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With Christmas creeping up and tending to be an expensive time of year for many, you might be starting to think about how you’re going to cover all those extra festive expenses.
Whilst it can be tempting to turn to credit cards, this won’t do your finances any good long term and having that debt to pay off come January is almost guaranteed to chase away any remaining Christmas cheer!
A better solution is to look for simple ways to bring in some extra cash to put towards your seasonal spending.
Here are some simple ideas on how to make extra money for Christmas.
1. Declutter and sell
The first and simplest option is to see if you already have anything you can sell. Christmas can often mean an influx of new stuff (especially if you have kids!), so what better time to have a declutter and make some fresh space.
Here are some ideas for things you could sell:
- Clothes (baby and children’s clothes sell particularly well if in good condition)
There are quite a few options of how and where to sell your things. My favourite is Facebook, you can use their marketplace and your local buy and sell groups to list for free. You can then often find a buyer close enough to collect, avoiding the hassle and cost of postage.
Ebay is another option which allows you to reach a much larger market of buyers, but does have the downside of having to pay fees and arrange and pay for postage.
There are some selling apps you can download on your phone too. Vinted is a great one for selling unwanted clothes. Schpock and Depop are other apps that let you list unwanted items for free.
You can also try websites such as Gumtree and Preloved.
If you have DVDs, CD’s, games and books you could try selling to Music Magpie. They also buy old, unwanted tech.
Tips for selling
- Take good quality photos in good lighting – this will help your items sell better.
- List in multiple places to increase chances of selling.
- Be prepared to negotiate – people will always try and knock the price down.
- Add incentives to encourage a faster sale – ie. ‘Only £x if collected today.’
2. Try Task apps
There are a whole host of money making apps out there, but here are some of the easiest for making a little extra in time for Christmas.
Be My Eye
Be My Eye is a mystery shopping task app. You’ll need to carry out ‘missions’ such as visiting shops, taking photographs and notes on pricing and advice from staff. All you need to get started is a camera phone and the ability to be discreet. You can choose to be paid via PayPal or bank transfer. You’ll receive a £1 bonus on your first mission when you join with the button below.
Field Agent is a similar app that pays you for completing information gathering tasks such as taking photos of shop displays and uploading them to the app. When you open the app you can see what tasks are available and how close they are to your location. Once you accept a task you usually have 24 hours to complete.
3. Take surveys for cash
Market research and crowdsourcing companies will pay users to complete surveys and studies for brands and businesses, to help them develop products and services.
Here are some good platforms to join to be paid for surveys.
Prolific is a crowdsourcing platform for academic studies. To join, you’ll need to sign up and fill in your profile and demographic information, which will help them determine which studies you’re eligible for.
After this, you’ll be able to see the studies available to you, what’s involved, and an estimate of how long it will take you. You’ll also see how much you’ll be paid for participating and can choose whether to take part or not.
4. Try Flexible Work Gigs
Whilst picking up a second job might seem a good way to up your income, it’s not always easy to find, or practical to fit around existing commitments. Plus, you may not want to be tied into a long work contract. Short term, one-off or mystery shopping gigs offer a more flexible way to bank some extra cash.
Here a couple of places to start looking for this kind of work.
Flexible working with RedWigwam can give you short term or one-off jobs to earn money. They offer mystery shopping gigs, hospitality and events work, cleaning work and much more. If they have work in your area they send you an email to see if you’re interested and if you are you can either reply to the email or log into your account to see more details.
Clickworker is a crowdsourcing platform with 1.9 million worldwide users who are paid to perform small tasks, also known as microjobs. These micro jobs can be completed flexibly in your own time and how much you’re paid will vary dependent on the task and skills/time involved.
You don’t need any particular skills or experience to register or work with Clickworker, but your existing skills or qualifications may be taken into account to determine your suitability for certain projects.
Once you’ve registered you’ll need to fill in your profile with your skills, qualifications and interests. For certain jobs you’ll be required to complete trainings and tests to ensure your ability to complete particular tasks.
Payment for work is usually added to your Clickworker account 7 days after completion. You can choose to be paid via PayPal, or directly into your bank or TransferWise account.
5. Make and sell Christmas gifts
If you’re at all creative or crafty, a great way to make extra money for Christmas is to sell homemade Christmas gifts. People are often stuck on what to give, and look for thoughtful, homemade or personalised presents.
A really simple but effective idea is to make and sell Christmas hampers. You just need a pretty or nice looking box or container. Fill it with inexpensive but nice bits and pieces, such as yummy treats, cosmetics, toiletries and so on. Wrap up nicely with cellophane and finish with a bow.
Other things you might make and sell could be:
- Hot chocolate cones
- Homemade soaps
- Personalised Christmas stockings
- Christmas decorations
6. Use cashback sites
Always try and shop through a cashback site when shopping online. This is a really simple way to get some of your money back and only takes a few extra seconds. This is especially great at times when you’re likely to be doing more shopping, such as Christmas!
Cashback sites such as Quidco and Topcashback offer cashback on purchases made with hundreds of retailers. It takes seconds to search for the retailer and see what’s available. Cashback will usually be either a set amount or a percentage of your total spend.
You can also find cashback deals on mobile phone contracts, energy suppliers, credit cards, insurance contracts and so on. It’s always worth checking. I’ve received over £1000 in cashback using the two sites mentioned above.
Cashback should track straight away but can often take a few weeks to be paid out as it has to be verified through the retailer. Once approved, you can withdraw your cashback to your bank account, or choose to receive it as gift vouchers for popular shops.
7. Scan your receipts
While receipt scanning doesn’t pay huge amounts, it literally takes a few seconds after each shop, so it’s worth the effort if you’re trying to save extra pennies. Receipt apps such as Shoppix, Snap My Eats, and Huyu will pay you for snapping photos of your receipts for market research purposes.
You’ll receive points for each receipt snapped, and once you’ve accumulated enough points (usually £5 worth) you can exchange them for cash or vouchers.
With a little bit of time and effort, it’s definitely possible to put away some extra money for Christmas.