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Turning a Quick Buck

Turning a Quick Buck

Every once in a while we find ourselves in a pinch and need to get cash quickly. When you're working toward retirement, you want to be sure that the ways in which you're accessing and spending money don't deplete your hard-earned savings. Here are the good (and not so good) ways to leverage your finances when you're in a bind.
1. Tap your emergency fund. Um, hello? This is why we harp on having one. The ultimate, number one, best way to get cash quickly and it doesn’t cost you anything extra!
2. Sell some investments. This is a good way to get cash quickly, just be careful of fees. Depending on which class of shares you hold (A, B, or C) you could have some hefty fees deducted.
3. Break into a CD early. If you’ve got a CD, you can withdraw from it early, just beware of any fees that the bank will charge you. Find out beforehand what the fees would be and whether or not it would be worth it to get the cash.
1. Tap your IRA. It’s a retirement account, so you’re not supposed to touch it until then. However, if you really need the money and none of the above situations apply, then it’s an option. Try to replace the money as quickly as possible.
2. Do a reverse mortgage. There’s an age limit on this and you have to understand that you’re basically selling your house back to the bank. If you don’t have any heirs this might be a good way to go. However, if you planned on giving your home to your children, then consider this option carefully.
1. Cash advance on the credit card. The interest alone is reason enough not to do this. Use this option with extreme caution.
2.  Liquidate 401(k) and 403(b) accounts. We STRONGLY suggest another option. On top of this being a retirement account and you jeopardizing your future, you’re looking at a 10% penalty on top of having to pay taxes for the gain (the amount you took out). Not the best way to go.
3. Pay day loans. Don’t even consider this option. The annualized interest is in TRIPLE digits. We’re talking 200% to 500%. There’s got to be a better way!
What other tips can you share with those looking to get cash quickly to help with their situations? Which methods would you  avoid? [CNN]

Posted: 8/25/08

Or... take some good photos of things you're ready to let go of and post them on craigs list. Clean up some of your stashed goodies and have a yard sale. Advertise it, post some good signs and set reasonable prices. Good with children? Babysit. Have a lot of books, or even a few text books? List them on half.com. The commission is small and it's fun.