Since two of the biggest shopping days of the year have passed, your bank account might be running low, or you may need some money for this Christmas as you try to figure out how to make Christmas happen this year. Or perhaps you just simply want to find other ways to pay for Christmas other than your savings or bank account.
Well, no matter what your situation is, we want to give some ideas to help ease the financial burden.
First, we highly encourage you to do what you can to avoid going into debt to pay for Christmas. We know the pain and struggles of make exceptions and saying “what are we going to do?” or “let’s just put it on a credit card” or get a loan or what we were doing right before we woke up to our financial misery – getting payday loans. We don’t want you to have to do any of those things.
We have been honest about trying to scale back seriously on “deals” we share as they are very tempting when you don’t have the money, no matter how good of a deal it is. Instead, we’ve shared minimal deals, but we have also shared very affordable and low priced deals and will continue to do so.
We’ve also shared how to earn extra income by capitalizing on seasonal jobs this year. But there is also the situation where you don’t want to commit to providing a product or service for the season, you don’t want to get a part time seasonal job, but you just need cash to finish up Christmas and you need it NOW! The ideas below that we are going to share with you could produce upwards of $800 at your disposal this month! At least that has been our experience when we put these ideas to practice!
So here’s a quick list of a handful of creative, perhaps unique, things you can do to get some extra cash this week and finish up Christmas:
- Sell used books, textbooks, electronics, movies, video games, music to Amazon. Amazon has a great, easy and very efficient process of selling these items to them and in return, you will receive Amazon gift cards in your account to use to buy anything on Amazon. As Amazon already has some of the best and lowest prices out there, it is a great place to shop for Christmas and this allows you to possibly shop for free. We encourage you to find $50 worth of used books, electronics, movies, video games and music that you are no longer using to sell to Amazon. In one book alone, we made over $16, so with a few or several items…it can add up quick! See the details of this process and our experience with it HERE. In fact, my dad has used this for the past year to create a little business out of it on the side! It’s a hobby for him that has turned over some serious cash this past year! The payment is very quick. We are actually getting ready to send a handful of items that Amazon says will give us around $36 this time!
- Sell stuff around your house. Find some things, sets, toys, furniture, outgrown clothing, etc. that you are no longer using. Market to your Facebook friends and their friends for free as well as your neighborhood or any other groups (like homeschool groups) that you may be a part of. Market on Craigslist or your local classifieds that are free as well (most areas have either a free service or will list items under $50 for free). Also, if you live in a warm enough environment, have a garage/yard sale! You will be surprised how quickly you can get some fast cash this way, plus the added benefit of clearing more things out! We are getting ready to sell a large lighthouse framed print (and hope to get $75-$100 out of it!) and an old blown glass lamp that is quite large that we bought for $5 at a garage sale. We expect $30 – $40 out of it. Just between those two items, we should end up with a minimum of $105.
- To those same groups….your Facebook friends and neighbors, offer to do an odd job here and there. Maybe offer to help wrap presents, do some deep cleaning for holidays, babysit so the moms can shop…etc. Something that is a one (or two) time thing that can earn you a quick $30 – $50 even in one day! Do this for a couple of days and you can make quite a lot! These are also great jobs for kids to earn some extra Christmas cash! Last year, we had 2 boys that stopped by after a snow storm on December 22, looking to make some quick cash to pay for Christmas presents. How could we resist someone working hard to make money!
- It may sound silly, but empty your change jars, clean out the couches, junk drawers, etc and you might find enough money for a gift or two. Several years ago, we were trying desperately to pay off debt and had just started doing so. We had nothing extra after paying the minimums (we barely escaped bankruptcy). We need groceries and did this exact thing and found around $18 just “lying around” our house. We save our change now and when we find it, it goes into a jar for a fun family outing now. But it could do that same for Christmas too! You will probably find at least $10!
- Sell higher end furniture, clothing and even gently used items and especially gently used baby items to consignment shops. Many of them will pay you right then and not just when the item sells. We have a kids/baby consignment shop in our area that does pay immediately! It can be the source for great stack of cash for items you are no longer using. You can get cash faster than selling them yourselves, but you will get less for them – but this is still a good option as it is less work and immediate pay. High end clothing, furniture, antiques and baby items are the best for quick cash on consignment. We have done consignment before, we prefer to sell ourselves as we make more, but again, if you need the money now, then go for it!
