I LOVE fall for so many reasons — hot tea, scarves, boots, and fires in the fireplace while snuggling up with a good book — but all of the wonderful things about the upcoming holiday season might leave some of us feeling a bit unprepared financially. This can ruin the wonder of the season, but it doesn’t have to!
There are SO many ways to increase your holiday budget, and today, we’re going to dive into 15 different ideas to help you earn extra cash for the holidays — without even leaving the house!
If you’ve read my blog at all, you know I’m a big fan of Swagbucks. And you probably signed up a long time ago and have been earning gift cards ever since.
For the handful of you who have yet to sign up for Swagbucks or for the many others who have signed up but feel like you’re not earning much from it, you can go here to learn more.
Ebates works with online stores to offer you a percentage — usually somewhere between 3-10% of your total purchase — back as a rebate. While this might not seem like much, it can really add up over time. And if you’re already going to be making the online purchase, you might as well get a little kickback, too, right?
They currently offer cash back at over 1800 stores including Walmart, Target, JCPenney, Staples, Lands’ End, Sephora, and many, many more.
One of the oldest cashback sites, Ebates has an easy-to-navigate website and, in my personal view, is the best cashback program. You only have to earn $5.01 in rebates in order to get a check or Paypal payment.
#3: Amazon Trade-In Program
Amazon’s Trade-In Program is wonderful for two reasons: 1. You can earn extra cash for the holiday, and 2. You can declutter your house at the same time! This has to be one of the best ways to get ready for the holiday, right?!
Find out more about how to earn cash by trading in your unused things here.
#4: Sell your used books
Selling your gently used books is a great way to build your holiday budget! Books can be expensive, so selling your used books to companies like Cash4Books.net, MyBookBuyer, Amazon Trade-In Store, and Half.com can not only help you get the extra cash you need, but it can also help others get great deals on books. Win-win!
Fiverr is a great place to earn cash for doing simple tasks for people who are looking for specific services. It can be as easy as writing a 300-word article (Note: This post has 417 words at this point, so 300 isn’t all that much!), recording a short video, proofreading, etc. People generally pay $5 for these small tasks (or more, depending on the job), and that can really add up!
#6: Online tutoring
Working as an online tutor is a great way to make extra cash in your free time, and it doesn’t take much to get started. Check out what Alaina of Telecommuting Mommies has to say about the different options available and how you can start earning in time for the holidays in her guest post here.
The idea of freelancing can intimidate some folks, but the truth is, most people have skills they can monetize that they don’t even know about. Sara of Omaha Moms shares her story of how oDesk (now Upwork) helped her and her family recover from financial challenges — and how she got her first client within 24 hours!
#8: Become a virtual call center agent
Seasonal work as a virtual call center agent is a fantastic way to earn some good cash before the holidays. Hear what Alaina Forbes from Telecommuting Mommies shares in another guest post she did for MoneySavingMom.com about the ins and outs of getting started and what companies are hire seasonal agents!
#9: Take online surveys
This definitely won’t make you rich, but I can say that in our lean years, I was able to earn extra cash to help us pay for the things we needed with online surveys.
Check out this post that lists the survey companies I recommend the most!
Another fantastic way to earn free gift cards is with Listia. Listia is an online auction website similar to eBay, except that no money is exchanged. With the credits you earn, you can cash out for gift cards among other things.
#11: Write basic articles
Textbroker works with people from all over the United States to write very basic articles on a wide variety of topics. If you have good basic English grammar skills, this is a great way to earn extra money for the holidays!
#10: Get paid to listen to music
SliceThePie is another money-making website we learned about from Miranda. If you love listening to new music, this is a wonderful opportunity to earn cash doing what you love.
Find out more from Miranda here.
#12: Transcribe other people’s voicemail
QuickTate hires entry-level transcriptionists to transcribe audio files into text. Miranda explains in her post that they mostly deal with voicemail recordings, which sounds like an interesting way to make extra cash. This job won’t make you rich, but it will help boost your holiday budget just in time for Christmas!
