I love the holiday season! For me, it really is the most wonderful time of the year! But I know many people don’t agree. The holidays can cause a lot of stress around finances and family, and can be especially anxiety-inducing for busy moms who are often times responsible for the shopping, cooking, entertaining…the list goes on and on. I’ve come up with a few places to find some extra spending cash that helps make the financial burden of Christmas much less stressful for me. I look at Christmas as the one day of the year I can spoil my kids and not feel guilty about it. I have a lot of fond memories of Christmas growing up as a child and I want to create memories that my kids will remember forever. Can you create those memories without buying a lot of gifts? Absolutely! But just in case you’re like me and like to go all out; here are a few ways to save you some financial stress this year.
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My top 5 tips for finding extra spending money this holiday season…
- Use Rakuten.com – If you buy online (and chances are you do) start at Rakuten. I have earned several hundred dollars over the past few years ($676.00 to be exact!) through Rakuten. It is the easiest way to earn cashback on most of your online shopping. Simply go to Rakuten.com set up an account, and choose the online retailer you want to visit. It will direct you to their site and credit your account a percentage of the purchase price after the transaction goes through. You can also earn referral bonuses by sharing with friends. Rakuten will mail you a check each quarter with your earnings. It’s that easy!
- Use your credit card rewards to purchase gifts – I make most of my everyday purchases throughout the year on my credit card (and pay it off each month). I am able to earn approximately $500-$600 in cash back rewards by doing this. Every year I save up all my rewards and use it to do my Chrismas shopping. It is a huge relief to have that extra money! I love my Chase credit card because I get 1% cash back on all purchases and 5% back on special categories each month.*I do not suggest using this method if you struggle with paying your card off each month. Credit cards can carry some very large interest rates which are counter-productive.
- Download Honey to your Chrome browser. – Honey will make sure to apply any eligible promo codes and find you the best deal on your purchases. Don’t let
- Use money from returnables to splurge on delectable cuisine – In Maine, we have a company called Clynk that makes it really easy to return our cans and bottles. We drop the bag of returnables off at the grocery store and they credit our account each time we do. Every year I save this money up and use the credit towards my Christmas grocery bill so I can splurge on yummy food and drinks.
- Sell your old toys and unwanted items on local yard sale pages – Every fall I go through our toys and the other items collecting dust in our basement and list them for sale on my local Facebook yard sale page and Facebook marketplace. Almost every town has a yard sale page now or you can also try craigslist.com. I do have a personal rule that I won’t list anything for less than $10, as I don’t feel it’s worth my time to deal with coordinating pick up for less than $10. I usually bring the smaller items to a resale store or donate them to our local thrift store. The last few years I have earned $200-$300 by selling our stuff (and my kids never notice that their toys are missing).
Do you have any holiday tips for a stressfree and fulfilling holiday season? I’d love to hear them. Share them in the comments!