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4. Bust into a CD early
Pros: A certificate of deposit is cash you already own - and you can get at it fast.

Cons: Cashing in a CD before it matures triggers an early-withdrawal penalty that varies but is typically three months' interest on CDs of less than 18 months to six months' interest on CDs of two years or longer, according to Bankrate.com. To pry open a one-year, $10,000 CD earning 4%, you'd pay a penalty of about $100. One consolation: You can deduct it on your tax return.

NEXT: Cash in your whole life insurance policy
Last updated August 22 2008: 12:36 PM ET
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