A friend told me the story of a lady she worked with that we’ll call Stacey. Stacy was a fashionista with children who knew more about current fashion trends than most adults. Her home was decorated beautifully, but she was beginning to find it cluttered. Deep in credit card debt although she had a well paying job, she sought the help of a personal organizer to get her home in order.
The first thing the personal organizer did was look inside every closet. What she found was exactly what she suspected–hundreds of dollars in clothing and other brand new items with tags. When Stacey was asked why she had the massive amount of new, unused items, she said she did not have time to return them. Usually she ended up just giving it all away. The personal organizer was not shocked because she heard this regularly. This was the first area Stacey would face and organize.
Stacey made returns totaling over $700 to various stores around town. She paid the personal organizer a hefty portion of that money (her husband had been giving the same advice free for years) to tell her what we all should know–be wise financially and return unwanted items!
Why is it unwise to save time and just give items to those less fortunate or to Goodwill for a tax deduction?
If purchases were made on credit cards that cannot be paid in full monthly, those items will continue to cost you money. Return unwanted purchases and pay back credit cards. Do not allow slothfulness to drag you into debt!
Here are some tips on returning items:
* Keep receipts in your purse for easy access. If you do not have a receipt for a return, do not let it stop you. Instead of cash or crediting your card, the store generally issues a gift card in the same amount.
* Note receipts that have return deadlines. Macy’s will accept returns up to 180 after purchase for example.
* Have a tote or basket in your car for returns. To make sure I don’t forget, I put returns in the front seat beside me. I’ve been known to drag a basket of returns around for weeks before finally returning them. But if they stayed in the house, it would never happen.
* Use money from returns to pay off credit card debt. If you receive a gift card, use it for your own needs or save it for Christmas or birthday shopping. Check the fine print to make sure there are no penalties in holding onto the card for awhile.
* Turn those mistaken purchases into wise financial choices!