The holiday and gift giving season is a few months away, but now is the time to start saving money. Summer is the perfect season for taking a proactive approach and socking away enough cash to cover all the unique expenses that are part of year-end festivities. Get a head start by crunching a few numbers to determine your target amount. After that, explore tactics that can improve your personal financial standing. In addition to refinancing school loans, hold a yard sale, stop eating out, and use an interest-bearing account to squeeze the maximum advantage out of the capital. Here’s how to get off square one and make it all happen.
Set a Target Amount
Every achievement begins as a goal. Take time to figure out how much you’ll need to purchase gifts for friends, family, and anyone else on your recipients’ list. Use online retail sites to get accurate price estimates and come up with fresh ideas. It’s essential to have a dollar-value target before setting out to amass the funds. Once you come up with a grand total, or at least an estimate of one, add 5% to the number as a cushion for unexpected price rises. Include the cost of gifts, parties, trips, and special events you’ll be attending in December and January.
Refinance College Loans
If you want a no hassle way to add extra dollars to a holiday gift account, consider refinancing college debt. Most who opt for a refi agreement do so because they gain access to more advantageous terms, better interest rates, and additional time to repay the entire balance. The kicker is that the new loan can come with substantially lower monthly payments compared to the old arrangement. Refinancing can streamline your finances as well. It achieves that feat when you trade two or more loans for a new, single payment refinancing obligation. For working adults who are intent on saving money in a short span of time, an education loan refi is the way to go.
Hold a Yard Sale
Don’t succumb to the temptation to put all your unneeded items up for sale online. First, arrange a traditional yard sale, remembering to include items that are hard to sell to online buyers. That grouping usually consists of weighty things that would be impractical to send to a website auction buyer. If necessary, get written permission from the homeowners’ association before announcing the event. After closing the yard sale, photograph smaller items and place them on one of the high-traffic internet auction/direct sale sites. Expect to pay a small sales commission and wait for a few weeks before deciding whether to remove something from the website. Internet protocol dictates that buyers will pay for shipping, except in rare circumstances.
Give Up Fast Food For 60 Days
If you’re the kind of person who visits fast food restaurants regularly, view the habit as a quick way to save some cold, hard cash. Going cold turkey is the fastest route to kicking the habit. Do the same with convenience store purchases of candy and similar items. Eat at home for breakfast and dinner. Pack lunches if you work outside your home. Take a few snacks along in the car so you won’t be tempted to stop at convenience stores during long drives. Coffee drinkers can snag big savings by avoiding specialty java shops for two months. Most who take the 60-day challenge are shocked at how much extra cash is left over at the end of the period.
Earn Interest On The Balance
Don’t hide cash in your mattress or wall safe. It might be secure there, but it won’t earn any interest. Instead, generate income from the balance during the several months between now and the end of the year. There are several techniques, but one of the simplest is to use a Certificate of Deposit (CDs), which are currently paying about 4% annual rates. Don’t expect to earn much more than that without taking significant risks with your money. CDs are reliable instruments, and most major banks and savings and loans sell them. Consider putting short-term cash into a 90-day CD that expires just before the end of the year. Some banks offer time lock holiday accounts for their customers who need a little help keeping their hands off the money before the season arrives.