"I need money for Christmas presents!" If this sounds like you as the holiday season approaches, try not to panic. LoveToKnow Save is here to help.
Are Your Expectations Realistic?
"I need money for Christmas presents!" While it's natural to want to show your affection for friends and family during the holidays, please keep in mind that Christmas does not need to be an overblown affair. If you're struggling financially due to a recent job loss, illness, or other unexpected emergency, scaling back is perfectly acceptable.
In fact, during an economic recession, you can be confident you're not the only one who is cutting back. The American Research Group reported Americans spent $431 on Christmas expenses in 2008, a 50 decrease decrease from the previous year. Waiting for sales, doing careful comparison shopping, and prioritizing purchases are all ways to help make a smaller budget stretch for an enjoyable holiday celebration.
I Need Money for Christmas Presents: Raising Cash Fast
When you need to make money fast, you have several options.
Have a Garage Sale
Garage sales are a fairly painless way to clean out your home and earn some extra money in the process. If you're new to hosting a garage sale, here are some tips to make the experience a bit easier:
- Spread your items out as much as possible and sort things into basic categories. You want to make it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for.
- Have plenty of change on hand.
- Provide plastic bags for people to take their items home.
- Put a sign up if you're willing to negotiate your prices.
- If you're too busy to individually mark every item, price things by category. For example, you could try selling baby clothes for $1 per outfit.
- Never leave your cash box unattended. Even at a small neighborhood garage sale, you need to be aware of thieves.
Sell Items Online
While a garage sale is a good way to earn money, selling items online is an option to consider as well. Sites to visit include:
- craig'slist: Depending upon your location, this site may be helpful for unloading furniture and other large items that didn't get picked up at your garage sale.
- eBay: This site is a great option for selling collectibles, antiques, or other high-value items.
- Sell Your Stuff on Amazon: This can be a great way to earn money listing books, DVDs, video games, and electronics. It's free to list items, although you'll need to pay a transaction fee if your items actually sell.
- Cash for DVDs and Games: Don't have time to mail out several packages? This site buys DVDs, CDs, and video games in bulk.
- Cash 4 Books: If you have a large collection of college textbooks, general reference books, or newer fiction books, this site can be a good resource for earning extra money for Christmas presents.
Do Odd Jobs
Doing odd jobs in your community is always a good way to earn extra cash. Ask around to see what work is available. Don't be afraid to tell people "I need money for Christmas presents." Depending upon your skills and interests, you might consider:
- Yard work
- Household repairs
- Freelance projects in an area related to your profession, such as graphic design or computer programming
If you enjoy spending time online, you may also want to check out Mechanical Turk, a new marketplace for online workers from Amazon.com.
Resources for a Frugal Christmas
For more tips on celebrating Christmas on a tight budget, check out the following helpful articles from LoveToKnow Save:
- Christmas on a Tight Budget
- Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas
- Christmas Help for Low Income Families
- Where Can I Get Free Toys for Christmas
The LoveToKnow Christmas channel also has a number of tips and tricks to help you make the most of the holiday season, regardless of the size of your bank account.