Christmas left its mark on your bank account again last year, as Diane pointed out it might. You vowed to stick to your budget, but you couldn’t resist the silk scarf that was screaming Auntie Nettie’s name. So you caved.
Then, Aaron had finally pushed you to the brink for that new Wii since he was the only one on the block that didn’t have one.
So you caved again.
Your budget went out the window and you’ve now joined the ranks of the Brits that spent an average £491 on Christmas in 2012.
But now you’re paying dearly for those impulse buys.
You’re working late while everyone else has left the office. Sacrificing nights out with the gang. And basically stripping yourself of every drop of enjoyment in hopes of recouping what you lost over the month of December.
The only thing that this kind of sacrificing is going to get you is failure and resentment.
Choose a New Path
You don’t have to continue to suffer like this much longer. Sure, you’re going to have to make some changes, but why make yourself miserable? Get savvier. Get happier.
Get a clear picture of where you want to be with your finances. Take stock and assess. Then determine just how far off course you are. How much do you need to earn top make up for your losses? With a clear map in your mind, carrying out the burden of having to earn more money can seem less painful.
Start Earning Pounds Instead of Just Saving Pennies
Follow these steps and regain some of that lost capital.
1. Sell your gear. That’s right. Sell the presents and gear that are just sitting around the house collecting dust. Clear your clutter. Earn some cash. List them online or in your local paper to get cash instead of keeping the presents that you didn’t like in the first place.
Action Tip: Sell on Ebay, CashConverters, or Preloved. Preloved doesn’t charge any listing fees and allows you to post a photo of your treasure.
2. Rent it out. From your home to your car, there’s money to be made to help you fill the gap that Christmas left in your wallet.
Action Tip: Rent out your extra room to a tenant. Don’t your use your car much? Rent it out, too. Note: Check the laws and insurance regulations on both of these options before proceeding.
3. Take up a hobby that pays. Yes, you can get paid for things you like to do – as long as it’s useful to others. Notice we’re not saying get another job, we’re saying take up something that you can do easily and earn some extra money from it.
Action Tip: If there are pets in your neighborhood, offer to walk them once a day for the owners. Or tutor students that need help.
4. Take advantage of online earning. You shop, right? Of course you do, that’s why you’ve tightened your purse strings! Why not get paid for it?
Action Tip: Use sites like TopCashback when you shop online and you’ll earn cash for the purchases you were already going to make!
5. Mysterious Shopping, anyone? Get paid to shop offline, too.
Action Tip: Sign up for assignments with sites like MysteryShoppers.co.uk and take on shopping gigs that will pay you to survey the quality of the staff and the stores in your area.
6. Sign up with a temp agency. Days you’re off work can be productive days that can bring you in enough cash to make having to work when you’re off a pleasure.
Action Tip: Sign up with Tiger Recruitment or another temp agency and go through their testing process to find out where they can best use you.
7. Learn to code. No, it’s not some weird off-the-wall translation gig. It’s computers and you can learn it for free online. Get good at coding and you can make a pretty quid to help close your financial gap — it may even get you ahead!
Action Tip: Sign up for a free online education course at CodeAcademy to start learning the magic of code and earning the magic of quid for helping your friends and co-workers who have no idea how to fix their websites.
These tips are great alternatives to restricting yourself from doing the things you love. With them, you can earn more and get out of the hole faster.
What’s your favourite way to earn quickly?
Julian hearn, writer for the newest and most friendly money-saving community on the web, Happier.co.uk, where you find and share deals, freebies and competitions.