It’s a scary feeling when you realise that the holidays are fast approaching and you have no money for Christmas.
Thankfully, there are always things you can do to bring some cash in quickly. Perhaps not a huge amount, but enough to pay for some gifts and treats.
In this article we present seven ideas for you. Get started on at least one of them straight away, and you may no longer have to worry about having no money for Christmas.
Before we start, I’d like to make an important point:
The more you think ahead, the more you can put yourself in a position where worrying about having no money for Christmas is a thing of the past. At HomeWorkingClub, we’re huge fans of side gigs and small jobs. They may not earn very much individually, but put them together and you can end up with a significant pile of cash, vouchers and gift cards for special occasions.
At the time of writing this, it’s pleasing to be able to add up all these little amounts (and many more), which I’ve allowed to build up across various sites over recent weeks.
While you can always jump onto these money making activities in the immediate run-up to the holidays, it’s far better to stick at them all year round.
If you’re reading this article with only weeks to go, it doesn’t matter. You can still start to work on these things and earn some money quickly. But try to remember this important point for next year! If you make side gigs an integral part of your life, you can pay for special occasions entirely out of the cash you stash away, and I can vouch for the fact that that’s a very pleasing feeling.
Anyway, let’s move straight on to the ideas.
1. Online Surveys and Offer Sites
I KNOW plenty of readers turn their noses up at survey sites. I find it very funny to think about this when I cash out enough from just a handful of them to buy Christmas presents for all the family.
The key is to use the RIGHT sites and to use them WISELY. Some survey sites are total scams, while others are far more worthwhile.
If you’re reading this with only weeks to go until Christmas, you’re very unlikely to make enough to finance all the festivities from surveys alone. However, you should be able to cash out enough to have a little more than NO money for Christmas!
What to do:
- Read this article, which provides you with some expert tips for making decent money with surveys.
- Try some of these sites for starters:
- Find more survey reviews here.
2. User Testing
Testing websites and apps is my FAVOURITE way to add to my side gig earnings. Here are some of my recent earnings from just one of the sites.
Making money from user testing is simple and doesn’t require any expertise. However, it’s not for everyone.
There are two main reasons for this: the first is that tests go quickly, so it’s most suited to people who are in front of a computer most of the time and able to quickly grab tests as they become available. Secondly, you must have an uninterrupted environment, so this isn’t the kind of thing you can do with noisy children in the house – although you can always see if any tests are available when they’re asleep!
What to do:
- Read this article, which explains how user testing works and gives you a range of websites you can sign up to.
3. Cash for Clutter
If you have no money for Christmas but you do have a houseful of clutter, the run-up to the holiday season is the VERY BEST TIME to make some cash from a clear-out.
It’s the time of year when everybody’s spending and looking for gifts, so do a sweep of your home and see what you’d be happy to shift.
It’s wise to not be too sentimental. I’m personally quite ruthless about selling things that aren’t being used, and there have only been a few occasions when I’ve regretted selling something. In fact, it’s generally quite a relief to have less clutter around – especially just before the season of clutter…
What to do:
There are lots of places to sell excess items, both online and off. The key to making the most money is choosing the best platform for each item.
- This guide will teach you some great strategies for eBay.
- Facebook Marketplace is covered in detail in this article.
- This one talks all about selling on Amazon Marketplace.
4. Seasonal Temporary Work
If you have some free time, there are usually plenty of seasonal jobs out there in the run up to Christmas. Now is the perfect time to look for them. You can do anything from dressing as a Santa or an Elf, to helping out in a warehouse.
What to do:
- Search the normal online job boards for “seasonal” or “Christmas.” If you use the techniques in this article, you may even find temporary home-based roles that don’t require you to leave the house.
5. Cashback Collecting
Admittedly this is one technique that’s best started long before the holiday season. On the other hand, it’s something well worth doing when you’re buying gifts, because the chances are you’ll be able to build up a significant about of cashback on your online orders.
Cashback sites give you a proportion of your money back on all kinds of online purchases – not just goods, but all kinds of services. (In fact, I get much of my own cashback from financial services and holiday bookings).
If you’re in any doubt as to how much it all adds up, take a look at this, from the main site I use.
What to do:
- Sign up with one or more cashback sites. If you’re in the US, I recommend TopCashback (sign up here). If you’re in the UK, I suggest TopCashback (use this link) or Quidco.
- Ensure that before you buy ANYTHING online, you search for the company via the cashback site (remembering to do this is the hardest part, to be honest!)
- Click through from the cashback site before buying anything, and watch the cashback build.
6. Content Mill Writing
If you have a good command of English and enjoy writing, you could try to sign up to a content mill and write some articles in your spare time.
This kind of writing work is neither exciting nor amazingly lucrative. I can’t be much more honest than that! However, there’s often a steady stream of work, so if you’re willing to work to the requirements and grind away at it, it can be a way of making fast cash – which could help if you have no money for Christmas.
What to do:
- Read this article to learn all about the basics of content mills and how they work.
- Sign up to one or more and see if you can get accepted and find work. I recommend taking a look at WriterAccess (US only) and TextBroker.
7. Micro Work
Micro work is another way to make cash for Christmas that definitely falls into the “grind” column. However, if you get lucky you can find tasks you enjoy doing, get fast at them, and earn a reasonable amount of money (in the region of $10-15 per hour).
Micro tasks can involve all kinds of activities: from classifying web pages to going to local shops and taking pictures of the shampoo displays! The amount of work available can vary, so it’s worth signing up to more than one site to increase your chance of finding decent tasks.
What to do:
If you have access to a computer and can free up some time, there’s no need to have no money for Christmas.
You will need to put some effort in, and accept that none of these activities are going to make you rich. However, they can all make the difference between having nothing and having something. Above all, please remember the point from earlier in the article: If you start doing some of these things regularly, you probably won’t find yourself in the same position next year.
Founder of HomeWorkingClub.com – Ben has worked freelance for nearly 20 years. As well as being a freelance writer and blogger, he is also a technical consultant with Microsoft and Apple certifications. He loves supporting new home workers but is prone to outbursts of bluntness and realism.