#13: Sell your junk mail
Harmony of Creating My Kaleidoscope recently shared her experience with a company who will pay you to send them your junk mail. Sounds scary, right?! Well, Harmony did her research and has some great things to say about the company who conducts market research using her junk mail.
You can learn more about it here.
#14: Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk)
Jason of Home Life Organized shared a tip with us last year about how to earn money with Amazon Mechanical Turk by taking surveys and completing small tasks, like verifying information on a receipt or text in an image. These are tasks that can’t be done by computers, so Amazon pays people from a few cents to a few dollars per task to get these jobs done.
Find out more about how to earn cash with MTurk here.
#15: Usability Testing for Websites
Ever hear about usability testing for websites? Well, Anna of Real Ways to Earn Money Online says that companies are willing to pay good money to have their websites tested by people like you and me to better understand what improvements could be made. If you enjoy surfing the web and visiting new websites, this is a great way to earn some extra cash doing what you already enjoy!
Check out Anna’s list of companies hiring website usability testers here!
Looking for additional creative ways to add to your Christmas budget this year? Check out this article on How to Fund Your Christmas Budget in Just 15 Minutes Per Day!
Other Articles You Might Enjoy:
- 10 Non-Toy Gift Ideas for Kids
- 12 Ways to Save for Next Christmas
- How to Give at Christmas When You Don’t Have Enough Money
- 5 Ideas to Simplify Christmas and Save Your Budget
- How We Bought Christmas Gifts on a $0 Budget
- How We Lowered Our Christmas Budget, Reduced Our Clutter, and Created More Family Time
Do you know of any other easy ways to earn extra cash from home? Comment below and share your tips!
After posting my recent Blogging Income Report, I’ve heard from some of you recently who are just overwhelmed and pretty stressed by all you feel you need to do to grow your business.
I get it. I really do.
And I have been right there with you. The market is constantly changing and it can be easy to feel like there are just so many things you need to be doing to keep up.
The experts will say you need to be on all the social media platforms, blogging every week, building an email list, sending out regular emails, producing a podcast, speaking, networking with others in your field, joining a Mastermind, doing videos on Facebook Live, and, of course, producing your own products.
All the advice on everything you need to be doing “right now” can be completely and downright exhausting just to even think about and research, let alone try to implement.
And I don’t know about you, but there’s a lot of well-intentioned advice from experts that has bombed flat on its face for me.
Case in point, last year, I invested a LOT of money and time and resources on making some major changes to grow our email lists… and all that money and investment of time ended up doing absolutely nothing.
Well, actually, it did do something. It actually hurt our lists, caused the engagement to go down, and we ended up losing subscribers over the course of the year.
Talk about a discouraging outcome.
When we ended last year and I looked at the numbers, I realized that all that effort, all that time, all the money invested had been a complete waste.
And there was part of me that felt like such a failure. I admit I even asked myself things like, “How can you write a book called Money-Making Mom and then miss the mark so badly and cause such income loss to your business with a decision you made?”
I know that wasn’t the healthy or right response, but I totally had those thoughts going through my head. In fact, I almost felt like just throwing up my hands and saying, “Forget it! I’m never trying anything new again!”
And for a few months, I did. I figured that I’d just keep doing what I knew worked and hope that that would keep working.
But as anyone who has an online business knows, if you want to be successful, you have to constantly be learning and tweaking and experimenting. If you’re stagnant for any period of time in the online world, you will soon be on your way to dying as a business.
Earlier this year, I got to know Beth Anne from Brilliant Business Moms. She and I had had some interaction in the past when I’d been on her podcast and I’d been very impressed with her. But I didn’t really start to get to know her well until earlier this year.
And you guys, when I really starting talking shop with her, I was blown away. This girl is incredible. She’s a strategist, an experimenter, and a complete outside-the-box thinker.
