Home Christmas How I Raised An Extra $910 To Pay For Christmas!

How I Raised An Extra $910 To Pay For Christmas!

written by Shelley Marsh 06/11/2014
How To Raise Extra Cash For Christmas

Freaky!  How fast has this year flown!!  I cannot believe it is already the first week of November and it is only 7 weeks until Christmas!!!  Yowsers!!!  So given the time pressure lately I have been putting a lot of thought into how to raise some extra cash to help pay for our Christmas.  Not that our Christmas is particularly elaborate, usually it is a pretty simple roast chicken lunch at my house for my mum, sister, hubby, daughter and myself.  We try to keep Christmas simple and low key.  No pressure.

However, this year Miss Money is hankering after a Barbie Dream House and with $270 being the best price I can find on the internet, it is a big chunk of the Christmas budget.  Given I have fond memories of my 1970s/early 80s Barbie Townhouse I would really like to get it for her.  Also on the Christmas shopping list is a GPS.  Let us just say the one place Mr Money and I fight is in the car, usually over directions and one of us not following them.  Hopefully a GPS will resolve this problem, so this is the Christmas gift we want to buy for the whole family and any poor bugger that has to be trapped in the car with us 🙂  So with a quite expensive shopping list, this year I set about looking to raise some extra cash for Christmas, and this is how I did it.

(1) Converting Our Frequent Flyers – $350 raised

As part of our strategy to pay off our mortgage faster using our offset account (read about it here), we use out credit cards a lot, always paying off the balance in full :-).  This means we had accumulated a fair few frequent flyer points (53,736 this year to be precise).  Now if you follow the advice of all the frequent flyer gurus they say that points are best used for flight upgrades, however, we would have to save points for an age to be able to do that plus who wants to take a four year old in business class?  Not me!  So every year we choose to redeem our points in vouchers to help pay for Christmas.  So this year we got 2 $100 JB HiFi vouchers which has paid for our marriage-saving GPS!  And an extra $150 in Woolworths vouchers to help pay for the Christmas food bill.  The cool thing is now with some of the vouchers, such as JB HiFi, they email them to you direct the same day!  No more waiting!   Yay!!!  Vouchers might not be the most value way to use your points but they certainly work for us.

(2) Selling Things That We No Longer Needed – $440 raised

From a balance bike that was only ridden once, to Xbox games to kids clothes, below is a picture of only some of the things that I have sold and are no longer a part of my house.


How To Raise Money For Christmas

Here are just some of the things I have sold… yay!

I sold them all on a local parents facebook group for free!  It was so easy I just uploaded the photos, gave each item a price, told them which suburb to pick it up from and hey presto I converted a tonne of stuff we no longer needed or wanted into cash!  Sure it took a bit of effort but it was very worthwhile.  The $440 raised pays for the $270 Barbie Dreamhouse and maybe Santa might even bring her a most revered Elsa doll as well!  Not to mention after cleaning out all that stuff I have some space in my cupboards and can actually see what I own!!!  Win-win! Besides, who keeps a portacot when they have a four year old? – Oh that would be me! – But not anymore it was sold for $40 – yay!

(3) Checking My Spending Leaks – $120 raised so far

The last 4 weeks I have been focusing on my spending leaks.  A spending leak is something you spend money on regularly that you could do differently to save money.  So in my case I used to buy my lunch and a hot chocolate the 3 days I work per week (sorry, I don’t drink coffee – crazy, I know).  So I calculated this one habit was costing me approximately $15 per day or $45 per working week.  Over the past 4 weeks I have been bringing my lunch to work at say $5 per day and drinking the free tea at work.  That has saved me approximately $120 over the last four weeks and I hope to at least double that by Christmas.  Such a simple change has been a great savings tool for me.  It is amazing how making small, simple changes can really add up.

