Cash flow in flux? Maybe it’s time to clean out that apartment or dorm

Columnist

We’ve arrived at the week of midterms. If you’re on student loans, hopefully you haven’t used them as an excuse to buy a piranha, complete with an expensive fish tank, or something totally frivolous like that.

If you did, you’re probably wondering why you’re low on funds at this point, whether you have a job or not. Instead of having to beg mom and dad to put more money into your account, look into the possibility of selling some of the items that have been cluttering up your apartment or dorm room.

For example, I’m a big collector of books and movies, so that collection is usually the first place I go to start consolidating. There are some that I absolutely can’t part ways with, but I believe we’ve all made a couple of purchases that we’ve regretted afterward. This is your chance to get rid of them.

If you’re lucky, you might have some items that are highly sought after by collectors. The items may be out of print or extremely unlikely to appear at a garage sale in your area.

The hunt for items to sell doesn’t end at your own place. During Fall Break, see if you can rummage through your parents’ house and see if they have something they’re willing to part with. Old toys from your childhood, or even a vintage pair of Levi’s jeans that your dad kept in his dresser for 30 years, could be worth something.

Several outlets to put your material up for sale are right at your fingertips via the Internet. It doesn’t take too long to learn how to set up an account on eBay and post your listings. Craigslist is a good option, too, since listing is free. Just be smart when making contact with the potential buyer.

My favorite method is setting up at the Kansas Pavilions Flea Market in Valley Center or at the Kansas State Fair Flea Market in Hutchinson. It may sound like a pain to unload all of your items into the building at the break of dawn and load back up in the late afternoon. However, if you’ve got a wide variety of items on the tables for customers to look at, you’ll be amazed by the cash flow you earn by the end of the day. Also, the only method of payment is cash.

If you’re willing to let go of a few items and use a little bit of salesmanship, there will typically be someone to buy the unneeded items you’ve accumulated. This bit of cash can get you through your college tenure. It’s a good skill to know, and it will carry throughout your life when you’re in a pinch and need some fast cash that’s not through another loan.