If you missed Part 1, go ahead and catch up really quick. My goal is to make these short and actionable since it’s a series of posts.
Christmas gift giving can put a sizable hole in your wallet. There’s no doubt about it. Unless you are shopping at the dollar store for everyone, chances are you may be spending a few hundred dollars. That can put the squeeze on anyone’s wallet and hamper other goals. But what if you could find some extra money to put toward Christmas so it doesn’t affect your budget at all?
One of the advantages to starting early (as we went over in our last post) is the lack of rushing. It is very easy to plan something now to help with the Christmas season in 2016 but not so easy in November 2016. Let’s look at some ways that you can make some extra money from now until Christmas that would allow you to no longer feel the strain (and possibly get ahead!). For this, I’ve focused on a things that can really go a long way in making some extra money.
Mow Lawns on the Weekend
This has the potential to make a lot of money in a short amount of time. Starting around April or May, lawns need to be cut around your neighborhood. If you get a small weekly clientele and charge $20 per lawn, you could easily make $80 to $100 a weekend with only about 5 or so hours of work. You could even charge more for larger lawns! Doing this almost ever weekend for a few months will bring you in about $1,000 (and that’s a conservative estimate).
Sell Some of Your Old Things
Do you have anything lying around that you don’t need anymore? Do you have some old furniture in your basement? Maybe some old books? Old Cell Phones that still work? Sell ‘em! There are second hand stores that are always looking for more inventory. You can hold a garage sale, post on craigslist or eBay, or try posting on Facebook to sell to friends. A decent amount of money can be made selling things you don’t need. You can make upwards of a few hundred dollars doing this.
Adjust Your Tax Withholdings
Adjusting your tax withholdings is a great way to bring in some extra cash. Did you receive a tax refund last year? The average 2014 tax return (filed in 2015) was close to $3,000! If you were to adjust your withholdings to get only a $500 refund, you would be bringing home an extra $208.33 a month. That will get you enough to have plenty for Christmas gifts. Even if your tax refund is only close to $1500, you can adjust to make it $300, giving you an extra $100 a month.
Are you good at doing a particular task? Perhaps you are a good piano or guitar player. Maybe you are a pretty good artist or a good cook or are good at computer programming. Teaching others is a great way to make extra money. You can charge $40 for a 45 minutes lesson. A few lessons every week for a few months is $1,440.
Are you really good at baking? One of the fundraisers at my daughter’s school is to sell Cookie Dough. It’s $14 for a 3 pound tub. Cookie dough is not very expensive to make. You could easily make the same amount of cookie dough, package it to sell, and then sell it for less than that making a tidy profit. My wife and I sold about $400 worth of cookie dough in a matter of a couple of weeks.
There are numerous other ways to make some extra money as well. For instance you could walk dogs, get a second or weekend job, or do odd jobs for people. This could also be a good time for you to try and start your own business to bring in some extra money. The above are the ones that I find to be the easiest to make some extra money in a short amount of time. As always, adjust as needed. The sky is the limit!