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Sunday, 23 October 2016

MONEY | Saving & earning extra cash for Christmas

As much as I love Christmas, we all know how expensive the season can get - not just for exchanging presents, but for decorations, food (for Christmas dinner and just lush Christmas food in general), Christmas parties, Christmas dinners with work/friends, Christmas nights out and seasonal things in general.

Since my mum died, our family doesn't tend to bother with Christmas too much. We no longer exchange presents and instead choose to 'celebrate' the holiday in our own way.

That being said, I am always up for seasonal things to do, so of course, it's around about this time each year that I tend to sit down and budget and work out ways to earn some extra money to tide me across.

I did do a pretty successful money saving post years ago which I was pretty proud of, but most of the sites on there are actually redundant now, so here's an updated version on how to a) save money and b) earn some extra cash for Christmas.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Saving & earning extra cash for Christmas | Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Money Saving | Money | Cash Back Wesbsites | Matched Betting

Cashback websites are always a good idea. Set your homepage to one and just remember to always use a cashback website for everything you buy. Of course bigger spends pay off - so things like car insurance and phone contracts can get you around £80 back, but every little helps! My favourites to use are Quidco and Topcashback. Quidco's minimum withdrawal amount is only £1, which avoids waiting around, whereas Topcashback doesn't have a minimum withdrawal amount, but does take an annual membership deduction which is, if I remember rightly, £5.

Topcashback also currently has a fun competition where you can win money just by looking through the website. Cashback websites often run easy promotions like this during holidays like Halloween or Christmas.

Bex did a fab guest post on this a few years back, and this is still my favourite way to earn extra cash. My personal favourites are Yougov, GlobalTestMarket and Swagbucks - but unlike in the past, right now I'm finding myself focusing just on Swagbucks and getting quicker payouts. Halloween is a great time for survey websites like these - this week alone, I've cashed out £25, and that's by only doing one or two surveys a day. It can be a long process as you have to put the effort in, but around Halloween and Christmas is best. There's plenty of ways to earn extra SB's for free, which can then be converted into vouchers or Paypal. Right now there's a sale on, meaning it's quicker than ever to redeem points.

Now this is something I'm relatively new at and still getting used to, and I kind of hate the name. To me it just conjures up the image of a sleazy old man hanging out in a bookies, trying to scam money out of everyone and possibly stinking of alcohol. Don't ask me why. I heard about this first on Save The Student and went on to learn that not only is this process entirely legal, but that it's also even been recommended by The Guardian. The best way I can explain it is that you sign up to betting websites that offer free bets along with your first deposit, place two bets on two different websites betting against yourself so that you will still win money back and that you're qualifying for the free bet. In most cases, you lose something like 10p on this first bet. You then use your free bet to repeat the process. It's super hard to understand, I still don't know how it works, but the guide is really useful - you just have to study it and take it very slow. This method certainly is not a quick fix, but if you're willing to put the time and money in, I've heard people can earn up to £1,000 a month. I'd probably be too scared to bet big amounts to get to that much, but I can very easily get an extra £15 or so per bet, which all adds up in a month. My only tips are to read everything very carefully as it's very easy to make a mistake - on my first go, I didn't realize my free bet was only valid for three days, so I missed out on using it. My second tip would be to probably keep around £50 aside and spare for this alone. You'll need it for things like Liability amounts (nope, I have no idea what that is either) but you do get it back. Essentially you spend a little money to earn a lot of money I guess, and it's a wildly recommend money-making method online!

You can of course actually take some time to earn money online. People Per Hour is great for this - especially if you have a lot of admin skills to sell. In the past, I've earned a fair good amount of money by just doing things like typing up interviews, or typing up old students work and placing their answers into teacher packs. It's as easy as that, and this is a really, really good way to earn extra cash when you're sat at home in an evening in. It's so nice sometimes to just sit down with a cup of tea, put a decent TV show on the background, and get to work. Sometimes I even do it in bed...

There are tons of useful websites out there to help you earn extra money or help you save. I find Money Saving Expert's forum an absolute godsend, mostly for things like Swagbucks or the TopCashBack promotions, but also other little ways to earn extra cash. It's so helpful. Gratisfaction is really useful for voucher codes and bargains, but freebies too, and, finally, I've just downloaded the Qmee toolbar for my browser again. You don't actually have to do anything, but it sometimes brings up suggested websites based on what you google. Click on what is suggested and that's it. I've only earned 43p so far but hey, it all adds up, am I right? There's no minimum cashout amount, and it's just started doing surveys too, where you can see what each survey is worth exactly.

There are of course loads of ways to 'up your income' but these are the ones I find most useful. Some of them aren't easy and take some time and effort, but at the end of the day, if you're sat at home on an evening anyway, you might as well spend as little as one hour to try and earn some extra cash. One useful tip is to keep everything you earn this way in a separate savings account so a) you don't dip into it and can save it for Christmas/a big holiday etc and b) you can see just how much you earn this way exactly!

Do you have any tips on how to save or earn money for Christmas? Let me know!

*Please note, I have used some of my own referral codes for these websites but these benefit you too! For example, the People Per Hour code will give you a 5% discount voucher if you choose to sign up and complete a project. However, you don't have to use my referral codes!

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  1. Some good hints and tips. I did once belong to Swagbucks but found it really boring and could never get enough to cash out x

  2. wow some really helpful tips here! Perfect time to start saving!

  3. I tend to start my Christmas shopping super early as I like to be able to spread out how much I spend over quite a few months x

  4. Great suggestions for earning extra money. Christmas is so expensive.

  5. Fab ideas here. Will check out online surveys.

  6. Great tips. My husband and I have made £250 this month from matched betting and we've been barely putting the time in. I'm hoping we can get to at least £500 to have a comfortable debt free Xmas.

  7. some great ideas! i need to start saving for christmas myself.

  8. This is a great post and definitely one I need right now!

  9. Great post!! I love Christmas but its always so expensive! My mum also passed away when I was a young girl, I didn't enjoy christmas the same after anymore but its been a long time since then and now I have my own children its something I'm so excited for again! :D

  10. I love the idea of earning some extra cash, and I haven't heard of some of these sites before - thanks for the tips!

  11. So many good tips, I've been doing surveys to earn a little extra for Christmas x

  12. This is such a useful post I will definitely be looking into some of these for a bit extra cash!
    L x


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