Holiday on a Budget: Making Extra Money for Holiday Spending

| November 16, 2012 | 30 Comments

Santa Claus holding cashSaving money during the holidays might not pad your bank account, but it very well may keep you from having buyer’s regret later… especially if you’re planning on using credit cards to fund your holiday shopping! One huge way to save money (and stress) is to buy using cash. Not only do we tend to spend less when we’re forking over actual bills (as opposed to the plastic), but we also don’t have to pay for it, plus interest, later. You might be thinking that this advice is all well and good, but where are you going to come up with the cash with the winter holidays just around the corner? Here are some ideas:

  • Go through your closets. Do you tend to accumulate purses, shoes, sweaters and other clothing and accessories? Consider taking a weekend to go through your stash. If you have a bunch of items in good condition that you don’t wear any longer, you could consign them. You typically get a percentage of whatever the shop can sell the item for; if you have name-brand items, you will do better, money-wise. Go through your kids’ outgrown clothing, too, particularly if it’s name-brand or boutique and still in great condition. The added benefit here is that you’ll end up with more space in your closets, which is a gift in itself!
  • Take on a seasonal job. Of course you’re busy with the kids and house, and maybe with an out-of-the-home job as well. Still, this is only for the short term, and remember that the hours you put in now will mean fewer hours spent making the money to pay back the creditors later, when seasonal work isn’t as plentiful. Stores, restaurants and other businesses are looking for help this time of year; working even 10 or 15 extra hours per week can really make a difference when it comes to handling all of your holiday spending!
  • Manage your own small seasonal business. This can be a lot easier than it sounds. For example, offer to host a few drop-in “camp” days on the weekends so that parents can drop off their children for care while they go holiday shopping. Plan a few fun activities, feed them a fun snack and plan to show a children’s holiday-themed movie. If you have the time and love shopping, market yourself as a personal shopper, for gifts, groceries or both.
  • Come up with a craft idea and participate in church bazaars, craft fairs and anywhere else that you might be able to sell your wares. Search through Pinterest for good ideas if you don’t have anything in mind. I’ve seen (and would buy!) some really cute ideas for a wreath made out of wrapped tea bags and ice packs made from fabric scraps and rice.

Although you can do a lot to save money over the holidays, it’s going to be necessary to spend some extra money, whether on special foods, gifts, travel or other expenses. Putting in the hours now will save you from having regrets later!

What are some ways that you’ve come up with extra money over the holidays? Share your best ideas with other Shopaholic Mommy readers!

Comments (30)

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  1. Lindsay Lee says:

    Great ideas! Every year around this time I pick out toys and clothes that the kids no longer play with or wear. We usually end up getting a nice chunk of change!

  2. cindy W says:

    I try to avoid having a garage sale to get rid of my children’s outgrown clothing, but I’m going to try consignment now.

  3. Rebecca Sinclair says:

    Great idea to resell items – especially nowadays with craigs list and ebay!

  4. casance says:

    Glad I saw the article on making extra money, What really caught my eye was the subject

    “Manage your own small seasonal business. This can be a lot easier than it sounds. For example, offer to host a few drop-in “camp” days on the weekends so that parents can drop off their children for care while they go holiday shopping. Plan a few fun activities, feed them a fun snack and plan to show a children’s holiday-themed movie. If you have the time and love shopping, market yourself as a personal shopper, for gifts, groceries or both.”

    I worked with children for like ten years and I needed a break,but I am so ready to get back in it. This would be a great way to make more money for the holidays, but also get my foot back into the business of working with children. I am so glad that I saw that, thanks a lot:)

  5. Shannon says:

    I love all of the great ideas! Any little bit helps, especially during the holidays!

  6. Peggy Bolling says:

    Because I’m disabled and on a fixed income my family & friends have come to expect little if anything for Christmas. We have a big family and normally around Thanksgiving we draw names. I really love your ideas about earning money for gifts. I really appreciate you sharing this!!

  7. Nena Sinclair says:

    Great tips! Thanks so much! You can sell clothing on eBay, Pinterfest, Twitter and Facebook, too! (I’m sure other social networking sites, as well)

  8. Jennifer Mae Hiles says:

    Awesome tips, I could def. use some extra cash. I like the craft idea. My mom makes so many great crafts so I could take some lessons from her. Pinterest is also a great resource for craft ideas.

