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How to Fund Your Christmas Budget — In Just 15 Minutes per Day!

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Fund your Christmas budget in 15 minutes a day! By participating in just a couple of these activities each day, you can add a pretty significant amount of cash to your Christmas budget!

If you’re looking for simple and legitimate ways to stretch your Christmas budget just a little further, you’ve come to the right place! By participating in just a couple of these activities each day, you can add a pretty significant amount of cash to your Christmas budget!

Take Surveys

While participating in surveys won’t make you rich, it is a great way to make a nice little side stream of income if you have extra time on your hands.

It takes a little while to learn what types of surveys you enjoy most and which ones are worth the effort. If you’re patient, persistent, and thorough, you will definitely earn some money. Don’t get discouraged if you end up spinning your wheels and not making a lot of progress in the beginning. Stick with it and you’ll get a much better grasp on where the best return on your investment of time is when it comes to surveys.

Hint: Be sure to use a separate e-mail address for your survey companies. Your inbox will be very full with surveys, and you don’t want it clogging your regular inbox. Plus, it makes it much easier to set up a separate email address for all your survey companies, so that you can just log into your inbox once per day and read through the emails/take the surveys versus having to wade through your regular inbox to find all of the survey opportunities.

If you’re looking for legitimate survey companies to sign up with, here are the tops ones I recommend:

1. Pinecone Research – This one is my favorite survey company, because I’ve found that it offers the most surveys for the best pay — $3 for each survey completed. This one can be competitive to get accepted into, but they have currently opened their doors to more of a general population for a limited time only! Go here to apply and get started.

Reader Ali shared her testimonial on Facebook: “I love Pinecone. It’s what helps with my Christmas Stocking shopping. I earn around $200-$250 per year!

And Amy shared her great experience, too: “I have been using Pinecone for several years now, and I make about $100-$150 per year. It’s a great income booster.

2. Opinion Outpost – This reputable survey company pays in point rewards for every completed survey. You can choose to get paid at $5 for an Amazon gift card or at $10 for cash.

3. Inbox Dollars – You’ll get paid to read emails, search the web, take surveys, and more. I loved earning free gift cards from Inbox Dollars when Jesse was in law school and I had a lot more time than money.

4. OneOpinion – This company gets really great reviews and is known for their availability of quick and easy paid online surveys, their amazing 24/7 customer service with a smaller customer-focused team, and super quick payout when you redeem your points. Once you reach 25,000 points, you can cash in for $25 in the form of PayPal funds, a VISA gift card, or an Amazon gift card!  Go here to sign up.

5. Swagbucks – This is my number one recommendation for earning money with surveys, but it’s SO much more than a survey site! (Read more below!)


Other Easy Ways to Earn Each Day

1. Swagbucks – If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you probably know how much I love Swagbucks. This is one of the easiest ways to earn gift cards to go towards your Christmas budget each year, and it’s a company I’ve been using to earn gift cards for years now!

Like I mentioned above, Swagbucks is not just a survey site. It’s much more than that! In fact, Swagbucks started out as solely a search engine, but they’ve morphed into much more over the past decade. They now offer many different ways to earn more Swagbucks — making it much easier to earn enough Swagbucks to cash in on their prizes. Some of the most popular ways to earn Swagbucks are doing online searches, signing up for offers, printing coupons, completing special offers, or taking polls.

The Swagbucks that you earn can then be redeemed for a variety of different free items, such as Amazon gift cards, Starbucks gift cards, and much more!

Be sure to check out our complete Swagbucks guide, which includes my full Swagbucks review. And don’t miss all of the real Swagbucks Success Stories from MoneySavingMom readers!

2. Shopkick – This is something I recently got back into, and it is such an easy way to earn gift cards! To get started with Shopkick, you simply download the app, turn on Bluetooth, and walk in to stores.

You’ll get “kicks” just for walking in and/or scanning products, which you can then trade in for all kinds of different gift cards, including Starbucks, TJMaxx, Target, Walmart, Old Navy, Best Buy, Lowe’s, Macy’s, Barnes & Noble, and more!

