The holidays are just a few months away. If your bank account is nearly depleted – and you want to buy gifts while avoiding credit card debt – you need to start saving right now.
Following are 13 ways to fund your gift shopping without feeling much pinch at all.
We also estimate the amount of money you can save between Labor Day and New Year’s by following these tips.
And if you’re pinched for money, we have more help about how to trim your spending on gifts.
1. Stop lending to Uncle Sam: $964
If you get a fat tax refund each tax season, you’re giving the U.S. government an interest-free loan. Stop that.
Late in March – with 83 percent of tax returns already filed – the Internal Revenue Service said refunds were averaging $2,893 per check.
Spread over 12 months, that is about $241 per month. Adding up that amount between Sept. 7 and Dec. 31 would give you $964 for gifts.
To make sure you have more money during the year – rather than getting a big refund at tax time – you will need to change your W-4. That is the IRS document you fill out that tells your employer how much to withhold from your paycheck for federal income tax.
The IRS offers information about withholding at its website.