How to save $1000 before summer vacation

As you finalize your summer vacation plans, you may be wondering how you’re going to pay for it all! Here are some easy ways to put $1000 in your pocket — in just two months’ time.

Adjust Your Tax Withholding

Summertime Savings: $459
Given that tax refunds are averaging about $2755, adjust your tax withholding and in two months’ time, you’ve got $459. That’s because taking more allowances pushes down your withholding, and pushes up your take-home pay. Need help? Use the withholding calculators on the web or speak with someone in your HR department.

Shop Smarter

Summertime Savings: >$100
When you shop online using a site like FatWallet, you’re getting a combination of coupons, and discounts from over 1,500 top retailers, plus you can get up to 20% cash back on your gifts for Mother’s Day, graduations, weddings and Father’s Day, for an average savings of more than $100.

Sell Unwanted Gift Cards

Summertime Savings: $240
Did you know that the average household has about $300 in unspent gift cards? These are cards they’ve either forgotten about or simply don’t want. Sell them on a designated gift card site like Plastic Jungle! Granted you won’t get 100% of the card value, but you could get up to 92%, depending on the popularity of the merchant. And even if you got an 80% return on $300 worth of gift cards, that’s $240!

Automate Your Savings

Summertime Savings: $115
Start small: by having a little less than $29 automatically deducted from your paycheck and deposited into a savings account, you’ve got yourself $115, assuming you’re getting four paychecks over the next 8 weeks.

About the author: Vera Gibbons is a financial journalist based in New York City. Gibbons hosts a weekly series on Yahoo! called “The Cost of Living,” appears regularly on Fox News, writes for Real Simple magazine, and blogs for Reuters and Zillow. 

Previously, Gibbons was a financial contributor with CBS The Early Show, worked as a correspondent for CNBC’s High Net Worth, and was a Financial Analyst for MSNBC. 

She appeared regularly on all NBC platforms, including the Today Show, Nightly News, and The Weather Channel’s Wake Up With Al, hosted by NBC’s Al Roker. Gibbons has written for Inc., SmartMoney, Kiplinger’s, the New York Times, AOL’s walletpop.com, and cnbc.com.


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