15 Ways to Fund Your Holidays without Wrecking Your Budget

Christmas is right around the corner and I’m sure more than a few people wouldn’t mind a few extra dollars in their pockets. If you’re like me than you would love to give your family and friends gifts they’re going to enjoy for Christmas. If you’re tight on funds though this extra expense can be a burden, so what I like to do is make a little extra money during the holiday months that I use specifically to fund my holiday festivities.

One great piece of news is a lot of us already have skills that could translate into extra income that we haven’t explored yet. Also with the rise in popularity of the internet just having a computer with internet access gives you a vast amount of extra money making opportunities.

Now let’s go onto the 15 Ways you can pay for your holidays.

1. Earn Free Gift Cards through Swagbucks

Swagbucks is an awesome little site I discovered a while back that allows you to earn free gift cards for doing things online. The gift cards are from major retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, and Amazon. I personally like the option to get Amazon gift cards as I make the majority of my online purchases on Amazon.

The way it works is Swagbucks rewards you with Swag Bucks for doing online tasks such as taking surveys, shopping online, watching videos, playing games, searching the web, etc.. The Swag Bucks can then be redeemed for gift cards or other rewards. If you’re online a lot (like myself) than it’s pretty easy to start earning rewards.   I have a few friends that have payed for their Christmas presents entirely with Swagbucks gift cards.  Swagbucks.com

2. Taking Surveys

If you have the time there are many online companies that give you cash in exchange for taking surveys. Now these surveys vary on length, topic, and payout and you will be pre-screened to make sure you qualify to take the surveys.  Surveys payout from $0.25 to $25 depending on the length.

Survey Sites:

Swagbucks.com    Also one of my favorite sites for surveys

OpinionOutpost.com  I like them because I get paid fast and surveys are easy

OnlyCashSurveys.com  They have a lot of short surveys that pay $2

3. Find Freelance Jobs on DoNanza

DoNanza is like the Google of freelance jobs.  It aggregates all the different sites you can find freelance jobs into one easy to search site allowing you to spend more time earning and less time searching for your next job.  Searching and posting your service is free.  I have already found a couple jobs on there.  Verify your email after registering to get full access. DoNanza.com

4. Sell Old Electronics on Gazelle

Gazelle allows you to turn your old cell phones, ipods, ipads or other electronics into cash.   Its pretty easy, you find your gadget, answer a few questions, ship it in (free if its over $1), get paid via check or PayPal.  I looked up my old iPhone 3Gs and found out that I can get $37.   Use this link and get an extra $10 any trade ins worth over $25.  Gazelle

5. Sell Your Stuff on Craigslist

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Go through your home with a box and place items such as electronics, clothes, appliances, DVD’s, CD’s, and anything else you aren’t using and sell them on Craigslist.

You’re probably not going to get much money for your old belongings, but if you weren’t using them anyways they are just cluttering your home.

Every few months I go through my stuff and get rid of non-seasonal things I haven’t used in the past 6 months away. I’ve found that if I haven’t used the item in 6 months, I most likely will never use it again.

6. Sell Your Stuff on eBay

Even though I previously talked about selling your stuff on Craigslist, I’ve written this portion on selling your stuff on eBay because I’ve found that you can get more money selling items on eBay. It just takes a bit more patience.

People on Craigslist are mostly looking for really cheap deals. People on eBay are also looking for cheap deals, but you get a lot of normal consumers who use eBay like any other store. If you have some higher ticket items like laptops, computers, or cameras I actually suggest you sell them on eBay because you can make a little more money. If you want to sell items fast and willing to take a less money than Craigslist is a better option.

7. Sell Your Service on Fiverr

Fiverr is quickly becoming one of my favorite sites. The way it works is you can sell or purchase services for the lowly fee of $5. These services range from having a website banner designed to having someone act as your fake Facebook girlfriend for a week (YES you read that right!).

