By David Wither

5 Ways To Get The Money You Need For The Holidays

  • Before you know it, the holidays will be right around the corner. Yes, this can be one of the most fun, enjoyable times of the year, but also one of the most stressful. Why? Well, let’s face it, this is an expensive time of the year.

    With gifts, travel, going out, and even incidentals, the holidays can put a hurting on your pocket if you haven’t built a safety net. However, this is not a moment to panic quite yet, as there’s still a chance to recover. With a little bit of being frugal and a lot of hustle, you too can afford to do this year right. Here’s how:

    Cut Down On Your Power Bill

    While it can sometimes be a pain, cutting down on your power bill is a great way to save some extra cash before the holidays. This can include anything from implementing energy efficient improvements to conserving on things like water or power.

    Try to be mindful of the habits you have around the house, including if you turn the lights off before you leave or keep the shower running before you hop in. Little things like these can make a big difference, and you’d be surprised at how much you could cut off. Make a list of the things you’re comfortable taking on, as well as the ones you’re not (I.E., Going without heat at night) as these are going to be a routine you need to get into if you want to be successful at it.

    Pick Up A Side Hustle

    According to CNN, approximately 34% of the American workforce is a part of what’s called ‘the gig economy,’ meaning they have one or several side hustles to either earn some extra cash or make ends meet. The actual gigs people do range, with some working for rideshare services like Uber or Lyft on the weekend, while others take on projects like graphic design or photography. Depending on your skillset, these can be relatively easy to pick up, as well as possibly a budding source of income.

    Install A Savings App

    It’s no secret that a lot of us have trouble saving money. With almost all of our finances done digitally, people are less likely to write down transactions or keep a ledger. However, a lot of startups have started to break ground on how to help people save in the digital age, which has proven a fair amount of early adoption.

    As noted in a survey by CreditDonkey, 29.2% of respondents reported using some sort of savings app, which is pretty remarkable considering many of them were founded less than a decade ago. In terms of which one you should use on such short notice, I recommend Digit, which does automatic daily savings; or Acorns, which invests your spare change from transactions. Depending on what you need, these can be ideal.

    Sell Off Some Old Goods

    One of the quickest ways to make money is to sell off some of the things you don’t need anymore. Believe it or not, there’s a lot of value to these items because as noted by the National Association of Resell Professionals, this is actually an $17 billion industry in America alone.

    Take a look around your closet to see if any clothing items might not fit anymore and have some value to them. These include brand names or rare/vintage clothes that are still considered fashionable. If you’re worried what a store will take, it’s not a bad idea to call ahead to the boutique or secondhand shop to see what they’re buying right now. Additionally, any unused sports equipment or electronics could be worthwhile to sell on eBay or at a Pawn Shop, as these items are consistently sought after.

    Stop Going Out To Eat

    Even though it pains a lot of people, going out to eat can be an excellent money saver...and one that can add up pretty quick. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015 the average American household spent approximately $3,000 on eating out, a staggering figure when you consider that they additionally only spent $4,000 in groceries. When you break that number down to averages per month, it comes out to roughly $250, or $500-$650 to save before the holidays. That’s a fair amount of dough for presents and family time, which is something you should seriously consider taking a break from.

    What are some strategies you’ve used in the past to get your savings right? Comment with your insights below.