  9. Pamela Halligan says:

    Thanks for the tips. It’s been a really tight year, and I new Christmas shopping would be rough. I’ve sold a couple of things on Craigslist and I’ve been looking for different ways to earn a few extra dollars.

  10. meegan whitford says:

    This is a very good article with some awesome tips thanks!

  11. Debi says:

    I’m working on my 2nd free Christmas, using Swagbucks and giveaways.

  12. Amy Clark says:

    Consignment is a really great idea. I have consigned some of my kids clothes, but not mine. 🙂

  13. Tammy Crews says:

    Thank you very much for sharing your ideas on saving money during the Holiday season. Some of our suggestions, i didn’t even think about. I don’t know how much you think this helps people like me but it does help out tremendous!! Thanks again for your suggestions and for your time giving them!! 🙂

  14. Ashley C says:

    I’m a mystery shopper for extra’s great for extra treats (dining out) and makes a little bit of money to help with the Christmas spending.

  15. Barbara Platt says:

    Great ideas, everyone needs a little extra cash, they just need an idea to help them get started.

  16. pisa l. says:

    Thanks for the insightful tips. I’m always trying to find ways to make extra cash.

  17. Andrea Byrne says:

    i love these ideas which can be useful anytime of the year!

  18. Liza says:

    Great tips! We all need extra cash for the holidays.

  19. Christi-TX says:

    If you are really crafty—Farmer’s Mkt is a good place to rent a table, I had a friend who had her own craft party in her driveway (Christmas Tag Sale) with some of her craft friends. They sold soaps, wreaths, ornaments, yard art, etc. It was so inviting, traffic was backed up on her street. Their sales were over $2,000 in less than 6 hours. I know it was alot of work but they plan to do another one for Valentines & Easter.

  20. Chrystal D says:

    Thanks for the ideas!

  21. Poonam says:

    Nice idea!!

  22. Kelvin Justine says:

    Working hard for the things you like is really a great reward.

  23. Vanessa Rose Palacio says:

    Let’s budget!

  24. Debra Givens-Wagner says:

    You have to have a budget to make it through the holidays for sure!

  25. Dianna Thomas says:

    Well I know what Im doing now–Cleaning out the closet– and I hear it calling my name now–this just might work–with all the nice clothes I longer wear–since I’m not working for Macy’s anylonger.. This is a great idea..thanks

  26. Bianca Jones says:

    Awesome tips! I can relate to this and i am sure a lot of other people can as well 🙂

  27. Sara Campbell says:

    These are some great ideas. We have been trying to sell things but they aren’t moving fast. We make a budget but little unexpected things come up. Thanks for sharing things to help us save money for the holidays.

  28. stacy A says:

    well as a mom of four boys ages 11, 13, 14, and 15 and a hubby of 16 yrs. who since 29 for the last ten yrs has been suffering from Parkinson’s disease and our 11 yr old has Autism and our 13 yr old is ADHD but luckily he is still on the honor roll in 8th grade! The holidays come and it is a nightmare for us! the want things like the WII U cause they have all the other systems plus now my son wants to go from the 3ds to the nintendo 3ds xl bigger is better he says ha ha ha well anyway other son wants a skateboard that is 150.00 dollars alone! Plus all the video games and all this while being a full time caregiver for hubby and the boys needing to also survive during the month they still need to eat and school stuff stuff for our home cause I am a cleaning fanatic besides time on my laptop I am always running, serving, or cleaning thats it this is my pass time on my laptop only when everything else is squared away! So thanks for the great idea’s about saving and trying to earn its not like SSI and SSA give us a million dollars a month! Plus all the video games they want each one gets to pick a game along with there main gift I try not to go over 200 per child so that is 800 for gifts alone it doesn’t cover the million bags of candy literally I get for each stocking that I over stuff like my mom did for me but I was an only child! Now I have to leave to go get our son from high school he is a freshman and his other brother who is also a freshman and no not twins they are 8 months apart so it just worked out this way he is begging me to pick him up I am like the great big taxi driver tooooo! Happy Holidays guys I still don’t even now what I am going to do for Christmas diner tooo

  29. Sandra Blanton says:

    Great ideas, may put some of these to working for me..

  30. tami s says:

    These are some great ideas. I have a ton of knitted projects that I just listed on craigslist to make some money for the holidays

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