Six ways you can increase your cash flow this holiday season
Let’s face it the holidays are expensive. This time of year you will see many advertisements, décor and charities – all encouraging you to either spend or donate your money to a worthy cause. It is easy to get caught up with the holidays from the constant commercials to the elaborate displays in the malls. If you do not have a strategy in place, you may find yourself running out of money and rather quickly.
“Creating a strategy for all of your holiday purchases will help you in so many ways. Many times consumers resign themselves to the fact, it’s the holidays and it’s a high spending season for all of your holiday purchases,” says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.
“You do not have to shop ‘til you drop. A matter of fact, if you do that, you’re guaranteeing a major debt emergency in the New Year. Instead think of ways to set aside some funds for all of your holiday purchases or find a way to increase your cash flow,” says Schwartz.
The good news is whatever you decide to do about your holiday purchases – time is on your side. So you can create a savings strategy as of today. The bad news is if you do not create some kind of plan, you may be setting yourself up to rely on high interest rate credit card debt to finance your purchases. To avoid making your credit card your best friend this holiday season, it may be a good time to consider your options of increasing your cash flow.
Apply for seasonal work
Have you been given the gift of gab? Your love of talking can be the perfect skillset for a seasonal sales associate position. Many retail stores are searching for potential employees who enjoy offering a helping hand to shoppers who need assistance finding the perfect gift or just need someone to pull an item off of the top shelf. Whatever the reason, now is a high season to make some extra cash working as a sales associate.
Love to bake?
Take your love of baking to scoring some extra cash this holiday season. Some of your friends, co-workers or neighbours may be in desperate need of your baking services. This time of year, it is common to be invited to various holiday parties or potlucks where there is an expectation to bring some kind of treat. So take the time to spread the word of your services so friends and family can hire you to make baked goods this time of year. Your love of the kitchen will help someone else who may not have time to bake or can’t afford the inflated prices of various holiday favourites.
Sell it off!
It’s time to do a walk around your home and look for items in good condition. Look for things you no longer use and get ready to put your prized possessions up for sale. You will not only be making extra money, you will be decluttering your life and that’s priceless!
Get rid of your gift cards
If your wallet is filled with gift cards you have no intention of using, now is the time to put them up for sale. You can either post an ad on Kijiji for free or make an announcement on Facebook to your friends. In no time, your gift card will be sold and you will end up with extra cash in your wallet.
Put your freelancing cap on
Do you have any hidden talents? You can put your talents to good use during the holidays. If you love to write or you’re a wizard at graphic design or you have an eye for photography – you can make some extra cash now. Spread the word to your friends, co-workers and acquaintances and just watch your portfolio grow as your contacts hire you throughout the holidays.
There are so many odd jobs out there for your consideration. Think about babysitting, grabbing a paint brush for indoor painting or being a dog walker. Search your local neighbourhood for postings or look online for help wanted.
If you are feeling a little overwhelmed this time of year, you are not alone. Many Canadians feel a cash crunch during the holidays. If you are struggling to manage a growing mountain of debt or you are living beyond the means of your budget, you have a variety of options before you. You can speak to a trained credit counsellor at 1-888-294-3130 to discuss your options or go online for a free debt analysis.