Make The Holidays More Affordable (And Enjoyable!) Without Taking Out A Holiday Loan
They sure sound nice, but there’s a naughty aspect to those holiday loans that are advertised (over and over again) this time of year. Holiday loans are really just personal loans marketed specifically to holiday shoppers looking for some extra cash during the gift-giving season.
Truth is, these loans come with APRs ranging from 5.99% to a whopping 35%, and you could find yourself making monthly payments on that seasonal loan for years to come.
These tips can help you better manage your holiday spending — which means you could avoid a holiday loan altogether.
1. Sell Your Unwanted Items
Chances are you have several unwanted items taking up space in your attic, basement, or spare room. Try selling stuff you no longer want or need on eBay, Craigslist, Facebook marketplace groups, or other Internet sites where buyers are looking to score bargains. ThredUp and Poshmark make it easy to sell used clothing, shoes, and more to buyers nationwide.
2. Look Into A Side Hustle
During the holiday season, part-time side gigs are plentiful. Many stores hire extra help for the season, and companies such as Uber and Lyft might be looking for additional drivers to transport shoppers to stores and holiday parties. Consider dog walking or pet sitting with Rover.com, or signing up to complete simple tasks with TaskRabbit.
3. Consider A 0% APR Credit Card
Instead of taking out a personal loan, apply for a 0% APR credit card that will let you access a line of credit without interest for a limited time. This strategy only works, however, if the card you choose allows you to avoid interest on purchases and not just balance transfers.
4. Cash In Rewards
Take a look at any rewards that have built up on your cashback or rewards credit cards and cash them in. You might be able to redeem points for merchandise through a portal, which can open the door to shopping for free. You could also cash in rewards for gift cards that you can then give as gifts or use for your holiday shopping.
5. Trim The Tree — And Your Gift List
Take a close look at your gift list: Do you really need to purchase gifts for co-workers you don’t associate with outside of work, or Cousin Mae whom you haven’t had a contact within 22 years, or distant friends that have become, well, more distant as the years go by? Thoughtfully pare down your gift list, and you just might find that not stressing about holiday spending is a wonderful gift to yourself.