Are you planning on taking a “staycation” this summer because you don’t have the money to go on a real vacation away from home? Or are you going to go into debt for a trip because your bank account is near empty?
The average American racks up about $1,100 in vacation debt, and according to research from Credit Sesame, men are more likely than women to go into debt for a trip – mainly because guys are more willing to charge an entire vacation on their credit cards, Credit Sesame found.
Well, maybe you can have a proper vacation getaway – without going into debt – with a few savvy financial moves.
Here are four tips to help you find some quick cash for a vacation this summer.
* Tip #1: Adjust your W-4 withholdings at work
The IRS says that nationwide the average tax refund in 2017 was about $3,000. That means most people are probably overpaying their taxes by roughly $250 per month. Basically, you’re giving the government an interest free loan on your money — money you could have now!
To fix that problem, and get cash quickly for your summer vacation, head into your HR department and adjust your W-4 withholdings. Increase the number of exemptions you claim, and fewer taxes will get taken out of your next paycheck.
It’s an easy way to get up to $250 by this time next month — still plenty of time to contribute toward a getaway!
IRS publication 919 explains everything you need to know about adjusting your withholdings at work. The IRS also has a neat withholding calculator online to help you figure your tax, so you don’t overpay or underpay for the year.
Online Resource: IRS.gov
* Tip #2: Sell stuff you don’t want, need or use
We all have way too much stuff in our homes and apartments. So go check your garage, attic or basement — and all the other rooms in your place where stuff just piles up. Round up things you don’t want or need anymore and sell them to help fund a summer vacation.
But do this the right way: since time is of the essence, start with selling high-value items quickly online – rather than taking a lot of time and effort to try to unload cheaper things in a garage sale.
If you have electronics and tech, sell that stuff online at DeCluttr.com for the highest prices and the biggest bang for your buck. DeCluttr is a great website and app for selling cell phones, tablets, game consoles or things like iPods and Kindles.
Plus, if a garage sale is just too much work and hassle for you, or you don’t have time for one, DeCluttr also buys books, CDs, DVDs and games. Best part: you ship them your items free and then DeCluttr pays you the next day after they get your stuff. Fast and easy, and you’ve got quick cash to put toward your summer vacation.
Online Resource: DeCluttr.com
* Tip #3: Join the gig economy
We all work hard enough as it is, but if you want to have a nice summer getaway, it really could pay to take on part-time or project work as a freelancer. These days, it’s all about the “gig” economy where you do part-time jobs for extra money – or even as your main source of income.
Depending on the type of gigs you take on, you can often set your own schedule – and likely work from the comfort and convenience of your own home too.
There are freelance opportunities to do everything from blogging or editing to designing web sites, working as a virtual assistant and tutoring/coaching people about topics you know well. The average freelancer makes $21 an hour.
So even if you could find a side-hustle and work it for just 10 hours a week, that’s $210 or $840 bucks in a month: a big chunk of cash to pay for a summer trip you’re dying to take.
To find all kinds of freelance opportunities, including hourly gigs and special projects, check out Upwork.com. They have 1.5 million employers looking for freelance workers with all skill levels – from entry-level work to expert assignments.
Online resource: Upwork.com
Tip #4: Rent a room in your home or apartment
Renting out a room in your home or apartment is a fast way to earn some great cash. Many people have heard of sites like Airbnb, but haven’t actually tried to rent out their own places.
Well, you don’t have to turn over your entire home or apartment. You can stay in it, and rent a spare room to an-out-of town visitor — totally doable and there’s plenty of demand for it too, and not just in high-demand areas like New York, Miami or Los Angeles.
For example, in Pittsburgh, the average amount of money you can get from renting a room in your place is $80 a night using Airbnb. Do that for 5 nights and earn $400 toward your summer vacation.
Just remember that if you’re using a service like Airbnb, you’re sometimes required to collect tax and pay that tax to your local city, town or county.
Online Resource: Airbnb.com
See more video advice on this topic on NBC News below.