Avoid the Blessing Loom: 4 Legit Ways to Earn Cash

With holiday season in full swing, the pressure to spend can be downright overwhelming. In addition to covering your routine monthly expenses, your budget has to stretch to accommodate gifts, decorations, holiday office parties, secret Santas, travel, dinners, and any other holiday-related costs.

The idea of racking up debt on your credit card or depleting your savings account on holiday shopping can make you desperate to find quick cash. Rather than lose your shirt in the latest trending social media Ponzi scheme, “Blessing Loom,” which offers the chance to gain $800 for a one-time payment of $100 using a PayPal account.

Under the scheme, participants transfer $100 to someone’s PayPal account in hopes of “moving up” in a digital money circle by inviting others to do that same. Instead, I encourage you to use your ethics and smarts to make you some extra cash before the new year.

Here are four ways to make some legit money to cover the cost of the Christmas season.

1) Detox your closet for coins.

Sites like Poshmark and ThredUp allow you to sell your gently worn clothes, shoes, accessories, and outerwear. With Poshmark, you open up a store and showcase your closet. On the other hand, ThredUp sends you a “kit” to ship your items for sale. They send you a quote, which you can either accept or reject.

If you have other household items like kitchenware, equipment, and high-quality furniture, you can upload pictures of them to apps like LetGo or OfferUp to facilitate the process. If you have video games, DVD’s, CD’s Decluttr will take your stuff and sell it for you, so you don’t even have to do a lot of the legwork.

Crowdsource your car. Driving with on-demand taxi services like Uber, Lyft, and Gett are easy ways for you to make some cash for the holiday. Many of these sites offer double-digit commissions and sign-on bonuses.

If you’re not interested in driving for money, you can rent your car. Turo allows you to rent your vehicle to a community of approved drivers. You’ll earn 65% to 85% of the trip price, depending on the vehicle protection package you choose. If you provide your own commercial rental insurance, you’ll earn 90%.

If you have an underutilized parking spot, sites like Just Park or Parking Panda can help you monetize this space.

2) Sell your expertise.

We all have passions, skills, and abilities that can help us bring in some cash. Digital marketplaces like Thumbtack, Upwork, or Fivver allow you to set up a profile and either set your prices or bid for projects of interest.

3) Freelance for a fee.

You don’t have to be a 5-star writer to get paid to write. Sites like International Living and Listverse are interested in your story and what your personal experiences are. While their rates of compensation range, you can earn as much as $100 for an article.

4) Be a social butterfly.

If you have a large social media following, you can apply to be a part of digital media and marketing companies like IZEA, She Knows Media or Massive Sway powered by The Sits Girls to promote brands for a fee through tweets and updates.

You’ll never have to choose between your finances and the holiday spirit if you are smart about making money over the next few weeks. What’s great about making easy money during the giving season is that you can decide to continue to stockpile your cash long after the New Year rolls around.

Kara Stevens is the founder of the personal finance and lifestyle blog The Frugal Feminista, an online home for financial empowerment, girl power, and juicy living. Connect with her on Twitter @frugalfeminista.