The answers to your money woes? Look around your house

Figuring out how to startpaying off credit cards or earnextra income even in today’s tough times may be as easy as looking around the house. Everybody has something they can offer or something they can sell, says Donna Every, author of “What Do You HaveIn Your House?”

Donna Every, author of “What Do You Have in Your Home?” says most people are sitting on more wealth than they realize.

Take an inventory of your skills, and your household stuff to figure out how to begin generating revenue, Every says. One woman Every knows cooks meals two nights a week and sells them to neighbors who want home-cooked meals after work. Stay-at-home moms can earn some cash and still be home with their kids by caring for working moms’ kids after school. Sewing, bookkeeping and other skills like these can create extra income and help ease financial strains.

Everyone has something they do well, and if they do it well enough, it’s not much more difficult to market, Every says. “The most important thing is that we don’t come in with the mindset of, we need a bailout. We already have everything we need.”

Another source of revenue is liquidating assets-a fancy way to describeearning money for those unused birthday presents with the tags still on sitting in the closet. “There’s E-bay or Amazon, or list it on craigslist and try to get something,” she says. If you’re paying to keep things in storage, consider that you probably don’t need what’s there-start selling things off and banking the storage costs.

And get kids involved. “We don’t have to handle this all by ourselves. My son started selling things. He had a Gameboy he wasn’t using any more, so he sold that. He sold his books at a secondhand store,” Every said. “Help them understand they need to do something for themselves.”

Also remember, especially in a crisis, start small. “If you’re in a crisis, start with low-hanging fruit. We need to start taking small bites. Start with this credit card and work on that,” she advises. “The pain of this crisis can motivate you to actually do something. Make manageable goals so you can achieve them and get excited.”

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