6 Ways to Quickly Pay Off Christmas Gift Debt
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The presents have all been bought and most, if not all, have been opened by now. It won’t be long before the thrill of giving the perfect gift is replaced by the dread of the bills coming due in January. Whether you didn’t budget well or the excitement of the season led to a bit of overspending, you’re going to need some extra cash and fast. Especially if you want to avoid paying any interest on your purchases. Time to get some serious work done.
Here are 6 ways to quickly pay off Christmas gift debt:
1 – Rent out your car.
If you have an extra vehicle you don’t need or one you could do without temporarily, consider renting it out. Whether it’s to someone you know who needs a vehicle for a short while or through a matching service like Hyrecar.com, be sure that you’re charging enough. You have to cover maintenance, wear and tear, and insurance, and still make some money. Otherwise, it’s not worth it, obviously.
Hyrecar matches Uber and Lyft drivers to available vehicles in their area. They drive your vehicle and you both earn because the driver is responsible to pay you a rental fee. Before agreeing to rent to anyone, however, take care to check them out thoroughly. A good match could turn into a longer term arrangement and you could net a nice chunk of change by end of January.
2 – Consign or sell online.
Now that all the new stuff has come into the house, it’s time to weed out the old – and get some money for it. Consignment is a great way to make money fast, with less effort. With consignment, however, you’ll only get a percentage of the sale price. The upside is that consignment shops typically sell things for more than you might be able to on your own.
On the other hand, you might make more selling things yourself because you don’t have to split the sale with anyone. Work through online area sales groups like those popular on Facebook. The downside to this route is that you will need to arrange to meet with people as while as back and forth communication to set up meeting times and places, so be sure you’re factoring in your time and gas as well. Either way you go, it’s a great way to make money very quickly while lessening the number of items you’re caring for at your house.
3 – Eat more simply in January.
You can get your hands on more cash than you might imagine just by choosing to eat more simply throughout January. Why? You’ll save on groceries and eating out. Eating more simply could mean deciding that dinner is the classic (and cheap) tomato soup and grilled cheese, instead of steak and potatoes. It could mean choosing a smaller burger with fewer toppings from the dollar choices at the local drive-thru instead of the $3.99 deluxe with bacon cheeseburger. No matter how you do it, just remember: The more simple the fare, the less expensive it is. Every small choice of simple means dollars towards debt. Take the savings you’ve created through simplicity and put it all toward paying off your Christmas gift debt.
4 – Sign up to be “on call” at places you’re qualified (or add yourself to the overtime list).
January is a month when absences abound for a number of reasons, leaving businesses in a bind. Some of which cannot run without enough people. A few examples are schools (like lunchroom help or teacher’s aides), hospitals (such as nurses), and offices (receptionists or customer service). If you have the skill set and experience, you can sign up to be on their “call in” list. You won’t always know when you’ll work and often you’ll be called on short notice. However, even a few shifts could make a big difference in your January income.
Alternatively, sign up to be on the overtime/shift pickup list where you work. Tell people you’re looking for extra hours.
5 – Pet or house sit.
Offer your services to people taking vacations in January. This is often best accomplished by word of mouth so let others know you’re available. Many people feel much better having their pet looked after in their home rather than boarding them. And there is a comfort in knowing that someone is making your house look “lived in” by keeping the driveway clear of snow, taking in the mail, and turning lights on and off. Not to mention watering any indoor plants.
6 – Shovel snow.
Most people hate snow removal and will gladly pay reasonable rates during the coldest months. It’s hard work but it’s only temporary and you’ll burn some calories while you burn through your Christmas gift debt.