Chicago Bankruptcy Attorneys Recommend Recycling for Extra Cash

You probably already know that if you save your aluminum cans and glass bottles you can earn something like 5 cents per container - but, unless you've taken to collecting cans from friends, neighbors and city streets (not necessarily a bad idea) it's really more of a rebate than a way to make money. But recycling really can pay - you just have to find the right recyclables. Try looking in your attic, closet, desk - even your wallet.

Gift cards
If you have gift cards, use them sooner rather than later - some stores will actually deduct a maintenance fee after a year of non-use. But sometimes the problem is that you don't care much for the store. I once had an REI card ride around in my wallet from one Christmas to the next. I just don't go camping that often - and I'm not really into the suburban hiker look. I wish I had known about, a site that allows you to exchange a card for one that better suits your tastes. Would you rather have cash than more plastic? No problem. You can sell your card on eBay, where it could go for 80 to 90 percent of its face value. As for those airline miles or credit card points you never use, consider redeeming them at

Old electronics
Until recently, I didn't have any space in my desk because it had become the final resting place of several generations of cell phones other electronic devices. That changed when friends introduced me to, a Web site that will pay for many of your old gadgets. I handed off my first digital camera, some cell phones (I kept my first one, though, for sentimental reasons - and because it wasn't worth that much), an MP3 player and PDA - and got nearly $250 in my PayPal account in exchange. Even if you can't sell your items for cash, that doesn't mean you can't trade them in. Stores like Costco and RadioShack will often accept used electronics for store credit.

Clothing and accessories
Search for your used name-brand clothing or accessories on eBay to see what it's going for. If the price is right, list it. Or drop it off at a store that sells stuff on eBay and - for a small fee - let them do the work for you. If you'd rather not wait for bids, you might be able to sell name-brand items in good condition to a consignment shop. Children's consignment shops are great for clothes, toys and accessories the kids have outgrown. And pawn shops might pay a pretty penny for the gold jewelry you never wear.

If no one seems to be buying, consider listing your stuff on Craigslist or go the traditional route and have a yard sale. Or try yet another option - the increasingly popular clothing swap. Tell your friends to bring over duds they're tired of - you can shop each others' wardrobes. You hand off your old stuff and you get brand new items in return, no credit card required.

For more tips on turning your trash into monetary treasure, order our free Financial Toolkit. Need more immediate help due to overextended credit cards or too many missed mortgage payments? Give us a ring or click here at DebtStoppers for a free personalized debt analysis. With our help, you can keep your prized possessions - and still find the money for the things you need.

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