To give or not to the Charity Thrift store?

At the risk of sounding like a Scrooge, I’m going to make a bold statement, but don’t write me off just yet.

Read on before you decide.

It’s not always a good financial practice to give away your old stuff to charity.

I can’t believe I just said that in print. But let’s be real here.

Charities often run thrift stores that sell our old clothes, shoes, household goods, and misc. items we no longer need or use.

It’s extremely easy to bag your stuff up and drop it off at your local store. In the UK, they will even pick stuff up from your house.

Let me be clear here. I’m all for charity.

I try to shop in thrift stores and charity shops on the basis I can grab myself some bargains at a fraction of the price if I bought them new.

And I love to help when we can but sometimes, giving items away is not the best choice for your season in life, and you may not even realize it.

woman with financial documents a calculator and open coin purse laid out in front of her

Family finances

Sometimes you are helping others by giving away your old stuff to charity.

But at the same time it’s actually hurting your family’s financial situation because you could have earned some money by selling those items yourself.

Long term, this will inhibit your ability to help and give to charity because your finances are not where they need to be.

If you currently have ANY type of debt, I do not recommend giving away items in good, usable, re-saleable condition.

Side note: These are the only items you should be giving to charity.

They don’t want your “junk” and I say that in the nicest possible way!

It actually costs them more to go through true “junk” and dispose of them than it is worth to them, so do them a favor and only donate items in good repair.

Each and every dollar you could get from the sale of your items (think Craigslist, Facebook groups, Ebay, yard sales) is extra money not in your budget.

This money could go towards your debt and getting out from under the bondage of living in debt. I know for some people that they think debt is manageable and they don’t feel the crunch.

But think of all the good they could do with no debt payments! Think of all the charity gifts they could make if they had no debt at all.

I do recommend that you give a % of your income to charity when your finances allow.

Related posts:

A Debt Story And 21 Things You Can Do To Become Debt Free

How To Pay Off Debt Fast And Still Have A Life

(This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. You can read more here)

Being financially sensible

When you have debt and you are living from paycheck to paycheck it makes financial sense to see how you can make more money to throw at your debt.

Making more money by working a second job is not always possible when you’ve already got commitments, a job and a family to organize.

NB: There are little things you can do while going about your daily business to earn a little extra money and you can see some quick and easy ideas at the bottom of this article.

Selling the stuff you already have is something you can fit in around all your other commitments. Especially if you sell it on an online marketplace like a Facebook group, Ebay or Craigslist.

You can take photos and list the items in the evening or at the weekend, whenever you have spare time.

For me, the most important thing I think you can do if you are selling your stuff is to ring-fence everything you make and put it toward your debt.

If you get paid in cash, transfer the corresponding amount onto your debt. Don’t let even $5 slip through without it being allocated to debt.

You doing it for one good reason – debt repayment, always remember that.

What to sell?

If you’re anything like most of us, you will have plenty of items to get rid of. Which means you have plenty of items that could make you money to throw at your debt.

Declutter the house, go through the clothes and grab items you haven’t used in the last 6 months. Find all those gifts you received that you know you won’t use and put them up for sale.

Use that money to apply to your debt and free yourself up to do even better things for your favorite charity or church.

Believe me there is a market for almost anything, even toilet roll inners!

Related posts:

The Best Work From Home Jobs When You Need Flexibility

41 Awesome Hobbies That Can Make You Money Right Now

variety of thirft items on a dresser including old radio and candlestick

Use your thrift stores

In the meantime, while working on paying off your debt, frequent those thrift stores first.

When you are in the market for shoes, clothes, toys, home decor, make sure to check there first for any items they may have.

In this way, you get to help the charity by spending money, but you are also helping your family’s finances.

How Selling and thrifting adds up

Think of the money you saved on these items rather than buying new. Take the difference and apply it to your debt. While it may not seem like much independently, these little things can add up in a big way.

If you sold just $25 of items each month, and saved $25 on purchases, you could apply that $50 a month to your debt.

In 12 short months, you would have reduced your debt by $600 by this one simple task. $600 is a lot of money to be giving away to charity when you are struggling to pay off debt.

womans hands holding an open empty turquoise purse

Ways to make some easy cash

For more than 30 legitimate ways to make extra cash check our my latest blog post on how to make 300 dollars fast. Below are just a few, there are many more!

Fetch Rewards

Fetch Rewards is a free grocery savings app that rewards you just for snapping pictures of your receipts.

Fetch Rewards works anywhere you buy groceries.

✓ No hoops to jump through. No pre-selecting offers, no scanning barcodes, no surveys, no ads – you scan your receipts and you’ll earn points! You can cash out rewards as low as $3.

Use code “APREWARDS” to redeem 3K points!

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Companies are eager to get their deals in front of consumers like you, and to get your feedback. In fact, your opinions are so valuable, they’ll even pay you for them!

All you need is a few minutes and an internet connection.

From answering surveys to watching videos, there are always great, easy tasks for you to choose from with KashKick. Complete as many as you’d like – there’s no limit!

Your insights help companies grow, so they are happy to pay you for your time and effort.

KashKick offers the lowest payout thresholds on the market, and they deposit your money quickly, securely, and conveniently – starting at just $5 at a time.

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Reward Survey

Get $30 in Reward Points to spend IMMEDIATELY!

Get $30 to spend on great rewards for sharing your opinion. Surveys takes only minutes to complete, plus no credit card information is needed.

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Survey Junkie

With Survey Junkie, you take surveys and get paid. Simple!

This is your opportunity to be an influencer (and make a little money). Share your opinion to help brands deliver better products & services.

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Swagbucks is a cashback site that works on both sides of the Atlantic. It also has offers to earn extra SB points via daily tasks, watching videos and completing quizzes.


Quidco is a cashback site like Swagbucks but is UK only. Cashback sites enable you to get cash back on the online purchases you would make anyway.

Go via Quidco (and Topcashback below) to your favorite stores, browse and purchase as you would normally. And get cash back on those purchases.

I bought a new upright freezer last year and got £26 ($34) in cashback. For doing nothing more than going via Quidco.


TopCashBack is similar to Quidco, earn cash back for purchasing from your favorite stores having gone via TopCashBack.

What I have found is that sometimes Quidco offers better cashback and sometimes TopCashBack does. For the same store. So always check both sites for the best cash back offer on the day.

Start taking back control of your money by grabbing your copy of the Money Saving Starter Guide today.


Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

pinterest image for thrift store
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Last Updated on 3rd March 2021 by Emma

About Emma

I'm here to help you become confident in making the best money decisions for you and your family. Frugal living has changed my life, let me help you change yours.

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