Earn Extra Money for the Holidays – 10 Ways to Boost Your Gift Budget

November 29, 2013

gift budgetIt’s hard not to break out the credit cards during the holidays when you don’t have any extra money to buy gifts. Budgeting and planning ahead of time for Christmas gift shopping is the key to staying away from getting into holiday debt. However, some of you have budgets that are too tight to save extra money for the holidays.

One option is to simply spend less on gifts – another alternative is to earn some extra income. There are many ways to do this, but many of us want to find the quickest and easiest way to do it. This is tough to accomplish, because as we all know, making money hardly ever comes easy. Here’s a list of some different ways you can earn some extra cash for the holiday season.

1. Fill out some surveys and trial offers.

You can fill out surveys or trial offers on various websites. Search around for some of the best survey sites and you can earn some extra money.

2. Sell on Craigslist.

Pick out 10 to 20 items around your house that you can sell for $5.00 or more, and start listing them on Craigslist. It’s free to list stuff for sale, and they give you up to four photos to upload for free. I highly recommend putting photos in your listing. Two years ago, my wife and I sold a ton of furniture and home accessories all on Craigslist, because we didn’t want to move a bunch of stuff that we weren’t in love with.

3. Resell on eBay.

You can resell items that you’ve purchased, such as antiques you’ve refurbished, for some extra money using eBay. Try it out!

4. Do some odd jobs.

Do you own a pressure washer? Print out fifty fliers and stick them in the doors around your neighborhood. If you get five jobs out of it, you’ll make a few hundreds bucks for the holidays.

Do you love dogs? Put out some fliers to start walking your neighbor’s dogs.

5. Change your W-4 at work.

This sounds weird, but too many people end up with a surplus of tax dollars withheld at the end of the year. Lower your W-4 withholding number to what it should accurately be, and you’ll start getting more money put in your paycheck. Don’t let the government get a free loan on your money!

6. House or pet sit over Thanksgiving weekend.

Many people go out of town for Thanksgiving, through the weekend, and they hate knowing that their house is just sitting there. Solicit your services to watch their house or pet. You can also water their plants and take in their mail.

7. Start blog writing online.

It will take too long to start making any money from starting your own blog. Christmas will have come and gone long before you earn a few bucks. Instead, start writing for someone else’s blog. Check out Problogger Job Board for tons of different paid blog writing jobs. Pick a subject that you are passionate about.

8. Perform a research study.

I know, you don’t want to be a lab rat, but if you live near a research university or hospital, they might have chances to make $500 to $2,000 participating in a study. I did three studies when I was in college, and I made a total of $1,900 doing them! I am still here, and I haven’t grown a third arm yet.

9. Make crafts for sale.

Christmas time is the peak season for all things involved with crafts. If you are crafty, then start making Christmas ornaments, embroidered kitchen towels, wall hangings, door decorations, and anything else you can think of. You don’t even have to purchase a booth at a local fair or craft expo you can sell your items online at Etsy.com.

10. Give from other budgeting categories. (Editor’s Tip)

If you’re feeling especially generous, you could always give money from some of your discretionary budgeting categories – a true sacrifice!

There are a tons of different ways to make money, but it takes some effort on your part. All you need is a little bit of drive and creativity to earn extra income. Do you have any other ideas to share with everyone? You can leave it in the comments below.

This article was originally published November 13th, 2008.


Will this article help you save or earn more money? Get others like it simply by entering your email address below. Your email is used only for delivering daily money tips and you can opt out of delivery at any time. Click here to see all your free subscription options.


Erik Folgate is a husband and father living in Orlando who's been writing about money online for 6 years. Digging himself out of $20k of debt after college and his former experience in the insurance industry give him some useful insights into personal finance issues.

All posts by


8 Responses to Earn Extra Money for the Holidays – 10 Ways to Boost Your Gift Budget

  • marci

    Won’t help for this year, but maybe next…
    I just try to shop a little every month. Then I’m done by Sept or Oct and just have
    to worry about some mailing costs in Nov for the few that get mailed.

    And start early next year – with the after Christmas sales!

    Remember garage sales are great places to find things new in boxes at great prices also!

  • Jack

    Well, you can earn extra cash at home. Simply put, companies around the world need people just like you to create ads and post them online. In return, many of them will pay you nicely! It really is a win-win scenario for everyone!

  • Chance@roomfarm

    The dogsit-over-thanksgiving tip is excellent! The kennels fill up, people procrastinate and then freak out about not being able to find a dogsitter. We have two dogs, and taking in another one for a few days is no big deal. Clients like in-home care as well. Thanks for the useful post.


  • 6 Tips On How You Can Fund Your Way Through College
  • Unemployed With Credit Card Debt | Ask Mr Credit Card's Blog
  • Weekend Personal Finance Links (sore muscle edition)
  • Tips Fees and Saving Money - It’s the Little Things | Ask Mr Credit Card's Blog
  • 10 x How To Make Some Extra Money for Christmas | Recession Hacks