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Christmas is the same date every year. Yep, it’s always December 25 — it never changes. You know that!
And yet, how often do you have to scramble financially? Or are you the sort of person who just wings it and then pays off the debts incurred — with interest? There is nothing I hate more than paying interest. I want my hard-earned money working for me, and not for someone else.
Christmas must be so stressful when you’re playing catch up on credit card bills months later! I think if I was that type of person I would probably dread Christmas and the entire holiday season.
There is a better way, though, and learning how to save money for Christmas doesn’t have to be all that hard. Just work your way down this list, one thing at a time. You probably won’t use all of these ideas, but even two or three could make a huge difference in your finances, come January.
The earlier you start, the better off you’ll be!
Save this pin so you can find these ideas later!
1. Use Cash Back Apps for Christmas savings.
Not only does shopping online lessen temptation, because you won’t see all the beautiful displays and markdowns, but it allows you to compare prices, read reviews and stick to your budget. Shopping apps help me to get more for my money. I have a couple of favorites that I use regularly, so if one doesn’t offer cash back at a certain retailer, another will.
One of my favorites is Ibotta a free app that allows users to easily earn cash back on purchases made both in-store and online. It’s the third most used shopping app, right behind Amazon and Ebay. Ibotta users receive cash back on products and services from both online and in-store retailers.
After you register, you select your favorite stores and retailers. These can be edited at any time. When you click on a store, you will see items that are currently eligible for cash back offers. Tap the offers you want to redeem, then take a picture of your receipt. The money is then added to your account. It’s that easy!
Ibotta almost always has ‘any brand’ offers on common items, so in most cases you will be able to find something you can earn cash back on, even when you don’t plan ahead. Usually you will have about a week to scan your receipt.
You’ll see your first $10 bonus after your first purchase. Next time you’re running errands, open the app and tap the items you will be purchasing. It’s so easy! Once you earn $20 or more, you can transfer the money to your bank account via PayPal or Venmo. It won’t take you long to get to $20 – I made $40 my first month!
Ebates is another cashback website I love. It offers different products and partnerships from Ibotta. Between these two apps, you can save money on pretty much everything you buy, whether online or in a brick and mortar store!
2. Start your own blog to make extra Christmas money.
As a homeschooling mom of eight, I needed a way to make great money from home, with flexible hours. I started my blog and never looked back. Blogging is fun, flexible, creative, challenging and the sky is the limit as far as income is concerned. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
If you’ve been thinking of starting a blog of your own, check out How to Start a Blog in Less Than 15 Minutes! Honestly, it will take you less than 15 minutes to get a blog of your own up and running, plus the investment is tiny. Web hosting will cost you less than $3 a month, and you can get a free domain with the purchase of hosting.
Blogging isn’t quick money. It takes several months to work up to making a significant amount, but it’s sure great once you get going!
Related Reading: How to Start a Blog in Less Than 15 Minutes
Join the Go2Crowd and earn cash for telling them about the brands, products and services you love most. Turn your thoughts into cash that can be redeemed at top retailers like Amazon, Starbucks and Apple, just to name a few. What are you waiting for? Click the ‘sign up’ button now!
Swagbucks makes earning so easy, you might even forget you’re earning money! If you like to watch the news or online videos, you’ll love Swagbucks. With every video, online purchase or web search you complete, you’ll earn at least one Swagbuck. Accumulate 500 Swagbucks (which is easy to do if you do a lot of online Christmas shopping), and cash out for a $5 gift card. You can redeem your credits for gift cards from Amazon, Starbucks, Home Depot, Macy’s and so many more. These gift cards are perfect to give as stocking stuffers!
5. Earn Christmas cash for taking surveys online.
Get paid to take surveys online! Survey sites wants to know what consumers think about certain products about to hit the market. Surveys are sent via email and are customized to your profile. I like to join several different survey sites (because each site usually only has a few surveys available to my my profile at any given time) and use time that would normally be wasted, like during my kid’s orchestra rehearsals or in the dentists waiting room, to take surveys.
Sign up for as many free online survey sites as you can. This is because each survey company may only send a few surveys your way each month, so the more you sign up for, the more money you can potentially make. Survey Junkie emails me surveys multiple times each day. How many you get just depends on your profile.
The free online survey sites below are all legitimate but there are many scammers out there, too. You should never pay money to join a survey site!
Surveys won’t make you rich, but I usually earn a few bucks a day, and that really adds up. A few sites pay cash through Paypal or Venmo, but most pay you in gift cards, which I like to give as Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers.
Sign up through the links below to get bonus cash when you first start!
6. Use a cash back credit card and save up your rewards to help pay for Christmas.
***Note: This only works if you pay your balance in full each month, otherwise you will pay tons more in interest than you will earn in cash back.
We opened our Discover card way back in college, and still use it as one of our primary credit cards. Most purchases only earn 1% cash back, but Discover offers 5% cash back on revolving categories. I think the category is currently home improvement stores, but often around Christmas the category will be amazon and other online shopping retailers.
We also use a couple of airline miles cards with different bonus categories, and I’ve learned how to alternate our cards to get the most bang for my buck. We also put everything we can, from utilities to farming supplies on our credit cards, in order to maximize our cash back reward.
