It’s July. And I’m thinking about Christmas.
It is never too early to start saving (and earning extra money) for Christmas! I find that Christmas is a lot more do-able if I plan and save for it all year round. That way I don’t have a huge money avalanche in November and December. Also, I like the backup funds in the event I might not have the money I need at Christmas!!!
How to Make Extra Money for Christmas All Year Round
Have a Yard Sale
Is that strange clock your Aunt Jo bought you sitting in your basement collecting dust? Or maybe your kid went through the biggest growth spurt and needed all new clothes? Sell what you don’t use or need anymore!
My friend and I always have a yearly yard sale sometime in July or August. It’s in July this time around. Whatever I make from this will get squirreled away for Christmas. Usually, we earn somewhere around $300-500, and that’s a good chunk of change for Christmas gifts.
If you have difficulty keeping cash in your home without touching it, I’d advise you put it in a bank account just for Christmas gifts that aren’t linked to your main account. (I personally love my Capital One online checking account. It’s totally separate and I forget about it until I need it.) The key is DO NOT TOUCH this money until it is Christmas time!
I actually used Swagbucks a long time ago to earn points to exchange for gift cards. Once we moved, I kind of forgot about it until recently. I found my account still intact with almost 1000 points!! And, Swagbucks is even better than ever!
You can earn points by answering very quick (3-5 min) surveys, shopping online (which I already do), or just browsing your web. I wrote a blog post about Swagbucks and the multitude of ways to earn Swagbucks.
Related Posts: Earn Money with Online Surveys
Start setting back $20 a month
You can easily have an extra $100+ dollars by reserving $20 a month for your Christmas fund. You could be even more aggressive based on your income. Maybe $50 a month if you have the means. All you need to do is cut out FOUR fancy coffee drinks to save $20 in a month. It’s doable. Again, the key here is not to touch this money until Christmas!!
Enter Sweepstakes to Win Gifts
I enter sweepstakes all year round. It’s my favorite hobby. Sometimes, I win things that make a great Christmas gift and I store them away. We jokingly refer to a closet upstairs as my “gift closet”. I once won a block of kitchen knives from Emeril, and I saved them for my mom’s gift. It was a very expensive set of knives. You can learn a few of my strategies and where to enter from a previous blog post about my sweeping hobby.
Teach a Craft
I love to knit. I’m a proficient knitter, and I like teaching others the joy of knitting. I actually taught a few beginner knitting classes at a local arts and crafts gallery. I charged $15 a person and capped my classes at 10, so I did pretty good for two hours of knitting.
Sell on eBay
I actually paid off a whole credit card by doing this. I went through our basement which was starting to look like we belonged on an episode of Hoarders, but the stuff was nicer. I didn’t even want to put it in a yard sale because it would go so much cheaper than it was worth. I decided to put it on eBay. It worked out great, and you can get a certain amount of free listings a month.
One surprising thing that sells fantastic is book sets! I sold my son’s whole comprehensive collections of The Magic Treehouse, Notebook of Doom, and Erie Elementary on there and got much better returns than I would have in a yard sale.
Sell at a Consignment
This is another great idea for items you don’t want to sell super cheap in a yard sale. There is a local consignment here that is in spring and fall. You pay a small fee for being in the consignment, but the returns are much better. We save our nicer items for this too. For example, maybe a cute dress that never had the tags off it, or a name brand pair of jeans that still look brand new.
Use the Amazon Trade-In Program
The Amazon Trade-In Program allows you to sell back your books, games, kindles, and cell phones to Amazon. Did you know you can do this? Yep, you sure can! The Amazon Trade-In program allows customers to receive an Amazon.com Gift Card in exchange for eligible items including video games, Kindle E-readers, books, and more. The process is easy and convenient with an immediate offer and free shipping. I actually sold all my nursing school textbooks back through Amazon!
Save with Grocery Store Apps
Ibotta is my app of choice. This allows you to scan your grocery receipts (Target, Dollar General, Kroger, Walmart), and earn cashback that can be paid out as a gift card. I personally love trading mine in for a Starbucks card. I wrote a more detailed post about these free apps and you can read about them here.
Rent Out Your Things to Make Extra Money
This can be almost anything. Think outside the box. I have a crafty friend who enjoys weaving but has multiple looms. She rents out her looms she isn’t currently working with to others – usually in 2-week increments. This is brilliant! A lot of times, the person who rents it from her wants to try their hand at weaving without making the large investment upfront.
Start a Blog
I will tell you up front this isn’t going to make you instant cash. Blogging is what they call a “long game”, and it takes time to turn it into a money-making business. However, it’s quite a legitimate way to make extra money, and you can start very cheap if you use Bluehost as your host site. Just know, it very likely won’t be Christmas money for the same year you set it up.
Once you invest in the hosting, you do not have to sink any further money in unless you want to. I have a step-by-step guide that holds your hand on how to set up your very own blog through Bluehost.
Get Rid Of Your Cable Bill
Get rid of your expensive cable bill, and use what you save for Christmas. There are plenty of good alternatives to cable, such as Netflix, Hulu, or Sling. We personally use Sling. It’s an affordable, very reliable service, and we get everything we want to watch (yes, even Food Network!). We have had Sling for probably almost 2 years now.
Related Post: How to Painlessly Cut the Cable Cord
Save Your Spare Change
Do you just throw your change down at the bottom of your purse as I do? Save all that change. At the end of the week, take all your coins and put them in a jar or box. Don’t touch the change, and at the end of the year, take your change to a bank or machine that will turn it into dollar bills.
I know it’s July already, but don’t wait another day to start saving for Christmas! Make this Christmas easier on your wallet by being prepared! What do you do to save money or make some quick cash for the holidays? Do you have a special Christmas fund?