6. Get a gift.
Aunt Edna always liked you best. Take advantage
of that favored family status and ask her to make
a present of your down payment. Tax law allows gifts
of several thousand dollars a year to be bestowed
without tax consequences to either the giver or
recipient. The gift-exclusion
amount is adjusted annually to reflect inflation
(it's $12,000 now), so check with the IRS to ensure
guidelines are met. Many wealthy people use this
tax rule to reduce potentially taxable estates while
they're still around to get the thanks. Not close
to your family? Not a problem. The gift exclusion
isn't limited to relatives. The monetary present
can be from anyone, so track down a well-off friend
7. Ask for a raise.
No luck finding a benefactor? Then maybe it's time to ask
your boss for more money. Just make sure you do your homework
beforehand, and base your request for a salary increase on your
accomplishments rather than your needs.
8. Get a second job.
OK, so you work for the original Ebenezer Scrooge and he humbugged your raise
could help you earn the extra money. This option makes the most sense for those
who are young and not yet fully established in their professional lives.
9. Look for lost
Around $14.5 billion worth of savings
bonds is sitting around, ignored by owners and not
earning a penny of interest. Do you have any stashed
somewhere? Make sure your bonds are still adding to
your net worth. You could also have money languishing
in an old
bank account somewhere or deposits paid to utilities
that were never recovered.
Auction off unwanted items.
You didn't find any forgotten riches as you were digging
through the attic, but there was plenty of other junk
up there. Transform it into your down payment. Thanks
to eBay and similar sites, it's never been easier to
prove that one person's trash is another's treasure.
Check out Bankrate's tips
for selling in an online auction. Then clean out
the closets and log on.