I maintain that now is a good time to start your holiday shopping. You’ll go easier on your wallet that way. However, whether you start holiday shopping now or not, you can save some money between now and the holidays. All it takes is a little planning. Here are 3 things you can do right now to pad your holiday spending by Christmas:
- Check your tax withholding: This is probably the way you can save the most. I like to try and get it so that my tax refund is $0. This is because if you are getting a tax return, you have been giving the government an interest free loan, instead of using the money when you need it. Look at last year’s tax return. It you got a refund, go to your W-4 and change your withholding, and figure out what works well for your tax balance. You might be surprised to learn that you can save anywhere between $100 and $300 a month, depending on your withholding.
- Lower your thermostat: The Alliance to Save Energy claims that you can save 5% on your heating bill for every degree you lower your thermostat. So if you are willing to wear sweaters (or just make sure your heat is down while you are out of the house), you can save a nice chunk of change between now and Christmas.
- Downgrade some services: Look at your cell phone, land line and cable/satellite bills. Are you paying for services you don’t need? Do you really need call waiting? Could you do just as well with a prepaid cell phone? Are the premium channels really necessary? You can save between $10 and $50 a month (or more, if you are willing to ax cable/satellite altogether) just by getting rid of money wasters you don’t need.
Can you think of other ways to save some cash for holiday spending?
Image source: TheArmadillo via Wikimedia Commons