…and with just weeks to go the countdown is on to get through that long list of festive preparation tasks. From buying gifts for your nearest and dearest to stocking up for Christmas dinner, Christmas is no doubt the most wonderful time of the year but it is also very (very) expensive. It’s not just gifts you’ll be spending your hard earned cash on in those frantic weeks before Christmas 2017, food, drink, parties and transport are all areas of expenditure for the average UK family.
Over the course of our lifetime, we’ll spend almost £54,000 EACH on Christmas – that’s more expensive than buying a two bed terrace house in County Durham – and unfortunately the cost of Christmas rises every single year. Many families are left struggling in what should be the season of joy, with some even still trying to clear last year’s festive costs. Earning some extra money in the run up to Christmas is an excellent way to make this annual occasion more affordable and less of a financial burden long after those turkey leftovers have been eaten. Here we take a look at 50 ways to make extra money in time for Christmas.
We thought we’d begin with one of the easiest to implement ways of earning extra money by making more from what you already do. Many individuals are reluctant to ask for a pay rise from their current employer, but if you are due for an increase in pay, why not? According to a survey by Slater and Gordon, one fifth of people fear that asking for a pay rise would get them fired, but this is simply not the case. The worst that your employer could say is “no”, so time it right and be confident in your abilities.
Getting cashback on what you already spend certainly pays dividends as Christmas approaches. Research gathered by bank TSB found that almost 50% of us overspend at Christmas in pursuit of the perfect pressies for loved ones, which means a lot of cashback. Selected current accounts provide generous cashback and rewards on certain purchases. TSB’s Classic Plus Account currently delivers the best return with up to £200 cashback in the first year and no monthly fees.
On the credit card front, Amex Platinum Everyday is the highest payer with up to 5% cashback available on your first £2,000 of spending and no fees. However, Amex is not accepted everywhere, particularly in smaller stores.
Don’t want to switch your current account or take out a credit card? You can still receive great cashback via sites like TopCashback, TBSeen and Quidco when shopping online. Whatever your chosen method, getting cashback on Christmas purchases now could stand you in good stead for next year.
How Cashback Works
Want to earn extra money for Christmas? You may just be sitting on a gold mine at home. There are a number of items that rise in price after purchase, making some of the most everyday items great investments. Old iPods are now worth £670 each online, whilst retro Walkmans are worth hundreds of pounds. Comics and console games are also items that have risen in value in recent years, with some of the latter worth upwards of £1,700.
Getting paid for trips that you’re making anyway sounds like a fantasy right? But with sites like Nimber, this is now a reality. With Nimber you can turn courier on your upcoming trip earning money for picking up and dropping off items at locations that are already on your route.
BlaBlaCar goes one step further by filling up any empty seats in your vehicle. Train fares and car ownership is after all expensive. The average cost of a trip from London to Manchester is just £30 via BlaBlaCar, which is win-win for both passenger and driver.
Having a long overdue wardrobe clear out to make room for the new clobber you’ll receive this Christmas? Don’t bin your unwanted clothes, bag them up and send them to Genie Recycling! The process of earning cash from clothes that you would have otherwise thrown away is easier than you think. Simply request a free Genie collection pack, book free collection from anywhere in the UK and receive payment within 24 hours of valuation.
You could earn up to £18.00 per pack (acceptable clothing earns you 50p per kilo) by using Genie Recycling’s cash for clothes scheme. As well as being a superfast way to earn money, cash is also paid to you directly via bank transfer, PayPal or cheque. Earn cash from your closet today by requesting your free pack.
Make money from assets that you already own to increase your Christmas budget. There is literally a website for renting out everything, and you can earn money quickly and easily by using one of them.
If your home is in a prime location, renting out your driveway to an individual looking for an affordable and convenient parking spot through websites like Parkonmydrive is a great place to begin. If you live in London, renting out your driveway could be rather lucrative. Whilst New York now tops the list of the most expensive city in the world to park, London takes second place. Motorists pay on average £8.84 per hour to park in central London, a figure that is more than the living wage!
Whilst we’ve covered how filling up those unused seats in your car can earn you extra money, sharing ownership of your vehicle is another way to maximise this great asset. For drivers, who don’t hit the roads every day, websites like easyCar club offer a simple and speedy way of earning money from hiring out your vehicle.
