Save now, avoid holiday debt later
(CNN) - To find extra cash in your budget between now and Black Friday, Kiplinger's Personal Finance has some simple, painless tips.
Tip #1: stop paying for text messages and potentially overage fees with a variety of free texting apps.
"You'll tap into all of that through an app on your phone as opposed to using standard messaging on your phone, free of charge," said Robert Long, managing editor of Kiplinger.com. "The only thing you'll have to put up with are some ads here and there, of course."
Tip #2: dig in your wallet to find and sell unwanted gift cards. Kiplinger says the average household has about $300 world. An online gift card exchange won't give the full value of the card but it's better than nothing.
Finally, adjust your tax withholding instead of waiting for the usual fat refund in the spring.
"That's your money," said Long. "That's money that government, of course, is giving back to you in the spring but why let the IRS hold on to it all year long? You could be saving or investing that money or earning some interest along the way or spending it on worthwhile adventures, such as holiday gifts."
It's as simple as filing a new W4 form with your employer. The changes can take effect with your next paycheck and could put almost $500 in your bank account over the next two months.