Would You Do These 5 Things To Pay Off Debt?

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Would you consider taking these 5 actions to help you pay off debt quicker?

Debt is awful. (That’s the understatement of the century!) I mean, I have 6 figures of my own debt that I’d love to see disappear. It would be so amazing for me to just win the lottery or get some gigantic inheritance from a long lost uncle. I swear I’d use it all responsibly and pay off my debt first before going out to eat sushi every night.

Let’s be honest, though: that probably isn’t going to happen. So then I started thinking of some outrageous ways to pay it all off, and I have to know if you’d consider doing any of the below to pay off yours.

1. Sell a Family Heirloom to Pay Off Debt


If your great, great grandmother gave you a string of pearls that were worth a lot of money, would you sell them to pay off debt? I don’t think I could, even if I never wore them. It would just feel wrong!

2. Pose For Playboy


I have no idea how much people get paid to pose for Playboy, as no one has ever made me an offer, haha. However, if you were asked to do it and say they would pay you around $20,000 would you bare all for total strangers? Keep in mind that your nekked picture would be in a magazine forever more. I couldn’t do it.

3. Sell Your Sperm/Eggs


Selling sperm and eggs is actually extremely lucrative. You can make about $1,000 a month selling sperm and up to $8,000 for a one time egg donation. While that is a great payout and you’d be helping women with infertility, I personally couldn’t do it. I would always wonder if anyone had kids with my DNA, but lots of people have benefited from this!

4. Do a Job You Hate for 5+ Years


Let’s say you had to do a job that was really, really lame for 5 years straight, but they promised they’d forgive all of your debt including consumer debt, mortgage debt, student loans, etc. I’m basically saying you’d have to stack boxes one on top of the other all day or scrub dirty toilets for 10 hours straight. Would you do it? I would. Five years really isn’t that much time to work at a job you hate. I figure people work for 30+ years at jobs they hate, so why not just spend a few years, get rid of the debt, and live happily ever after?

Would you consider doing any of these 5 things to pay off debt faster?

5. Be A Human Guinea Pig


I recently read that NASA is looking for extremely fit people that they will pay is $1,200 a week to lie in bed for around 70 days. The subjects can take online classes, play video games, etc. They just can’t stand up. This research will help NASA better understand how astronauts will be able to handle their mission to Mars in a few years. I would definitely do this because I could still work online at the same time and pay off a ton of debt. The only downside is that I bet a pregnant gal like me doesn’t count as someone who is “extremely fit like an astronaut.” Oh well, maybe it will work for you!


Would you do any of the above to pay off debt? What’s one of the most “extreme” or unconventional methods you’ve used to pay off debt?



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Catherine Alford is the go to personal finance expert for parents who want to better their finances and take on a more active financial role in their families.


  • Travis @Debtchronicles says:

    Yell yeah I’d pose for playboy….although I don’t think I fit what they’re looking for. πŸ™‚ I think what a person would do to pay off debt depends upon the severity of their situation. I’d do a lot more for money if I were faced with bills I couldn’t pay vs. just working day after day to whittle it down.

    • Cat @ Budget Blonde says:

      Bahahaha so true! πŸ˜‰ And yes if I couldn’t pay my bills and was more desperate, there would be more that I’d do.

  • dojo says:

    I would do: sell the heirloom (if I don’t wear it, I’m sure grandma would be happy to see me debt free), donate eggs (never had the ‘chance’), work on a crappy job for 5 years. I wouldn’t pose naked and I would surely not be a guinea pig for anyone πŸ˜€

  • Anne @ Unique Gifter says:

    Paid to lie in bed for over two months? I would go insane! A coworker just came back after being off for surgery and she is so happy to be back. It was wrist surgery and she can still do things, but boy was she bored without anything going on!

  • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

    Great post, Cat! I think Travis has a good point about how desperate you are dictating what you’d do. I don’t think I’d do any of the above, with the exception of maybe sell an heirloom, because it’s only stuff in the end. Then again, I’m a huge softy, so I’m not even sure I’d be able to go through with that. πŸ™‚

  • Matt Becker says:

    I think all of these questions (putting the humor aside for a second) kind of come down to why you got into debt in the first place. If it’s credit card debt where you feel foolish for having got into in the first place, then maybe some extreme actions are called for. But if it’s something like student loan debt, that’s debt you took on willingly because you thought the long-term return would be worthwhile. In that case the debt really isn’t evil, it’s simply a tool you chose to use and going about the life you planned should be enough to handle it. Obviously that’s a simplistic way of looking at it, since things don’t always go as planned. But I’m not sure that extreme actions are called for when debt was part of the plan all along, unless things really go wrong and your situation dramatically changes.

  • Kim@Eyesonthedollar says:

    If my debt was from medical school, I don’t think I’d do any of these except maybe sell the heirloom. If I did not have the means to earn lots of money, I would consider them all except the Playboy thing. I think I might go crazy laying down for 70 days, but that’s a lot of money to do nothing much. I had the opportunity to work in the middle of the reservation to get loan repayment, but ultimately decided not to because it would have likely ended my relationship with my now husband. If I’d been single, heck yeah!

    • Cat @ Budget Blonde says:

      Oh yes there are so many good opportunities to pay off debt like that but marriage/relationships do make many of them difficult!

  • DC @ Young Adult Money says:

    I would absolutely do a job I hate for five years if they would forgive all my debt. That’s almost a no-brainer imo, especially if you have a mortgage and/or a big stack of student debt. That’s assuming I would also get a comparable pay rate as I already have. That would be a combo for the win! Then you can move on financially free after those five years.

  • Jessica says:

    I would consider going for the family heirloom if it was debt that accumulated from a student loan.
    I don’t think that my grandma would mind me selling it. I would rather imagine granny waving down from heaven and giving me her blessings “Glad I can help, I’m so proud of you that you have a great education”
    If it was a debt that accumulated from buying too many consumer goods, I think that would feel different. Again imagining granny, scolding me like “I told you not to shop this much young lady, you should be ashamed of yourself.”

  • Mrs. 1500 says:

    1. I would not sell the heirloom. I have a few that mean a lot, and you can’t ever get them back.
    2. I would not pose for Playboy, but they would also NOT ask.
    3. I would sell eggs in a heartbeat. Very lucrative. The downside is that you have to be on fertility pills for at least a month, so you make the most eggs. Also, no “relations” with your partner, so that would be terrible, but $8,000 can erase a lot of debt.
    4. Have already worked in a job I hated for many many years. Not so easy to do sometimes, but worth it to pay off debt.
    5. No way to human guinea pig. Too many risks to my own health. In Madison, WI they are always advertising on tv for people to try this drug or that one, and get paid lots of $$$ for it. But what if a side effect was heart disease that severely shortened your life? Better to be in debt, than dead.

    Great thought-inducing post!

  • Andrew@LivingRichCheaply says:

    I probably wouldn’t do any of these except for work at a job I hated. I’m a bit sentimental and wouldn’t want to sell a family heirloom. I too modest and wouldn’t pose for playboy/girl…not that I’d be asked. Selling sperm…couldn’t do it. I wouldn’t want to know that there are little Andrews running around where I am the biological father but I’m not in their lives. I would consider being a human guinea pig depending on what it involves…but most likely not.

  • Heather @ JustAnotherBetsy says:

    I honestly would do all of them. Being financially comfortable and debt free would be worth it to me. The main one that would concern me would be donating eggs because I’ve heard horror stories of it doing permanent damage to your body in some cases and nothing is worth that risk to me.

  • Kevin @ Credit Bureau Insider says:

    I would not want to make any of these choices. It goes to show just how awful debt can be that people might consider doing any one of them.

  • E.M. says:

    I’m not really sure I’d do any of these as I just have my student loan debt. I would possibly consider working a job I hate for 5 years, though I am hoping to have my debt paid off before that time period. The NASA experiment sounds interesting, but I really don’t think I could stand to be bedridden for that long. When I was recovering from surgery I couldn’t wait to be walking again!

