The cost of Christmas presents, social events, food and drink to entertain family and friends between now and New Year all adds up. The key is to plan ahead so all the extra spending doesn’t impact too much on your normal budget and cause you to go into debt.
The good news is that getting together a little extra cash can be easy when you put your mind to it. Follow our 12 tips to building up a Christmas fund…
1. Get on your soapbox
Some online surveys operate a reward scheme where you earn points for surveys completed that can be exchanged for shopping vouchers at the likes of Amazon and John Lewis.
Others pay up to £15 in cash for each one, which typically take around 30 minutes. Try surveycompare.net, uk.mysurvey.com, crowdology.co.uk, yougov.co.uk, and i-say.com.
Never pay to register and set up a new email address so your personal account doesn’t get overloaded.
Many market research companies will also pay anything between £10 to £350 for you to take part in a focus group session. Some projects may involve product testing. Try paidfocusgroup.co.uk where registration is free.
2. Go undercover
Be a mystery Christmas shopper for a High Street brand. Some pay in cash, others let you keep all the shopping.
Sign up to an agency that matches candidates with jobs, such as JKS Mystery Shopping (jksmysteryshopping.co.uk) and Retail Maxim (retail-maxim.co.uk). You can be tasked with anything from a restaurant meal out to shopping for specific items.
3. Switch for cash
Plenty of banks are offering cash rewards for switching your existing current account. The highest cash reward is currently from HSBC at £175. You have to pay in at least £1,750 a month to be eligible. M&S Bank is giving away a £100 gift card to new recruits. It also offers a further £80 gift card if you meet certain criteria such as paying in £1,250 a month, keeping direct debits active and registering for online banking.
4. Job Spotter
When you see a job ad in a shop window, upload a picture to the Job Spotter smartphone app from recruitment firm Indeed.co.uk. You will receive points worth between around 80p to £1.20 in Amazon vouchers for every picture you upload. The next few weeks should be rather lucrative while shops recruit extra staff for the Christmas period.
5. Become Santa
Have you grown a long white beard in retirement? Companies are hunting for people who are happy to dress as Santa every day during December. According to recruitment firm Indeed, there are 133 Santa jobs for every million job listings. The average Santa gets £10.51 an hour.
6. Sell old stuff
Use a specialist firm geared towards selling certain equipment you have upgraded or perhaps items for hobbies you may have given up. For example, golfbidder.co.uk will buy your golf clubs. Website camerajungle.co.uk does a similar job for those who want to sell photography equipment. Alternatively, sign up to ebay.co.uk or Amazon Marketplace, which allow you to sell second-hand items. You can also try the cash-for-clutter website musicmagpie.co.uk, which takes DVDs, CDs, electronics and games off your hands.
7. Be a babysitter
Lots of parents have social events during the run-up to Christmas and will be grateful for childcare. Typically, you could earn from £5 an hour, but with more experience and in certain locations such as London you can earn around £12 an hour.
You can spread the word locally or on social media and online at yoopies.co.uk where you can register and advertise for free. Having a good set of references, experience, and being a parent or grandparent yourself will stand you in good favour. A Disclosure and Barring Service check (previously CRB) will also give you an added advantage. Applications costs £23 (£25 in Scotland).
8. Get competitive
For the investment of a few hours every day, you could end up bagging some brilliant prizes in time for Christmas. You can keep them, use them for presents or sell them online. Find free competitions on theprizefinder.com, loquax.co.uk or by browsing MoneySavingExpert’s forum board Competition Time.
9. Extra cashback
The deals on cashback websites become far more generous near Christmas. Until December 31, new customers signing up to Topcashback.co.uk get 100 per cent cashback up to £15 when they shop with a retailer listed under the toy category on the site. Brands include Early Learning Centre, Lego Shop, Hamleys and Amazon. New members can also get £15 off shopping at Fragrance Direct. There’s no minimum spend – in fact, if you spend less than £15, you get your money back. Another offer pays £15 cash back to newbies on orders over £35 from Iceland.
10. Find bargains
As Christmas approaches, retailers will be boasting about their huge discounts. To ensure that you’re getting the best final price, use a website such as Pricesearcher.com and you can compare prices across the retailers. For example, a Fitbit Versa special edition watch in lavender/gold costs just £171.49 at scan.co.uk compared to £273.99 at ebeez.co.uk. Likewise, a Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir scented candle costs £42 at Voisins.com compared to £62.49 on Amazon. A Mega Monopoly Game costs £22 on Amazon, but £30 at Argos.
11. Project work
Take on a one-off or short-term project via online temp agencies such as RedWigWam. Jobs are typically assisting with special promotions and product testing in supermarkets. This is perfect if you just want to pick up a couple of days work here and there to make some extra money but you cannot commit to a regular job. They also have evening and weekend jobs.
If you’re quick to pick up grammatical errors and misspellings, then proofreading might be the job for you. There is plenty of appetite from writers to polish their work. It’s flexible, pays around £15.71 an hour, and you can do it from home. You can search for freelance proofreading jobs online at recruitment firms including reed.co.uk and indeed.co.uk.
(Article source: This is Money)