Though Halloween is just coming upon us this week, the premature appearance of all-things Christmas can already get you in buy, buy, buy mode for the gift-giving holiday season. Money-saving expert Andrea Woroch suggests letting the red and green decorations get you in the holiday spirit and to let them be a reminder to start thinking about how you are going to pay for holiday-related expenses. Woroch shares five ways you can score some extra cash before Christmas.
Holiday spending estimates
According to the National Retail Federation, the average consumer is estimated to spend nearly $750 on holiday-related purchases, up slightly from last year’s actual spending. “This number doesn’t factor in the cost of holiday travel or the time away from your day job to connect with family and friends,” adds Woroch. “Making extra money is the best way to combat this significant seasonal expense.” She recommends looking into the following five ways to bring in the dough.
1. Get a seasonal job
Retailers, restaurants and even call centers are looking for extra help around the holidays. “If your schedule allows, consider picking up a shift on weeknights or weekends and deposit your earnings into a separate account just for holiday expenses,” Woroch advises. “MSN recently listed these 16 companies in need of seasonal assistance.”
2. Sell your gift cards
Crazy as it seems, nearly $40 billion in gift cards went unredeemed between 2005 and 2011. If you’re one of the many people holding on to gift cards, get rid of them for money. Woroch says, “Stop wasting wallet space and sell your gift cards for cash on GiftCardGranny.com, where you can make up to 92-percent of the card’s face value.”
3. Get paid for chores
Instead of wasting time Tweeting or pinning, put your spare time to money-making use. “You can get paid for small chores through TaskRabbit, an online service allowing people to bid on to-do’s required by others.” Check it out and see how you can use your talents to boost your budget.
4. Use rewards for gifts
You know it: Your credit card will get some serious action over the next couple months, so use your reward points wisely, advises Woroch. “If you have a good amount saved up, consider redeeming them for gift cards which you use to purchase gifts — or as gifts themselves — or help offset the cost of holiday travel,” the consumer spending expert says. “There’s an art to redeeming rewards, so check out this article from MarketWatch for savvy advice.”
5. Sell your stuff
Don’t put off organizing your closet another day. Go through your clothing, accessories, and any other items you don’t use and sell them for cash. “You can consign your clothes, auction off accessories and eBay your electronics for extra cash,” Woroch explains. “Swapping is another money-saving trend that offers new (to you) stuff for items you no longer use or wear. Host a swap party with friends or head to Swap.com to exchange your items online.”