    • Cat Alford (@BudgetBlonde) says:

      I do think it would be hard to lie down for that long. Good thing I’m not eligible anyway. πŸ˜‰

  • Angella says:

    I definitely couldn’t sell a family heirloom. I hate watching Pawn Stars and seeing people come in selling their great grandfathers WWI items, and always wonder HOW they could possibly do such a thing. It just seems wrong. Playboy, yes if I had the body lol. Sell eggs, no, it’s a great thing, but too intrusive for me. Do a job I hate, I feel like I’ve been doing that for 9 years, hah, so yes. And finally YES to the human guinea pig. Except I’m probably not fit enough. Bummer.

  • Budget and the Beach says:

    I would probably do #4 if I had to (although I would simultaneously) be looking as hard as I could for a better job.

  • Grayson @ Debt Roundup says:

    I would do all of these except for sell a family heirloom. I mean, why not? While I didn’t do any of these to pay off my debt, I can see why some would.

  • says:

    Depending on how dire my debt situation was, I’d probably do them all! In fact, I might get myself down to the hospital for 3 & 5 right now… πŸ™‚

  • Michelle says:

    I don’t think I could do any of these. There are always other ways!

  • Kurt @ Money Counselor says:

    I’d be game for any of these, and have already done a couple (which I won’t name). πŸ™‚

  • Kasey @ Debt Perception says:

    1. Yes. I’ve never had a family heirloom but if I did and if it was worth a lot of money, I’d probably sell it.
    2. Maybe. If it was tasteful nudity (I’ve never looked at a Playboy magazine). $20k is tempting, but I’d probably say yes if they paid off all my debt!
    3. If I could (may be infertile), I might consider it, would need more information.
    4. Yes! I’ve done maintenance cleaning before, so scrubbing toilets isn’t all that bad! Haha
    5. I heard about that NASA study too but I’m not healthy enough. Would probably do it in a heartbeat if I were! I periodically look on Craigslist for scientific/experimental opportunities but I usually don’t qualify.

  • Bryce @ Save and Conquer says:

    I would be tempted to sell the family heirlooms assuming I got fair value for them. I would sell sperm, but no one would want mine. Just like no one would pay to see me naked. Working a job I didn’t like would be similar to working extra hours or taking a second job to pay off the debt. I would not do 70 days of continuously lying down. Have you ever tried to go to the bathroom while lying down? I have while in the hospital, but it wasn’t for 70 days. I can think of a lot of things that pay better and don’t have the inherent problems of the NASA gig.

    • Cat Alford (@BudgetBlonde) says:

      I have not tried to go to the bathroom while lying down but I can’t imagine that it’s a nice experience!

  • Connie @ Savvy With Saving says:

    Out of these, I think the only one I would do would be work 5 years at a job I hate (sounds like my life already! ha). I would consider selling a family heirloom but I’m kind of sentimental so it would probably be difficult for me to part with it.

  • anna says:

    I wouldn’t mind doing #4 and #5, but not the first three – those seem to carry more possibility of regret since it’s hard to forget about them!

  • Money Beagle says:

    None of those, though I’d take the job of a cameraman for the Playboy shoot. Come to think of it, they probably wouldn’t even have to pay me πŸ™‚

  • Mackenzie says:

    I too am sentimental and could not part with an heirloom! πŸ™‚

  • Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life says:

    1. My parents have a TON of artwork I wouldn’t be opposed to selling at some point
    2. I don’t know about Playboy. As long as there’s no boobs or hoo ha, I don’t mind, but it’s just soooo public.
    3. I have a limited supply of eggs, whereas men can keep regenerating sperm. So no, I’m gonna need those for myself.
    4. I’ve done jobs I hate, not sure if I could handle 5 years though.
    5. I participated in a study for money once and I would do it again.

  • Jacob says:

    Extreme debt takes extreme measures! But, to answer you question, I would work a job I hate for 5+ years. But couldn’t imagine doing any of the other things. Family stuff is pretty darn important, especially if it didn’t originate with us. Would not pimp myself out through a naked people magazine, don’t want to be an experiment, especially since I’d be away from family, and could not sell sperm. I mean, another ME walking around that I didn’t know…..just weird.

