extra cash

Extra Cash for Christmas

Won plenty of prizes this year and have them tucked away safely to use as Christmas presents? I hope so but if not there is still a bit of time and maybe you could also think about some other ways of lightening the financial load in the coming months. Below I have put together a few ideas that could add a little extra cash to your wallet in time for Christmas or to spend through the holiday season with your family and friends.

1. Sell your unwanted prizes or pretty much anything that is cluttering up your space and you don’t really need. There is always Ebay but why not hold a garage sale? It is the peak time for garage sales and heaps of people are getting about on Saturdays looking for bargains. If you are quick and can organise yourself (and a few friends or neighbours as that adds a bit of fun to it) by Saturday 25th October you can join the annual Australia-wide Garage Sale Trail. To get all the information you need to join; hints and tips on running a garage sale and how to register go to www.garagesaletrail.com.au.

2. Join some Survey Sites. Doing surveys can be a fun way of earning extra cash or vouchers if you don’t mind ploughing through a load of questions (some of which can be a little tiresome). Depending on the number of successful surveys you complete, it is possible to build up enough credit to exchange for cash or vouchers or to go into a prize draw. The earlier you start in the year the more you may be able to accumulate for Christmas. I don’t enter that many any more but in the past I have been able to cut sown my grocery bills each week using vouchers. One time I even won a $200 voucher from a prize draw after completely a survey (which was quite an easy one too compared to many others). Some survey sites are better than others but it often depends on your particular interests, family size and available time to complete them. Here are a few to get you started – Valued Opinions (www.valuedopinions.com.au); Rewards Central (www.rewardscentral.com.au); Your Voice (www.yourvoice.com.au) and Toluna (http://au.toluna.com).

3. Use Rewards Points. Another fairly easy way to cut down on your Christmas costs is to build up rewards points though the year and use them to buy presents, party goodies or for some of your holiday expenses. The most common ones are Flybuys and Everyday Rewards but many businesses have their own versions of them too. I use my Flybuys to buy summer clothes (as the points value double with clothes purchases) or vouchers that reduce my grocery bills when I am a little short of cash. In the past I have bought gifts with them too. My Visa Card also has a reward programme and although it is not as rewarding as Flybuys I have been able to use it from time to time for gifts as well.

4. Become a Mystery Shopper. You won’t make a lot of money by doing Mystery Shopping assignments as the payments can range from $5 to $20 but you will be reimbursed for any purchases made which can come in handy as small gifts or for lunches or dinners (usually fast food outlets or hotels). The ideal Mystery Shopper can write clear and detailed reports; do the assignments professionally and have their reports in (online) on time. Mystery Shopping can be a fun way of making a little extra cash for Christmas if you have the spare time and enjoy shopping. While these are not recommendations here are a few companies you could check out – Gap Buster (www.gapbuster.com); Mystery Shopper (www.mysteryshopper.com.au) and Hoed (www.hoed.com.au).

Finally don’t forget to enter the weekly Guessing Competition on this site (there’s real cash up for grabs) and have a go at getting to the top of the Leader-board (lots of people are enjoying their wins from this each month too).

After working for thirty years as a journalist/historian, Jenny started writing sci-fi for children and adults and occasionally illustrating them (when she was not spending time with her grandkids). Most have been published in The School Magazine, anthologies and online. She has also been contributing to a wide variety of magazines such as Antiques and Collectables for Pleasure and Profit, Australiana and Nurture. Now essentially retired Jenny has taken up a challenge of entering and (hopefully winning) competitions. Jenny will track her journey through this challenge here at www.competitions.com.au.

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