The holiday season is approaching quickly and, for many, the countdown to Christmas has officially begun. With the biggest gift-giving holiday just weeks away, many households are looking for ways to make Christmas shopping affordable. Finding a way to pay for Christmas isn’t always easy. The average American, according to a poll, will spend $633 on gifts, décor, travel, and other Christmas-related expenses. That isn’t a small number. If you need to figure out how you can pay for Christmas this year, here are some tips that can help.
Pick Up a Seasonal Job
Retailer are typically busier during the Christmas season than they are during the remainder of the year. As a result, they need more employees to assist the influx of customers, so they create seasonal positions to augment their permanent staff.
Many retail seasonal jobs are part-time, and some may even accommodate a full-time work or school schedule. By looking for one of these positions, you can bring in extra cash during the holiday season and add it to your Christmas budget. Then, once the holidays are over, the job ends, allowing you and the retailer to part ways with ease.
Join a Rideshare Company
If you need a flexible way to augment your income, signing up as a driver for Lyft or Uber might be a great option. You have complete control of your hours, so it can adapt to your schedule. Plus, if you live in a larger city, holiday travelers might create a spike in demand, making it more lucrative.
While you may need to adjust your car insurance coverage if you go this route, it can still be a solid option for increasing your income. If you make all of the Christmas money you need quickly, you also aren’t under any obligation to continue working as a driver, though you can if you wish.
Deliver Food and Groceries
If the idea of shuttling around passengers doesn’t appeal to you, there are alternatives. Options like UberEats, Grubhub, Instacart, and Postmates focus on food and grocery shopping and delivery, so you only interact with customers when you bring their purchase to them.
Like rideshare companies, you do get control of your schedule. However, you may need to focus on daytime or evening hours if there aren’t many 24-hour stores or restaurants in your area.
Sign Up for Survey Sites
Survey sites abound, and they can help you earn a little extra money for Christmas. Usually, you can cash out for gift cards to popular retailers, though some also have the option to receive your earnings through PayPal.
While you won’t make a ton through survey sites, it is a flexible option. You can participate whenever you have time, suggesting you qualify for an available survey. If you don’t know where to begin, consider websites like Opinion Outpost, Swagbucks, or Survey Junkie.
On sites like UserTesting, people get paid to give their opinions on websites and apps. Like surveys, you do have to qualify for the assessment. If you do, you are presented with a site, app, or a mockup design and given instructions about what you need to evaluate. Then, you give your opinion, usually by speaking into a microphone while you perform the task.
The process is simple and typically only requires a small client download to get started. You may have to complete a sample test to ensure you can meet the testing website’s needs but, if you pass, you can then participate on your schedule. Tests aren’t always available, and you won’t qualify for all of them. However, the compensation is much more lucrative than with most surveys, as earning $10 for approximately 15 minutes of your time isn’t uncommon.
Do Some Freelance Work
Freelancing can be an excellent way to bolster your income. If you have strong writing, website design, graphic design, or other skills that can be leveraged, you might be able to find people willing to pay you to complete small projects or tasks for them.
One of the benefits of freelancing is the level of flexibility. You can often pick and chose the projects you want to pursue, set your own compensation rates, and control your total workload. Plus, you can typically work on a project at any time, as long as you meet any agreed-upon deadlines.
Sites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Guru help connect freelancers with people who need tasks completed. Additionally, they tend to have internal payment mechanisms, which can offer you a degree of security.
Download Some Money-Making Apps
If you want to earn a little bit of cash when you shop, consider signing up for some apps. For example, ibotta helps you get money back in the form of rebates. When you buy an item that’s on the list, you earn a specific amount of cashback. Once your account reaches $20, you can receive the money through PayPal or turn it into a gift card for stores like Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and more.
Shopkick is another great app that allows you to earn while you shop. The difference with this one is, along with earning points (called kicks) when you buy specific items, you can also get kicks for walking by store entrances or scanning items without having to make a purchase. Once you earn enough kicks, you can convert them into gift cards.
Become a Pet Sitter
The holiday season is a popular time to travel. As a result, many households need someone to keep an eye on their pets while they are away. By signing up to be a pet sitter, you can earn extra cash and give people peace of mind when they are traveling. Sites like Care.com, Rover, and Wag are all great places to start if you want to find pet sitting opportunities.
Rent Out a Room in Your House
Sites like Airbnb can help you earn money by renting out a spare room in your house. If you have a guest room that is going unused, it can be a great option for boosting your income, particularly if you live in a popular tourist destination.
Plus, you get to remain in full control. You choose when you want to make the room available, and you get to set the rate. However, it does mean you’ll be letting strangers into your home, so you need to be comfortable with that if you decide to sign up.
Do you have any tips that can help people pay for Christmas? Share them in the comments below.
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Tamila McDonald has worked as a Financial Advisor for the military for past 13 years. She has taught Personal Financial classes on every subject from credit, to life insurance, as well as all other aspects of financial management. Mrs. McDonald is an AFCPE Accredited Financial Counselor and has helped her clients to meet their short-term and long-term financial goals.