We’re at that time of year again, and some of us are already starting to scramble for holiday gifts. If you plan on spreading cheer for all of the techies on your Christmas list, you’re probably starting to dread the amount of money you’ll have to spend.
If you want to make the holidays easier on your calendar and your budget, here are a few tips to help you save for the big day:
1. Purchase Gifts in Batches
Even if you end up spending the same amount in the long run, smaller installments are often easier to deal with compared to large payments.
If you want to do most of your shopping online, you can create different wish lists to stagger the orders. Some retailers also allow you to make payments through the company directly.
Opting to use a layaway plan is another way to break up the damage. Planning for a smaller monthly payment will take some of the stress out of each shopping trip.
2. Apply for Store Credit
Some stores and retailers give shoppers a discount if they apply for a store credit or debit card before checking out.
If you plan on buying a lot of gifts from one company, or you expect to return to the same retailer in the near future, this is often a worthwhile investment. Store credit cards also usually include special offers and discounts that aren’t available to the general public.
If nothing else, you can subtract a solid percentage from your shopping cart by simply signing up to receive a store card.
3. Skip Traditional Financing
Those of us that need a little extra help around the holidays might be tempted to charge holiday gifts onto a credit card. However, that might not be the wisest decision in the long run. Applying for an auto title loan could save you more money over time.
Unless you can be sure to pay off the card’s entire balance before the next billing cycle, you run the risk of accruing high interest fees.
An auto title loan mightget you a lower interest rate, while granting you a higher borrowing amount, depending on the condition of your vehicle. Also, you don’t have to worry about losing your car since you can still drive your vehicle – even before you pay back your loan.
Getting a quote is quick and simple, and you could end up walking away with more than you’d expect from traditional lenders and creditors.
4. Go Through Your Cupboards
Did you know that you can earn money by recycling more than just aluminum drink cans and plastic bottles?
Depending on where you live, you might be able to trade in your old electronic waste, batteries, clothing, and more for a profit.
Take advantage of the opportunity to do some spring cleaning and clear your closets of anything that you don’t use. Then, categorize each item based on the recycling services offered in your area.
You’ll likely make a few bucks just for getting rid of items you no longer use.
5. Build a Passive Income Stream
This one might sound daunting, but there are a ton of ways you can make money with little to no effort.
If you’re creative, consider opening an online store to sell digital prints and designs. You can create wedding invites, art graphics, email templates, and more using a variety of free tools and services. Most online marketplaces charge a small monthly fee, or a percentage of your sales. Otherwise, you simply upload your creations and wait for the orders to come in.
If you are more data savvy, you can join a task-based marketplace to perform odd jobs and ad hoc projects across a wide variety of industries and specializations. Typical short-form tasks include data entry, image analysis, testing, and basic copywriting.
Whether you want to help to build apartment furniture or you know how to code, there are a ton of jobs for every skill set and schedule.
Saving up for the holidays doesn’t have to be scary. Even if your list is long, you can start saving today with these helpful tips.