With barely a couple of months left before the start of the holiday season, you might find yourself a tad short on gift-giving budget. Instead of having to cut back on your list of people to give holiday presents to, why not use your remaining time to earn some extra cash?
Here, we will take a look at how much people actually spend during the holiday season, and what you can do to earn some extra cash for the numerous occasions which will soon arrive.
How Much Do People Really Spend During the Holidays?
First, how much do people actually spend during the holidays?
There’s Halloween when people are more than willing to shell out a huge amount out of their budget for candy and spooky home décor, as well as costumes for kids and adult parties.
Next, there’s Thanksgiving when you have to spend money on turkey, dinner, and other holiday goodies.
Christmas is when you would be spending some serious money for gifts. This is followed by the celebration for the New Year. By the second day of January, it is possible for your funds to be depleted because of the numerous occasions that you had to spend money on.
To give you more of an idea about how much people actually spend during the holidays, here are a few quick figures:
- In a survey conducted by VisionCritical.com, for 2013, 40% of consumers asked have already started shopping for gifts.
- Among the promotional events held by retailers, more intend to shop during Black Friday than the recently-popularized Cyber Monday.
- For the holiday season, the top three items that people plan to buy as gifts for themselves and for others are clothes, gift cards and electronic items.
- Nearly 70% of survey respondents plant to spend $500 or less during the holiday season.
- According to the National Retail Federation, the winter holidays is the largest gift-giving holiday of all, with celebrants willing to spend an average of $730 on gifts, décor, food and more. For 2013, the total holiday spending for the winter holidays amounted to $600 billion.
If, after assessing your budget near the holiday season, you found out that you only have a couple of hundred dollars to spare, should you skip all the celebrations so you can have an excuse to not show up at the parties with a present? Not necessarily.
As mentioned earlier, you can easily make some extra cash instead of cutting back on your holiday gift-giving list. Read on to find out how you can make some extra cash for the holidays.
How Can I Make Some Extra Cash for the Holidays?
For college students and those who are looking to augment their funds, seasonal jobs have always been a staple resource. The good news is that more and more holiday jobs become available each year. One statistic example is from SnagAJob.com, an hourly jobs website which shows that the number of companies hiring additional staff for the holidays increased by 26% from last year.
Aside from taking on a holiday job, there are plenty of other ways for you to make some extra cash for the holidays, including the following:
De-clutter and sell all your extra stuff
Even if it’s not spring cleaning time yet, you can use the upcoming holiday season as an excuse to de-clutter, organize and sell all your extra stuff.
Start with the things that you have in your own bedroom. Are there gadgets, clothes, shoes or other knickknacks which you have not touched for the past year or so? If that dress which still has a tag on it has been in your closet for the past year, you are most likely not going to wear it ever again. If you’re a gadget enthusiast, there should be lots of electronics which you are not using anymore.
Organize your things so that you can determine which ones to get rid of, donate and sell. Hold a garage sale so that you can make money out of the extra stuff that you have.
Another bonus of de-cluttering is that you will save money in the future because you will be hesitant to add more stuff to the clutter that you’ve already gotten rid of. If you don’t want to organize a garage sale, simply sell your extra stuff online – through sites like eBay, Craigslist or even Amazon where you can post used but still good items.
Sell your talent
If you have a flair for decorating, offer your service to neighbors, relatives and friends as a holiday decorator. Most harangued parents get even more pressed for time during Thanksgiving and Christmas, so they’d rather have someone else do the holiday decorating for them. Start charging a small rate but once you’ve built up your portfolio and created beautiful displays for clients, you can make a lot of extra money during the holiday season.
If you’re a photographer or a graphic designer, you can create professional-looking Christmas cards for families. If you’re good at drawing portraits, you can sell personalized portraits to people who in turn could give the drawing to someone else as a holiday present.
No matter which field it is that you are talented in, you could use your imagination and business sense to earn some extra money out of it during the holiday season.
Have a bake sale
If you’re good at baking, you can have a bake sale and create scrumptious goodies to make some extra money during the holiday season. Make sure to use food packages which have a Thanksgiving or Christmas theme on the design to make it more attractive for buyers. Of course, you should make sure that the baked goodies taste great, too.
You can simply sell these outside your house, in church, at holiday fairs, farmer’s markets or similar events where there is bound to be lots of buyers.
Sell handcrafted goods at holiday bazaars
During Thanksgiving and Christmas, a lot of homeowners buy big and small knickknacks to use as gift items. If you’re good at designing ornaments, decorations or small gift items, handcraft them and sell them at fairs or bazaars. Make sure to source the raw materials from suppliers who will sell them to you cheap, so that you can make a good profit out of each sale.
Apply for a seasonal job
Retailers usually hire additional staff to handle the extra influx of customers during the holiday season. This gives you an opportunity to earn some extra money to spend for the holidays.
Retail stores are an obvious choice for where you can apply for a seasonal job. Some well-known companies which hire employees on a seasonal basis are Kohl’s, Toys R Us, Macy’s, RadioShack and even the local supermarkets, shops and boutiques in your area. Aside from earning some extra income, these companies also offer employee discounts – which means a lot of savings for your own holiday shopping.
Aside from retail, you can also apply for seasonal work at companies which have shipping, packaging, gift wrapping and customer support services.
If you have a day job and you would like to earn some extra cash, work as a freelancer. Photographers, for example, would have an influx of customers during the holiday season – so amateur photographers can apply as assistants. If you are into writing, graphic design or programming, you can apply for online jobs which are offered on a per-project basis.
Take odd jobs here and there
Errand running or shopping for other people is an odd job that you can take on during the holiday season. Again, your main clients would be parents who are pressed for time and cannot run through errands like picking up the dry cleaning, booking airline tickets, having a car inspected, driving service cars for deliveries or preparing their homes prior to the onslaught of visitors for the holiday season.
Some websites where you can apply for such jobs are Care.com or TaskRabbit.com. Toys R Us also hires extra holiday helpers who can assemble bikes, train sets and doll houses for the influx of customers during the busiest time of the year.
Take advantage of cash-back promotions
You can also save a few bucks here and there by taking advantage of the extra cash that you can earn from cash-back shopping sites. Don’t forget to check out the discount codes or vouchers that you can use online to minimize your total bill for purchases.
Go pet-sitting, babysitting or house-sitting
Finally, you can go pet-sitting, babysitting or house-sitting during the holiday season. The flurry of activities during the last two months of the year will open up part-time job opportunities for you, which you can grab to earn some extra cash.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to earn some extra money during the holiday season. If you have a day job, make sure to get plenty of rest and sustenance so that you can add a few more hours of work each day and get the cash that you need prior to the gift-giving season.