You might think the holidays are still too far out but that only makes it a good time to boost your income for the holiday expenses. The more time you have to prepare for it, the better chance you have of being able to enjoy the season without getting in too much debt. This is one of the biggest problems people face whenever the holidays come around.
A lot of people simply ignore the need to budget for holiday expenses and end up starting the new year in the red. It is a lot more challenging to enjoy the season and start the year if you are deep in debt. It might take you further away from your goals in life. This is because you might need to concentrate on paying back your debt rather than reaching for your goals.
This is one of the reasons why you need to think of ways on how you can boost your income to help you plan for the holidays. It is not just so you can enjoy the holidays buying gifts and going to social gatherings but making sure your finances are intact before the year ends. If you keep charging every holiday expense on your credit card, you can end up with an amount you cannot pay back in a month.
Once this happens, you might start to resort on making the minimum payments only just to stay current with your lender. This can start to become challenging as your lender start to add interest, fees, and a host of other penalties month after month. This is why you might start the new year under a big debt amount. The National Retail Federation shared that consumers spend more than $1,000 over the holidays last year. That being said, here are a few ideas to help you increase your income for the coming holiday expenses.
Start putting together your holiday budget
To start off and before you think about how to boost your income for the holidays, you need to have an idea how much you need. This helps you put together a concrete plan with a specific goal in mind. If this is not your first time creating a holiday budget, there is a good chance that you still have the one you used from last year.
Get your budget from last year and go from there so you do not have to start from scratch. What you are looking for is a baseline of how much you spent last year. It could also have the names of the people you gave gifts to. If you also wrote down or remember how much you spent for hosting or going to parties, you need to include that as well.
Put together a list for this year by using the one you had last year. Add or take out names from that list as you see fit so you can start looking at gift expenses. One thing you can explore is using the long lead time you have until the holidays and buy early. Prices tend to go up as the holiday approaches. You can also look at personalizing your gifts so you get to save on cost. Painting, baking, or even some arts and crafts can be excellent ways to personalize a gift.
Identify the amount you need for the holidays
Now that you have that budget, you will have a more firm cost for the holidays and start to look for ways to boost your income. To get that final cost, look at your holiday list and total up how many people you want to give gifts to. The way it works is that you usually spend more on people closer to you and less to people you just met.
The holidays also entails a number of social events and gatherings. It can be a party in the office, a get-together with some of your closest friends, or even a party for your child with their friends and classmates. If you are able to include these events in your holiday budget, it can help you plan for your expenses better.
To help you identify the amount you need, it is also a good idea to factor in any travel plans you have for the holidays. Are you going back home to your family to spend the holidays? This becomes more expensive when you are traveling with a big family of your own. You also need to plan for accommodations and other expenses when you travel.
Boost your income by getting a side gig
Now that you have a perfectly clear idea of how much you need to for your holiday expenses, you can start looking for ways to augment your income if it will not be enough for the holidays. Compute how much you can save with your current income until the time you need it for the holidays. Compare that with what you actually need and that becomes your target.
Apart from your current job, you can get a side gig to help you bring in more cash into your budget. If you have the extra time, you can pick up a second job to help bring in more money. It is also possible to explore online work to help you increase your income. The beauty of this is that you get to stay at home and be a little bit more comfortable and you choose the time you want to work.
One thing you can explore as well when you are looking for alternative sources of income is your hobby and passion. There is an opportunity to turn them into an income positive hobby. If you love to take photos and you have the equipment for it then look for paid projects. This will not only give you extra cash for the holidays but you get to do something you love as well.
Explore selling unused items around the house
One quick way to boost your income especially if you do not have a lot of time to spare is selling used items at home. You can set aside one weekend and sort out all the items at home which you are no longer using. Start with your closet and look for old clothes you no longer use and set them aside in a box.
It can be out of season clothes, shoes you no longer use, and even items you used for a hobby in the past. What you no longer need might be useful for other people and you just need a way to offer what you have to a lot of people. One of the most common approaches people take is setting up a garage sale at home. This way, people can simply go to your place and buy the items.
You should also check out how you can sell your items online. There are a number of online platforms you can use to sell used items. You need to take good photos of the items you want to sell so potential buyers can appreciate the item. It will also help if you can describe the item in detail to help people understand the item better.
As the holidays draw near, it is a good idea to boost your income so you can cover the expenses before the year ends. It will help you stay on course with your goals and give you the chance to start the new year on the right financial footing.