So that is how Christmas in the Money household will be paid for.  Any excess cash will be used on maybe a few small extra festivities leading up to Christmas, but certainly not a photo with Santa as my daughter is terrified of him!!  Good luck on your Christmas savings journey.  It pays to start thinking about it now as before you know it Christmas day will be here 🙂

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Sheridan Anne 07/11/2014 at 2:37 am

You go getter! You have inspired me! I am going to go through some of our stuff and see what I can sell.
I buy gift vouchers at 5% off through the Entertainment Book. Every little bit counts

Jody at Six Little Hearts 07/11/2014 at 6:50 am

I loved Barbie’s townhouse and have an original 1970s one in my garage plus the dolls and furnishings too. They were gifted to my eldest Daughter by a 20 something girl who must be really regretting giving it to us now if she’s now a Mum with a girl! You are welcome to play with it anytime!
Great ideas! I am selling on Ebay at present.

Lydia C. Lee 07/11/2014 at 6:51 am

Fabulous ideas! I love the spending leaks…I use points on the credit card to pay for things too…my frequent flyers never get anything…

Renee Wilson 07/11/2014 at 6:52 am

Wow! Well done you. Those are some great tips. I think I’m going to have to say good by to my chai tea I have three days a week and my bagel with cream cheese I have once a week. Nooooo. Okay, so maybe not the bagel. I will have a look through the house though for things I can sell. Great idea!

Robo 07/11/2014 at 6:54 am

In Jan last year I did a big sell off on ebay. This year I’m going to try Gumtree, only because the questions did my head in. Its such a great idea, not just to recoup some cash but also because good quality items go to a good home. Great ideas!

Lauren @ Create Bake Make 07/11/2014 at 7:07 am

Great ideas! I’m currently selling a lot of stuff on ebay in an attempt to clear away some of the clutter that seems to accumulate so quickly. Our youngest little man is 17mths old and we have a HEAP of baby stuff that we are no longer using, but I can’t yet bring myself to sell it.

Amy @ HandbagMafia 07/11/2014 at 7:11 am

What a great way to save, thanks for the tips!

ClaireyHewitt 07/11/2014 at 1:23 pm

The work day lunch is my weakness!

Also atm fees annoy me. I think we get caught out too often, probably $20 a month worth.

Mrs P 07/11/2014 at 4:11 pm

What great tips! There’s a few spending leaks I really should tighten up for Christmas – thanks for the inspiration!

Bele @ BlahBlah 07/11/2014 at 10:03 pm

I fell off my budgeting wagon and now I feel like my spending bucket has sprung a lot of leaks, but thank you for the reminder to reel it in x

Bec @ The Plumbette 07/11/2014 at 10:15 pm

Shelley you are amazing. This post is awesome. It will help so many people who are looking for ways to make or save money for Christmas. I’m selling a few things on Ebay at the moment but I just used our Frequent Flyers to fly to Melbourne business class to go to the Kidspot Awards. I’m looking forward to that..even if we have Phoebe with us. 🙂

Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me 07/11/2014 at 11:39 pm

Rightio I am ALL OVER THIS! Thanks for the kick up the bum I need Shelley, please kick it again in a month… PLEASE!

Lisa Wood 10/11/2014 at 5:45 pm

Oh my gosh, what great tips – I so need to cash our Reward Points in….we need the money for xmas cause I haven’t gotten ready with anything as yet and I know how much money goes out around that time of the year.
We are trying to do Xmas gifts this year under $20.00 per person, trying to make it all about “Giving, spending time with family and fun times” Instead of buying gifts 🙂
Love how much money you made by selling things around your house that you didn’t need.

Grace 10/11/2014 at 8:00 pm

Yup. Defintely a good time to have a quick garage sale! I have so many clothes I need to either sell on eBay or just give away to a charity. As for spending leaks…at least I only “window” online shop now 🙂

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Stella 15/11/2014 at 12:08 am

… and I haven’t started yet to think about christmas. Thanks for the inspirations.

Shelley Marsh 20/11/2014 at 6:50 pm

Hi Stella, no worries! I think I even shocked myself with how much I managed to raise!! It was a bit of effort but well worth it and now my house is much easier to clean without so much stuff in it !

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Holly 04/12/2014 at 3:17 pm

Some great tips and wow, that’s some impressive last minute cash from making smart choices. Hello barbie dream house and a very happy child.

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