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3 ways to improve your finances before the holidays

Friends Celebrating Thanksgiving Dinner Together
There are a series of reliable ways to improve your finances before the holidays.  RICH LEGG/Getty Images

With Thanksgiving right around the corner and Christmas not far behind it, many Americans are already making early preparations - from gift-buying to travel plans. In fact, a recent survey claimed that 50% of shoppers started their holiday spending prior to Halloween. 

If you find yourself in that group of shoppers or plan to join in the coming days or weeks, you may already be analyzing your bank account to determine what you can and cannot afford. 

Fortunately, there are a series of reliable ways to improve your finances before the holidays. You just need to choose the best and most expedient way for your personal financial situation.

An online financial adviser can help you review your options today. Or read on to discover some alternatives that may work for you.

3 ways to improve your finances before the holidays

Make extra money

Even if you have a full-time job you can still make some extra money on the side. 

One of the most popular and easy ways to do so is by taking paid surveys. It's easy to get started. Simply create an account on a secure market research site like Branded Surveys or Swagbucks, answer some questions and then choose the surveys you want to take (some will also include the approximate timeframe it'll take to finish them).

You won't get rich doing paid surveys (how much you make really depends on your time investment). Still, if you have some extra time at night or on the weekends it can't hurt, especially if you will soon have small gifts to buy.

Also consider a passive income stream, if you want to make more significant sums. 

Consolidate your debt

If you have outstanding debt at a prohibitive interest rate it may be time to consolidate what you owe and start saving money. Debt consolidation loans allow borrowers to combine their debts into one simple loan with a lower interest rate.

By consolidating your debts into one loan with a lower interest rate you can start saving money immediately. But you'll also save significant sums over the long haul as the loan will be adjusted into a more manageable sum.

This is especially helpful for those with high-interest credit cards. The average interest rate on a 24-month personal loan was 8.73%, according to recent data from the Federal Reserve. Compare that to the average credit card interest rate of 16.65% - almost double!

So, check the rates you currently have. Then compare the rates to a debt consolidation loan. It's easy to get started today

Refinance existing debt

Granted, refinance rates for mortgages aren't what they once were but there are some scenarios where it still may make sense. Homeowners with high interest rates, for example, could still save money with a refinance. Those with Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) may also be able to save.

This also applies to student loans. Remember: President Biden's forgiveness program only applies to those with federal student loans. Private student loan borrowers aren't eligible.

So crunch the numbers and see how you can save by refinancing your mortgage, your student loan or both. 

The bottom line

With the holidays quickly approaching take advantage of the multiple ways you have to make more money and save (hopefully at the same time). Speak to a financial adviser now who can help you find the best path forward. 

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