Some Consumers Plan to Spend an Extra $1,000 or More on This Year's Holidays. This 1 Move Could Help You Do That, Too

by Maurie Backman | Published on Nov. 22, 2021

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Two people wearing masks and carrying wrapped gifts while walking down a street decorated for the holidays.

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Want to increase your holiday budget? Here's how to do so without landing in debt.


Key points

  • A new survey reveals that some consumers will spend much more on this year's holidays than last year.
  • Those looking to increase their spending budgets may want to boost their income to avoid closing out the year in debt.

Last year, a lot of people scaled back on holiday spending due to the state of the economy and general uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. And given the circumstances, that made a lot of sense.

But this year, many consumers are gearing up to spend more money in an effort to celebrate with loved ones to the max. In a recent Discover survey, 51% of respondents say they're planning to purchase more gifts for the people they care about. Among those who intend to buy more gifts, 20% say they'll spend an extra $1,000 or more.

Now, if you can afford to plunk down an extra $1,000 or more on the holidays, by all means, go for it. The pandemic has taught us that it's important to set priorities, and if yours involve living it up during the holidays, so be it.

At the same time, the one thing you don't want to do is spend so much extra money that you wind up with holiday debt. Similarly, you don't want to deplete your savings account in the course of celebrating the holidays, because you need that safety net in case emergencies happen. If you're eager to increase your holiday budget, it could really pay to boost your income first.

Could a side hustle be your ticket to the holiday season of your dreams?

If your regular paychecks don't allow you to spend what you want on the holidays, and you want to avoid debt or dipping into savings too heavily, then a side hustle could be a great solution. And if you're wondering whether it's possible to earn an extra $1,000 during the holidays, the answer is yes.

Of course, to grow your income that much, you'll need to first find a side hustle that's lucrative, and then put in enough time to earn the money you want. But if you're willing to make that effort, you may be pleasantly surprised at how much more spending power your side hustle gives you.

Imagine you get a job waiting tables at a local restaurant on evenings and weekends. You never know how generous customers may be on the tipping front. Or, you may decide to drive for a ride-hailing service. If airport runs keep you busy during the holidays, which may be the case, you could end up earning several hundred dollars a week.

You can also find a side hustle you can do from home. If you're a pro at web design, for example, you might easily manage to charge $50 or more per hour to update business websites. Put in 20 hours over the course of the holiday season, and it could leave you $1,000 richer.

Make the most of the holidays without landing in debt

If you're looking to be super generous this holiday season, or really celebrate in style, then a side hustle could be your ticket to making those plans happen without suffering negative financial consequences afterward. It pays to explore the different options you have for boosting your income with a side gig, whether you intend to increase your holiday spending by a large sum or a modest one.

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