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The cost of Christmas is often a struggle for those on a strict monthly budget. Paying for presents, extra social events, food and drink to entertain family and friends can rack up huge bills. The key is to plan ahead and create a separate fund to avoid impacting on your normal budget. Then you won’t have to worry about scrimping – or getting in to debt - over the festive season.
Generating extra cash is easy when you put your mind to it. Here’s our guide to building up your Christmas cash:
1. Become a mystery shopper
At the last count, there were approximately 50,000 mystery shopping trips carried out every month in the UK, according to the Mystery Shopping Providers Association – why not get involved and make some extra cash? Shoppers are usually repaid any money they spend in the stores, and may also be allowed to keep the products they buy. Sign up with a mystery shopping recruitment website. There are lots to choose from, and you can sign up with as many as you like. Try Gapbuster, JKS Mystery Shopping and Retail Maxim. You can be tasked with anything from a restaurant meal out to shopping for specific items. There are also projects where instead of cash you simply get to keep all the shopping – which could be handy for Christmas presents.
Do two mystery shops a week: £40 a week
2. Be a savvy surveyer
Earn money for your opinion at survey websites. They can be about anything from tourism, food, media, shopping or public affairs and politics. Surveys often take 30 minutes which you could whizz through in your lunch hour. Many of these operate under a reward scheme where you earn points for surveys completed that can be exchanged for shopping vouchers. Others pay cash – up to £15 per survey. Check out surveycompare.net uk.mysurvey.com, crowdology.co.uk,
Complete one survey each day: potential of £105 a week
3. Make money out of your home
You can get your home generating cash in a number of ways. And if you’re lucky enough to have a spare room, it’s a great opportunity to get a lodger. Under the government’s Rent a Room scheme, you can pocket £7,500 a year tax free. Remember, if you do take in a lodger, you must tell your mortgage lender or landlord and your buildings and contents insurer to make sure you aren’t breaching the terms of your mortgage, lease or insurance. Your insurance company may need to arrange extra cover.
If you have lots of space in your garage or attic you can rent it out for storage using website storemates.co.uk. You can charge what you like as long as it’s competitive to local storage firms.
Another similar site is Storenextdoor.com. Members of the site with space to rent earn an average of £70 per month for a loft, and as much as £120 per month for a garage.
Rent out your loft or garage: up to £30 a week
Rent out a room: up to £144 a week tax free
4. Make money from your parking space
If you live near a town or city centre and have space on the drive - then rent it out! With the Just Park app, drivers can avoid NCP car park prices while they shop and you have extra money in your pocket. Much of the demand is for parking spaces near major sports stadiums, airports or railway stations. If you are out at work and have a space near the train station you can get a great income from commuters who use the local station.
Rent out your drive for £6 a day: £42 a week
5. Sell your stuff
If you haven't cleared out your garage, spare room or attic for a while, why not have a rummage and see what you can find that’s worth selling. It also makes more space in case you fancy renting out some space for storage.
Once you have rounded up items to sell, there are a number of ways to turn them into cash. Auction site eBay is a good place to start. You need to create an account, which is free, and sign up for a Paypal account which allows you to receive payments easily. From that account you can transfer funds into your bank account.
Amazon Marketplace allows you to sell secondhand and new versions of an item already sold on its main site. You can also try cash-for-clutter website musicmagpie.co.uk, which takes DVDs, CDs, games and electronics off your hands. Type in what you have to sell and it gives you an instant price. There are also specialist firms geared towards selling certain equipment you have upgraded or perhaps items for hobbies you may have given up. For example, golfbidder.co.uk will buy your golf clubs. Website camerajungle.co.uk does a similar job for those who want to sell photography equipment.
Sell a DVD for £1 or a set of golf clubs for £200
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