Labor Day hasn’t even arrived, but it’s already time to start thinking about the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday, the traditional launch of the holiday shopping season, is just three months away. Have you set aside enough money to cover your purchases?
Holiday expenditures can add up fast. According to the American Research Group, the average shopper planned to spend $882 on gifts alone last year. Throw in decorations, postage, flowers, food and more, and you could easily be looking at spending $1,000 this holiday season.
The key to readying your wallet for holiday spending is starting early. We came up with seven ways to pull together $1,000 (or more) by Black Friday. It’ll be tough to get to four figures in three months by relying on any single strategy, but you’ll be on schedule to hit the $1k mark on time if you combine some of our money-generating suggestions. Take a look at all seven, and decide for yourself.
But before you do, let me be the first to say it: Happy holidays!
Adjust Your Tax Withholding
If you got a big tax refund this year, you’re not alone. The IRS issued more than 102 million refunds, as of May 13, with the average refund totaling $2,732. But why wait until next spring to get the money you really need now? If you’re a taxpayer who typically receives a refund, and little has changed in terms of your income and write-offs, then you’ve probably already overpaid your taxes via your paycheck deductions so far in 2016.
There’s a simple way to put a chunk of that refund in your pocket now. Go to your company’s payroll office and fill out a new W-4 form to claim extra allowances. Once you do, your take-home pay should rise on your next payday. To figure out how many allowances you should claim, try our easy-to-use tax withholding calculator.
Total savings by Black Friday: $683, based on an extra $52.53 you could receive in each weekly paycheck by adjusting your tax withholding (assuming an average refund of $2,732).