Can you feel it? The end-of-year money crunch is here. Kids have field trips, and then there are the sports fees that always seems to cost an arm and a $2 candy bar. After that there are property taxes and heating bills and…
You get the picture. Money is tight and the holidays are just around the corner.
It would be wonderful if there were ways to get a bit of a cash cushion. Maybe even a quick way to earn a bit of money so you can buy a few presents?
Luckily, I’ve found a few of the easier ways to earn cash for the holidays:
1. Sell crafts at a local bazaar
Every year our elementary school hosts a winter craft bazaar featuring all handmade items. Booth space is open to commercial vendors, parents and students, with discounts given to student booth space.
The kids at the school all love to drag their parents in to do some shopping. And it is quite a crowd there each year. And of course, with all of the shopping, there are people selling yummy treats that are packaged nicely to make them even more tempting.
One year the kids decided they really wanted to sell something at the event. So, dreading having to do all the work myself, I finally came up with two ideas of items the kids could sell so long as they did most of the work of producing and selling the crafts.
One item sold quite well and the other didn’t. But, in both cases the cost of supplies was minimal.
As a money lesson, I sat down with the kids to show how we take the money from sales and first pay mom (me) the cost of supplies and booth fees. That did make them a bit sad.
Then they were able to split the remaining funds. After that, they had smiles on their faces. How much was it? They each got just under $100. So that was almost $200 profit! Selling some inexpensive clay ornaments and clothespin magnets was worth the effort for them.
Note: the magnets are what didn’t sell very well. Your results may vary.
2. Cash in credit card rewards
Do you get “cash back” rewards on your credit card? Redeem those rewards by using it to pay your credit card bill. You can also see what other ways are available for redeeming the rewards.
We normally pay for most of our Christmas gifts by redeeming our credit card rewards for gift cards. Twenty dollars worth of rewards money often gets us a $25 gift card in return. Amazon will even link up to Discover card so you can use your rewards directly to pay for Amazon purchases.
3. Sell your gently used items
Do you have a treadmill that has barely been used? Or a bike your child has outgrown but is still in good condition? You can list them for sale on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.
We’ve all seen awful Craigslist ads. You know, the ones with one teeny-tiny dark picture, no real info and a price that is completely unrealistic. Don’t be that person.
Clean up your stuff and take a couple well-lit pictures. Then take the time to include dimensions of whatever it is you are selling. If you are selling a dresser, people want to know if it will fit in their space and will ask you for the info anyhow. If the treadmill folds, let them know!
And be safe! When selling to someone you don’t know, opt to meet in a public place.
Other sites you can try selling your items include ThredUp for clothes and eBay for pricier items.
Related: 11 Things You Should Always Buy Used
If you know parents at your child’s school, let them know you are willing to babysit over the holidays.
Plenty of parents want or need a night out to enjoy holiday fun sans kids. Or they are committed to going to an office party. It is an easy way to earn cash for the holidays.
5. Take in your coin jar
Do you drop your change in a jar? We have a mason jar on the desk where we put our spare change. Each year we take it into a Coinstar machine in exchange for a gift certificate. This year, our jar had about $89 of coins in it which is enough to buy a few gifts on the list.
6. Cash in other rewards
There are various rebate apps such as Checkout 51 and Ibotta that you can use all year. This year my Ibotta rebate will help buy a few gifts.
You can also earn rewards on Swagbucks by taking surveys, watching videos, or clicking through them before making purchases. That link can even get you a $10 bonus to get you started.
Some of these hustles are a little more time intensive than others, but all are very easy ways to earn or find a bit of extra spending money. Hope your holidays are bright!
What other ways do you earn cash for the holidays?