When it comes to Christmas, I'm all about making my money stretch as far as possible, and even coming up with some extra cash to expand my budget a little bit. Here are some ways that I make some extra magic happen over the holidays–and NO–none of these ideas will involve taking surveys, downloading search engines, or work from home schemes. Those (in my opinion) are a waste of valuable time. You have to remember that time is money too, and spending all your spare time trying to come up with extra cash isn't the best way to do it.
Ebates. This one is first BECAUSE IT IS THE EASIEST and it could land you an extra $100 with minimal effort. I love Ebates for the cash back it gives you, but I love it more for it's referral program. You don't have to sell your friends on ANYTHING, you just have to know 3 people that will make an online purchase of $25 or more. Um…Hello? It's Christmastime! Isn't that EVERYBODY?! If you don't know how Ebates works, here's a quick rundown: If you are going to buy something online, check to see if that particular store offers cash back through Ebates (nearly every store does), click over, and make your purchase. You don't have to do anything else. Just make your purchase as normal and you will get cash back on your purchase. NOW FOR THE BEST PART: Refer 3 friends to do the same and you have earned $100!
Tip: Once you sign up for Ebates, download their little bookmark tool so that you are reminded anytime you are on a website that can earn you cash back.
At home with the kids? Instantly access any of these printable activity bundles to keep them learning!
Use the Amazon App and get a $5 Amazon Credit. $5 may not seem like a big deal, but it's an EASY $5 and that equals a free gift or stocking stuffer! Just make sure you use this link to download the app. Also, it has to be your first time downloading the app. If you already have the Amazon app, you can also get $5 for each friend that downloads the app. Again, super easy because it's Christmastime and who doesn't want an extra $5? You will earn your $5 once they make their first purchase using the app. To invite someone to download the app, open the Amazon app on your phone (or tablet), then click on the menu button in the top left corner—>Personalized Content—> Invite Friends. You can invite through text, social media, or even email your personal link. Best part about this is you can invite multiple people, giving you the opportunity to earn $5 credits more than once.
Sell Something via Facebook yard sale (for cash) or Trade in via Amazon (for gift cards). This one is also easy, but it's 3rd on the list because it takes a little more effort than the first two options (but can also earn you a lot more). Facebook makes this so easy now with all the online yard sale groups that are available. Just search Facebook for “(your city) Online yard sale” and you should see a bunch of groups pop up. Then just walk around your house taking pictures of what you want to get rid of and post them to the group. Super simple. And don't think that you have nothing to sell. Walk through your house and you will be surprised by what you find that others want. OR….You can also trade in your stuff or your textbooks to Amazon for Amazon Gift cards! See what your stuff is worth here.
Get $10 to Living Social. If you have never used Living Social before, you can get your first $10 free here. Again, super easy way to score a gift card/voucher to somewhere local in your area (they have non-local stuff too). If you have purchased from Living Social in the past, you can still earn credits! Here's how: go to LivingSocial.com, then go here to Refer a Friend. Your friend gets $10, and so do you. Don't like that idea either? Living Social has another awesome way to score some free stuff. If you see a deal that you know others would like, and you know you want to purchase it anyway, buy it and then share the deal on your Facebook. If 3 people buy it, Living Social refunds your purchase and you got the deal for free. This can actually be a REALLY SUCESSFUL way to score free Christmas gifts if you have some great deals going on in your area. Last month they had a deal going for $175 towards Boxed.com and I purchased it. I then shared it to my personal Facebook and 3 people bought it within hours. I checked my Living Social account, and sure enough they refunded me. I then had ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-FIVE Bucks to spend at Boxed for FREE!!! It was the best grocery shopping I have ever done! My friend also posted to her Facebook and scored the deal for free as well. $175 and it took me less than 5 minutes to share it.
Get $15 to Zulily. Obviously there are several refer-a-friend programs out there, but I'm only recommending ones that I feel are worth your time. Zulily is one of them because of the amount they give you ($15), and because of the good deals they post, making it easy to recommend and refer people to. They literally feature TONS of different brands every day, and most of them are popular brands that people want to save money on anyway. The one downside to Zulily is that you don't get your credit until your friend's order actually ships, so you need to be patient. If you already have a Zulily account, go here to see if they are featuring any brands today that you think your friends might be interested in.
$10 to Vitacost. This one is last because not everyone is into healthy, natural products, supplements, or snacks. But if you are, this is a great one too (and even if you aren't, Vitacost also has fun brands like Burt's Bees which make great gifts and stocking stuffers). This one is also last because it's $10 off of a $30 purchase. So unless you buy vitamins, snacks, supplements, baby stuff, natural or fitness products, this one may not be for you.
TRADE. This one can be awesome depending on what you have to offer. If you are looking for a particular item for a Christmas present, see if you can trade something you have for it. Or, if you don't feel you have an ITEM of value, maybe you have a service you can offer. For instance, a family member of mine is a dentist and has often traded dental work for something of value for his family. Think outside the box and be creative!
What are Some Creative Ways YOU Come up with Some Extra Cash?