Chasing the dream: Unexpected ways to save money for your dream
The funny thing about dreams? It’s not enough to want them or to share them with your family. They often need a little financing.
Whether it's traveling, a new career, a new home or something else, saving money for your dream is important. So, how do you get started saving money?
One of my biggest life dreams is to live in a home on the shore where the beach is my family’s backyard and mornings drinking coffee with my toes dug deep in the sand are the norm. But I have to acknowledge that it’s a dream that will take a lot more than an inspiring vision board and positive thinking to achieve. It will take cash. Lots of it.
Saving for a dream like this takes careful planning, discipline and patience from the whole family because it will take time to amass the funds necessary to finance it. It also takes a little creativity.
Unexpected savings methods
Even if it feels like your family has no way to start saving, you really do. While as a parent there are financial obligations you can’t ignore, you can start saving by putting what you have to work for you. Here’s how:
Sell baby stuff
Do you have your kids’ old strollers, Exersaucers and clothes languishing in the attic? If so, you have a goldmine of savings just waiting for you. Children’s consignment stores will often pay cash for these items, as long as they are in good condition. Take that money and put it in a special place or into a savings account. You kids' old things could be the start of something amazing.
Tag sale it
If you are like me, the idea of having a tag sale with your kids poking around is akin to water torture. But perhaps it’s worth it to try. All the trinkets, old kitchen wares, forgotten toys and unused furniture that you have hidden in the storage areas of your home are hot commodities at tag sales. Just be sure you check with the kids before you sell their things.
Trade in books
Do you have bookcases full of parenting books, cookbooks and old textbooks? If so, you are sitting on some cash. Cash4Books is a website where you input the ISBN numbers of books you want to sell and they tell you what they want to buy and how much they will pay you for it. Mail the books in, and they pay you for them. It’s so easy.
Open a savings
This might seem like an obvious one, but banks today are actually helping us save more and more by making it easy to automatically deposit money into an account. One popular way to do this is to have money automatically transferred every time you pay with your debit card. Check with your bank to see what savings options they offer.
Saving as a family
If your dream is something big – like a new home – you can also get your kids in on the act too. Saving as a family is a great way to make everyone feel included and also to move toward your goal faster.