There are less than two weeks to go until Christmas and many people's wallets are more stretched than ever this year.
But there still some quick and easy ways to make money before the big day so you don't have to cut back or go without.
Here are four things you can do to top up your Christmas spending money right now – and it could make you as much as £1,000.
1. Sell you old and unused stuff – £400
Clothes clogging up your wardrobe? Books, DVDs and CDs sitting on shelves collecting dust?
Not only can you clear some space but you can make money from it too and money blogger Skint Dad says this could add up to £400 on average.
You could go for a traditional car boot or jumble sale, or choose to list items online.
Local forums like Nextdoor and Facebook Marketplace can help you find someone nearby and is free.
Selling sites like eBay and Depop for clothes will help you reach more potential buyers, but there are fees for using these platforms and you might have to post the items.
eBay says that top money makers include adult bikes, which are going for £237, push chairs and prams which can go for £127 and a chests of drawers which sell for £75, on average.
You can earn up to £1,000 a year from selling items without having to pay tax.
Top tips for selling on eBay
NEW to eBay? It’s head of secondhand, Emma Grant, reveals how to optimise your listings:
- Use key words – eBay automatically filters listing titles for key words, so it's crucial to use the terminology people search for – especially brand and product names.
- Choose the right category for your product – It might sound obvious but it’s important to always choose the most specific category to sell in.
- Pictures are important – Most users will not bid on items they cannot see. For best results, take photos in natural light against a neutral background and be honest about any scratches or damage to the item.
- Be as detailed as possible – Be honest about the condition of the product and be sure to note any wear and tear.
- Look at past sold items– eBay has a function that allows you to search for the item you want to sell and then filter the results by sold items. Here, you can view the price the item has sold for and get insight into how others have listed it.
- Selling Sundays – Get the timing right. The busiest time for buyers is Sunday evenings, so schedule your listings to end around that time. Opt for seven-day auctions to ensure the max number of bids. The longer your item is listed, the more chance of people seeing it, so unless it's time-sensitive, pick seven days. December is the busiest month on eBay.
- Be realistic with pricing – Try searching for similar items on eBay, to make sure you’re going for the right price and always ask yourself "would I pay this price for this item?"
- Donate to charity – When listing your item, consider donating a percentage of the sale to a cause of your choice – from 10% to 100% – you can donate the funds raised from your item straight from the platform.
2. Flog your old phone – £200
Selling an old phone could land you £200 according to Mazuma Mobile.
It can depend on the make and the model as well as the condition the phone is in, so if you upgrade your phone often the more you could make.
A 64GB iPhone 8 Plus in good condition could be worth £200 and newer models even more.
Older models are worth less, but if you have more than one laying around it could easily add up.
You can sell your old phone online with the selling sites above, or use phone recycling websites.
Here are three things to watch out for when selling old gadgets online either way.
3. Find a simple side hustle – £300
Here's one for the dog lovers out there – dog walkers can earn around £15 per hour.
There were a rush of people who added a pup to their family this year because of the coronavirus lockdown, and that means more demand for dog walkers.
If animals are not your bag there are other options too for making a bit of cash on the side.
Lots of people don't have enough time to get everything done at Christmas – you could help them get shopping and complete other jobs.
Running errands for someone could pay £15 per hour through Task Rabbit, which links up people who need a job doing with others who can get them done.
Two hours a day of running errands or walking a dog could bring in £300 before Christmas day.
If you have a particular skill, like DIY or baking, you might be able to make more, while anyone with transport – a bike or car – could make some extra pounds doing deliveries for companies like Amazon, Deliveroo or Uber Eats.
4. Dig out spare cash – £100
Coronavirus has pushed us towards using cards more, and that means you might have left cash lying around the house.
It's worth digging through coats and bags you haven't used for a while to see what's hiding in the pockets, and even having a clean out of your wallet could turn up a note.
It's estimated that there's £155m of lose change down the back of everyone's sofa's – that's £5.77 each on average.
Meanwhile, we have leftover foreign currency hiding in our homes worth £97.74.
Don't forget to check your change for any rare coins which could be worth hundreds.
Check out these 12 ways to turn rubbish into cash, from empty make-up to toilet roll tubes.
A woman on a tight budget shared a genius ‘envelope’ trick that will save you thousands in 2021.
These savvy tricks will save you money on cleaning in the run up to Christmas.
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