Didn’t Get the Tax Return You Expected?

February 21, 2012 by  Filed under: Taxes 

It’s that time of year again: time to review the numbers. Tax season causes a mixed reaction among the general populace — some hate it, some love it, some are pretty neutral about it.

For those that hate filing their taxes, it’s probably for one of a couple reasons: your finances are complicated and filing is a hassle, or you never get a sizable tax return. People who enjoy filing their taxes (or who at least enjoy the end result) likely experience exactly the opposite: easy filing and a hefty chunk of change headed their way.

No matter what attitude you initially enter tax season with, you’ll come out the other side feeling pretty sour if you don’t get as much money as you planned on, or even worse, if you end up owing money to the government. What can you do if tax season rains on your financial parade? Here are a few ideas to help you get some extra cash if the government isn’t so generous this year.

Have a garage sale.

Start digging through your closets and you might be surprised by what you dig up. If something has been buried in the bottom of a drawer or a corner of the garage for a few years, it’s probably safe to assume that you won’t be needing it anytime soon. Clean up your clutter and bolster your bank account by planning a garage sale. All it takes is a few signs around the neighborhood and a few tables in your driveway and you’re ready to start selling! If you’re not sure how to price things, look online to see how much used goods of the same type and condition are being sold for. Modern technology can come in handy here, too — post the garage sale as an event on Facebook so your friends can plan on coming and spread the word.

Open an online shop.

Do your friends all drool over your hand-knitted scarves and unique pot holders? If you’re looking for some extra income, it could be time to market your goods! Etsy, the online marketplace, makes it easy to have your own business without all the hassle of actually opening a large business. Set up shop and start peddling your wares with just a few clicks of the mouse! If you’re not the crafty type, you can skip the garage sale idea from before and sell your used goods either via Etsy or on Ebay. You know what they say — your trash might be someone else’s treasure!

Sell old jewelry.

Rather than selling your old jewelry online or from your driveway, your best bet is to take your unwanted valuables to a professional jeweler and gold buyer. If you never wear your jewelry anyway, you may as well pass it along and get some surplus cash in the process. Dig through the contents of your jewelry box and select some good items to sell. Don’t worry about them being in perfect condition — if it’s gold, it can be melted and recycled into new jewelry, regardless of any nicks or scratches.

Katie Hawkes is a freelance blogger for Valley Goldmine San Francisco, a company of professional gold buyers in San Francisco.

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