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I love winter… being cosy by the fire, hot cocoa with marshmallows, shopping at the Christmas markets, parties… but there’s one thing I don’t love about this time of year. THE COST! Fuel bills go through the roof, if you commute to work, the mornings are cold and dark so you’re more likely to drive or use public transport. Then don’t get me started on gifts, which seem to get more and more costly each year. Christmas parties, shopping for the perfect outfits for these parties…. the list goes on. Don’t get me wrong, it’s actually my favourite time of year, and I know a few tricks to not let your finances ruin the best time of year.

Last year, my cat got really sick and unfortunately had to be put to sleep. As traumatic as that was for us, it was made worse by the unexpected vet charges and cremation fees. Things can just come out of the blue, the washing machine could need replacing, your car might break down. These are all part of life, but when you have to worry about things like Christmas too it can all get pretty overwhelming.

When things get dire, financially, the trick is to keep your head and not let it get to you too much. It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. No matter what, things will be ok, stay positive. Here are a few things I turn to and bring in a little extra cash when needed.

Put your skills to good use.

It’s never been easier to earn money from utilising your skills. If you’re good at crafts or have a skill, chances are other people will want that. Home-made crafted items are very on trend for thoughtful Christmas gifts, but not everyone has the time or talent to knit a sweater or paint a watercolour portrait. Maybe you’re good at photography or design? Think outside the box and offer something unique. You could join sites like Etsy to sell your goods.

Look Online

There are literally tons of ways to make some money online, all you need is some time, an internet connection and a computer. Some great ways are things like matched betting, this works taking advantage of free bets regularly offered by betting sites through ‘matching’ them at a betting exchange. Another way is,  online surveys or product reviews for some quick cash, but they don’t tend to offer big bucks, just pennies. It can be a nice little side income though if you have the time. My personal favourite is blogging, you can set up a free blog in no time and get writing. Build an audience (this may take a little work but it’s so worth it) and try affiliate marketing (where you get a commission if someone clicks a link from your site) or sponsored posts where companies pay you to write about their products. I’ve made some amazing connections through blogging.

Get a job

A part-time job is a great way to bring in extra money if you need it. You could try temping, where you just work a short time to cover someone else on leave, or seasonal work. With Christmas on the way, a lot of retail outlets like to take on extra staff to cover the busy period. If your evenings and weekends are free there is also bar work. I used to work in a pub on Friday and Saturday nights and it was so much fun. I’d often get asked if I would rather be out with my friends, but in a way I was… and I was getting paid for it. Obviously, this isn’t a perfect solution for everyone. If you work 40+ hours per week, the last thing you want is more work. Especially if you have a family too. It isn’t always practical.

Try a short-term loan

Sometimes there are situations that mean you need money, and fast! Not everyone has rich relatives they can turn to but a good option in these cases can be a short-term, payday loan. They’re great if you need money quickly to cover emergencies, such as an unexpected repair or bill,  if you don’t have the best credit score but want to improve it, and you need something flexible so that you can spread the cost in a way that suits you and your budget without adding to your money worries. Click here for more information. Cash Lady has been providing UK consumers with funds just when they need them most for almost ten years and are committed to treating their customers fairly by being transparent with their terms from the outset. They have a great range of options and can offer money quickly to help you out of the stickiest of situations. The application is quick and easy, and they’re on hand to help if you have any queries along the way.

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Cash Lady Loans. Click here for more information on ther services.