11 Ways to Fund Your Holidays without Wrecking Your Budget

Christmas is still a few months away but with a few money saving and money earning tips you can cover your holiday costs.  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 on to the 11 Ways you can pay for your holidays.

1. Earn Free Gift Cards from Swagbucks.com

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. Cash Back Shopping

I’ve heard of about cash back shopping programs a while ago, but just recently decided to sign-up and try it out.  I’m disappointed in the fact I waited so long to join because it’s basically free money.  Cash back shopping programs allow you to earn a percentage of your online purchases cash back in cash.  The way these work is the retailers are paying the cash back shopping sites an affiliate fee for every purchase that you make.  The cash back shopping sites then share this affiliate fee with you.  The amount varies from merchant to merchant.  All you have to do is sign up and start shopping!  I have used both Swagbucks and Ebates before and they both work well.  Best to sign up for both so you get the best coverage of stores and the best percentage back.

Swagbucks – Check out the double cash back deals where they double the amount you get back.  One of the few sites with Amazon cash back.

Ebates  – The original shopping cash back site and still one of the best.

You really start saving when you combine multiple ways to save. For example you want to buy a new TV at Walmat. Save 4% at Swagbucks plus save 2% using a rewards earning credit card. That’s 6%. Not huge but it adds up!

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. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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:




11. 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.

12. What else?

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