- Sell your old cell phones, mp3s or tablets. I don’t know about you, but we have switched cell carriers a few times in the past several years, or upgraded cell phones. Well those old phones could be quite valuable. Collect all of your old higher end cell phones. You can get some nice cash for your phones, on average, about $25 – $40! Use any of the following sites to compare and get the best prices: SellCell.com, usell.com, BuyMyTronics.com and SimplySellular.com. Just a few weeks ago, Alex cracked his cell phone screen. We had it appraised at a local dealer and they would give us $40 for a cracked phone. But we hopped online and bought $10 of supplies to fix it on Amazon and then the appraisal value became $140 (we did tell them that it was cracked and we fixed it). So don’t undervalue your electronics. Even fix them up and sell too! Apple products and the current Androids are the most valuable!
- Sell gold locally to local gold providers. This ensures you get paid now and that you get paid what the gold is worth instead of just sending it in. Also, before selling your gold and to be sure that you are getting top dollar from a reputable company, read this article from ABC News about 7 Things You Should Know Before Selling Gold. We haven’t ever sold gold like this before, so I don’t know exactly how much this could amount too, but we have heard testimony from others that have successfully found a bunch of cash this way. Silver also has a market…. don’t forget about selling your silver in any form.
- Recycle. This may sound a bit extreme, but collect plastics, newspapers, aluminum, etc. and take to your local recycling center and get paid for it. It won’t be a ton, but you could get $4-$5 a trash bag worth. Fill two bags and earn about $10! This could be a few gifts!
- Sell gift cards for cash, or….. use the gift cards to buy Christmas presents or re-gift! If you want to sell a gift card, Cardpool is a great place to re-sell your gift cards too. And it is also a great place to buy them as well as they are discounted 🙂 Most people have at least $15 worth of gift cards to sell and you can usually get a 90% return!
- Donate plasma for cash! In our opinion, this is one of the quickest and easiest ways to earn cash fast! See our previous article HERE but in summary, a single donor in your household can make $60 a week and $240 a month. So if there are two adults in the house that can donate, you can get $120 a week or even up to $480 for the month! That is a nice Christmas cash nest egg. See the information that we posted about this HERE. In addition, this summer we wanted to go to an amusement park and donated plasma to get money ASAP to pay for it as we didn’t budget for it as it was an unplanned event. Also, Alex has been doing this again this year and he also finds it to be a nice time to sit and study (something he doesn’t get at home with 5 littles running around!). This is one of the easiest and fastest ways to earn a lot.
- Find odd jobs online that pay $5-$10, including writing for blogs. For example, we will be starting to look for article writers that want to share their frugal tips and ideas and we will be paying $5 – $10 each article paid upon article completion! If you are interested, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and put guest article in the title and we may be interested in having you write and article or two! You can also check sites like Fiverr.com or GigWalk.com. Now please note, depending on the task, you may or may not get paid immediately, but you might. If not, it is a good opportunity now for a soon future paycheck 🙂
So with the grand total of all of these little ways to find some extra cash this season, you could find yourself with an extra $500 – $800 pretty quickly!
That can go a long way in purchasing Christmas presents, especially if you are also good about finding a deal on what you are looking for! When we were in debt, our total Christmas budget was between $300 – $400 which included gifts for our immediate family, gifts for extended family, events, extra groceries, Christmas cards…everything! We now spend about double this amount, but we save all-year and we are debt-free and get to enjoy the fruits of our labors of the past. There is a light at the end of the spending road this season. Just don’t be paying for it later, if you can avoid going into debt. We would encourage you to start saving for Christmas starting in January in the amount of $5 – $10 per paycheck. If you go into debt this year, you will just be paying for Christmas 2013 before you can get a head start on Christmas.
Our goal is to help you find extra money and find gifts for a lot less this year. Hopefully between all of these posts, you can fly through Christmas with ease! So…to help you spend your $500-$800 wisely, here’s a few posts we recommend that you read:
- The Best Place To Be To Find Deals All Season
- The Secrets To Finding The Best Deals On Anything
- $5 and Under Gift List with Free Shipping and up to 95% Savings: Something for Everyone
- $2 and Under Gift List – Hundreds of Gift Items For Everyone On Your List All for $2 and Under Including the Shipping
- Retail Coupons for hundreds of stores! Search the database for the latest and greatest coupons!
If you want to have a great plan for Christmas, we would recommend picking up your copy of the Christmas Planner to save big money, time and sanity!