If the financial worries of Christmas are causing seasonal sweats, fret no more. In this time of austerity, it's easy to feel more like Scrooge than Santa, but if you're facing a credit crunch this holiday season, below are a handful of ways to make a bit of extra money this holiday season.
Trade in Last Year's Gadgets
Christmas can be an expensive time with kids wanting the latest releases of everything. So why not trade in old models to help with the costs? If you have old mobile phones, computer consoles, or laptops gathering dust in your home, they can be traded in for cash this Christmas. Websites, such as gazelle.com or exchangemyphone.com, are good places to start when it comes to discovering how much your items are worth.
Rent out Your House
Are you going to visit family for the holidays? If your home will be empty over this period, you should consider renting it out? Airbnb is one site where you can list your home for a short period. This could be a lucrative way to earn money if you live in a popular area. If leasing, make sure to check the terms of your lease and take steps to ensure your home will be safe. Going through a reputable company will go a long way.
Put in Extra Hours
During the holiday season, bars, shops, and restaurants often hire additional staff to accommodate the surge in demand. If you have the time, you could pick up extra hours that work around your current job. Perhaps you work in an office that is closed for the week of Christmas, you could make the most of this downtime by getting a second job. If you're willing to work in a restaurant or bar on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, or New Year's Eve, you can expect the wage to be worth your while. If you own a car, driving for ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft is also a good option to rake in some quick cash.
Get Cash Back
Charging all of your Christmas expenses (and other spending throughout the year) on a credit card that gives you cash back can be an easy and free way to make extra money. It is important to be financially responsible when using credit cards. For example, spend only what you can afford, consider the 30% utilization rule, and pay the balance in full.
If you're reluctant to take out a credit card, there are cashback sites that will give you a percentage of online spending. Does this sound too good to be true? Well, it's not. Cashback sites make money when you purchase something on a site they referred you to. Many sites, such as Topcashback.com and ebates.com, even offer bonus payments for referring a friend to the site. Cash back from a credit card and/or website could fund your next Christmas.
Bake Your Way to the Bank
Are you a culinary artist? For some, making Christmas desserts is difficult and time-consuming. However, for skilled kitchen artisans, the time and effort are insignificant compared to their masterpieces. If you are in this elite group, consider selling tasty treats to friends and family to earn extra dough. Be sure to factor in the costs of ingredients and labor so that it makes good business sense. You could even advertise your services on social media sites and fliers in your neighborhood.
Smile for the Camera
Companies are always looking for pictures of happy families at Christmas. So gather the family around the tree, snap some pics, and then upload them onto a stock photo website where people pay to use your images. Shutterstock and Getty are two websites in which you can upload your photos and get paid every time someone downloads them.
The Bottom Line
Christmas can be an expensive time, but there are ways to make a few extra dollars. Whether you accept extra work, use your skills or resources, or take advantage of cash back options, earning extra cash can be easy and worthwhile. With these tips, Christmas needn't break the bank after all.