1. Dump your cable provider
With resources like Netflix and Hulu, why bother paying for expensive premium channels. Chances are when you call to end your contract, they may negotiate cutting your monthly payment anyway to get you to stay.
2. Sell Your personal items
While you’re switching out summer items for fall, take full inventory of your belongings. Gather up gently used clothes, sports equipment, musical instruments, books, furniture, electronics, dishes, antiques, movies and video games you no longer use and have a garage sale or post them on ebay.
3. Ditch the landline
If you’ve been holding onto that landline for the bundle package, you may not be saving as much as you think if you’re still paying two phone bills.
4. Drop the gym membership
The real test here is measuring how much you actually get out of your membership by dividing your monthly payment by how many days you actually visited. That number is how much you paid to be there per visit! Recommit to your fitness goals for free by utilizing mobile apps and online videos. Take up running with a friend and do the Couch to 5K challenge together.
6. Redeem unused gift cards
About $1 billion in gift cards will likely be lost, expire or not be fully used this year, according to research company TowerGroup. Gift Card Granny is an aggregator that lets you find and compare the rates certain sites will pay for your old cards.
7. Direct deposit into savings
Open a Holiday Savings Account and set up an automatic monthly deposit into it. Save $100 a month, and you’ll have $300 by the holidays.
8. Go freelance
Start a little side gig offering to house sit and watch pets for people going out of town, teach a fitness or cooking class, or become a tutor. Find something you enjoy and put the word out to friends and family that you’re available.
9. Prepare your own meals
On average, a takeout meal for a family of three is $32 vs. $12 for the home-cooked dinner. Even if you put aside $10 each time you cook at home and eliminate two takeout meals a week, you’ll have roughly $200 to spend on gift shopping by December.
10. Trim the budget fat
Look at the lifestyle categories in your budget such as dining out, groceries, snacks, clothing, gas, and entertainment. If you spend just $10 less a month in 10 categories by the holiday season, you’ll have saved over $300.
11. Utilize the Skip-a-Pay feature
If things get tight around the holidays, you could apply to skip a loan payment on vehicles, personal loans or lines of credit. You can even refinance a loan from another lender and delay the first payment for up to 45 days.
If you tried cutting back on all the things mentioned and still find yourself coming up short, but also don’t want to wrack up high interest credit cards, you may want to consider taking out a Fast Cash Holiday Loan from West Community. Talk to Member Services to find out your options.
In what other ways are you coming up with extra cash for the holidays? Tell us in the comments and we could feature your advice as a pro tip.