Due to the popularity of last year’s Christmas article on having a great holidays while still staying under budget we decided we’d come back this year with even more great ways to have a frugal Christmas without sacrificing the quality of your holiday experience.
Even though the holiday’s season should be a time of joy the extra expenses occurred along with the added anxiety of tightening finances can put a damper on a person’s Christmas spirit.
Lucky for you we’ve put together a few ways you can get some extra income so you’ll have an awesome holiday without breaking the budget.
1. Earn Free Gift Cards to Your Favorite Stores with Swagbucks
Swagbucks is a great site that allows you to earn free gift cards for doing things online. You can earn gift cards from most major retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, Starbucks, Amazon, and many more. What’s great about gift cards is you can give them away as gifts or you can purchase things you need with them.
The way it works is Swagbucks rewards you with Swag Bucks for doing things online like taking surveys, shopping online, watching videos, playing games, searching the web, etc.. The Swag Bucks can then be redeemed for gift cards to your favorite stores. Check them out over here: Swagbucks
2. Get Extra Income by Taking Online Surveys
If you have extra time and want to earn some extra money they’re quite a few online companies that will pay you for opinions on popular brands and products. The amount you get paid will vary depending on the size and topic of the survey. You will also have to qualify for which surveys you can take, but surveys can pay up to $25 depending on how long they are and the survey topic. Take a couple of the higher paying surveys and you’ll have all the Christmas presents paid off in no time. To maximize your earnings you should sign up to multiple survey sites since they’re literally hundreds of them.
Here are a few that I personally use and recommend:
My Survey – Very easy surveys with quick payments. One of my favorites
Only Cash Surveys – Many short surveys that pay $2
3. Sell Your Old and Used Electronics on Gazelle
You’ve probably got a few old used cell phones, iPods, and other electronics laying around your house. Gazelle allows you to mail in your old electronics, and once they inspect it ,they send you money for it via check or Paypal.
Before you start mailing in your old electronics you can check on Gazelle how much they will give you for your item. I looked up my old iPhone 3Gs and they are paying $37 for it. For an extra $10 in any trade ins over $25 use this this link – Gazelle.
4. Use Credit Cards with Cash Back Rewards
Credit cards with cash back rewards pay you a percentage every time you use them to buy something, possibly hundreds of dollars a year. The cards with the top rates pay 1% cash back on everything and 5% cash back on certain categories. By making big purchases or even the combination of all your small purchases on these type of credit cards you can use the money earned to fund your Christmas.
5. Rent Out Your Home on Air BnB
This option isn’t for everyone but I thought I’d put it up there because of how much I love Air BnB. If you own property in a popular tourist destination this could be a great option for you.
I have a friend who rents his apartment in Amsterdam to tourist and gets anywhere from $2000-$5000 per 2 week rental. Obviously your location is going to play a huge part in getting tenants, but if your one those with a place in a popular vacation spot than Air BnB can be a potential cash cow for you.
Worried about people damaging your home? Air BnB has you covered with their 1 million dollar insurance policy. Plus the fact that when you rent through Air BnB you have to give a lot of personal information, makes it highly unlikely someone will damage your home.
6. Sell Your Stuff on Craigslist
Go through your home with a box and put things you don’t use any more in the box such as electronics, clothes, appliances, and furniture. Once you’ve compiled all your junk start posting them up on Craigslist. You’re most likely not going to get as much money as you paid for the items, but since you weren’t going to use them anyways it is basically like free money.
An added bonus is you will have cleared a bunch of clutter from your home. I do this a few times a year just to get rid of items cluttering my home and make a few hundred dollars as a bonus.
7. Save Money by Using Coupons
A penny saved is a penny earned.
An easy way to save a couple dollars is to use coupons to lower the cost of your purchases. Whenever you are planning to buy something simply do a Google search for that item + coupon. If there any coupons for that item they will show up in your search and you will save!
The savings won’t be huge but they will start to add up and you’ll be able to buy Christmas dinner or presents with what you saved by using coupons.
Here a couple of popular coupon sites you can get your coupons:
8. Get a High Interest Saving Account
Everyone has a basic savings account and most don’t care to look at the interest rates they are getting because it’s pretty minimal (savings interest rates are usually in the range of .2 – 1 percent) , but another extra dollar here and an extra dollar there really starts to add up.
The savings accounts with the highest yields are usually online, so if you can deal with online banking you have a quite a few choices. Here are a few reputable ones you can look into:
Ing Direct – .75% Interest Rate
Ally Bank – .95%
CIT Bank – 1% Interest Rate
9. Use Store Loyalty Cards and Debit Cards
There are probably a few stores that you are a regular at and have spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars at already. If you haven’t already you need to utilize those stores loyalty cards and debit cards. You don’t need to get a card for every single store but just the few that you visit regularly.
Stores will usually give you rewards in cash back or gift certificates based on the amount you spend. If you are going to buy from those stores anyways might as well get extra rewards.
Many stores now also provide a free debit card which basically just connects onto your bank account. This also doubles as a reward card but the rewards are usually a lot better than if you just had a loyalty card.
Here are a few rewards I get for linking my debit card to a stores loyalty card:
Nordstrom – Gives you a free $100 in Alterations a year plus send you Gift Certificates based on your spending
Arco – Arco waves the .35 fee they charge when you pay using a debit or credit card at their gas stations
I visit both those business very often so it’s pretty much a no brainer for me to sign up for their card. Both are also very easy to sign up for, I just filled out a quick form in the store and they mailed me my card.
10. Call to have your current interest rates lowered on Credit Cards
Ask and you will be given. Call your current credit card companies and just ask if they can lower the interest rate. They won’t always do it, but they will grant your request for a lower interest more often than you think.