Parents with two children running in kitchenIt’s a busy time of year with school in full swing and the holidays around the corner, but you can still take a few minutes to save some extra funds for college. We have some creative ideas below to get some money into your pocket that you can transfer directly into your college savings account. And if you haven’t yet started that account, head over to our Saving for College page. You’ll find details on Massachusetts’ two college savings options, the U.Fund and U.Plan, and how to save in each one.

Here are 8 ways to save money for college this fall:

  • Remove or reduce one regular monthly charge. Review your latest credit card bill and find one reoccurring expense that you can decrease or eliminate, such as a cable bill, music subscription, gym fee, or online newspaper charge. Put the extra funds toward college savings.
  • Create a matching agreement with your child. For every dollar your son or daughter adds to his or her college savings account, agree to match with your own deposit. Even small contributions from an allowance or babysitting job can start to add up if it’s done regularly.
  • Sell some stuff. Make a goal to find five items in your home that you can live without, and sell them on Craigslist, eBay, or your neighborhood listserv. Add all of your earnings to your college savings account.
  • Do one better and have an entire college savings garage sale. Get the whole family involved by sweeping the house for all unused toys, decorative items, sports equipment, and anything else that someone else might want. Set up a simple yard sale and dedicate the proceeds to future college costs.
  • Get paid for your opinion. Plenty of online sites will give you money for filling out surveys, which you can then put toward college savings. You can usually sign up for alerts to have surveys sent right to your inbox. Check out Swagbucks and i-Say to get started.
  • Take clothes and accessories to a consignment store. Find a local consignment store and take over a batch of clothes, shoes, and accessories. Or try an online store like Poshmark or Swap.com. Once you’re paid for your items, put the funds into your college savings account.
  • Call your cell phone company. Everyone wants your cell phone business, so call your provider and ask for a lower rate. You’ll do even better if you call prepared with a rate you found on another provider’s website. You may be given a reduction on your monthly bill. Up your recurring contribution to your college savings account by the amount you save.
  • Buy holiday gifts using websites that rebate you funds. Ebates and Rebates, among others, will send you a check based on a percentage of money you spend on different websites. Deposit that check right into your college savings account.