Christmas is coming. Are you prepared?

It’s that time of year. We’ve eased into Q4 and have seemingly plenty of time before Christmas. Earlier this week, I thought to myself that I would start planning my Christmas cards early and be ahead of the game this year to ease some of the holiday scramble. As I was patting myself on the back for the great idea, I realized – November is next week. I’m not nearly as far ahead as I’d thought.

If you are also starting to feel the approach of Christmas and are starting to wonder how you’re going to do it all, read on to see how I’m handling it this year.

For the past few years, I’ve collected various cash earning apps that have a slow burn effect and eventually earn a small sum of money. They are not a way to really add to your income, but do collect anywhere from $20-50 for doing many of the tasks you’re already doing. I personally let all of these apps add up all year and withdraw the rewards around Christmas time to fund my gift giving activities.

This week, I’ve thinking about the apps I’m using this year and my Christmas fund status. This is where we’re at so far:

Receipt Hog: $25
Get Upside: $27 (referral code: 97E2A — get an extra 15 cents back per gallon on your first fill up)
Drop: $10 (referral code: vkz7t — earn $5 when you link your first card)
Do$h: $6.16 (referral code: LAURENL285 — earn $10 when you sign up and link a debit/credit card)
Shopkick: $5 (referral code: FREE868865 — earn 250 kicks when you sign up and scan a product or walk in to a store and earn kicks)
Fetch: $10 (referral code: WE86F — earn $2 when you sign up and scan your first receipt with my code)

All of this work is pretty passive and really just involves me snapping a picture of receipts for the things I was going to buy anyway (Receipt Hog and Fetch) or linking the credit cards I shop with most to these apps and I earn points when I shop at participating stores (Drop and Do$h). Shopkick requires a little more as you need to remember to have the app open when you walk into stores so that you can earn kicks.

I also use a couple different online portals to earn money on online shopping:
Swagbucks: $25 (Get a 300 sb bonus if you sign up and earn 300 sb in your first 30 days using my referral link).

Rakuten: $6.09 (referral link to earn $10)

Besides these online portals and cash back apps, I also utilize my credit cards rewards for Christmas during the second half of the year.

Amazon CC: $13.24
Citibank: $30.76
Capital One: $31.67

Total passive Christmas money earned: $189.92

This does come up a bit short for my Christmas vision, though.

I do expect that my credit cards will increase a bit over the next two months and that I will have another $10 or so to add to the pot from the Stepbet app (I am currently playing a new game).

In addition to this amount of money earned completely passively over the year, I will also implement a 30 day savings plan that I stumbled across on Pinterest.

I’ve tried the annual savings challenge before and saved close to $1400 doing it, but I LOVE the impact of a 30 day challenge and virtually anyone can find a way to come up with these daily amounts of cash every day. I would even say that most of us wouldn’t miss a daily transfer of these amounts until the 2 week mark, when the sums start to add up much more quickly.

$200 (my estimated amount of funds considering the additional credit cards rewards and step bet win) +$465= a much better looking Christmas fund.

If you haven’t started thinking about Christmas, I hope you’ll consider signing up for some of the apps I listed above (just signing up with my codes would earn you $27) as well as implementing a 30 day savings challenge like the one above. I anticipate doing the 30 day challenge in November to be prepared but I can also see myself doing it throughout the year next year just to have some extra money in savings or put into projects.

Of course there are many other ways to do this, this is just what is working for me this year. If you’ve got any other apps that you use to earn money passively or ways to earn/save for Christmas — I’d love to hear.

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