This time of year is my favorite. I don’t want to miss out on Pumpkin Spice Lattes and fall festivals because I’m on a budget. Instead, I want to enjoy everything that encompasses the holiday season. And yes, that means spending some money.
Anyone else feel the same way?!
Here are a few things I want to buy this year:
- Gifts for my girls. I’m eyeing a KidKraft dollhouse that’s $150, and that will not be the only thing they get. I don’t think we’ll spend more than $200 total, but I want them to have a fun Christmas!
- New Christmas decorations, enough said.
- Baked goodies and treats from my favorite bakeries and stores (I’ll bake, too, but you can never have enough holiday treats!).
So, instead of providing the normal “How to save money this Christmas”-style post, I wanted to do something different. I want to show you how you can make money this holiday season so you have a bit more wiggle room in your budget.
How to Make Money This Holiday Season
A few of these items are things I’ve done or will be doing, a few are things John has done or will be doing, and some are just general ways you can make some extra money this holiday season. Again, with some extra funds, you don’t have to scrimp by this Christmas and can instead have a little more freedom to purchase and do the things you want.
Sell items on Craigslist
When we moved from AZ to NC, we made almost $1,000 selling unused tools and furniture. I know that’s extreme, but we rely on selling items on Craigslist as often as possible now. We bought our girls a trampoline last spring and while they loved it for the first week, it’s just not something that they use regularly. Also, our new yard has a million trees, which equates to a million leaves all over the trampoline. We’re listing this item on Craigslist sometime this week.
Get a part-time job
There are four stores I would work at in a heartbeat, especially over the holidays. They are: Starbucks, Bath & Body Works, The Fresh Market and Kirklands. I love all of those stores and definitely wouldn’t mind working at any of them over the holidays. I used to work at Starbucks and one of the shifts at my store was 4am-8am. If you don’t mind waking up early, this can be a great way to earn a little cash before the day even starts.
Start a side business of your own
John has a job this weekend installing wood paneling on a stairwell and in a bathroom. He will be gone all weekend, but he should make $1000 that we can put in savings or toward our holiday spending. He’s also debating starting a “Christmas Light-Hanging Business” in November. Since he works FT, has his remodeling side business and has our girls, I’m not sure if he’ll actually follow through with this or not, but nonetheless it’s a great way to earn extra money this season!
I have a side business of my own, too. And luckily, it’s something I can do from the comfort of my own home. In fact, I’m sitting here now wrapped up in blankets and drinking a coffee while I work from my couch. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am a freelance writer and blogger. If you are a new reader, you can check out my income reports to see just how much money I’ve been able to make on the side. This is in addition to my FT job, my two toddler girls, my husband, and running my household. Yes, I have time to do everything and yes, I enjoy every aspect of it.
How to Start Freelance Writing
This is a whole post of it’s own, but I wanted to quickly go through the steps of becoming a self-employed freelancer for anyone who might be interested. It’s a fantastic way to make extra money, especially because YOU control your income. If you want to make more over the holidays or save for an upcoming vacation, you can! If you want to scale back and spend some extra time with your family, well you can do that too. It really is the perfect business for us mamas!
Step 1: Invest in yourself. There are dozens of courses out there on how to become a freelance writer. The difference between an actual course and reading the information online for free is that the course will guide you in the right direction. Reading a few articles won’t necessarily do that. I highly highly recommend Holly Johnson’s course – Earn More Writing. Holly quit her job to freelance a few years ago, and this year alone she’ll invoice more than $200,000 just in freelancing! Her husband was even able to quit his job to stay home and help her earlier this year! If you’re serious about freelancing, Holly’s course is a must.
Step 2: Start a blog. In order to get the best clients and grow your freelancing business, it’s a good idea to have a blog to showcase your work. I did not have a blog when I first started freelancing four years ago, however, I didn’t break into finance writing until I started my blog (even though I have a degree in finance). My blog proved I could write in finance even though I had never worked for a financial client before. You can use my tutorial here on how to start a profitable blog. For hosting, I use Bluehost and could not be happier with their service. Your blog “host” is where your blog lives, essentially. You have to pay for hosting in order to have a blog. Bluehost gives you a free domain name with your purchase, and if you use my link you’ll receive a special discount!!
Have an idea for a blog name?! See if it’s available here:
Step 3: Start pitching. I was sending out three pitches per day, but you can choose a number you are comfortable with. Pitching is something you are going to have to get used to if you want to freelance. Even top-earners in the industry still have to cold-pitch clients in order to keep up their workload or increase their earnings. It’s hard at first, but the more you do it the easier it gets!
So, that was my little mini-series on how to earn extra money this holiday season and how to start freelance writing. Basically, I want to break free from the mindset that you have to be frugal and scrape by. You don’t. But, you have to either do that or earn more money. And the only true way to make more money is to work smarter and start your own side businesses.
Extra tip: Save money on shopping!
So, this isn’t a way to “make money,” but if you save money, that’s kind of the same thing 🙂 If you plan on shopping online, make sure to use Ebates to receive cash back on all your purchases, including Kohl’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, JCPenney, Walmart and more!
What do you think? Do you prefer to earn more and work harder or spend less and work less? Are you planning on earning more money this holiday season? And how so?