If you're reduced to raiding junior's piggy bank for more Christmas cash (or in this day and age, his GoFundMe account), back away and hit the reset button.
There's a better way to make a few holiday bucks.
It's understandable that the November-December timeframe can be a huge budget buster on the personal finance front. Americans plan to spend $830 this holiday season, and that's just for gifts for spouses, friends, and family, according to Gallup. That's up from $720 from the 2014 Thanksgiving to Christmas season. Add in hundreds more for parties, food, beverages, travel and holiday decorations, and pretty soon, as the saying goes, we're starting to talk about real money.
To make that money, you can try the conventional route, like waiting tables, working a part-time seasonal job at a big box store or borrowing the cash (definitely not a good idea.) But to really make some progress on the cash-generating front, go online and watch the dollars flow this holiday season. Here are some fresh, cyber-based ideas...
- Try pet-sitting: Through web sites like DogVacay.com, you can earn decent money by watching someone's pet for cash. According to DogVacay, anyone can sign up for free to go through the vetting process. Once you're approved, you can set your own schedule and rates, then get paid up to hundreds of dollars to spend time with cute dogs (and cats) whenever you're free. Plus, you can even take care of pups while working on other things from home, the company says. Other sites, like Rover.com, which connects pet parents with locals who are willing to provide in-home care for pups while their owners are away, offer similar benefits.
- Become a YouTube video star: Here's how it works, according to FameBit.com, which offered this tip to MainStreet readers. Sign up on YouTube and post videos of anything you want -- your style, your pets, funny skits or just you talking about your day. Use your social media networking know-how to get 1,000 subscribers, then sign up for FameBit. Brands like L'Oreal, Adidas and Marvel use the site to find YouTubers like you, who submit ideas for videos incorporating their products. Once you partner with a brand and create a video, you can get paid hundreds or even thousands of dollars, FameBit estimates. If you have 1,000 or more followers on Instagram, Vine or Twitter, you can connect those profiles for more opportunities.