9 ways to earn £2,000 of extra cash in time for Christmas

CHRISTMAS is going to be different this year but there are lots of ways you can earn some extra money to make the most of the festive period, however you end up celebrating.

Everyone likes a bit of extra cash, especially at this time of year.

It can be hard to earn more if you can't go out as much and some of the traditional side-hustles such as renting out your car or driveway may not be as possible due to the pandemic.

But you can still earn hundreds of extra pounds to pay for Christmas and some of them can be done without even leaving your home.

You can make up to £1,000 a year tax-free from selling old clobber but anything above this will need to be declared to HMRC via a self-assessment tax return and you may need to pay tax on it.

Don't forget to factor in paying tax into your money making.

We've listed all the way below and they add up to an impressive £2,000 on average. While these are estimations, all the tips below are a good way to boost your festive finances.

Clearout and sell your clutter

Earn up to £262 on average

Lockdown has given many people the chance to finally tidy up that spare room and throw out the clutter.

Your old clothes, books or that unused clarinet from the school band may be worth a lot of money though.

The average selling price for musical instruments on eBay is £261.59 and books, comics and magazines are typically fetching £78.25.

Last month, we ran through the top selling categories.

Top tips for selling on eBay

NEW to eBay? It’s head of secondhand, Emma Grant, reveals how to optimise your listings:

  1. Use key words – eBay automatically filters listing titles for key words, so it's crucial to use the terminology people search for – especially brand and product names.  
  2.  Choose the right category for your product – It might sound obvious but it’s important to always choose the most specific category to sell in.
  3. Pictures are important – Most users will not bid on items they cannot see. For best results, take photos in natural light against a neutral background and be honest about any scratches or damage to the item.  
  4. Be as detailed as possible – Be honest about the condition of the product and be sure to note any wear and tear.
  5. Look at past sold items–  eBay has a function that allows you to search for the item you want to sell and then filter the results by sold items. Here, you can view the price the item has sold for and get insight into how others have listed it.  
  6. Selling Sundays – Get the timing right. The busiest time for buyers is Sunday evenings, so schedule your listings to end around that time. Opt for seven-day auctions to ensure the max number of bids. The longer your item is listed, the more chance of people seeing it, so unless it's time-sensitive, pick seven days.  December is the busiest month on eBay.
  7. Be realistic with pricing – Try searching for similar items on eBay, to make sure you’re going for the right price and always ask yourself "would I pay this price for this item?"
  8. Donate to charity – When listing your item, consider donating a percentage of the sale to a cause of your choice – from 10% to 100% – you can donate the funds raised from your item straight from the platform. 

Don't let old devices gather dust

Earn £620 on average

That kitchen draw overflowing with old smartphones and battery chargers could actually be earning you money rather than gathering dust.

Anti-waste activists at Material Focus claim households could get an average of £620 by selling unused electrical items.

Its recycle your electricals campaign claims on average each household in the UK is hoarding almost 20 small old electricals for 2.4 years and could instead reduce waste by recycling, donating or selling them to someone else.

‘I’ve sold my old iPhones to pay for Christmas’

DAD Sam Kumar, from Ealing, has raised enough money from sales of old iPhones to buy a computer for his 11-year-old son this Christmas.

He has also used money raised to build a website for his new masala spice kit business called Simple Honest.

The 47-year-old businessman sold an iPhone 8s on musicMagpie for £243 and an iPhone 5 for £35 on eBay.

Kumar has also sold headphones on eBay for £70 an iPad keyboard for £5 and old hi-fi cables for £2.

He said: “We were saving for a Christmas holiday but it is more likely that this money will go towards presents.

“It is good to have a spring clean burst of adrenaline and focus on a weekend to find everything you want to sell.

“Even stuff like battery chargers or iPhone extensions can get you £1.

“It doesn’t sound like a lot but it all adds up.”


You can sell old phones, CDs and DVDs on websites such as musicMagpie, which will give you an instant price for your items and you can post them for free.

It would currently pay £557.10 for an iPhone 11 in good condition.

Other options include Gumtree and eBay, where you can set your own price or hope for more through an auction.

Sell your services

Earn up to £749

Everyone has got more used to working online during the pandemic and you could transfer your skills into paid work in your spare time.

Websites such as Fiverr, PeoplePerHour and Upwork let you sell your talent to people around the world.

