About four years ago, I let Christmas take me further into debt. I was already using my Southwest Rapid Rewards card to buy Christmas presents for my loved ones (because I thought “I am LITERALLY making money by spending because I am going to have all these amazing points!!!…) when I was checking out at Amazon.com. At the checkout, there was an offer for a HUGE discount on my total if I signed up for an Amazon card. Well, I did it and got myself even more into debt that year. I promised myself I would pay it all off in January. I had every good intention of paying it off..but life happened and I wasn’t able to. Long story short, don’t be like me. DO CHRISTMAS DEBT FREE. Here’s the game plan I made for ya to keep you JOLLY AND OUTTA DEBT!
Doing a MIXTURE of these ideas below will easily get you to $1000. Will it be fun? Nope. Will it be easy? Nope. But guess what is worse than working hard and sacrificing…being in freaking debt for the rest of your life and constantly feeling guilty every time that you spend money. So get over it and just do the dang thing.
Get a budget
You should already have one by now but if you don’t, you seriously need one. Without a budget, you don’t have a plan and your money is controlling YOU- not the other way around, like it should be.
Check out my post HERE to help you get started on your budget!
2. Stop spending money on eating out, Starbucks, etc.
For the month of November, I want you living like you are as broke as a college student. You can sacrifice no Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks, etc. for ONE MONTH. Those presents that you buy for others will mean so much more since you sacrificed so much!
3. Work overtime.
If this is an option, you have no idea how LUCKY you are. I would kill to have a job where I could make extra money whenever I wanted. So if you have this option, don’t be lazy…TAKE IT.
4. Sell clutter on eBay
This is a double whammy because 1. You are making money but 2. You are de-cluttering your house and making room for new Christmas gifts!
5. Sell clothes on Poshmark
Ladies, sell your gently used clothes on Poshmark. It’s a great way to make a little extra cash. Think about the clothes that you haven’t worn in a while… especially if they are designer or well-known brands.
6. Cut your grocery bill
You need to find the cheapest things to eat. Ramen, PB+J, rice + beans, mac and cheese, cereal. We are going back to that college kid lifestyle, y’all.
7. Cut your electricity and gas bill
Bundle up cause this is one of my favorite bills to pay because unlike set bills like rent and Internet, which more than likely never changes, you can actually control (somewhat) how much your electricity and gas bill is. So unplug everything when you aren’t using it. It’s a bit annoying but will save you. Make sure you are wearing socks and a sweatshirt before you dare turn that heat up.
8. Get a cleaning job
I got my first cleaning job when I was in high school. I kept it up until last year when I decided to let it go when my full-time job got a bit crazy. But it was GOOD, CONSISTENT money. And I can promise you that people are going to be looking for holiday housekeepers with all the holiday parties and such. Look on craigslist, Facebook and use word of mouth.
9. Do Doordash
I just got my Doordash Welcome Kit and I am so excited to try this side gig out. It was super easy to sign up and they send you all the materials you need. In the colder months, people don’t want to go out as much. But that’s where you come in. Delivering food to people who live near you is easy peasy…plus you get to listen to podcasts while you drive around.
Again, with people going out of town for the holidays, they are going to be looking for a pet and house sitter. Check places like Care.com, Rover.com, Facebook, Cragislist or good ol’ word of mouth.
Along the same lines, people are always looking for reliable and dependent babysitters, especially this time of year with work parties and family parties. Nowadays, you can charge upwards of $10 an hour, especially if there is more than one kid. We’ve come a long way since I charged $5 an hour when I was 13.
12. Collect your change
Seriously. Any extra change needs to go into a jar and you need to cash that sucker in at the end of the month. I always pick up random change off the ground to add to my collection. Cheap? Desperate? Nah, just trying to fill my change jar, people!
13. Use Ibotta.
Before I go grocery shopping (and remember that we are keeping it FRUGAL this month), I always check for offers on Ibotta that may give me a little cash back for things I am ALREADY GOING TO BUY. DO NOT BUY THINGS SIMPLY BECAUSE YOU HAVE AN IBOTTA OFFER. When you are done, scan the receipt or scan the code at checkout (depending on the store) to get some cash back. When you have redeemed $20, you can cash out!
Join my Ibotta team so we can save money together and compete! ;) CLICK HERE!
14. USE CASH.
Probably my best tip. Use cash for EVERYTHING THIS MONTH. Parting with a $20 bill over handing someone your debit card is a much sadder feeling. And you should be feeling sad when you spend money.
15. Do a No-Spend Month.
For Novemeber, I only want you paying bills, and then getting groceries and gas. You need to be living like BARE MINIMUM. It should be super sad and pathetic this month. But that’s okay! Because sacrifice is a GOOD THING. You are kicking butt so you can avoid literally ruining your financial future with debt.
16. Get a part-time job.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting a part-time job if that works for your life. Plenty of retail stores are hiring seasonally and it;s a great way to make some extra money on the weekend. If you honestly can’t swing getting a part-time job and you can’t do the ones I mentioned above, do whatever you can. Tutor, teach English online, become a virtual assistant, drive for Uber, deliver pizzas.
Guys, I never said it would be easy. Or fun. Honestly, paying off $35,000 of debt so far hasn’t exactly been what I would describe as fun or easy. But knowing that you aren’t going in debt, that you are working hard to do things the right way, that you are setting your future self up for success, that you are rebelling against the lie that society tells us that “DEBT IS GOOD! DEBT IS NORMAL!”- that is truly priceless. If you work your patootie off this month and cut your budget low, there is not reason you can’t have $1,000 by Christmas time.