If the financial worries of Christmas are bringing you out in a seasonal sweat, then fret no more. In this time of austerity, it's easy to feel more like Scrooge than Santa, but if you're facing a credit crunch this December, here are a handful of ways to make a bit of extra money this holiday season.
Trade in Last Year's Gadgets
Christmas can be an expensive time with kids wanting the latest releases of everything. So, why not trade in old models to help with the costs? If you've got old mobile phones, computer consoles or laptops gathering dust in your home they can be traded in for cash this Christmas. Websites such as buymytronics.com or exchangemyphone.com are good places to start when it comes to discovering how much your items are worth.
Rent out Your House
Are you going to visit family for Christmas or New Year? If your home is going to be empty over this period you should consider renting it out? Airbnb is one such site where you can list your home for a short period. This could be a lucrative way to earn money over the holidays if you live in a popular city. Make sure that you check the terms of your lease and take steps to ensure your home will be safe. Going through a reputable company will go a long way in this regard.
Put in Extra Hours
Over the holidays, bars, shops and restaurants are often looking for extra staff. If you have the time, then maybe you could pick up extra hours that work around your current job. Perhaps you work in an office that closes for a week over Christmas. You could make the most of this downtime by getting a second job. If you're willing to work in a restaurant or bar on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day or New Year's Eve, you can expect the wage to be worth your while.
Get Cash Back
Although this may be of little help in time for this Christmas, putting all your Christmas (and other spending throughout the year) on a credit card that gives you cash back can be an easy and free way to make extra money. Some credit cards will pay a percentage of your spending back to you. Just be sure you always pay the balance on these cards off in full. If you don't it is a not a good deal at all. If you're reluctant to take out a credit card, there are cash back sites that will give you a percentage of any online spending. Does this sounds too good to be true? Well, it's not. Cash back sites make money by referring you to other sites that you buy something on. To thank you for going from its website, the site shares this money with you. Many even offer bonus payments for referring a friend to the site. Topcashback.com is one such example. If you did all your spending through a cash back site or card over the next 12 months you could have several hundred dollars ready to spend for next Christmas.
Bake Your Way to the Bank
Are you skilled in the kitchen? Christmas cakes are difficult to make and take time that many of us do not have. So, if your Christmas cake is good, why not sell it to friends and neighbors? Be sure to price up the ingredients and include the cost of cooking them to ensure that it makes good business sense. Advertise your services to friends on social media sites and fliers in your neighborhood.
Smile for the Camera
Companies are always looking for pictures of happy families at Christmas. So, get photographs of the family around the tree, and then upload them onto a stock photo website where people pay to use your image. Fotolia and iStockphoto are two websites in which you can try and sell these photos.
The Bottom Line
Christmas can be an expensive time, but there are ways to make a few extra dollars, and with these tips, Christmas needn't break the bank after all.