Did you know that we’re now on Periscope? You don’t want to miss us live streaming from Italy this week. Follow us there @ClubThrifty! While we’re away, here’s a great piece from guest contributor Kristi. Enjoy!
Kids, parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, grandparents, neighbors, teachers, and friends…whew. That’s the short list of people to buy gifts for this holiday season. Even if you set a $5 or $10 cap, that’s still a lot of money for a holiday gift exchange. In fact, the average American family spent $861 to purchase gifts last Christmas, according to the American Research Group. That $861 doesn’t even include the costs of travel and elaborate holiday meals!
There’s no denying that celebrating the holidays is expensive, and if you aren’t careful about how much you’re spending, you might land yourself in a vicious cycle of credit card debt.
Don’t go into debt to pay for the holidays. Find ways to earn more money instead. Here are 7 ways to make extra money for the holidays so you don’t have to put a red cent on a credit card this year.
How to Make Extra Money for the Holidays
1) Apply for a Seasonal Position
Consider picking up a part-time job for nights and weekends. You could earn an extra $1,000 or more by working for these last few months leading up to the holidays. Look for a position with Christmas tree lots, shipping companies like UPS and FedEx, and retail stores like Macy’s and Kohls who all hire extra, part-time seasonal workers.
2) Use eBay and Craigslist
Craigslist and eBay are the perfect places to offload your stuff that you never use and make some decent money to spend on the holidays in the process. Books, CDs, movies, and clothes all sell really well in bundles, since people like to feel like they’re getting a good deal. People are also more willing to travel for a group of items instead of just one. You could also use eBay or Craigslist to buy older or worn out items to flip, refurbish, and resell them for a profit. Also be sure to check out the jobs and gigs section at Craigslist. You never know what opportunities will be posted there to earn extra money.
3) Ask to Work More Overtime Hours
Working overtime can be tricky for some companies who are stingy with their hours. You never know unless you ask though. Approach the situation with honesty, and tell them that you’re feeling strapped by the holidays. Ask if they can put you on the schedule for more hours, and offer to cover the hours that people don’t usually like to work – like second or third shift and weekends.
4) Ask for a Raise
Why work longer hours for more money if you don’t have to? The easiest way to avoid that is to simply ask for a raise. Schedule a meeting with your boss, and once you have the room, tell them how much more you believe you should earn over your current salary. Present them with reasons for why you deserve a raise, and give your boss concrete examples of just how much your work has benefited the company. The worst case scenario is that they say no, and you are right where you started. Best case scenario will mean that you leave work knowing that all of your hard work has paid off, and you’ll have a little bit more money padding your pockets this holiday season.
5) Trade in Your Stuff for Amazon Credit
Amazon’s trade-in program makes it really easy to get cash or gift cards for items you no longer use or need, like books, electronics, video games, and movies. Conveniently, any items you bought through Amazon will show up on the trade-in page as trade-in options. All you have to do is click the items you wish to return, print off a shipping label, and send your items back to Amazon. Once Amazon has received and reviewed the quality of your items, they will send you a notification telling you whether it was accepted or rejected, as well as the value of the items you returned. You will receive an eGift Card for Amazon for your trade-ins. Easy peasy.
6) Make Money Online
Make extra money for the holidays just by joining Swagbucks.com and using the internet as usual. Simply shop online, watch entertaining videos, search the web, answer surveys, and find great deals. You’ll earn cash or gift cards just by doing something you would have been doing anyway. Another option is UserTesting, a website that pays people $10 per 20 minute session to review other people’s blogs and websites. All you have to do is apply, then visit websites or apps, complete a set of tasks, and speak your thoughts out loud into a recorder. Finally, 20/20 Panel can be another lucrative way to earn some money online in your free time. 20/20 Panel pays you $50-$150 for taking part in surveys and focus groups, pretty decent compensation for your time and effort. Of course, you can also start a blog!
7) Set Up a Profile on Care.com
By setting up a profile on Care.com you will have a whole host of extra jobs to choose from. You could babysit, offer tutoring services, rake leaves, walk dogs, deliver groceries, or house sit for people out of town. The opportunities are endless to make extra money.
Avoid Holiday Credit Card Debt
There’s no reason to ruin your financial situation by paying for gifts this holiday season. There are plenty of ways to earn extra money for the holidays. Start by limiting your list. Then pick up extra hours, work odd jobs, and sell some of your items from previous years.. You’ll end up with more than enough to pay cash, not credit, for your gifts this year.
Kristi Muse is a family finance writer who loves talking about strategies to save money, get out of debt, and live a frugal life. She shares her experiences about debt, parenthood, and life as a law-enforcement family on her blog Moderate Muse. You can also follow her on Twitter.