How much did you spend on Christmas this year? A few hundred pounds? Five hundred pounds? Well, according to this article, the average British family spends at least £800 pounds on Christmas, which can really make things feel a bit… tight… when January rolls around.
If you felt under pressure to spend more than you could really afford to (which is nothing to be ashamed of, by the way – the Money Advice Trust’s National Debtline have found that a significant number of us use our credit cards to get through the Christmas season), here’s how you can make some extra money…
Clear out the loft
Most of us return our Christmas decorations to the loft once we’ve taken them down in early January, so why not set aside a weekend to tackle the mountain of junk you’ve got stashed up there? There’s probably a lot of stuff you’re not using – nor ever will use – so dust it down, photograph it and flog it on eBay or Gumtree.
Pick up extra hours at work
If selling things isn’t your cup of tea, might it be worth having a chat with your boss? Let them know that you’re looking to take on extra hours for the next few months.
You don’t have to let your manager know that you’re under financial pressure (and in fact, starting the conversation that way might make your manager feel guilty if they refuse you), but if you can raise the issue of money troubles in a tactful way you might find you’re front of the queue when they’re dishing out extra shifts.
If you work in an office, ask if you can pick up extra work for an increase in salary; managers may be happy to give the work to you rather than the freelancers they usually rely on, and they’ll doubtless appreciate your loyalty and enthusiasm to help the company along in whatever way you can.
Take on a second job
No extra work to be had? Well, why not take on a second job? Sure – time is short and fitting in childcare, chores and exercise can be a harder challenge by working even more hours, but if you have a good support network or a family member who can take on some extra duties at home, an additional part-time job could be the solution.
For instance, working as a cleaner could be a good idea as it’s flexible enough to fit around your other commitments. Companies such as Molly Maid provide you with equipment and pay at or above the National Living Wage, so is worth looking into.
Do any of these ideas sound like things you could put into practice? Try to set yourself a goal to make it more palatable: how much extra do you need to earn to clear those credit card bills, get out the overdraft of build up your current account again? How many hours’ work is that? Having a clear picture of what you’re doing it for will help to take the pain out of finding the extra cash.