Creative Ways to Fund Your Savings

By Amy Maliga, Take Charge America

Even the most committed savers can sometimes struggle to grow their savings. Whether you’re just starting to save or have fallen behind on reaching your savings goals, here are some easy, fun and innovative ways you can quickly boost that balance.

Make it Cash, Please

When friends and family ask what you’d like for your birthday or holidays, ask them to give you cash instead of buying gifts. You can overcome any potential awkwardness by explaining that you’re going to deposit it directly into your savings. This will soften the request and eliminate the stigma of requesting money rather than gifts.

Turn Gift Cards Into Cash

There are two ways you can turn gift cards into cash. One is to sell them directly to an online gift card exchange clearinghouse. The other is to use general gift cards (Visa or American Express), instead of cash to purchase everyday essentials like groceries and gasoline, then devoting the money you would have spent on those items to savings.

Cash in on Your Clutter

Selling items you no longer want, need or use is a terrific way to help you reach your saving goal. Online auctions, peer-to-peer trading sites, and a good old-fashioned garage sale are all easy ways to generate some quick cash. Search your closets, basement and attic for gently used clothing, household items, sports equipment and musical instruments. You’re sure to uncover a small gold mine of cash-worthy finds.

Find Part-time or Freelance Work

The prospect of adding more work to an already busy schedule may sound daunting, but even a few extra hours a week can go a long way toward funding your savings. Choose something close to home so you’re not wasting money on gas or public transportation to get to and from the job. You can also use your natural skills and talents to make extra money. Things like tutoring, doing clothing alterations or house sitting can all be lucrative side jobs – and you can choose to do them only when your schedule allows.

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