It is that time of year, you know, where bank accounts and wallets get drained from the holiday buying. Well, there are also some who didn’t have any extra in the bank accounts or in the wallet to be drained in the first place, and they are trying to figure out how to make Christmas happen. 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 like our $2 and under gift list and the $5 and under gift list with the $10 and $20 lists coming soon (it takes Cassie hours to put those together).
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!
So here’s a quick list of how to come up with of extra cash right now:
- Sell used books, 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. The amount of cash in your pocket = $50.
- Sell $75 of 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). You will be surprised how quickly you can get some cash this way. The amount of cash in your pocket = $75.
- To those sames 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. The amount of cash in your pocket = $50.
- 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! The amount of cash in your pocket = $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. Consign enough items for $50 of cash. The amount of cash in your pocket = $50.
- Sell your old cell phones 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. The amount of cash in your pocket = $40.
- 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 to, so I won’t count it in the tally… consider it a bonus 🙂
- 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! The amount of cash in your pocket = $10.
- 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, Plastic Jungle 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. The amount of cash in your pocket = $15.
- Finally, donate blood 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. The amount of cash in your pocket = $480.
So with the grand total of all of these little ways to find some extra cash this season = $780 average total! 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 2013 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 2012 before you can get a head start on Christmas 2013.
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 $780 wisely, here’s a few posts we recommend that you read:
- The Secrets To Finding The Best Deals On Anything
- Buying a Toy Over $50? Here’s The Best Price Option with Free Shipping
- Perhaps Toys R Us is the Best Place For Toy Shopping This Year By Additional 10% Discount On Lowest Prices! Here’s How!
- $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
One final thought, consider opening and using a Perk Street Debit Card to earn cash back on your purchases too. It will be money you get in the future, but still a wise move!