With so many things upended in 2020, the seasonal job you’ve relied on in the past to defray holiday expenses may not be an option this year. And if you’re already struggling to make ends meet, a lack of extra income can put a damper on your holiday spirit.
The good news is that there are companies hiring right now for remote and seasonal workers. Although the work might look a little different than it has in the past.
There also are plenty of options for streamlining your holiday budget. Here are some ideas to help you make it through the holidays.
Seasonal Jobs You Might Not Have Considered
Due to the pandemic, shoppers are accustomed to limiting their exposure to others.
According to a recent survey by the International Council of Shopping Centers, 53% of holiday shoppers plan to utilize curbside pickup this season. Additionally, e-commerce is projected to grow 25%, according to the survey.
Get Creative When Finding Ways To Earn Extra Income
If you don’t want to be tied to a specific schedule this holiday season, you can also try these creative income-earning ideas.
- Sell your services — graphic design, web design, writing, virtual assisting — on sites like Upwork, TaskRabbit and Fiverr.
- Walk dogs or pet sit through services like Rover.
- Sell handmade gift items on Etsy.
- Be a driver for the elderly or other people in need.
Make a List and Check It Twice
Holidays are expensive, but before you can set a budget, you’ll need to make a list of your expenses for the holidays. Write down the names of people who you plan to buy gifts. You may want to trim your gift list. Consider options like limiting the number of gifts you give each person to one or eliminating gift exchanges at work.
Next, write down all the supplies you will need, including gift wrap, holiday cards, decorations and ingredients or premade food for meals. Also include any travel expenses you might incur during the holidays, such as airline tickets, hotel stays and meals out.
Set a Holiday Spending Budget
Now that you’ve gone over your holiday expenses list, you should write an estimated amount next to each item. Then, add up all of the amounts to get a good idea of what type of holiday budget you’ll need to accomplish your spending goals.
Depending on how extensive your list is, you may want to set a budget for gifts, a budget for travel and a budget for other holiday expenses. Once you set your budget, resolve to stick to it.
Shop Around for the Best Price
To maximize your holiday spending budget, it’s important to price shop. Fortunately, you won’t have to do a ton of legwork because there are plenty of tools available to help you quickly find deals for all kinds of things, including groceries, gifts and travel.
Browser extensions like Honey and SlickDeals can help you save when shopping online by comparing prices among thousands of retailers and applying promo codes automatically. Additionally, both extensions allow you to select items you’re interested in buying and then alert you when the price drops.
Hopper predicts prices for hotels and flights and helps you save up to 40% when booking.
Consider Going In on Gifts — and Food — Together
Instead of each person buying gifts individually, consider asking family members if they are willing to go in together on gifts and share the cost. Or try doing a secret Santa exchange where everyone has just one person to buy a gift for. Apps like Elfster or Santa’s Secret Service make this type of exchange easy to organize.
If you normally host and pay for one or more of the holiday meals, why not see if family and friends are willing to participate in a potluck to share in the cost — and responsibility — of food.
Buy Last Year’s Best
Don’t be afraid to shop for gift items that are from last season or about to be updated with a new version because you can save big money.
If you buy the best and brightest in electronics, you’ll pay a much higher price than if you choose last year’s — or last month’s — model. If the person you’re buying for isn’t dead set on having the newest model, opt for the cheaper one.
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