You can earn over £3,000 per year by listing your car on easyCar club – a process that is free and takes just 3 minutes. Hiring out your car is a great way to earn money from a spare family car or a vehicle that simply sits on the drive all weekend.
The rental potential of your assets doesn’t end there. You can rent out your home to earn extra cash when you and your family are getting in some winter sun. Airbnb is obviously the best known home rental platform but there are a number of other websites that specialise in providing a home from home to travellers and pay you for the privilege.
You don’t have to be on holiday to rent out your home. A growing trend is to play host, allowing guests to stay at your abode for shorter periods. Known widely as homestays, letting travellers lodge with you in a great way to earn extra money as Christmas approaches, particularly if you live in a desirable destination. Platforms like Homestay.com, UK Guests, Airbnb, EF and Interstudies all give you a platform to hire out your spare room whilst you are still living at home. Homestays aren’t just popular with tourists, people considering a relocation or travelling for business and study find homestays affordable and convenient options. Homestays could earn you upwards of £33 a night if you live in a UK city like Leeds or Plymouth, whilst stays in the capital command an even higher price.
If you’re a crafty so-and- so, why not use your skills to make props for events? So many people make a living from making and hiring out all sorts of items, with candy carts, photo booth accessory kits and post boxes some of the most wanted items on the wedding and wider event scene.
Interest rates have gone up, which isn’t all bad news, particularly for savers who have been suffering poor rates for the past decade. Being selective when it comes to your savings account is important and will allow your money to work harder so you have more to spend come Christmas. The best savings account at the moment is the Ford Money Fixed Saver 2 Year. This bond account provides a fixed rate of 1.85% for 2 years and can be opened with just £500. Changing your savings account now may not give you the quick cash you need for this Christmas but it will ensure you have some extra spending money for Christmas 2018.
There are other savings options for those looking to take advantage of the higher rates of interest currently available, although these account types don’t come without their risks. Peer-to- peer accounts pay up to 7% in interest.
Working full time, you may not have enough hours in the day to take on a second job to earn extra money for Christmas but if you have the right contacts you may just find becoming the middle man between client and contractor profitable. In the digital services and marketing industries in particular finding the creative help companies need gives you plenty of opportunity to earn a little finder’s fee.
Comparing the market is a must these days, and with price comparison websites around every corner, you can do this easily and save money in the process. Flipper is just one website that specialises in switching their customers to a cheaper energy deal, which comes in handy considering the sheer cost of gas and electricity during the cooler months. Their services cost £25 but this fee is only payable if they save you at least £50 on your energy bills.
According to home insurance provider More Than, the average cost of running a three-bedroom home in the UK stands at an eye watering £1,634 per month. However, by taking point 16 and comparing across all items of your household expenditure you could see these costs slashed further. OneDox is one website that makes comparing all manner of household bills straightforward. Here you can compare energy, phone, TV and broadband bills and switch them to a cheaper deal all in one place.
Are you a pro in the kitchen? Then why not make money from your culinary talents and sell your tasty creations to hungry people. The lunch time rush is the perfect window of opportunity for those passionate about cooking up a storm in the kitchen, so get out there and sell, sell, sell.
If cooking isn’t your thing but photography is, there are many opportunities to make money from your hobby. Agencies will buy good quality photos from even amateur photographers. There is also a long list of websites that sell stock photographs to the webmasters and business owners that need them, giving photographers like you the chances to earn some extra income.
Fotolia provides the highest commission, giving those uploading their photos up to 63% of the photo sale price. Exclusivity is also not required with Fotolia, which gives you the opportunity to use other stock photography websites to sell your beautiful images. Alamy also provide 50% royalties without an exclusivity clause.
If you have a blog that you regularly update, then selling ad space is another earner that could reap a bevy of rewards in the run up to Christmas. Selling advertising space on your blog is particularly lucrative if you have the visitor numbers.
If you’re more of a vlogger than a blogger, you can make money from the views your videos receive. In the past decade, YouTube has spawned a number of famous video stars, each of which boast seven figure salaries or more from their AdSense efforts. Depending on the number of subscribers your channel has you will make a certain amount per 1,000 views. A YouTuber with 800,000 subscribers for instance received $5 per 1,000 views this year.