  • Nick @ says:

    I would do number 4 and 5 for sure. Maybe number 1.

  • Jason B says:

    I would do #3. I’m not sure about #4. I don’t think I could do I job I hated for 5 years.

  • Kyle | says:

    I would pose for Playboy in a second for 20k. Heck I might even do it for half that…

  • Kali @ CommonSenseMillennial says:

    Although I wouldn’t do it, I do actually know of someone who sold her eggs to pay off debt. She received a total of $8,000. I was never close to her, so I’m not sure if she regrets her decision or if she was able to improve her financial situation with that money and is therefore satisfied.

    As for the other stuff.. I don’t really have any family heirlooms to sell, but if I did, I would consider selling them. It would just depend on what it was, how much I could receive for it, and how much that money would help. I would definitely do a job I hated for 5 years if it meant those kind of rewards – I’m used to hard, not-fun work! Like you said, Playboy is pretty darn public, and $20k is just not worth that.

    And after reading Mary Roach’s book, The Curious Science of Life in Space, there is NO WAY I would be a human guinea pig for NASA! She actually covers those sorts of trials that they do in order to better understand how to protect and care for the astronauts in space, and some of what happens to people is just really awful. The affect on your body (and your mind) from doing stuff like that – staying in bed for 70 days – is not worth the money.

  • krantcents says:

    The interest rates on credit cards is enough to keep me from every getting into debt. I used to have a=quite a few mortgages when I owned income property, but that is completely different. Would I do any of the things on your list? No, I would cash in some investments regretfully!

  • Practical Cents says:

    It’s hard to say what I would do. I guess it depends on how desperate the situation would be. I feel like many people put up with jobs they hate so maybe that would the most logical choice but still for me it would depend on the situation.

  • Tushar @ Everything Finance says:

    I wouldn’t do any of those things, but then again, I’ve never been so desperate for money. I would like to think that if I ever got to that point, instead of doing one of these things, I’d find a second job or negotiate my wage or do something to otherwise get myself out of the mess.

  • C. the Romanian says:

    I’d have nothing against 1,2 and 3, but Playboy would probably go bankrupt if they started featuring pictorials with people like me :)) Fortunately, I have no debt so I won’t really have to do any of these.

  • My Wealth Desire says:

    Can I suggest alternate ways to pay off my debt. How about selling other stuff online and praying to hit the jackpot prize from the lotto.

    I know many people will accept to pose in the playboy for money. This is one the proofs that most of the folks are slave of debt and money.

  • Demaish @ Borrowed Cents says:

    I would do a job I do not love for 5 years to pay off debt then quit. Being in debt is a much crappier feeling than getting paid to do something you do not love

  • Tara @ Streets Ahead Living says:

    Selling eggs is not an easy process for a woman! Yes you get a decent pay, but you basically have to obtain from sex, alcohol, drugs, etc for many many months during the process plus take not-fun hormone shots which is nothing like the single visit a man has to make to donate his sperm.

    There are different ways you can be guinea pigs… I had friends in college who needed their wisdom teeth pulled and they did trials in my town where not only the surgery was free, they actually got paid a couple hundred bucks. There was a slight chance you were given pain medicine they were testing that wasn’t strong enough but if the issue arose, they’d immediately give you the proper amount of anesthetic. But for a kid that needed their wisdom teeth remove without dental coverage, it might be their only chance.

  • Emily @ evolvingPF says:

    I wasn’t in debt but I was a guinea pig for clinical trials. However, my rule was that I couldn’t risk my health at all, so I mostly did psychology and MRI studies. Lying in bed for 10 weeks is definitely a health risk!

  • Lance @ Money Life and More says:

    I think the only one I could maybe pull off would be #4. None of the others are things I’d do and no one would want to see a guy in Playboy!

  • Jack @ Enwealthen says:

    One issue to be aware of when considering selling eggs / sperm. Here in the US it can be difficult depending on your family genetic history. If you have a genetic risk in your family of many different maladies, they won’t accept your contribution.

    As for working a job you hate, I’m sure there are quite a few more people doing that these days given how intractable student debt has become, and working a public service job for 10 years will get your student loans forgiven.

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