The holiday season is full of glittering lights, extravagant parties, rich foods, and expensive gifts. It is a whirlwind of fun, but can be tough on the wallet. Americans spend 600 billion dollars over the winter holidays. Yes, that is a letter b, as in billions. In fact, Forbes estimates that consumers spend about $1000 each, more if there is traveling involved. Ideally, putting money away each and every month of the year can help you afford everything. Barring that, there are still ways get the cash you need to keep up.
1. Work More: Your co-workers are likely to take time off over the holidays. Make sure your employer knows that you are willing to pick up any additional shifts and work any available overtime. Getting a paycheck that has been plumped up with all those extra hours will help pay for your holiday needs.
2. Second Job: Many Americans get a second job over the winter holidays. Not only does this help earn extra cash for all those extra purchases, but it can lead to a healthy employee discount as well. In fact, before you apply for a second, seasonal job, write out your holiday shopping list. If one particular store stands out on your list, try to work there for the discount, which could be as much as 40 percent.
3. PayDay Advance: Retailers are fighting hard for your dollars. The sales and deals available over the holiday season are incredible. From the traditional Black Friday through the New Year, deals are everywhere. Sometimes, however, the deal only lasts through Wednesday and you get paid on Friday. Rather than pass up such amazing savings, try a payday advance. The simple process lets you borrow from a place like Payday Express against your next paycheck for a fee. Used wisely, this can really help you jump on specials before they disappear.
4. Garage Sale: If you live in a mild climate, host a garage sale to get rid of anything and everything you don’t need. Even snow-covered states can participate using social media. There are many virtual garage sales online where you can post pictures of your items for sale. If you act quickly, you can make the money you need by selling things you don’t need. Win-win. In fact, you may even be able to pick up a few gifts as well.
5. Online Auctions: For more expensive items, online auctions sites may be the better route. With a little research as to the best time and technique to list your item online, you can sell one or two collectibles that you no longer need or want, and fund your entire holiday.
6. Craft Fair: Are you crafty? If you have a particular talent, you can rent a booth at one of the many seasonal craft fairs and sell your wares to earn funds. You may even purchase a few gifts from other crafters and kill two birds with one stone.
7. Holiday Shopping: You can earn money for your holiday shopping by holiday shopping for others. Offer your time on social media sites or on a bulletin board at your school or office. There may be an overworked executive or worn out mom that just can’t bear the idea of fending off the crowds at the mall just to fight for the elusive ‘hot’ toy this December. In exchange for doing the fighting, you can cross a few items off your list as well.
A little advance planning and some hard work on your part can not only raise the money you need for gifts and travel this holiday season, but it can prevent you from going overboard with your credit cards. You will be able to enjoy December and open your mail with confidence in January.