Every year at Christmas, it seems you get at least one gift that’s useless to you. It could be an appliance for which you have no need, a piece of jewelry identical to a piece you already own, or an article of clothing that just does not quite fit your style. Instead of letting them sit in a closet and gather dust or re-gifting them to clients, coworkers or friends, why not use one of these ideas to turn that useless gift into a holiday boon.
Donate those unwanted gifts to a charity such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army. There are even charities that cater to specific needs, such as Dress for Success and Career gear, which allow people to donate business attire. These items will then be used to help dress men and women, who could not otherwise afford it, for job interviews. It’s a great way to donate the myriad ties you received. As an added bonus, you get a nice tax deduction for donating to nonprofit charities.
Many recipients of gifts find it hard to ask for the receipt for an expensive item, afraid that it might hurt the giver’s feelings. For items such as gold jewelry or gold cuff links, instead of letting them sit in your jewelry box and gather dust, why not take that jewelry to your local pawn shop and sell it for cash? Not only will you be getting quite a bit of cash, but a future buyer will be getting a great deal on a new piece of jewelry.
Most of us can’t find a use for two toasters, crock pots or blenders. Websites such as Craigslist.com are great places to unload small or large appliances for a bit of extra pocket cash. Just remember to take safety precautions when allowing strangers into your home!
In today’s fast-paced world, many of us don’t have time to do a lot of shopping for anyone other than a few select friends and family members, so we give and receive gift cards for Christmas. Sometimes, though, those gift cards are not suited to our interests and we just won’t use them. Instead of letting them expire and allowing the company to keep all that profit, you could donate those gift cards to children’s hospitals, senior living facilities or even military organizations. Many of these people will be without their families or on a fixed income over the holidays and the kind gesture would be appreciated.
If you’re the outgoing type, start a yearly neighborhood gift exchange. After the holidays are over, each person brings one gift they received, which is useless to them, and exchanges with another person for something more useful. It’s a great way to get to know your neighbors and turn a gift that wasn’t quite right for you, into something you’ll be able to use. For more fun, have each person bring a snack or drinks and turn it into a party!
Whether it’s a little pocket change for yourself or making someone else’s day a bit brighter, just follow a few of these suggestions, and maybe come up with a few ideas of your own, and you can turn those useless gifts into something beneficial for everyone.
Tomas Lloyd has worked as a financial planner for over 15 years. He recommends visiting mint.com/blog which he regularly reads for financial tips & useful investing information.