I don’t know about you, but I love Christmas. I love everything about it. I think my love was solidified when I was a mom. I live for making it a special, magical, and meaningful time for my kids.
Much to my kids’ chagrin, I still leave them presents from “Santa,” even though they tell me that they know it’s me every year. We are building memories that we can think of for years to come.
However, the holidays can also be a time and expectation of excessive spending. If you were hoping to spend more than you have been able to save this year, there are some simple ways for you to make cash for Christmas and increase your holiday budget this year.
Out with the old, to make room for the new
I always make my kids go through their toys before their birthday and in the fall for Christmas. Cleaning out makes room for the toys they will receive, and then I can resell some of the old to make extra money to put toward their new presents.
While the kids are cleaning out, you may declutter the whole house and make money to add to the holiday budget.
Things that sell well:
Clothes and shoes, especially kids. However, women’s and men’s designer brands, vintage styles, and maternity clothes sell the best!
Toys that the kids no longer want.
Unopened, safety-sealed beauty products.
Beauty tools like curling irons, flat irons, gel polish lamps, etc.
Kitchen tools and small appliances.
Yard, car, and household tools, including small appliances like vacuums and carpet/tile cleaners.
Electronics that still work well and can function even if not at the highest upgrade.
Furniture like end tables, patio furniture, couches, chairs, kids’ furniture, organizational furniture like bookcases, toy bins, shelves, etc., is always highly desirable.
Best places to sell your used (previously loved!) items:
When you list something, you can quickly post it to several groups in your area at once. You will need to request to join these groups before you can post to them, though.
An app that you can list used items for sale. It is user-friendly, and there are ratings for the sellers and buyers to help you weed out potential scammers or people that don’t show up and things that can be an inconvenience to sift through on your own.
Nextdoor is a neighborhood community. I like using their sales page because it keeps it within the community. People can check for things for sale from nearby neighbors before looking for used items they will have to travel to pick up.
Take caution when selling in person.
Be sure to practice safety measures when selling out of your home. If you are a single woman, I recommend you ask a neighbor or friend to come around when you have someone over to view and purchase large items.
Safety experts recommend that you meet the buyer in a public location nearby as you make the transaction if you are selling smaller items.
Clothing and Shoes
ThredUp is good. It used to be my resounding favorite place to sell and also buy second-hand clothing.
It is still good, but not as great. The payout for clothing sent is much lower than it used to be, and some of the prices are high if you like to buy with your credit.
It is by far the easiest with only having to leave home to drop off the bag of clothes to send in. They currently take high-quality, excellent condition clothing, shoes, and handbags.
The way it works is, you request a selling bag. They will mail it out to you. You fill it with your clean clothes and shoes and mail it to them.
They will tell you which items they have accepted to place for sale. It works like a consignment where you only get paid for the item if it sells. You get a percentage of the deal based on the sales price. You can control what it sells for by changing the price. However, they list it for you at a price they believe their consumers will purchase.
If your item is denied or fails to sell, you can either pay the shipping to return the items to you or donate them through ThredUp.
I will occasionally take the payout for the cash, but I often wait for a weekend where they offer an additional 40-50% off their prices and then use my credit to buy the kids or me the clothes we need.
Poshmark is an up-and-coming marketplace for buying and selling used clothing. They have recently added home items, so you may be able to sell some home items here as well. Generally, this opportunity is for smaller items, as you will have to deal with shipping from Poshmark.
Many people feel it is simpler and more focused than eBay, primarily clothing and home goods.
The one thing to note about Poshmark is you will need to mail the items to the buyer.
I like to ship with USPS Priority Mail envelopes and boxes because then the parcel is free.
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Electronics and Collectibles
eBay, in my opinion, is still the most accessible place people can sell nearly anything they have. If you want to sell everything you can find in one place, eBay is the sales platform for you.
People even sell random things like tin cans rusted and found in the desert, broken electronics for parts, and good condition electronics (like Apple) boxes (often to sell their used electronics).
Look some of these up on eBay. You might be surprised what you will find for sale and recently sold.
Take care of something for someone else
Sign up through Task Rabbit and complete a few odd jobs a month to make some extra money.
Offer friends and family to help with holiday stress
Let everyone know that you are open to helping over the holidays for some extra money. Offer to babysit while they shop for their gifts.
Sell homemade treats and gifts for your friends and family to buy and give to others. Be careful who you sell food items to, and don’t advertise on Facebook unless you know the guidelines for selling food in your state.
Offer to wrap Christmas presents for a friend while they are away at work. The bonus is that the kids will think Santa’s elves stopped by their house while at school! The key here is to charge by the group of presents, rather than by the hour. It will help you get more for your time if you are quick and clean with your wrapping.
Donate for a cause
Make money by donating plasma. If you are not squeamish about needles, that is.
Find your local donation center to learn more about what they are offering. Most people can donate more than once a month.
If you are healthy, you can often make several hundred a month and even more at some places if you have served in the military and have certain vaccines that most of us haven’t.
Plasma is used to treat sick patients and find cures for diseases, so it pays to support a good cause.
Pick up some extra holiday work hours
Check your favorite retail store to see if they are hiring temporary help over the holidays. The holiday season is a great time to pick up extra hours. You will often get employee discounts, which will help you buy even more presents with your earned dollar.
Just be aware, if you are seasonal help working retail, you will most likely be working long hours on the holidays.
Are you artistic or crafty? Spend some time crafting some handmade gifts, then look for local holiday gift sales and bazaars.
You may have to pay for a table, and it will take some money upfront for supplies, but this would be a great way to allow something you enjoy doing to make you some side cash to make ends meet.
Plan and Shop Wisely
Now that you have made extra cash for Christmas, pair those with wise shopping and planning, and you will be able to buy much more with your limited holiday budget.
Most importantly, don’t buy out of obligation. Only buy if you want to. And never underestimate the power of simply spending quality time with your family and friends instead of spending money on them.
You might find this is even more valuable to all involved.