This week, I'm focusing on ways to make money before the holidays. If you don't want to spend money to make money, here are some suggestions to bring in real cash in these next few weeks:
Put Yourself to Work
1) Babysit: Let your neighbors know that you're available to babysit for holiday parties and other events in the coming weeks. If you want to concentrate your time, create a special “Shopping Day,” such as a 4-hour block where friends/neighbors can drop their kids off at your home for babysitting. Plan a holiday craft, and some fun snacks, and let the kids play while you earn extra income.
2) Offer Pet-sitting/Other Services: Through email or a small flier, let neighbors and friends know that you can help them while they travel by caring for their pets. Alternately, you or hubby can help neighbors with their outdoor decorating or leftover yard work for a small fee.
3) Take on Extra Work: Look into taking on a seasonal position at a retail or other store during the holiday shopping and returns phase. This can be especially difficult to manage schedule-wise with a day job and small children, but it is temporary, and it can help you put extra money towards debt and send you into 2011 in better shape financially. Check your local newspaper for terms like “seasonal employee” and “temp” in the part-time classifieds section.
4) Sell Crafts or Gourmet Foods to moms through your real-life networks (church groups, MOMS Club, etc.) or at work if you're allowed to do so. Several moms in my clubs send an email out reminding us that they make caramels, tamales, etc. that we can order for holiday gifts. There's still time to sign up for holiday craft fairs where you can host a table and sell your wares. Back when I was a teacher, I handmade ornaments and sold them at work for a little pocket money.
Tomorrow Friday, I'll share another BIG way to bring cash in and share what I'm doing this week to bring in the money for myself.