As I’ve gotten to know her, I’ve fallen head over heels with her. Not only is she just an amazing person and someone I count as a dear friend (she and I now get together on a video call every month to mastermind!), but she’s also one of the most brilliant business women I’ve ever met.
I’ve sat at Beth Anne’s feet and learned so much this year. Every time we meet or talk, I come away feeling like I just drank water from a fire hydrant. 😉
And then she’ll usually follow up the meeting with a long list of other ideas to implement. The girl is ON FIRE with ideas… and they aren’t just any old ideas. Many of them are tactics and strategies I’ve never heard anyone else talk about and haven’t seen anyone else do before.
And her enthusiasm for experimenting and trying new things rubbed off on me and gave me courage to try some new things again.
One of those things was Facebook Ads. I’d heard so much about how Facebook Ads were a great business strategy but I had been scared to try them because any of my attempts in the past hadn’t panned out. It felt like I was just throwing money into a big black hole.
Well, Beth Anne completely changed my mind on that. Not only did she show me how she was using Facebook Ads to grow her business and make thousands of dollars per month, but she gave me very practical and actionable ways that we could use Facebook Ads to significantly increase our income — just by strategically marketing what we are already doing every day on Facebook.
Guess what? Not only did her suggestions work, but we’ve earned over $100,000 this past year in NET revenue by running Facebook Ads. And we’ve just barely scratched the surface of their potential!!
Yes, I think you could say that Beth Anne knows what she’s talking about and I’m living proof that her strategies work!
Sign Up for Beth Anne’s FREE Facebook Ads Class!
Want to learn from Beth Anne, too? I asked her if she would be willing to offer a free class for you all to share some of her strategies and teach you How to Make a Profit With Facebook Ads. This class will be held on Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 3 p.m. EST/2 p.m. CT.
In class, you’ll learn:
- The 3 Types of Facebook Ads Campaigns that Get the Biggest Results
- The Secret Audiences you Should be Targeting – the ones that will get you Subscribers and Sales for WAY LESS than everyone else is paying.
- How to Set Yourself up for Success – Even if you’re Brand New to Facebook Ads
- Plus, get all of your Ads Questions Answered!
Just click right here to sign up.
I can’t WAIT for you to learn from Beth Anne, as well!
Note: There will be a replay if you can’t make the live class, but it will only be sent out to those people who sign up for class. So be sure to sign up here.
Guest post from Harmony of Creating My Kaleidoscope
I’m always on the lookout for new ways to make a little extra money. Cutting spending only goes so far when you, like us, have a lot debt to pay off. Increasing our income through small “side hustles” has really helped us speed up the process.
So, you know all of the junk mail you sort through everyday… and then throw in the trash? What if I told you about a company who will BUY that junk mail from you?
The Small Business Knowledge Center pays people to collect and send in their junk mail. It seems too good to be true, but I recently received another $20 Visa card from them!
Have I piqued your curiosity? Here’s some additional information:
Is It Safe?
Of course, my first concern was whether this company was going to use my information to sign up for credit card offers.
I did a little research before signing up and I learned that the SKBC uses junk mail to conduct market research. Their website assures that all personal information is protected and the documents are always shredded.
Although the SKBC is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, they do have an A+ rating. This rating is based, in part, on the length of time that the SKBC has been operating (since December of 2006) and the fact that only one complaint has ever been filed against the company. The one complaint had to do with responsiveness, and was resolved.
I can personally say that after sending mail to the SKBC for almost one year, I’ve never had any issues with the company.
How Does It Work?
You can sign up to send in junk mail through the SKBC’s website, and by providing some basic information on a questionnaire. After a few weeks, you should receive large, plastic return envelopes to use in collecting your junk mail, and a guide on what materials will be accepted for points. We usually let the envelope fill up for about a month before sealing it up and dropping it in a mailbox. These are prepaid envelopes, so there is no expense to you. You can also forward junk emails from the address you used to sign up for an account.
