Last year’s holiday season was marred by a raging pandemic. And because COVID-19 vaccines were not yet available, many people had to spend the holidays apart from family.
Things are different this year, thankfully. Vaccines are widely available and the economy is in better shape. As such, a lot of people may be making big plans for the upcoming holidays — plans that could wreak havoc on their finances if they aren’t careful.
In a recent American Express survey, 38% of consumers said they’ll spend more on the holidays this year in anticipation of a more celebratory season. On the one hand, that’s a good thing, because the holidays are supposed to be a happy, positive time. But the last thing consumers need is a pile of credit card debt to close out the year.
If you expect to ramp up your holiday spending, here are a few steps you can take to avoid landing in debt along the way.
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You may only have so much wiggle room in your paycheck to spend more on the holidays. But if you were to increase your paycheck, you might manage to buy everything you want, from plane tickets to gifts to a decked-out tree, without racking up a huge amount of debt in the process. And a good way to increase your paycheck is to work a side gig for the next few weeks.
Many businesses need extra help for the holidays, so you may have a fairly easy time finding evening or weekend shifts locally. And there’s always the option to sign up for a side hustle like driving for a ride-hailing company or pet-sitting.
2. Offset higher spending with a credit card sign-up bonus
Maybe you’re planning to spend an extra $600 on the holidays this year. Well, if someone were to hand you a $300 check, that would make it easier, wouldn’t it?
Believe it or not, there may be a way to snag a lump sum of cash for the holidays — apply …….