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No matter how kind or unkind 2020 has been to you, now's a pretty good time to have extra money in your savings account. With the economy still in shambles, there's a good chance more jobs will be lost before the coronavirus pandemic comes to an end, so having at least three months' worth of living costs in the bank is essential. And if you're able to aim higher, even better.
We all know that saving money isn't easy. The good news is that you may have more opportunities to bank some cash in the next couple of months than you'd think. Here are four easy ways to give your savings balance a nice year-end bump.
1. Bank the cash you're not spending on holiday travel
Not seeing family for the holidays this year? You're no doubt in good company. A lot of people are canceling travel plans due to the pandemic, so if you won't be springing for your usual airline ticket and rental car, take that money and stick it in savings rather than treat yourself to a consolation prize.
2. Hunker down for winter
The weather's about to get colder, which means it will be even more difficult to socialize, especially if you're of the mindset that indoor gatherings aren't a smart idea. The upside, however, is that you may find it easier to increase your savings by not meeting friends for outdoor dining or activities for a few months, and instead hanging onto that money for a rainy day.
3. Get a remote side gig
Usually, finding a side job during the holidays isn't so hard, as retailers and restaurants are often looking for seasonal workers. This year, however, jobs aren't as plentiful, and there are health-related concerns to contend with if you take a job that has you interacting with customers or other people. That's why a remote side gig could be a better solution. You can look for telemarketing jobs and be that person who disrupts other people's dinner (hey, it pays the bills), or you can do something less painful, like content editing or data entry.
4. Don't be shy about requesting cash gifts
Chances are you're in line for some gifts this holiday season, so if your savings account needs a pick-me-up, why not be open and honest with loved ones and explain that the best present they can give you is cold, hard cash? As much as it might bring your parents joy to gift you a sweater or throw blanket, the knowledge that you're more financially secure could prompt them to instead write you a check.
Exit 2020 with confidence
It's always a good idea to have plenty of money in savings. That way, you won't risk instant debt when an unplanned bill comes your way. But given the state of the economy today, it's more important than ever to close out 2020 with a healthy bank account balance, and if you follow these simple tips, you'll have a lot more confidence -- at least financially speaking -- going into 2021.