- Personal Finance
Easy Quick Ways to Get Cash for Christmas
Every little bit helps
Don't Go into Debt this Year
Many Americans learned hard lessons in the last few years, when credit card companies and mortgage lenders were unscrupulously encouraging us to incur debt that we could never reasonably repay. This year, avoid the debt cycle as you purchase gifts for loved ones. Instead, earn more cash.
Every extra penny is EXTRA. They do add up. Additionally, you may consider what a holiday gift represents.
Sell your Junk
Sell some of your things on Craigslist or eBay. That's right. If you are a first time seller, Craigslist is easier to use. It is a free Internet classified advertising site. Yes, free. There are no "per word" or "per line" fees and also no commissions to be paid if one successfully sells something. However, be very careful - the site gives users a list of cautions which basically amounts to dealing only with a buyer you can meet face-to-face and accept CASH only. To find the site which serves your location, go to . www.craigslist.org
For those of you a little more comfortable with eBay buying and selling, this site has the advantage of placing your item before many more potential buyers. However, it is more complicated. There are commissions to be paid and possible listing fees, depending how fancy you make your advertisement. Buyers feel more comfortable with long-distance transactions because eBay has many buyer protections in place. However, if you get a nasty, unrealistic buyer who wants to return or refund, or who files a complaint - your life will have some aggravation. It is up to you. The eBay site is at www.ebay.com.
For the literary-minded, does this not bear resemblances to the classic short story The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry?
The retail industry, and possibly in your area, snow removal businesses need extra help now. Go for it.
Get $20 by Selling your Blood
Blood. It's mine. Only alcoholics and drug addicts sell their blood. Those places are filthy and I will contract HIV, hepatitis, and other fatal disfiguring diseases.
It may sound creepy, but I did it when times were very bleak. Probably a bunch of other people you know have done it once (or more) in their lives, too. Here is how it worked for me.
The blood-buying research labs in my area advertise frequently. I chose the one with the "safest" (in my opinion) address and telephoned to ask questions about procedure, how long it takes, and payment. Then, I took a big gulp of air and went. I was pleasantly surprised to see how CLEAN the facility is and how carefully they checked and confirmed each donor's identity. Also, I was pleased with quickly and efficiently the blood collection went. (As a past blood donating volunteer for the local community blood bank, I had experience for comparison.) Granted, I was probably not going to friend any of of the other people selling there, but it worked for me. Payment was immediate: a twenty-dollar bill.
You'll only be able to do it once during the pre-Winter-Holiday season, but hey - that's $20 you didn't have before.
Temporarily Save Money
From now until gift giving time, here are a few ways to get money by not spending it. I realize the sacrifice might be too big to continue permanently, but for the next months, "man up," as television's Judge Joe says.
If you buy bottled water, stop for 2 months and fill your bottles with tap water. If you buy tons of soft drinks, switch to tap water for 2 months. If you go out to a bar, instead of buying 3 drinks, buy the first and request a glass of water along with it. The goal is that you end up only buying 1 or 2 drinks. Money not spent is money saved.
Plan on an At-Home New Year's Eve
It's kind of rough on the bank accounts the way Americans have 2 large holidays within a week of each other. It is possible to spend hundreds on going to (and dressing for, and paying a babysitter for) a fancy New Year's Eve celebration. Don't do it. This way, that New Year's money is available for gift purchases for Hanukkah, Christmas and whatever else. At least until times get better, plan for an intimate and hilariously fun party with a few friends at your house. No fancy outfits required.
We Can Do It!
You CAN do this! We all can do this. Ready, set, go!
Photo and text copyright 2012 Maren E. Morgan.
Maren bumbles along in central Pennsylvania and has successfully used the drink water technique to save money. :)