So if you have a skill like graphic design or can think of a creative service people will buy for $5 than Fiverr might be a great place for you to make money.

8. Become an Affiliate Marketer

As an affiliate marketer you can earn commissions by advertising for companies online. These companies will pay you a percentage of the sales you make or will pay a flat rate for a lead which is usually information such as a name and an email.

A great way to start with affiliate marketing is to create a blog or website on a subject that you are already interested in. By creating the website about something you enjoy it will make creating the content for your site much more enjoyable. Once you have your website up you should find offers that are relevant to your user base. For example if you create a website on Soccer, than you should promote offers such as selling soccer equipment or soccer posters.

Blogging platforms such as WordPress and Tumblr make it easy to quickly set up a nice looking website without any previous tech experience.

9. Have a Garage Sale

I’m a big proponent of selling things online on eBay and Craigslist, but if you have a lot of stuff than it might be a good idea to have a garage sale. This will allow you to sell those things that aren’t worth the effort to sell online for whatever reason such as being unshippable or low priced items.

10. Sell Stock Photos

For all you amateur photographers out there a great way to make some extra money is to sell your stock photos. A couple of stock photo websites you can sell to are iStockPhoto and 123RF. iStockPhoto has a review process that includes a quiz and requires you to show samples of your photography before they approve you as a partner. Once you are approved you will be given 15% of the sales they make on your photos.

If you are into photography I think this is a pretty awesome way to make extra money since you are already going to be taking pictures and doesn’t require any extra work.

11. Article Writing

If you are English speaking and have any type of writing skills there are thousands of people who are looking for someone to write content on sites such as Elance.com, Odesk.com, and GetaFreelancer.com. Depending on the quality of your work you can get paid anywhere from $7 per 500 word article to up to $50 per 500 word article.

Simply sign up to one of the sites mentioned and you will be allowed to view projects people have posted up that need to be done. You can bid how much you would do the project for and if your bid is accepted you will get that job.

Most contractors on these sites will ask for things such as samples of your work, so make sure to have them readily available.

12. Sell Your Used Books

Throughout the years you have probably amassed a nice collection of books. Even if you aren’t a reader you still have those old textbooks from college lying around along with those books you’ve received as gifts for Christmas, Graduations, Birthdays, and other special events. If you are an avid reader than you’ll have books that you just don’t read anymore or have lost interest in.

Here are some sites you can sell those books at:




13. Rent Your Home Out on AirBnB

If you are going to be gone from your home for any amount of time than put it for rent on AirBnB.com. Many people use AirBnB as a substitute for hotels and you can set the dates and price you are willing to rent your home out for.

If you are worried about strangers messing up your home you’ll be glad to know that AirBnB insures your home for up to $1,000,000 for anyone using your home through their site.

This is especially a great money making option if you are away from home often.

14. Help Somebody Learn on BrainMass

This snippet from the BrainMass website explains how you can make money with them:

You’re already an expert in your field. Why not turn that expertise into cash? BrainMass allows you to publish your existing knowledge in eBooks, turn your teaching experience into video form and put those tutoring skills to great use. We’ll help you to monetize the knowledge you already possess by marketing your work to our base of student customers who need help!

Brainmass requires that you have or are working a graduate level degree (Masters or PhD) from an accredited university to sign up as an expert in your site.

Once you are signed on as an expert you can make money answering questions from students and publishing content.

15. Sticking To Your Regular Gym Schedule with Gympact

How would you like to become healthier AND make some extra spending money on the side? The folks at Gympact have you covered. Gympact is a mobile app that charges its users $5 every time they miss a gym workout, then that money is divided up between those Gympact users who did stick to their gym commitments.

You are obviously not going to become rich using this app, but it’s a fun little way to make sure you keep those holiday pounds off and make a few extra dollars.

Get the Gympact app for your mobile device over here: Gympact

 16.  What else?

If you have more ideas please leave them in the comments section below.  Thanks!

