Can you believe it, we’re at the end of the year AGAIN !
And Christmas is just around the corner.
But what if you’re tight on money AND time ?
You considered applying for a remote, seasonal job but quickly shrugged it off because you can’t wait to see if you get it.
You need instant gratification. NOT a J-O-B !
You’re sick of hearing the same old ways to make extra money. You know, like online surveys, selling your stuff, freelance writing and the dreaded “cash-and-rewards” sites (sigh…). Oh sure, they’re legitimate ways to make money online but you can’t spread yourself too thin.
Your time is too precious !
Santa’s money troubles don’t have to mean a lean Christmas. We know of some smart ways to instantly have extra Christmas money in your pocket that don’t require you to put in a ton of time and effort.
Amazon Will Give You Extra Money For Christmas
Be an MTurker
You’ve heard of Amazon, right? A great place to find stuff at low prices.
But did you know you can earn money for Christmas instantly by doing simple little tasks?
Ok…now before you slap me silly and say you expected a list of ways to get extra money for Christmas WITHOUT A JOB, let me just say this: I couldn’t make this list without including Amazon MTurk. I love it that much.
I don’t think of MTurk as a job. I think of it as spending an hour or two legitimately making money with virtually instant gratification.
When I need an extra $100.00, Mturk is my go-to place. Especially when I need money for Christmas. Some of the tasks I have done were data entry, tested some websites, wrote a few image descriptions, and even did a few surveys. I pick and choose what I feel like doing.
Now, when I say Mturk is simple, I really mean it.
No waiting for someone to hire you. No looking for customers.
You sign up (you can sign up here), pick and choose tasks, make money. No catch, but the amount you earn per task is pretty low. BUT… they are quick to do so you can bang out several in a few minutes.
And it’s also possible to get bonuses…like an extra $20, $30, $40 or $50 bonus. A few months ago I did a survey, which took about 10 minutes and earned me $1.50. Because I answered every question – even their “trick”question to see that I read everything – I was given a $30.00 bonus. There’s a catch here: You won’t know you get a bonus until after the task is done. I will tell you this, though, bonuses seem more prevalent when there is an event taking place, like an election, holiday or hot event.
If you want to learn more about Mturk, I really like TheSimpleDollar.com’s tips.
You’re Shopping Anyway, So Get Free Shipping
While we’re on the subject of Amazon…
Besides the $99.00 a year Amazon Prime shipping membership, Amazon has some ways to keep cash in your pocket.
You can still get free shipping on a lot of Amazon stuff if you spend at least $49.00 ($25.00 on books) but only if the stuff you buy is one of their thousands of eligible items.
I buy a lot of stuff on Amazon (not enough to make the Prime service cost effective, though) and have saved a ton on shipping. Especially at Christmas time when I spend a lot of money I don’t really have.
So I can honestly say the free shipping is a big help.
One word of caution, though: I have found it takes my orders a few days longer to ship out than if I paid for shipping. They wait for all items in the order to be available for shipping – they don’t ship partial orders one day and the rest another day.
And, if you do have Amazon Prime, all you moms can get 20% off diapers.
Check Out The Other Guys Shipping Deals
Don’t limit your shipping savings to Amazon. Target, Home Depot, Lowes, Best Buy, Staples and many other stores have free shipping or ship-to-store deals. So if the thing you want isn’t available right now, it can be shipped to the store nearest you.
And don’t pass up Ebay. I like it more than Amazon. Did you know that a vast number of sellers actually have Ebay storefronts? So you can toss the stigma of buying used in the garbage. When looking for something on Ebay, you can filter your search to show all “new” items with free shipping.
Use Your Credit Card To Get Christmas Cash
Cash Back Reward
Nearly every credit card has some type of cash back offering. Check your credit card statement to see how much you have accumulated and cash it out.
And if you can bump up the cash back amount, you might want to do so. Just be sure to read your card’s terms and conditions.
Price Drop Refund
Another perk that a lot of credit cards offer is the price drop refund. Also called Price Rewind or Price Protection depending on your card.
It works like this:
The credit card will track items you bought for up to 60 days and if they find it for a lower price you get the difference back.
Preferred Merchant Online Shopping Discount or Cash Back
This is one of my favorites, especially because I do most of my shopping online.
Both my credit card and my AAA auto club membership have their list of preferred merchants. Which is extensive, by the way. When I buy something from one of these merchants, I get an instant discount – which is cash back in the case of my credit card.
Here’s how I get the discounts:
- For quick reference, I bookmarked the preferred merchant list from my credit card and AAA.
- If there’s a specific store I want to shop on, I compare the preferred merchant list of my credit card and AAA and buy from whichever one has the store AND the better discount.
- Purchase, and done. Cash back.
My AAA membership also lets me get discounts when I shop in person at one of the stores they have a relationship with. I can present my AAA card at one of the stores or restaurants and get a discount.
As an added perk, I can use my AAA card at hotels and restaurants. So not only will I have extra money for Christmas, I can get a discount whenever I leave the house.
Do you have one of these credit cards?
Citi Bonus Cash Center
Chase Freedom Online Cash Back
Self-Purchase Discount Gift Cards For Extra Money Savings
Wouldn’t it be great if you could buy $100.00 worth of stuff for $90.00?
Just think of it…that’s $10.00 in your pocket right now.
By using discounted gift cards.
This may have you thinking of some sleazy scam right now, but stay with me here.
Gift Card Zen, Card Pool and Raise are three places where you can buy gift cards at discounted prices for the face value of the card.
How does it work?
Each of these places have an inventory of gift cards that have a value to them. They are offered at a discounted price, often as high as 10%.
You buy a card, use the card, reap the savings.
When I first discovered this money saver I was intrigued. And because I had to buy my niece a birthday present I figured I would give it a shot.
So I hopped onto the Card Pool website (cardpool.com), clicked the “Show Merchant”s link, and selected Old Navy from the list of stores.
I scanned through the available cards and decided to buy one of the $50.00 cards at an 11% discount.
That’s a $50.00 card for $44.50. Or, as I like to think of it, a $50.00 outfit for $44.50. Nice.
And if you’re wondering, discounted gift cards can be used with coupons. I bought my groceries with a $100.00 gift card (that cost me $90.00) gave the cashier my coupons, paid the balance. Boy, was I happy to buy $168.00 worth of groceries for $148.00 !
Worth mentioning: Inventory turns over quickly but there is always something available.
Despite what you may think, you don’t need to have a job to make extra money for Christmas. You just need to know where to take advantage of what is available to you.
So take this information and make it your go-to guide every time you need a little more money in your pocket.