Is anyone else slightly shocked that it’s already October?!? Since it happens every year, it shouldn’t be surprising…it just seems so sudden! And the scariest part isn’t that it’s actually October, but that we are now so close to Christmas and there is so very little in my Christmas savings account. Yikes.
I had great plans for our Christmas savings this year. I saved faithfully for six months. The balance was looking so nice.
Then life happened. My husband lost the part time income we were using to pay our van payment and suddenly there was this extra expense to cover. So the money started coming out of savings and went toward those pesky payments. (I’m totally over making payments by the way. Anybody else??)
Now here we are, 10 weeks until Christmas, and I’m thinking that $46 in my Christmas savings is not going to cut it. There are probably a lot of people in this same financial pickle and it’s time for us to come up with a new plan. There are several dozen methods we can probably use to do a savings blitz, but we have to be realistic here. As much as I’d like to save $200 extra each week without doing any extra work, I’m fairly certain that’s not going to happen. On the other hand, if you can do that, I’m super impressed. I’ll also be expecting you to tell me how you did it!!
If you can start with your existing finances, that is great. For instance, I work a part-time job outside of my home, family, and this blog (those alone can be like having 10 jobs sometimes!) and my goal is to save $20-$25 per paycheck for the next 10 weeks. The amount saved will vary because the amount of hours I work will vary, but it should be somewhere close to $250. I am always looking for new ways to earn money from home as well and I’ve got a couple of ideas I’m hoping to implement, but there is no guarantee of enough profit to put toward Christmas. You may be working full-time already and not have any extra you can put toward savings. That’s okay…hopefully some of these other ideas will help! (Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, including one from Amazon. That One Mom is an Amazon affiliate and while you are under no obligation to click on any of these links or to purchase anything, doing so helps keep this blog going!)
Beyond existing income, I am going to try to make an extra $50 per week and apply it toward buying Christmas gifts. There are various ways to do this, although you may not necessarily be compensated with cash. Gift cards work just as well though!
Here a few things we can all do to make a little extra cash for Christmas (or just because):
- Have yard sales* (yes, multiple). The more you have, the more stuff you can get rid of and the more money you will make. It’s a win-win! *Tip for yard sales–group things together or have a “Fill a Bag for $3” sale.
- Sell big-ticket items on Craigslist–i.e., tools, car parts, expensive name-brand clothing, big toys, outdoor items, sporting goods, and furniture.
- Have a virtual yard sale on Facebook. Make an album of things you are selling and share it. (You may have to change privacy settings for that album if you want others besides your friends to view it.) There are also yard sale groups you can join on Facebook. I didn’t have much luck with that, but other people seem to and it never hurts to try!
- If you have books, movies, and games, Amazon is a great place to sell them. You can trade them in for set prices or you can set yourself up as a seller and decide on your own prices. There is no guarantee you’ll sell it that way, but it’s worth a shot. If you are considering an Amazon Prime membership, it saves you a lot of money on shipping. (I’ve included a link at the bottom of the page). Ebay is also a fine place to sell online, but you may have to wait a little longer for your money if you aren’t already an established seller.
- Cash in any rewards points you might have or sign up for a few reward sites. I have a few that I have consistently made money with, but I don’t spend much time on them. I know I’ve almost got enough for a gift card on Swagbucks and I’m available for a cashout on Inbox Dollars. (Don’t let anybody tell you that Inbox Dollars isn’t great! I rarely do any free offers and I haven’t earned an extreme amount of money from surveys and emails, but I’ve earned enough to cash out twice and they offer free spins when you don’t qualify for surveys. Those free spins can be good for anywhere from nothing to five cents to five dollars. You may also win sweepstakes entries and since I just won one, I know they work!!) I’m going to try to get my max points on Swagbucks every day until at least the end of November. That should be good for a few extra gift cards anyway! (Click on the links for more information–if you sign up under me, I will earn a commission/get extra points and I really appreciate it!!)
- Make crafts or homemade goodies and sell them at your local outdoor flea market. If you can find a great deal on canned soda and/or bottled water, they always sell well with baked goods. (You might want to call and ask if there are restrictions on food products) The flea market is also a great place to get rid of yard sale items–just keep your prices fairly low if you really don’t want to take it back home again!
- Hire yourself out…babysitting, party planning, catering, decorating, house cleaning, etc. If you have a talent or something you really enjoy doing, it never hurts to offer it as a service.
- Download the Ibotta and Receipt Hog apps to get cash back and/or points for grocery purchases. It might only earn you a few dollars here and there, but those few dollars will add up quickly. There are plenty of other apps that give you points or cash back for your purchases. Those are just two that I use most often!
- Collect change. I know this probably won’t yield a fortune, but I am always finding change around the house and in my vehicle. If you can find $15 or $20 dollars, then that is a gift or some groceries!
- While this isn’t a way to earn money, you can definitely save money by having a “homemade” Christmas. Make sure to use what you have–craft supplies, food supplies, or even gently used items you can upcycle. I believe there are at least a million and one ideas floating around the internet for crafty gifts! Also remember that the best gift you can give is your time and attention. Giving coupons good for free babysitting, free house cleaning, a home-cooked meal, or even a coffee date is a very thoughtful way to show you care without spending a fortune.
These are just a few ways I intend to earn extra money for Christmas. Just in case you are wondering, I am including gifts, decor, travel, and extra groceries in the amount of money I hope to come up with. There are dozens more ideas for making extra cash, but these are the ones that fit in best with my current work/family schedule. What kinds of things do you do when you need money for special occasions??