Now there may be some of you that will see this is a story about Christmas and want to either swat me or hit the back button.
BUT, bear with me a minute because I think this will be a good read and something you will be able to relate to.
Let me start by flashing back to a very specific year, 2009 to be exact (affectionately referred to as Our Bleak Year). Money was tight. Like, REALLY tight. Way tighter than usual We were brokey, broke, McBroke. I remember laying in bed one night looking ahead to the impending holiday season and wondering how-in-the-heck we were going to pay for Christmas. Sure, we could have taken the easy route and made Christmas possible thanks to Bank of America Visa, but I have a little insight for you. That debt? It needs to be paid BACK. ShaZAM
SO, I did the one thing I am always harping on our kids about. I “became a problem solver.”
SO I formulated a plan. A plan to use what we already had or the tools available to generate some extra cash. My goal was to not only pull off a wonderful, generous, and memorable Christmas for our family, but to spend as little out-of-pocket as possible. Not long ago I read that the average family has $1500-$2000 worth of un-used, yet sellable items in their homes. I disagree. I think it’s more. And our family was no different. Closets were bulging, drawers were stuffed and our basement was full of toys that kids had long out grown. Books were falling off shelves and movies were long ago forgotten. Gently used good quality “stuff” equals dollars in this Mommy’s mind.
Then I delved into the plethora of online options to making money. Some tapped into my skills, some involved writing and some involved promoting other people’s products.
There were other avenues for thrifty gift giving as well. I picked up 4-5 brand new items at garage sales during the summer. The brand new Spongebob tackle box I got for our 6 year-old for a buck was a huge hit. Do you think he cared it was from a garage sale?? NOPE. There are TONS of contests to enter and if you are a blogger, sponsored posts or product reviews are another way to gain gifts.
Back in 2009, after the dust settled and Christmas was over, I can honestly say we achieved our goal. Total out-of-pocket expenses for gifts for relatives, teachers, daycare lady, our kids, and each other (including “Santa gifts”) in 2009 was just shy of $200. I was pleased. So was hubby. Bank of America Visa was a little pissed though.
I guess the bottom line is; it’s never too early to start preparing for the upcoming gift-giving season. In November I will be exploring all these options in detail and hopefully give readers some options on ideas to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas for themselves.
It’s not too late, of course the earlier you get going on this project the better off your will be, but that’s the nice thing about Christmas. It’s predictable. Everyone has 364 days to get ready for it. There no surprises. It doesn’t sneak up unexpectedly and go “BOO”.
You could set your calendar by it.