Are you ready to make some real money moves?

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Emergency savings are important to your financial health. It can take time to build savings using the income from your job. Here are five ways to help you hit your savings goal more quickly: 

Use Your Tax Refund 

Tax time a good opportunity to catch up on your bills or take care of your financial goals, like paying off debt. Tax season is also the perfect time to build or add to your emergency savings. Plan to use a portion of your refund for savings. Strive to set aside at least one full month of take home pay. If you cannot part with that much of your refund, then start with two full weeks of take home pay. 

Get Cash Back 

Reach your savings goal more quickly by using the opportunities below to get money back on your purchases. Cash back sites and price tracking apps can help you make money as you  shop. If you are concerned about your privacy and are not comfortable with companies gathering data on your purchases, then skip these cash back options. 

Cash Back Sites 

There are a number of websites that offer cash back when you buy products and services. Check out Rakuten (formerly eBates). Be sure to check online reviews to make sure you are not signing up for a scam. Be careful--cash back sites encourage you to spend. These sites work best if you get money back for purchases that were already planned in your budget. Getting cash back on overspending does not help your finances. 

Price Tracking Apps 

You can also get cash back after you buy products by using services like Paribus. Price tracking sites review your receipts for opportunities to get money back. If Paribus finds that the price dropped for your recent purchase, then they will contact the store’s customer service on your behalf and get a refund. Do research on the price tracking app that you choose and make sure it is not a scam.  

Bank Products 

Many banks offer cash to attract new customers. If you are looking for a new financial product, then consider options that fit your financial goals and pay you as well. 

Get a Short-Term Side Hustle 

A side hustle or side job can be used to help you reach a short-term goal, like building your savings. Taking on more work is a sacrifice of time and effort. Know how long you will have to work the extra job before you can reach your savings goal. For example, to create a $500 emergency fund, here’s how it could be achieved with a number of different side hustles: 

When you break it down to the number of shifts or clients you need to take, then you can remind yourself that working an additional job is a short-term goal that will come to an end. This way, you can remain laser focused on reaching your savings goal. 

Sell Things 

You can sell items of value that no longer have a place in your life anymore. Gently used items that you may be able to sell online include: 

   - Sneakers 

   - Purses 

   - Clothes 

   - Electronics, like computers, laptops, tablets, professional cameras, cell phones 

   - Furniture 

Try selling your items to local consignment shops or online using eBay, Etsy, or FaceBook Marketplace. For some items, like luxury clothing and sneakers, look to sell on specialty websites. For example, Flight Club and GOAT are good marketplaces for sneaker sellers.  

Make Savings Automatic

If you know that your budget should have extra money at the end of the month, then you can try to make sure that your savings are automatic. Expecting yourself to physically transfer money to savings every time you get paid leaves too much temptation for you to spend. Set up a direct deposit to savings from your paycheck. Or, set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to savings account each month. 

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