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Top tips to earn some cash for Christmas

16 November 2011

With Christmas just around the corner and panicked shoppers already filling the streets, it could be time to purchase the goods you want before they are gone.

However, if you’re a little strapped for cash you might wish to earn your money quickly before hitting the shops.

Research by M&S Money found that the average person will spend £500 on Christmas and 39% of people won’t set a Christmas budget. Out of those who do, 46% of them fail to stick to it.

Paul Stokes, Savings and Investments, M&S Money, said; “The earlier you can plan ahead for Christmas the better, particularly when it comes to saving, but it's never too late to make a budget to help with your finances over the festive period - a shopping list is a great way to help you keep within budget."

Christmas is an expensive time of year for most households and many already struggling to cope with the rising cost of living now have to think about gifts, food, drinks, entertainment and a range of other things.

However, help is at hand. Below are a few tips and tricks to help your Christmas spending pot grow as the countdown begins.

Switching current accounts

You can easily make a quick buck by switching current accounts. The majority of banks are offering cash-back deals whereby you can receive up to £300 in some cases for switching your current account. Santander, for example, are offering existing mortgage customers who have at least £10,000 in a savings account with them an incentive of £300 when they switch their current account.

Santander is also offering existing mortgage customers £200 when they switch their main account. They also offer £100 to new customers. Previously, the Co-Operative bank offered £200 to new customers who were willing to switch their current account and First Direct is currently offering £100 to prospective new customers. 

However, to be eligible you must transfer a salary/income of at least £1,500 per month.

Cash-back Christmas credit cards

Saving is harder than ever, with Brits experiencing the lowest interest rates on record. Although inflation has eased slightly, one way to make money could be by using a rewards based credit card.

Research by Defaqto found that credit cards could be useful for Christmas shoppers looking to make some cash whilst they spend. The independent financial research company looked at 13 different credit cards on the market to asses their cash-back rewards. They found that the Capital One World MasterCard offers the highest cash-back reward of 5% on all purchases for the first three months. However, there is a maximum cash-back of £100 when the total spend reaches £2,000.

David Black, Defaqto's Insight Analyst for Banking, said; “Although Christmas is an expensive time, the right type of credit card can help you earn while you spend.”

Other notable cards included the American Express Platinum Cash-back Credit card. It offers 2.5% cash-back on purchases over the same period, with a maximum of £100 cash-back when the total spend reaches £4,000.

Alternatively, if you want to use the card for everyday spending, the Santander 123 Cash-back credit card rewards you for regular spending at the supermarket, department stores, petrol stations and more. The credit card has an annual fee of £24 and a representative APR of 22.8%.

Change your spending habits

It is definitely advisable to shop around for the best deal for all your financial needs. This allows you to make the most from your cash.

You may also want to shop around for the best deals by using vouchers and discounts. Mighty Deals, for example, is a website which offers significant online discount deals which could be useful as gift ideas. You could save up to 70% by shopping online at such a website.

You can also reduce your spending habits on a daily basis. Do you really need that morning Starbucks or evening take-away? Think about what little luxuries you indulge in on a daily basis and try and cut them out in the build up towards Christmas.  

According to the British Dietetic Association (BDA), the average person will consume an estimated 6,000 calories on Christmas day. One way to save money (and your waistline!) in the run up to Christmas could be to cut out all the regular hot drinks from coffee shops, avoid the advent calendar and meals out.

If all else fails, make your own gifts, cards and decorations. If you have children, this could keep them entertained over the holiday period, saving you valuable time and money!

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