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  • bingo

    There are sooo many people doing the stock photo thing. One will be lucky to make any sales let alone have their work accepted at the big micro sites you have listed. Also, be wary and read those contracts very carefully!!

  • yournamehere

    If you are a graphic designer, you should know better than to sell your services for $5.

  • Nichole

    I agree with yournamehere. As a graphic designer, there is no way in hell I’m selling my services, even the “miniscule” ones, for $5. Time is money people, especially in this industry where people already think your job is a joke.

  • http://www.siding-windows.com/ Lasting Impressions

    I like the idea of the SwagBucks but it seems like it’d take a while to get anything and that alone is a very little reward.

    • Swagbucks User

      I personally was very skeptical of Swagbucks at first, and wasn’t sure if I should sign up or not, but I have been a member since December 2010 and have earned a total of 12,481 Swagbucks. Sure, that isn’t tons, but $5 Amazon gift cards are 450 sb and other $5 ones are 500 sb, so I’ve gotten quite a few free gift cards out of the deal for doing nothing except searching online. All I did was replace my Google toolbar with my Swagbucks toolbar and I get free money. It’s a pretty easy way to get gift cards for free!

      • J

        so… in two years you have made the equivalent of $124 in gift cards?

  • I Call Bull

    I looked up Brainmass as that piqued my interest and students complain that all the answers are wrong, and legit grad students complain that although the website doesn’t suggest the “experts” give the students the answer (essentially doing their homework) students get pissed if they don’t. Waste of time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rosieprice21 Rosie Price

    the problem with signing up for credit cards like you can do on swagbucks is they check your credit when they start the process. if you don’t get approved it hurts your credit score. it’s not a terrible idea, just be careful.

  • Danielle

    This blog is absolutely amazing! I immediately started signing up for the things you’re recommending – just fabulous! Great recommendations!

  • de

    Complain much people? Geeze.

  • Swagbucks user

    I have been with Swagbucks for 3 months and have earned 14,580 swagbucks which equals $145 there are a lot of ways to earn on their website. It does take awhile so if you are in it for making a lot in a short time it won’t happen. But have fun.

  • Subu

    I’ve personally not tried out Swagbucks, but heard someone saying – they take more than a month to realize your efforts turning into coupons / gift cards. I’d like to try, but afraid of spams following, rather I believe most of them are thinking in the same lines if you’ve been thru such self-sponsoring sites.

  • Pat Phillips

    Want to make lots of money for those stock photography sites? Go
    ahead, knock yourself out and sell your work for next to nothing! Also,
    saying that it does not require any work since you would be taking those
    photos anyway is blatantly untrue – you have to jump through so many
    hoops to sell stock photos, it’s a great way to turn your favourite hobby into a tedious chore, often for less than peanuts.

  • Derek Lauber

    Great post! I am definitely going to start using fiverr.

  • Ashley

    Selling some of your old, gently used clothes to Platos Closet! I got 65$ yesterday for selling items that I have barely worn all semester

  • http://www.facebook.com/Undercoverfreak Stephanie Jiles

    You could sign up to be a cha cha guide. They pay you to answer question for people. The information is right there for you and if you don’t see the answer you can write in your own if you know it or look it up on google. It something you can do from home and it is easy to start up just go to cha cha’s web page.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mizzdiana.602 Diana Gonzalez

    I sell Mary Kay and you can do this on-line or out of your home. Check it out and if you have any questions feel free to contact me:) http://bit.ly/SKvzdj

  • lydia

    I made things for people, like blankets or batches of magnet-marbles. You can also do i guess what I’d call love letters- envelopes filled with little poems or quotes or lyrics, favorite memories, qualities of the person etc. Time is more valuable than money, the gifts are cheaper and mean more! :)



  • http://www.leadingedgeadvocate.com/ Lea

    I’ve taken online surveys for years and have earn extra cash. Although I usually just throw it in my gas tank. Also like to cash in points on my credit card to offset the bill. Its like getting some stuff for free.