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Emergency Funds

If you find yourself in a real jam, several options are available to get money fast. Any kind of "fast money" will have consequences, such as higher interest rates and financially crippling terms. In most cases, you can avoid this situation by having a budget category for an emergency fund. Set aside money for the times when, despite your best intentions, you have an emergency arise.

Resell what you no longer need

Try to get a little money by reselling items you never use and might otherwise throw away. Do you own movies you don't watch or music you don't listen to anymore? If you no longer enjoy them, try selling them to a used CD/DVD outlet or set up an account on one of the popular Internet sites that turn your trash into someone else's treasure!

Ask family

If you have no resources to turn into cash, you may be wise to ask your parents for help, in the form of a "rainy day" loan. Promise to pay back the amount borrowed in a specified time, or sign a written, legal contract that defines repayment terms. Consider repaying by bartering your time or skills, in lieu of cash. Offer to do house cleaning, lawn care, or computer maintenance.

Beware the loan sharks

Have you seen ads promoting "Quick loan approval! No credit check required!?" BE CAREFUL! Remember, there's no cost effective means of getting money fast. The easy loan will always cost you dearly. The best solution is to plan ahead before you get stuck in a money crunch. But if you find yourself in a bind, apply for the University's SELFund if at all possible. Payday loans and check cashing can land you in deeper, more serious money trouble than you started with, jeopardizing your education and reputation.

Use your talent

Make some extra cash by doing things you really enjoy. Offer to tutor students in a subject of your expertise. Computer wizards will find lots of demand for technical help on campus. If you play an instrument, set up on a high-traffic corner and pass the hat (make sure to get permission from businesses or safety officers first). House cleaning, babysitting, dog walking, and officiating at sporting events are other popular ways to earn cash as a student.