How to Improve Your Income and Survive the Holiday Season on a Budget

Patience and research are your most valuable assets during the Christmas season. Don’t buy the first thing you see, even if it’s on your list of presents. The prices are not the same everywhere, so do your research, check more stores, browse online stores, see if there are any sales and discounts, etc. If you truly want to shop smart, you need to think about everything ‒ not just how to earn money, but also how to spend it. If you do this step right, you might even end up with a little extra money you can spend on yourself.

As the holiday season is nearing and “Jingle Bells” is starting to play in every store, you might be worrying about how you’ll manage to afford all the gifts and still have enough for rent, food, and all the other necessities. Or maybe you’re just trying to save up, so you’d like to find a way to spend a bit less this year. Either way, buying all the presents and still having more than enough money for all your other needs is completely possible ‒ if you find a side job and learn how to organize your budget. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, here’s how you can do it.

 

Work in retail

2.jpg

Probably not the most popular job option, but still, working in retail could help you get that extra money you need to survive the season. Retail stores everywhere always need extra workers during the holiday season, and the best part is that they are usually hiring before the season starts. This gives them enough time to train the workers before the real shopping chaos begins. So, if you think this is something you could do, don’t wait too long to apply.

 

Sell what you can

How to Improve Your Income and Survive the Holiday Season on a Budget.jpg

We all have things sitting in our closets for way too long, and the holiday season is the perfect time to get rid of everything you no longer need. Don’t wait until spring when now is the time you could really use some extra cash. So, sell all your old clothes, roller skates, records, whatever it is that you think you’ll need one day but deep down, you know you won’t. That’s what Craigslist and Amazon are for ‒ it costs you nothing, and you never know how much you can actually earn. Similarly, if you’re good at crafting, painting, or drawing, sell your stuff online or organize a small yard sale. Locally-made art pieces are always popular, and your hobby might even turn into a lucrative side job, just don’t be afraid to try.

 

Adjust your work schedule

3.jpg

Working overtime is not the most fun option, but it could be the easiest one if you actually like your job. Moreover, since it is your job, you should know exactly how much you’ll be able to earn, so it should be easier to organize your time and finances. If you have some unfinished projects or simply want to upgrade your work skills, use the opportunity. Plus, you might also score some bonus points with your boss if you show effort and enthusiasm, even though you’re mainly doing it for the cash. On the other hand, if your job includes flexible working hours, you could use the breaks in between work to earn some money online. For example, you can get paid to take surveys online, and one survey usually takes only 15-20 min to complete. It won’t earn you a fortune, but every penny counts when it comes to holiday shopping.

 

Organize your budget

5.jpg

After you get some extra work and/or some extra cash by selling your stuff, calculate your budget. Estimate the total amount you’ll earn before and during the Christmas season and write down your monthly expenses like rent, groceries, utilities, etc. This will help you determine how much you can comfortably spend on your holiday shopping. The only thing you need to do then is stick to that set amount. If that’s not easy for you, withdraw your holiday budget in cash and keep it in some bag or jar, so you can’t overspend. Next, make a list of all the people for whom you plan to buy presents and the kind of presents you would like to get them. Check the prices of the presents, and if they don’t match the available shopping budget, think of something else to buy.

 

Don’t shop just anywhere

4.jpg

Patience and research are your most valuable assets during the Christmas season. Don’t buy the first thing you see, even if it’s on your list of presents. The prices are not the same everywhere, so do your research, check more stores, browse online stores, see if there are any sales and discounts, etc. If you truly want to shop smart, you need to think about everything ‒ not just how to earn money, but also how to spend it. If you do this step right, you might even end up with a little extra money you can spend on yourself.

Budgeting and working extra hard for Christmas might sound like a chore, but it can help you survive the season and come out on top with just enough money for all your other plans, if not even more. So, if you don’t want to spend the entire January stressing out about your budget, start preparing for the holiday shopping early and you’ll be able to truly enjoy the season like never before.