Let's face it. Christmas is the best time of the year... but it's also the most expensive. And that can really put a damper on the holiday that's supposed to be about the birth of Christ and the love of family and friends.
So for the last 3 years, I have taken it upon myself to find ways to earn extra money and to find ways to make Christmas cheaper while being a stay at home mom. And this has helped me enjoy the holiday more because we aren't as stressed financially and I'm more excited about the gifts I give!
So here's what I've done over the years:
Sell things. Our first Christmas I sold our love sac. I was pregnant and it wasn't going to fit with the crib in the baby's room. And I got it for free at a work party in college so it was pure profit! I also sold my snowboard and boots. It was an older board, but the boots were in great shape and with having small kids and not really getting to go anymore, I figured I wouldn't need it anyway. And just the two of those alone pretty much paid for our Christmas. So look for things around the house you just don't need and sell it on Amazon or Craigslist or KSL (for people in Utah).
Make gifts. Last year I made a lot of gifts for our family. It's less expensive and also more meaningful because I took time to make it! I wasn't going to make gifts this year, but I think we're going to need to. So I've been looking for some good ideas! If you want to see some things I've made as gifts, you can check out these links:
For Babies/Kids For Teenagers/Adults
Bubble Skirt 52 Reasons I Love You
Applique Burp Cloths DVD of the Year
Hoodie Towel Temple Block
Animal Hair Bows Ric Rac Rose Ring
Family History Book
Online Surveys. About 3 weeks ago I signed up for two survey websites. They are Mysurvey.com and I-say by Ipsos. I've actually done way more surveys than I thought I would. They have tons available. And although I don't qualify for all of them, there's still a lot. So in the last 3 weeks I've earned the equivalence to $11 on both websites. So that's $22 in just three weeks! You can turn your points into gift cards or cash through paypal. Surveys are so easy and I'm getting money from it that will help pay for some gifts.
Etsy shop. I haven't done it yet, but I want to start an etsy shop. I'm still working on the details, but it's free, so why not try it? If you have something handmade to sell, give it a try!
Blog Advertising. Now that I have some followers, I've been able to do some advertising on my blog! The real reason I have a blog is because I love it and want to share with others about the things I do and learn, but who wouldn't want a little money from all that hard work too, right? So all the money from September to December I receive from blogging will go towards Christmas.
Viggle rewards. Have you heard of Viggle? It's an app that gives you points for watching TV and then you turn those points into gift cards. We earned a lot of points over the Olympics which was awesome! And that's how we bought our new blender that I just broke. Soooo frustrating. Anyway, we cashed in enough points for $30 to JC Penny. So if you already watch TV, why not get paid for it? The hard thing is just remembering to check in on your phone.
Buy early. My mom pretty much has all her Christmas shopping done by August. It's smart to shop early so you can find the best deals and not have to buy everything all at once. You can spread out the cost when you're more likely to be able to afford it.
Online job. Last year I worked for Latter Day Woman Magazine which was an online only magazine. I was the advertising manager. It didn't take too much time and I earned commission off my advertising sales. Unfortunately the magazine is no longer running, but it was a little extra money that helped pay for gifts. If you can find something like that or as a virtual assistant to a blog, it's a great way to earn some extra money!
So there's 8 ideas to help you get started. We have just over 2 months until the big day! So if you haven't started saving, looking for that extra cash, or begun making gifts, now's the time to start! Good luck!