Making The Holidays Happen: Short Of Cash

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Holiday spending has been increasing 4-5% a year since 2012. And the items we buy have also been increasing in price.

If money is tight at your house you may be thinking gift giving is not going to happen.

Now we all want the holidays to be wonderful especially if we have kids. If money is tight what can you do?

There are resources out there that will provide toys and presents for your kids, coats and mittens and the ham for dinner. But you will have to ask. See what is available in your town or city by linking to resources on our website.

What about some extra cash? Start with the loose change. I did better than last year, $93. My husband says technically half was his, but I told him it was for the greater good. To save more of that change get some coin wrappers and wrap them yourself and take them to the bank. Most machines charge a fee for the coin counting.

What gift cards do you have that have not been used. You can sell the gift cards or use them to buy gifts. If you have a restaurant card, use it to take a friend out to lunch or dinner as a Christmas treat.

Cash in your frequent flyer miles or your credit card points. What can you get with them? You can convert your points into gift cards to such places like the Gap or Macy’s as well as Panera Bread or Chili’s or get a prepaid credit card.

So what have you got to sell? Try Craig's list. You can shop there for Christmas gifts but you can sell your stuff there also. And often times you can sell something quickly and have the cash in your hand immediately. What do you have that you have wanted to get rid of?

Outgrown toys, clothes, furniture. Stuff that you no longer need or use. I would suggest pricing the stuff to sell quickly. There is a buyer for most everything.

Old gold jewelry can also produce some immediate cash for you. What about those books that you read over the summer? Find a used bookstore or use Craig’s List.

One more thing: Christmas and Hanukkah are not about the gifts, although gifts are nice to get. It should truly be about the people you love and who love you.

You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m. and 3:55 p.m.

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