By Alyssa Paula Fernandez on December 3, 2015
Christmas is fast approaching, and with all the gifts you need to buy, Christmas parties you have to attend, and family gatherings you should contribute food and drinks to, your thirteenth month pay may end up gone faster than lightning. As much as possible, you want to enjoy the holidays without making your wallet cry too much, right? Then let me tell you something: while the holiday season entails a lot of expenses, it also presents opportunities to make extra cash.
Here are 5 ways you can earn extra cash this Christmas:
1. Turn your interests and skills into products and services.
What you need to think about before anything else is what you can make money out of. Know how to bake delicious pastries? Then maybe you can sell Christmas themed cupcakes! Are you artsy? Perhaps you can make personalised greeting cards, gift wrappers, or DIY gift items. Have the gift of gab? Then you might want to consider hosting Christmas parties! Have the patience to teach foreigners a new language? Maybe you should try teaching Japanese kids English online.
It’s really all about being creative and taking into account your skills and interests when figuring out what product or service you can offer. If you don’t have the time to actually make something or to offer your services, consider selling your own stuff.
2. Sell your own stuff.
Why not welcome the new year by letting go of some of your old things to make room for the new? Now's the best time to take a look at all your belongings and see which ones you should consider letting go of. “There’s no point in keeping things if you’re not gonna use them,” says Roxy Navarro, a system analyst and the founder of Works of Heart. She conducts online and offline garage sales every now and then, keeping in mind what author Marie Kondo said in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing: Discard everything that does not spark joy.
Take a look at your things and ask yourself if you still need it or if it still holds value for you. If not, then sell it at a cheap price to get rid of it. According to Roxy, her garage sales are always successful because she sells the stuff she wants to get rid of at a cheap price. “My goal is just to get rid of it, so any cost would be fine. If I don’t get to sell it, I give or throw it away,” she says.
If you want to declutter and at the same time earn extra cash, then start saying goodbye to that bag you rarely use, that top you wore only once, and the notebooks you bought only because they looked cute but you never actually used. You’d love the extra space and the extra money you’ll get from it for sure.
3. Make your friends, family and colleagues your customers.
Your first customers would probably be in your circle, whatever you may be selling. If you have awesome, supportive friends, then turning them to customers would be easy—just let them know that you’re selling to earn extra cash, and then use your friendship along with some cuteness to get them to buy a couple of cupcakes, or maybe a dozen. Kidding!
Figure out what most of your friends want and start selling that. It wouldn’t be difficult to do so because you already know them personally, and so you already know what your market looks like. "Your existing circle is your market that don’t really need a lot of reaching out to. More than that, you and your friends probably share the same interests and taste,” says Roxy.
You could also ask your busy titos and titas if they need help with anything! Offer to run some of their errands, wrap their presents, or walk their dogs. There must be something they need help with, and you can offer your services to them with a small fee, especially if they are one of your ninongs or ninangs that have only resurfaced now.
4. Expand your market with the help of social media.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who follows online stores on Instagram, browses Facebook-groups-turned-marketplaces such as Ateneo Trade when bored. Thanks to social media, anyone can make money online nowadays. You would only need three things to begin with: a product or service that sells, friends to back you up, and some online hustling.
“I started selling stuff to my friends before I started selling to other people. I also had my friends post my shop on their personal accounts and it helped my market grow,” says Sara Hao, the lady behind Vittles & Things, an online bikini store on Instagram that now has over 12,000 followers. To reach a wider market, ask your friends to share your post about your product or service on their wall. Make sure your post is public, too, so that anyone can see it.
Don’t stop there, though. Join various Facebook groups and post your product or service there, too. “We don't just post on our own pages on Facebook and Instagram, we are actually a member of a lot of online buy and sell groups. You really have to make use of other avenues to be able to market your product to a wider audience,” says Meryl Uy, who runs an online store on Facebook called BareNecessitiesMNL. Whether you’re selling online just for the extra money this Christmas or are actually considering running an online store on the side, doing some online hustling would surely widen your reach and gain you more potential customers.
5. Participate in bazaars.
If you have a lot of spare time in your hands, some friends or family willing to help, products that are easy to sell, and would want to go the extra mile to earn extra cash this Christmas, then you could try participating in bazaars. Bazaars are literally everywhere this Christmas season. Spot.PH actually came up with a list of bazaars happening for the rest of December. Take a look and see which ones are near you! You could then research which ones are still open for concessionaires.
Participating in bazaars take a lot of effort, so only do so when you think you're really ready. “Before joining, you must first know which market the bazaar caters to,” says Meryl. Since being a concessionaire in a bazaar would mean labor and expenses on your part, it is best that you do a lot of research and preparation prior to actually joining. Aside from the bazaar’s target market, according to Meryl, you should also consider the participants of the bazaar and whether or not they have the same product as yours or have the same market as yours. Finally, when you decide to take the jump and join a bazaar as a concessionaire, make sure to let the word out!
With roughly three weeks to go until Christmas, you can still earn extra cash for that lechon belly you want to get for your family’s Noche Buena, that outfit you’ve been eyeing on for the holidays, or that sneakers your brother is bugging you about. All you need is a little hustle, and you can spend away while still saving some money! Happy holidays!