It’s not just clearing out your wardrobe that could earn you extra cash. For people who have a love of clutter having a good sort out and selling items on Gumtree or Shpock could have great financial rewards. Unlike websites like eBay, you don’t have the hassle of posting your item either. For the right item, buyers will travel for miles to collect it, so you can earn money without even leaving your home!
Auction websites like eBay do have their plus points when it comes to earning extra money. Some sellers have even turned their seasonal clear outs into fully fledged businesses too. Selling on eBay or similar websites is easy, simply set up an account and get listing.
Local Facebook groups have been the go-to second hand goods sales platform for some time now, and with the launch of Facebook Marketplace last year, selling with zero fees is made even simpler. Like Gumtree and Shpock you can also offer collection so you can sell safely, profitably and without leaving your sofa.
There are countless current account offers out there, but still few people take advantage of them due to the presumed hassle of switching. Many banks and building societies offer sums up to £200 for switching. With the average UK household spending £174 on food and drink for Christmas Day alone, switching to a better bank will cover the cost of your Christmas lunch with some wriggle room for a few extra bottles of prosecco.
For Nationwide customers, getting a friend to switch could mean a monetary reward for both parties. If you are a FlexAccount, FlexDirect or FlexPlus customer, referring a friend will earn you £100 each.
There is so much financial help available for working families, many of which isn’t taken advantage of. Childcare costs in particular put a major strain on household budgets. With schemes like Tax-Free Childcare, free early education and childcare, Tax Credits, Universal Credit and Childcare Vouchers, you can cut the cost of childcare leaving you with extra money to spend not just at Christmas but all year round.
If you have a good credit rating, most credit card companies will be offering you 0% interest cards left, right and centre. By altering how you spend your money this Christmas, using your new 0% interest credit card instead of other credit cards, you can manage your money and Christmas spending more savvily. This process is officially called ‘stoozing’, and it’s legal and can be extremely profitable. Be sure to pay off the full balance before your 0% interest period ends however you ensure debts are kept under control.
It’s not just cash for clothes schemes that offer great earners for those looking to cut the clutter within their homes. There are several websites (including WeBuyBooks, CeX, Ziffit, GameXchange, Music Magpie and Momox) where you can trade-in your old CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and computer games for cash. Trading them in is simple, all most sites need is the barcode, ISBN or product name to provide an instant valuation. Postage of your items is usually covered, and payment is made via bank transfer, PayPal or cheque.
Payment for single CDs, DVDs, computer games and Blu-rays may be on the low side – averaging at £1 for CDs, £1.50 for DVDs and £10 for computer games – but if you are looking to trade-in in bulk this could be a great little earner.
If you’re more of a book worm than a gamer, selling books that you’ve read and are subsequently gathering dust at the back of your bookcase is the way to go. eBay and Amazon are excellent options for listing and selling books, whilst trade-in websites like WeBuyBooks and Ziffit provide instant valuation, free posting, and quick and hassle-free payment.
Sometimes trade-in websites aren’t the best way to turn the profit you deserve for CDs, DVDs, computer games and books, particularly where older ones are concerned. CDs and games from the 1990s are particularly popular these days, and fetch a higher price when sold individually on auction sites like eBay. Retrogames is also a great option if you are looking to sell older computer games and consoles. Newer computer games and consoles should be sold on the high street for greater returns. CeX and Game are must visits for those looking to make money from more modern games and consoles.
Lego is notoriously expensive and for those of you who are the proud owners of mountains of unmatched bricks, selling them via websites like Zapper and Music Magpie could earn you a nice bit of cash just in time for the Christmas shopping rush. Lego is generally sold by the kilo or half kilo on trade-in websites like these, with Zapper paying £7 per kilo and Music Magpie paying £4 per kilo. With Music Magpie you only need to sell a minimum of £5 to withdraw funds, compared with Zapper’s £10 minimum. Please note that all Lego sold through trade-in websites must be genuine, in good condition and sealed in a plastic bag. Unsealed Lego, complete sets and premade figures are likely to fetch higher prices on eBay.
