I managed to get the Christmas Tree assembled today. It is hard to believe that this year has flown by so fast. It is almost time for Egg Nog, caroling, and sleigh bells. Just kidding, we don’t have any of those things in Florida. We do however have to buy Christmas gifts like the rest of the world.
My husband and I have decided to forgo buying each other gifts the last two years, but we still have plenty of people on our list. In order to stick to our budget, our ever growing list requires me to come up with some creative ways to make extra money for Christmas and find ways to stretch my dollar. I decided I should probably share some of the ways I have managed to save or make extra money towards this years Christmas purchases.
You know that awesome website where you can earn cash back on every purchase you make. Since we do the majority of our shopping online I always head to Ebates first. Lucky for me most of my favorites like Amazon, Etsy, Sephora, and Kohls are included and I can earn a good deal of cash back on each purchase.
Even better are the Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday specials they have going on. These, along with daily specials can double the amount you can get back. I love giving a gift that someone is smitten with and knowing that I didn’t really spend all that much.
A lot of people try to use swagbucks and say that they hate it. The thing with Swagbucks is that it isn’t a sprint. It is more of a marathon. This is not a system to use to try to make $400 a month. Fitting a few surveys in here and there is more realistically going to earn you anywhere from $40-70 a month. I personally like to take the money that I have made on Swagbucks throughout the year and use it towards my Christmas purchases. In the past I have traded in my Swagbucks for Nintendo gift cards, Target Gift Cards and even Amazon gift cards. These all make great gifts for loved ones and myself.
At times when I feel particularly thrifty, I can make my money really stretch by trading my Swagbucks for Visa gift cards. Then I head over to Ebates to spend them and spend them on gift cards from the Disney Store or Restaurant.com. I really feel like I am getting one over on someone when I use FREE money to earn cash back. A little something for the people on my list, and a little something for me.
Selling Gift Cards
I know that I tend to buy a lot of gift cards for the holidays. I feel that is the best way to know that someone is getting something they actually want. Unfortunately, I sometimes get gift cards to places I will never use. Instead I have been able to turn them into a little bit over $400 this year by selling them. I recommend both Raise and Cardpool.com to turn any unwanted gift cards into cold hard cash.
With Raise you can set your own price that you want to get for your gift card. This usually leads to you getting a little bit better return. Once your card sells, you have three business days to ship it to the buyer. All you have to do is download and print the prepaid shipping label provided in your online Raise account. Just follow the instructions on the label and you’re done. The one drawback with Raise is that you don’t actually get paid until your gift card sells. I recommend listing your card as soon as you know you wont be using it.
With Cardpool you can enter the name and value of each card you have. Cardpool will give you a cash offer for your card right there. Once you have all your cards listed you can download a free shipping label and send in your gift cards. Cardpool will send out a check to you within one business day of receipt. While Cardpool is the best way to make sure to sell your cards fast they don’t accept gift cards under $10. I have also found that some merchants aren’t available to redeem. I personally use a combination of the two to get the most out of my cards.
Shhhhh. Don’t tell anyone. I have been known to purchase a Groupon or two as a gift. There are always fun and unique gifts that are at a discount that I wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else. All of the difficult to shop for people on my list are getting personalized cutting boards this year. Hey, it is something different! This year I am also treating my parents to a Spa Day thanks to, you guessed it, Groupon. I also got 10% cash back on all my purchases by shopping Groupon by way of Ebates. Booyah!
Do you have a talent that allows you to create something that someone would want to purchase for their loved ones? Selling items that are hot on everyone’s Christmas list is another good way to make some extra cash around the holidays.
If you are the creative type then setting up an Etsy shop might be the way to go. November and December are the prime months for holiday shopping and things will be picking up quickly as people scramble to buy for everyone on their list. In fact, last year I sold so much throughout the month of November and early December that I had to shut down my shop early to insure that everything would arrive before Christmas.
Another way I sell my “talents” is by selling my designs on T shirts on TeePublic and Zazzle. I have been doing this for years every time I think of something that would be a clever T shirt idea. If you have a blog or large social media following you can showcase your designs, which will lead to more sales.
Other ways to earn some quick cash include selling unwanted items on Craigslist, eBay or on a neighborhood posting app like Next Door. Spend an hour or two going through your house to find furniture you no longer have room for that might be of interest to someone else. Gently used clothing is almost always a good seller, especially in children’s sizes.
With just a few hours a week there are plenty of ways that you can add some extra cash to your Christmas budget. Even better is that most all of these can be accomplished at home on your computer. What are some of the ways that you have used to create an additional income for your family around the holidays?
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