With the holidays just over a month away, you may be wondering how you are going to pay for gifts, especially if your bank account is not full of cash. Here, we will outline some of the ways you can buy gifts without going into debt for the new year.
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Before you start
Regardless of how you decide to pay for your holiday shopping, the most important step is deciding in advance how much you plan to spend. Take a look at your budget and find out how much you can afford for gifts each week. Let’s say you have an extra $ 50 available and there are six weeks left before the vacation. That means your total spending limit is $ 300 (6 x $ 50 = $ 300).
Now, make a list of each person on your holiday gift list. Next to each name, write a dollar amount. By sticking to that number, you can pay for each purchase before the holiday lights go on. That’s how.
Pay as you go
Divide your gift list by the number of pay days you have left before the vacation. Every payday, spend the money you have set aside to buy those gifts. If you get paid biweekly, it will look like this:
- You have three paychecks before Christmas
- He checks his budget and realizes that he can dedicate $ 100 of each paycheck to gifts
- Divide your gift list by three and buy a third of the gifts each payday
- All of your gifts are paid for before the holidays, leaving you plenty of time to wrap everything up.
Take a short-term, part-time job.
Are you cool with a paintbrush or awesome with animals? Do you speak a foreign language or create unique Christmas decorations? Advertise today on your local neighborhood social media service (like Nextdoor). Dog owners can always use a reliable dog walker or sitter, and owners may want to paint some rooms before the holidays. In short, your skills may be precisely what someone else is looking for to make their life easier.
If you enjoy check-in time in the car, sign up to deliver meals for a company like Grubhub, DoorDash, or Uber Eats. It’s easy to fit into your regular schedule, and you’ll see money in your pocket almost immediately. Every time you accept a job, use the money to pay for Christmas gifts. The amount you earn is the amount you can spend, which means you won’t have to carry new debt next year. If you love the concert, keep it up in 2021. If not, let it go after the holidays.
If you’ve never had the pleasure of layaway items, here’s how it works in most stores:
- You choose the items you would like to buy.
- Pay an advance of up to 20%. For example, if you put $ 300 worth of items on the layaway, you would make a down payment of up to $ 60 ($ 300 x 0.20 = $ 60). Some stores do not require any initial payment.
- If the retailer adds a service fee (some don’t), it’s likely around $ 5.
- You agree to pay for the items in a specified period of time, in this case, in time for Christmas. Depending on the particular store, you can make payments every week or every two weeks.
- Once you have made your final payment, the items will be delivered to you on layaway.
Some stores offer layaway year-round, while others only offer it for the holidays and only in specific stores. Almost all retailers allow layaway for in-store purchases only. Here is a partial list of chains offering layaway in 2020:
- Burlington Coat Factory
- Sears and Kmart (can only be used on layaway eligible purchases)
- Marshalls and TJ Maxx (must be paid in full and withdrawn within 30 days)
- Walmart (in select stores)
Because the rules surrounding layaway vary by store, be sure to ask how the retailer of your choice operates.
A final note
If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on gifts this year, don’t worry. Most people have no interest in how much was spent. They are just happy that someone remembers them. Wrapping paper and attractive gift bags can be purchased for next to nothing at dollar stores. Even if the gifts you bought are not as expensive as you would have expected, take the time to wrap them well. Add a kind note and know that you’ve made someone’s vacation that little bit more special.