As the saying goes “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, and this couldn’t be truer these days. An increasing number of people are willing to pay cash for items you’d usually throw away, with everything from empty perfume bottles to loo roll holders considered great purchases for use in arts and crafts.
Whilst many people keep their old wedding dress, boxed and worn only once, for sentimental reasons, turning it into cash is an approach favoured for an increasing number of women, particularly if the dress is a sought-after design or created by a reputable bridal wear designer. Preloved, Gumtree, eBay and The Dressmarket are popular platforms to sell second hand wedding dresses.
If your wedding dress is particularly high value, specialist wedding dress selling sites like Sell My Wedding Dress and Still White do have fees but provide a better return for gowns by renowned designers.
December may not provide the ideal climate for an early morning trip to a car boot, jumble or garage sale however if you’re serious about earning extra money for Christmas, then braving the plummeting temperatures may be worth it! Spotting bargains and flogging them for a better price is the aim of the game. Car Boot Junction and Carbootsale.org are excellent resources for finding a car boot sale near you.
You can’t watch TV, browse a magazine or even travel down the road without seeing an advert for cash for gold. Despite the intense advertising campaigns however, selling your unwanted gold jewellery for cash is a simple route to increased funds. With up to £14 for 9 carat gold stud earrings and up to £55 for an 18 carat gold ring possible, selling gold jewellery that you no longer wear is a shining example of how to make quick and easy money to spend during the festive period.
Got an interesting story to tell? Why not share it with the world, for a fee of course. There are a number of magazines that exchange cash for interesting stories and photos, with popular publications Real People and Take A Break paying up to £2,000 for the privilege.
Old mobile phones, even damaged ones, could be your route to extra money. Sellmymobile and CeX provide instant valuations for those old mobile phones you have lying at the back of your drawers and cupboards, and payment upon receipt is superfast.
In the majority of homes, storage is at a premium, but if you’re not short on space why not lend a hand to someone who is? Unused lofts, garages and spare rooms can all become money making machines with websites like Storemates connecting those who have storage with those who need it. The site takes just 15% of the overall fee charged by you for storage. Some storemates earn up to £40 each month from simply storing someone else’s things, making it a great way to earn money for nothing. Starting your journey as a storemate now couldn’t be better timing either, as the average individual’s storage needs increase in the run up to Christmas with all the extra gifts they need to put to one side/hide!
As well as renting out your home when you’re not there or hosting a homestay for a shorter period, renting out your house as a film set is another way to make money, and your property doesn’t have to be a lush stately home to qualify. Lavish Locations, ShootFactory and Amazing Space all provide free listings for those looking to rent their home out as a film set. With film and TV production crews always on the lookout for places they can shoot, it may not be long before you get your first booking.
There are countless online survey sites available, each of which is prepared to pay to hear your opinion. I-Say, Swagbucks, GlobalTestMarket and PopulusLive are just some of the online survey websites worth exploring.
Sharing your opinion for cash doesn’t just happen online, more traditional focus groups are still an integral part of the market research process. As well as enjoying free refreshments, participants will walk away with a £30 to £160 fee per session.
Who said you couldn’t earn money from watching television! The Viewers is a fun research panel where you get paid for your opinions of the latest TV shows. You can earn up to £70 per group discussion or survey, the only criteria being that you are over 16 and live in the UK.
As well as watching television and getting paid for your opinion, there are various opportunities accessible for paid online video viewing and game play. Swagbucks is just one website that specialises in providing market research insights from its video watching, game playing customers. Earn up to £25 per month for something that you do already!
Mystery shoppers are still very much an important part of fine-tuning the retail experience, and brands pay mystery shopping agencies to check the customer service standards across their stores. They also pay you for being a mystery shopper, with agencies like Grass Roots, GBW and Retail Maxim offering as much as £30 per day in cash or vouchers.
You can also earn money from your shopping experience from your phone. Apps like Field Agency pay up to £10 per job to check prices in store.
You’ve got to be in it to win it, so why not embrace your competitive side and enter as many contests as you can. Some people make a living from entering competitions full time but the art of ‘comping’ is also a great cash boosting hobby.
You can get paid for being Santa or one of his helpers, tis the season after all! Operator Great Grottos has over 700 positions across 60 locations on offer. Do you have what it takes?