Now is a great time to start planning for the holidays. Indeed, now is a good time to work up a holiday budget — and look for ways to put a little extra money in your pocket. The good news is that there are some ways that you can get a little extra money together so that, by the time the holiday season is full swing, you can have a decent bit stashed away. It’s not just about cutting back on your monthly expenses, either. Here are some things you can do right now to improve your cash flow in time for the holidays:
- Change insurance deductibles: Check your deductibles. Many people have $250 deductibles on auto and home insurance. Up your deductible to $500 or even $1,000, and you can save a little bit more each month.
- Revisit tax withholdings: Double check to see if your tax withholding at work is accurate. Many people are having too much withheld. A tax return later at the expense of money you can use now is not the best trade off. After all, if your withholdings are too high, you are giving the government an interest-free loan.
- Consider your phone situation: How often are you using your land line? Are you using your cell phone more? If so, consider dropping the land line.
- Refinance: If you don’t mind that the savings don’t appear until just before Christmas, you might consider refinancing your home. Mortgage rates are at record lows, and you can save quite a bit right now — and in the long run — by refinancing.
- Stop your subscriptions: Review your subscriptions. Everything from Netflix to magazines to premium cable (if you like your cable, see if you can manage with basic). Decide what you can cut, and then do it. You might be surprised at how much you are spending each month on subscription services you don’t really use.
In the end, you can increase your holiday spending budget with a few simple money moves. Plus, once the holidays are over, you will still have that money.