savings.
2 Utilize Your Greatest Asset
Your home is your single greatest asset. If you’ve been paying down your mortgage for a while, you may be sitting on a decent amount of untapped equity. You can turn this equity into immediate cash by applying for a home equity loan, which can be used however you’d like. You can use it to pay off debt, to pay for home improvements, or to help cover your living expenses when you’re strapped for cash.
If you have healthy credit, you might also be able to refinance your home loan and lock in a lower interest rate. Given the current record-low rates, you could save thousands of dollars in the long-run by replacing your current mortgage with one that has more affordable terms.
3 Check for Unclaimed Property
You may be entitled to unclaimed property that you didn’t know about. Unclaimed property is essentially money that a company, former employer, or bank owes you but has been unable to return. If you have moved a few times over the years, your current address could have been left behind. Common types of unclaimed property include checking or savings accounts, utility deposits, refunds, uncashed payroll checks, stocks, unredeemed money orders, and annuities. And believe it or not, even tax refunds.
Through a quick, free search, you can find out if there are any unclaimed funds in your name. Should you have unclaimed property, you can file a claim through your state’s treasury. Once you’ve filed and verified your identity, you’ll receive a check for the unclaimed amount. Be sure to check all the states you have lived in, even going back decades.
4 Use Your Rainy Day Fund
An emergency fund is an extra source of cash that can help you through financial hardships, such as job loss, illness, and economic uncertainty. Most people have at least some money stashed away for such situations. Remember that it’s okay if you choose to leverage these funds during these times, as that’s the purpose of having emergency savings.
If you choose to dip into your rainy day fund, be sure to spend the money strategically and only on necessities like debt repayment, living expenses, and of course, a real emergency, like a sudden broken tooth, or blown out tires. In addition, you could earn interest on your deposits by keeping your savings in a high-yield bank account, money market account, or certificate of deposit.
You can find untapped wealth where you least expect it. Knowing where your money lies will give you peace of mind and help you feel more financially stable, even when the economy is uncertain.