20 ways to make extra money before Xmas – from mystery shopping to selling items
21st October 2020

Brits are working hard to drum up some extra cash ahead of Christmas.

According to a study of 2,000 adults, dog walking and selling old clothes and tech are among the 'side hustles' adults are doing to make money before the festive period.

This is likely to be because a third to have a shortfall of £239 on average this winter.

Meanwhile, 13% are preparing to be £500 – or more – short of what they will need this year.

So to supplement their incomes, a fifth are pursuing new money saving ventures and one in four are considering finding a “side hustle” for themselves.

The research, commissioned by musicMagpie, found one in three of those already earning extra money started doing so before May this year.

Personal finance expert Mrs Mummypenny – aka Lynne Beattie – said: "This year has been a challenge for many financially.

"People may be feeling daunted about covering the cost of this year's holiday season with one of the most expensive times of the year coming up.

"We want people to know that there are so many ways you can raise some extra money these days to still have a special Christmas, and it's interesting to see how many are already taking matters into their own hands.

"As well as things like pet sitting, DIY jobs, or selling crafts, you can sell old belongings you no longer need and have a clear out at the same time – which is a sure-fire way to make some extra cash."

The study also found Christmas typically costs £619 to cover the expense of gifts, travel, presents, Christmas dinner and even charitable donations.

As a result, people are hoping to make around £192 from their side hustle, although a fifth are banking on earnings of £250 or more.

Lesley Finlayson, 59, from Walthamstow, London, has managed to rustle up hundreds of pounds of additional income from jumble sales, online surveys and selling old tech.

She said: "I started side hustling initially to clear out my clutter and make some money from it, but it then led me to raising money for a care home that I volunteered at.

"As I was doing well and was able to raise this money on the side, I then decided to build up a pot for Christmas and start other side hustle funds that I set aside for specific reasons, like birthdays.

"My side hustles have included selling old books, CDs, and DVDs. I was also able to collect old books from around the village which went towards my neighbour's daughter's Irish dancing lessons.

"There have also been a few jumble sales locally, where I have pitched my table. I have made £165, £150, £186, £55 respectively from all jumble sales and £120 from a big garage clear out.

"My Christmas fund is building up this year and I'm looking forward to treating my friends and family from my side hustle money."

20 ways people will be earning extra money this Christmas

  1. Selling old clothes
  2. Selling old DVDs, games, CDs
  3. Selling old tech
  4. Selling old toys
  5. Working longer hours
  6. Taking on a second job
  7. Selling old furniture
  8. Using their current profession to do extra work for others
  9. Doing odd jobs for others like mowing the lawn and cleaning windows
  10. Doing DIY for others
  11. Putting money into shares/stocks
  12. Dog walking
  13. Cleaning
  14. Making and selling Christmas decorations
  15. Baking and selling cakes
  16. Making and selling artwork
  17. Making and selling clothes
  18. Childcare
  19. Fixing things for others
  20. Pet sitting

The study also revealed that among the reasons for earning extra money for the festive season are the rising costs of Christmas, having less in savings this year and wanting to make the holidays more memorable.

But three in 10 put their need for a side hustle down to a drop in their earnings during 2020, with a fifth seeing a reduction in their wages.

This has led to 50% of those struggling to afford Christmas stating that their situation is specific to this year.

Because of this, 28% are also looking to cut costs on gift buying with more than one in 10 planning a Secret Santa to ease the financial strain.

Almost one in five (18%) will be making their own presents and 17% will be buying second-hand gifts, such as refurbished tech, instead of brand new.

The research, conducted via OnePoll, also revealed that the festive period isn't the only time adults look to earn some extra cash, with 35% having ways of increasing their earnings throughout the year.

Taking on a second job and selling pre-loved items such as clothes, tech and toys are among the more popular ways of adding some extra money to the piggy bank.

Liam Howley, from musicMagpie, said: "Previous research has found the average Brit has £598 worth of unused tech at home, which could pay for Christmas dinner and gifts for the whole family.

"So it's worth digging through the cupboards and attic and seeing how you could make a few extra pounds this year."

Personal finance expert Lynn Beattie’s 10 favourite side hustles

  1. RAID YOUR WARDROBE Raid your wardrobe for clothes that you haven't worn for more than a year or that don't fit anymore. List these for sale on sites like eBay or Depop where branded clothes or vintage clothes work well
  2. SELL OLD BOOKS, CDS, DVDS Use websites to list all your unwanted items. I did this with my huge CD collection and made £70.
  3. MYSTERY SHOPPING A personal favourite of mine and something that I do every few weeks. Get paid to buy products and review the customer services of the brands that you love.
  4. SELL OLD TECH, TABLETS, MOBILE PHONES, CONSOLES Many of us have a few of these stashed away in the kitchen drawer. Use a site like musicMagpie to sell those old tech devices.
  5. SELL OLD JEWELLERY Sell old unwanted gold jewellery for scrap value, which has risen in value recently. Do some online research for the price of gold per gram and take it to a cash for gold outlet for a valuation.
  6. SELL LEGO If your house is anything like mine, I have boxes and boxes of mixed Lego. I was pleasantly surprised that you can get a price per kilo for Lego on sites like musicMagpie.
  7. SELL FURNITURE Bigger items to sell often work well on local Facebook selling sites and collection on Gumtree.
  8. GET CRAFTING Do you have a crafting talent that could make you money? Maybe you can paint, write beautifully, sew, knit or crochet. Can you make pieces and sell them online or locally?
  9. PET SITTING Can you offer your services to pet sit? With many of us working from home, having a cat or dog to stay for the day can make you some extra money while making great company
  10. DOING ODD JOBS FOR OTHERS Is there an odd job that you know people hate doing that you could offer as a service, maybe gardening, rubbish clearing or driveway weeding? My son weeded our driveway and was offered a job by the neighbours to do the same for them.

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