You can offer tasks such as website design, jingle writing, and social media advice.

Some sellers are promoting help with starting and managing a Tiktok account for £40.

More than 50m gigs have been sold through Fiverr and users can earn from $5 (£3.75) to $10,000 (£7,497) depending on the project.

Get paid for your Christmas shopping

Earn £30 – £50

Get money back each time you spend by checking for deals through a cashback website.

Quidco says its users earn on average £280 a year and Topcashback members can typically earn £345.

That works out as £30 a month – but it may be higher around Christmas when you're spending more.

Search for cashback offers from some of the UK’s top supermarkets and retailers such as Argos, Currys and House of Fraser so you can earn money while buying Christmas gifts for everyone else.

For example, Argos is currently offering up to £80 cashback on purchases.

You can earn cashback by clicking through on the offers online and also in-store if you link your debit card with your account.

Remember, don't spend just to get the cashback. A discount isn't a discount if you weren't going to buy that item anyway.

Become a mystery shopper

Earn £12.18 per hour

Fancy getting paid for just walking into a shop?

Mystery shoppers are paid to visit retailers to assess their customer service, cleanliness or to purchase and explore particular products.

The average salary for a Mystery Shopper is £12.18 per hour in the United Kingdom, according to jobs website Indeed.co.uk.

You may also be given money to spend on purchases or meals out, rather than being paid cash.

Here’s how to cut the cost of your grocery shop

SAVING on your shop can make a big difference to your wallet. Here are some tips from Money.co.uk about how you can cut the cost of your shopping bills:

  • Write yourself a list – Only buy items that you need. If it isn’t on your list, don’t put it in the trolley
  • Create a budget – Work out a weekly budget for your food shopping
  • Never shop hungry – you are far more likely to buy  more food if your tummy is rumbling
  • Don’t buy pre-chopped veggies or fruit – The extra they’ll charge for chopping can be eye watering
  • Use social media – follow your favourite retailers to find out about the latest deals
  • Be disloyal – You may want to go to different stores to find the best bargains
  • Check the small print –  It’s always worth checking the price per kg/lb/litre when comparing offers so you’re making a like for like decision as a bigger box won’t necessarily mean you get more
  • Use your loyalty cards – Don’t be afraid to sign up to them all. They all work slightly differently – work out what bonus suits you better and remember to trade in your points for additional rewards

Mystery shoppers typically need to be over 18 and are given a brief that must be completed by a set deadline.

You can sign up to become a mystery shopper with websites such as iShopFor Ipsos, Clickworker and Market Force.

Complete surveys online

Earn £15 a month

Got a strong opinion? Don’t give it away for free! You could earn money by completing online surveys.

It isn’t a lot of money at first, starting at around £15 a month on average, but the more surveys you complete, the more points you will earn that can then be redeemed for cash.

You can register for free, try i-Say, Swagbucks and PopulusLive. The money is usually paid via PayPal or into your bank account once you’ve earned a certain amount.

MoneySavingExpert has a guide on how to maximise your earnings on survey websites.

Walk your neighbour’s dog

Earn £30 per day

We are spending a lot more time with our pets nowadays but you could give someone a break and earn some money by taking their dog for a walk.

Dog walkers on PawShake are charging £10 per hour or you could set up a pet-sitting service for around £30 per day so an owner can get on with their work with less barking.

Sell your hair

Earn up to £200

The closure of hairdressers during lockdown has left many trying out interesting styles or even cutting their own locks.

That hair could earn you some much-need cash for Christmas.

Bloomsbury Wigs will pay £25 to £60 for 4 to 15 inches of hair or £200 for more than 19 inches.

Get paid to watch telly

Earn £40 per session

Stop shouting at the TV as if you are on an episode of Gogglebox.

Put your binge watching experience to good use and share your views on the latest programmes exchange for cash.

Theviewers.co.uk puts together research panels for broadcasters and programme makers so that they can get feedback on TV programmes before they hit the box.

You can earn at least £40 cash for a group discussion or up to £10 for an online survey.

Savvy bloggers have revealed their tips and tricks on how they are making money from home.

We've also gathered some other ways you can make money, including turning your rubbish into cash and selling your old gadgets.

Plus, you can earn money easily on your smartphone – we explain how to do it.

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