You’ve been working hard all year, but when you sat down to make your holiday budget, it just wasn’t enough. Stick with it and you’ll be shopping for everyone on your list at the dollar store.
Don’t panic yet. There are a number of ways that you can still make some extra cash in time to bulk up your budget and get some great gifts.
1. Take a seasonal job.
Holiday shopping and partying creates lots of jobs every year in specific industries. It might not be your first choice, but if you’re hard up for cash, you could do worse than getting a temp job as a credit card customer service rep, telemarketer, tax preparer (if you’re qualified), restaurant server, or child care worker.
All of these industries tend to see a bump around this time of year. There are also true seasonal jobs like working at a ski resort or, you know, an elf at the mall.
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If you’re like most of us, you’ve probably got at least a few things lying around the house that you don’t really use or need. Instead of allowing them to clutter up your place, put an ad up on eBay or Craigslist – or even have an old fashioned yard sale – and set that money aside for your holiday fund.
3. Survey says…
There are a number of websites like CashDuck or FusionCash that will pay you to fill out surveys or participate in trial offers. You’re not going to replace your salary doing this, but you can certainly make a few bucks.
4. Odd jobs and even odder jobs.
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Have you heard of Gigwalk? It’s an iPhone app that allows you to make a small amount of money (typically $5 to $10) for doing small jobs, such as taking a photo of a restaurant’s menu for the competition. Most of the gigs aren’t worth going out of your way to do, but if, say, you’re going to the mall and there are four or five gigs there, why wouldn’t you do it?
5. Be a guinea pig.
Live near a hospital or university? Often they will post studies where participants can earn anywhere from $500 to $2000! And don’t worry, having a third eye could really come in handy some day.
6. Get crafty.
Got more of a baker’s touch? Make some holiday cookies or treats and sell them to friends and families, or ask a local business if you can set up shop outside. Just make sure you calculate what you’re spending so you actually make a profit.
7. Redo that W-2.
Here’s a simple way to get extra cash that doesn’t require any extra work on your part: change your number of exemptions on your W-2. You might be scared to do this because you think you’ll owe taxes, but for most people this isn’t true.
That refund you get back around tax time? That’s the government basically saying you overpaid us and – by the way – thanks for loaning us extra money for a year so that we could collect interest on it. Correcting your W-2 to give the government the right amount of taxes means more money for you in each paycheck!
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