When you’re trying to cut back on your spending, it’s almost inevitable...
How to earn your way to a ‘free Christmas’
Are you dreading the festive season and the cost that it entails? What if all of your festive expenses were covered by selling your clutter or making presents from scratch? Our friend Jasmine Birtles from MoneyMagpie can show you how…
Payday lenders, doorstop lenders, and other high cost credit providers LOVE Christmas. Why? Because this is the time of year that people tend to rely on them the most.
No matter what your financial situation, there’s a lot of pressure to go overboard on presents, food and celebrations during Christmas. Just the thought of it can be a great cause of anxiety for thousands of people.
It’s time for a ‘cost-neutral’ Christmas. This is where all festive expenses are covered without taking out extra credit, because you’ll only spend money you make by selling stuff you no longer need. This mindset can save you a massive financial headache (not a sherry-induced one though, sorry!)
1. Sell your junk
Take a look around the house. Chances are there’ll be at least a couple of items you can sell on eBay before the festivities kick in. This is a quick win and it has the extra advantage of helping you tidy and sort your home before Christmas too.
We also like Gumtree.com for selling any items quickly and cheaply (well, for nothing much of the time!) to people in your area.
It’s surprising how the cash can mount up if you empty drawers and cupboards to sell things you don’t use anymore. Try my 14-day de-clutter challenge email programme to help you get started.
2. Trade in your mobile phones
Did you know you could make between £5-500 depending on the make, model and condition of your phones by using our Mobile Phone Comparison Tool? With this tool you can sell your phone immediately and get the cash straight away. Think about the fantastic presents you could buy with that kind of money!
3. Put your gadgets up for sale
There are professionals lurking on Gumtree and eBay looking for electronic gadgets and gizmos in any state. They often work in repairs, and can pay you quite quickly for laptops, iPads, games consoles and more. However, there’s a downside to taking what looks like an attractive offer.
Be aware that those who contact you quickly are usually people who are looking for a bargain. They’ll get in quick, hoping that you’re looking to make a fast sale. Some will unfortunately take advantage of having more knowledge of the item’s worth than you, and will try and ‘low ball’ you for a better price (for them, not you!)
Don’t be afraid to take some time to think a price offer over. If they’re so keen to have the gadget, they’ll wait. If they’re not, or they try to pressure you more, then it’s a potential red flag that this person’s trying to short-change you.
On the other hand, if you have broken gadgets, wires and connectors that you don’t use anymore, those very professionals could be the best people to sell them to. Even if you think it’s junk, it could be valuable as parts for someone else.
Make sure you read our article on how to sell your broken and half-used stuff.
4. Sell your books, CDs, DVDs and games
You can get instant cash for these using the Ziffit app. It’s easy to use: just download the app and then use it to scan the barcodes of any books, CDs, DVDs and games you don’t want.
Our guide to selling stuff on Ziffit can help you get started.
5. Flog your clothes
High Street brands like Karen Millen, Hobbs, Jigsaw, Ted Baker and Diva, for example, sell for good amounts second hand.
On top of that, items that have more photographs tend to get a better response. Ideally, photograph the items on you in good light. Also photograph the label and any tears or missing buttons etc.
If you have a lot of clothes from Primark, M&S and other shops that aren’t so in demand, you can sell them for a decent amount by grouping them together and selling them as a job lot.
6. Make and sell Christmas goodies
If you’re handy in the kitchen you can make money by creating Christmas goodies and selling them at local car boot sales and markets.
Check out our article here about how to make money by baking cakes, sweets and jams and selling them locally, and this one which has everything you need to know to make money baking.
Home in on Christmas cakes, Christmas sweets (wrapped in cellophane with pretty ribbon tying it up), Christmas biscuits (also wrapped in cellophane) and even jams and chutneys if you’re good at those. Even create pretty hampers with your home-made Christmas goodies: those sell very well in the run-up to Christmas.
The other good thing about making cakes or hampers to sell at Christmas is that you can use any you don’t sell as presents. Or you could….y’know, eat them. It’s Christmas after all!
MoneyAware has a handy guide to creating crafty Christmas gifts that could spark some fun ideas.
7. Recycle and regift unwanted presents
Another great way to save money at Christmas is to see what you already have that could be turned into presents for friends and relatives.
Do you have a nice vase that you could clean up, decorate with ribbon and tinsel and give to someone with some seasonal flowers? Or maybe a nice plant pot that you could do the same with? Get a pretty plant from the supermarket and transfer it to the pot, maybe even with a bow for Christmas!
There’s a disclaimer to this: you do have to be thoughtful when regifting an item. Make sure the person you’re giving the item to will actually find use for it. There’s no point giving your nan a board game she’ll never play, or your brother-in-law a football if he’s never shown an interest in the sport in his life.
8. Give them some fun and festive freebies!
Last but not least, make sure to take a gander on Freecycle.org and the ‘Free Stuff’ section at Gumtree.com to see what people are giving away. You’d be amazed what you can get there for absolutely nothing. A lot of it is in perfectly good condition!
The people giving things away on that section live in your neighbourhood, so all you have to do is to go to their place to pick the item(s) up. If you feel unsafe, make sure you take someone along with you, such as a family member or friend.
Looking for more great Christmas money-makers?
Find out yet more ways to make money for Christmas and avoid a January financial hangover by downloading our free eBook on how to make money for Christmas, produced in association with Gumtree.com. Go here to get your free copy.