I like to cash in my Discover cash back reward just once a year and use it toward Christmas or a fun vacation, and if you’re strategic about how you use it, you can save up a really sizable chunk of change. We average about $900 a year cash back reward from our Discover card, plus hundreds of miles from our other credit cards.
7. Teach English with VIPKids as a part-time job.
VIPKids: I have four good friends who teach with VIPkids, an online teaching service that connects teachers and young students in China with a fully immersive English education. Teachers earn up to $22 per hour and work from home. You can sign up for enough hours to make this your full-time job, and my friends have! They love it!
The only drawback is that most of the hours are either really late at night or early in the morning, because you’re working on China time. Although that may be a perk if you have multiple kiddos who make working online difficult!
You also have to have a decent internet connection. I looked into this very seriously about a year ago, but my internet connection (VOIP is all that’s available because we live in the boonies) is too slow.
To become a teacher, you need to have a bachelors degree or be a junior or senior in college. Course materials and lesson plans are provided for you. If you like teaching kids, this just might be the career you were looking for!
8. Sell blood or plasma for fast Christmas cash.
Did you know you can sell your blood and plasma? My husband was a regular at our local plasma center all the way through college, and it paid for our groceries! They limit the frequency you can donate, for health reasons, but he donated just as often as he was allowed to and averaged $300 a month for donating approximately twice a week. He never minded donating either, because he would always watch a movie.
Find a local blood bank in your area. You must be in good health and at least 18 years of age. Check your blood bank for more requirements.
To find a location near you check out CSL Plasma website.
9. Dog walk or ‘pet sit’ for extra Christmas funds.
I’ve never done this myself, but I’ve seen people out walking multiple dogs. If you have a dog of your own, who needs to be walked, you might as well walk a couple of other dogs, too. If you walk 3 dogs daily, in addition to your own, and charge $5 per dog, you could make an extra $450 a month! And you can cancel your gym membership to boot!
Search sites like Rover to find job opportunities.
10. Make some Christmas money selling your skills and talents via Fivver.
Sell your services on Fivver. You can build up a serious clientele if your work is high-quality and then you can charge more than $5. It is a great way to get your foot in the door. Some services I’ve seen include music composition, graphic design, logo creation, social media management, coding, writing and more.
11. Sell your own photos as stock images to boost your Christmas budget.
If you love photography, you can make a real income selling your photos online. As a blogger, I spend quite a bit purchasing stock photos for my blog posts. There are some huge stock-photo businesses, but my favorite places to purchase photos are just small internet businesses run by individuals selling their own photos.
12. Babysit to improve your Christmas finances.
If you love kids or just need some extra money, babysitting is a great option, especially if you have kids of your own who you want to be home for. It saves you the money you would pay a daycare provider. Where I live, the going rate for daycare is over $600 per month full-time. So if you just watched a few kids, you could make some decent money.
Use sites such as Care.com to find jobs or post your ad on local facebook groups.
13. Sell your creations on Etsy or give them as Christmas gifts.
If you love crafting, sewing, crocheting or creating any type of handmade item, you can sell them on sites like Etsy. Etsy is the best place to find handmade, vintage, and unique home decor and clothing that you can’t find anywhere else. You will create a store of your own, and then pay Etsy a small fee for each posting you create. You’ll connect directly with your buyers.
Here is where you can find more information.
Even better, if you’re great at crafting anyway, you should seriously think about giving your creations out as Christmas gifts to friends and family. Not only will it save you loads of money, but the recipients will feel extra loved.
14. Open new bank accounts for more Christmas money.
Many banks out there that will pay you to open accounts with them. Some require a minimum deposit, or require you to keep a minimum balance, so be sure to check the fine print before signing up.
Here are a few offering sign-up bonuses now:
Wells Fargo Everyday Checking Account $200 if you set up direct deposit and receive at least 3 direct deposits.
Citi offers $200 for a minimum balance (for 60 days) of $10k and $400 for a minimum balance of $15k.
Chase offers up to $500 for opening both checking and savings accounts with other qualifying activities. These guys do have hefty service account fees, though, so read the fine print!
Discover Bank savings account bonus is $150 if you deposit at least $15k and $200 if you deposit at least $20k. AND they offer 1.75% APY on your balance.
These bonus offers change frequently, so these particular offers might expire. But if you google ‘bank bonuses and the month and year’ you’ll find entire lists of current bonuses. You can also find some pretty great APY savings accounts if you look around. There is no point in leaving your cash sitting in a low APY savings account at your local bank. I know my local bank pays something like 0.05%, which is about as bad as hiding my money under a mattress, since the inflation rate is around 2%. Make your money work for you by earning interest!
15. Start a dedicated savings account to fund your Christmas.
The dedicated savings account at my local bank offers a much higher APY than any other savings account. Those additional funds, earned as interest, will come in handy for Christmas! I also love that I can decide how much I want to deposit each month and set it to be deducted automatically from my direct deposit, so I can completely forget about it until it matures and I withdraw the funds.
Just create a list of all the people you need to purchase gifts for, set a budget, and determine how much you need to save. Then divide that amount by how many months you have left to save before Christmas.
I hope one of these ideas will help you as you strive to earn extra Christmas money! Honestly, no gift is worth the stress of added debt! Give yourself the gift a debt-free Christmas and financial peace!
What are some ways that you’ll use to avoid Christmas debt this year?