Qualifying mail and emails is worth points. You receive a monthly email with the updated balance of your account. They also provide “bonus points” for selected types of junk mail at different times (you learn about these opportunities in the monthly email). Just make sure to mark the envelopes as instructed in order to earn your bonus points.
The one downside to SKBC is that, other than the bonus point promotions, they really don’t provide a clear value chart for different types of junk mail. It’s impossible to know how many points you will earn for each envelope that you send it to SKBC.
Once you earn 2,000 points, you are eligible for a $20 Visa debit card. They will send you a code that can be redeemed for a physical card or an online code. You then have six months to claim the gift card.
I wanted to test out SKBC for myself before recommending it to anyone else… and overall, I was pleased with how easy it was. In fact, the process of setting aside eligible mail items became part of our normal routine!
It took quite a while to earn enough points for a gift card, but I didn’t really use the bonus system at all, and I only just recently started forwarding my junk emails. Hopefully, this will help speed up the point accumulation!
I like to think that some useful information will be collected from all of that junk mail, which would typically get tossed in recycling, or worse, a landfill. More cash for us and less waste is a win-win situation in my book!
Harmony Smith blogs at Creating My Kaleidoscope. She is a working mom of three who is fighting to pay off debt so she can escape from her 9-5 job and spend more time with her family. Harmony blogs about saving money, increasing her income with side hustles, DIY projects, and other adventures.
Looking for more ways to earn an income from home? Check out our Income-Earning Ideas Page for lots of great ideas!
Have you ever thought about writing an eBook? While today’s technology makes it easier than ever to publish an eBook, sadly, self-published books rarely sell more than 250 copies.
If you’re thinking about writing and launching an eBook, that can be a scary statistic! You’re probably thinking: “What if I do all this work and no one buys my book?!”
I get it! I remember how daunting it was to put my first few eBooks out and how hard I worked just to sell a few hundred copies. I was maybe making $0.50 to $1 per hour when you calculated all the time I was putting in to sell the books I actually did sell.
I wish that I knew then what I know now: That there are lots of creative ways to sell hundreds — if not thousands — more ebooks. You just have to have a successful game plan in place to launch your ebook well.
So many of you have talked to me about what’s involved in writing and selling an ebook and many of you have asked me if I would please share my best tips and strategies for a successful ebook launch. I’m thrilled to be teaming up with Abby Lawson from Just a Girl and Her Blog to offer a free live training next Tuesday afternoon on How to Plan a Fail-Proof eBook Launch.
Abby and her husband Donnie have gone through the eBook launch process eight times now. She understands that putting yourself out there by writing an eBook can be intimidating, but there are systems you can put in place to ensure that your book sells when launch day rolls around.
In fact, there are things you can do before you write one word of your actual book to prepare for a profitable eBook launch.
Abby and her husband Donnie have experienced the tremendous impact of eBooks in their own lives — they’re both able to work from home full-time together on their blog, in large part due to their eBook launch strategies. Because of their success and how eBooks have positively impacted their life, they want to help others achieve their eBook dreams as well!
We hope you’ll join us on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 1 p.m. CST/2 pm EST to learn how to launch your eBook the right way.
We want to teach you:
- How to nail down the perfect topic for your eBook so that your audience won’t be able to wait to buy
- How to grow an email launch list full of raving fans who are interested in your exact eBook topic
- The key to getting your eBook written and launched in 90 days or less
- How to create a detailed, organized plan that will set up your eBook for success
- Important factors to consider when pricing your eBook so that you can maximize revenue while still zeroing in on the best price point for your customers
We’ll also have time for some live Q&A, so bring your questions and we’ll answer as many of them as we can! Abby’s goal is to help you set up your eBook for success from the very beginning. You really can do it– we’ll show you how!
P.S. Can’t make the live webinar? Be sure to register anyway and you’ll get a replay link as soon as the webinar is over with!