I love Shopkick, because it’s something you can do on the side while you’re already out running errands or getting shopping done.

Check out our full Shopkick review, plus an exclusive Shopkick promo code that gives you a FREE $5 gift card just for signing up!

3. Ibotta – This is one of my favorite money-making apps, and it’s a great way to save money on groceries and more — without clipping coupons! With this app, you’ll get cash back on grocery and retail purchases. Go here to learn everything you need to know about Ibotta.


How to Make it Work For You

So what’s the trick to funding your Christmas budget in just 15 minutes per day? Don’t try to do too much. Pick a few ways to earn, and stick to them consistently throughout each week. Over time, the trickles of earnings will add up to multiple gift cards per month to add to your Christmas fund!

Here is just one example of how to easily add $25+ to your Christmas fund each month:

1. Spend no more than 5 minutes each day using Swagbucks to easily earn enough to trade in for a $5 Amazon gift card each month.

2. Spare an extra 5 minutes to Shopkick at stores that you are already shopping at or that you’re nearby. You can easily earn at least one $5 gift card per week with Shopkick by walking into stores and scanning products — without putting hardly any extra effort or drive time into it.

3. Download Ibotta and cash in for rebates on products you’re already buying when you grocery shop! Earn at least $20 in rebates before Christmas to cash out, and add it to your Christmas fund! This requires very little extra time each week when you shop.

4. Sign up for one or two legitimate survey companies, and carve out 10-15 minutes each day to take surveys. Try for the ones that have the most earning potential for the time put in.

As you can see from this example, you’ll earn at least $25 in gift cards each month by investing 15-20 minutes per day at the most! And if you have extra time and you’re pretty serious about funding your Christmas budget, you could really up your earning potential!


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  • Sarah says:

    My favorite way to save for Christmas is by grocery shopping at Wal-Mart. It’s a few minutes from my house and cheaper on a few things that I buy than the Aldi across the street. I scan my receipt into Savings Catcher and they price match 29 stores in my area for me. In just over a year, we’ve had nearly $500 rewarded back. I then shop online for gifts (way more options and sellers online) and do site to store so I don’t pay shipping. I love it!

  • Keelie says:

    What a great list. 🙂 I will say though, I’ve taken so many surveys and never been able to qualify. I’m just not the right demographic I guess. 😀

  • Sarah says:

    This year Christmas is funded by our Health Insurance company. My husband’s policy has an online wellness component. You track your health, things like weight less, mood, Tobacco intake, take surveys about your well being, read recommended content and even get points for going to your physical. 1 point is worth 1 dollar and you can redeem in $50 increments. So far this year our health insurance cards have earned us about $400, they paid for a new mailbox, start of year school clothes and now most of Christmas. It’s worth checking to see if your health insurance has a wellness plan that includes this, not many people know about it where we are.

    • Angie D TX says:

      I’m wondering if mine has that too. How do u find out? We get gift cards periodically for wearing a boomerang fitness tracker. I’m due $60 in a few weeks from participating. Planning on using it for Christmas shopping 🙂

  • Jessica says:

    Here’s how I funded this year’s gifts for my kids:
    1. Shopping rewards: one of the grocery stores I shop at has category rewards, such as $10 off your order when you spend $325, and you have a full month to spend that much. I use that $10 reward on a gift, so I do this throughout the year.
    2. Cashing in coins: When I pay in cash, I put all of my coins into a jar. I take them to a Coinstar machine and select the gift card option for, so there is no counting fee. I use the credit and get the Lego sets, etc when they go on a price drop.
    3. Rummage sales: I visit a few big rummage sales each year, and often find items that are brand new. I put these into my gift box.
    4. Selling items: I don’t sell that much, but when I do, I save the cash and use it for gifts.
    5. Making gifts: I knit and crochet, so I can make doll clothes and things like that.

  • Michelle O'Neill says:

    You can take surveys at and everyone can do it. They give points that can be cashed in for gift cards.

  • Jen says:

    Is the swagbucks app for your phone free? If not how much does it cost? Thxs!

  • Tiffany says:

    Does anybody know if these survey companies would work for a Canadian? You have way better deals in the US than us…

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