I know you’re wondering why in the heck are we talking about Christmas already. Kids just went back to school!
Christmas is expensive for many families and can create a lot of stress when those expenses turn into a credit card balance going into the new year.
Per the American Research Group did you know that the average American family spent $992 on Christmas gifts in 2018?!? This doesn’t even take into account other holiday expenses like decorations, travel and big family meals.
Earlier we talked about how to tighten up your budget to save $3,000 by Christmas. The best way to accomplish that savings goal was to start EARLY!
The same goes if you want to earn a little extra Christmas money. By starting today you’ll have plenty of time to relax and enjoy the holidays when the season is upon us.
Luckily there are a ton of side jobs available to start making extra Christmas money quickly so you can meet your savings goal.
Our Favorite Ideas to Quickly Make Extra Christmas Money
1. Drive for Uber or Lyft
By starting your driving side gig early you’ll have a chance to build up some reviews and establish yourself as a trusted local driver.
Driving for Uber or Lyft works especially well around the holidays when people have guests in town who need rides to and from the airport or just around town.
A great tip for finding extra business is to join your city’s local Facebook groups. We have one here called local town talk and people are always asking for referrals for drivers who will take them to the airport. A few folks on there are recommended all the time and there is always room for others to jump in.
2. Work a Seasonal Retail or Operations Job
There are A TON of retailers that add extra staff around the holidays. As business starts to pick up in mid-November they need a lot of extra staff to keep operations moving.
These can include retail stores around town or at the mall, pumpkin patches or Christmas tree lots. Another bonus of working a seasonal retail job is you may qualify for an employee discount which can help you save some extra Christmas gift money.
Another business that has exploded recently and needs a lot of extra seasonal help is Amazon distribution centers and delivery drivers.
Remember to start applying early for the jobs you want as many of the best options will fill early with others looking to make extra Christmas money.
3. Hang Christmas Lights
If you’re handy and comfortable on a ladder hanging Christmas lights is an easy way to make a nice income between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Post on your local Facebook group or on Craigslist offering to hang lights for $5- $8/string. If you add a disclaimer that you won’t hang lights about 10ft off the ground this will help prevent having to take on time-consuming and/or dangerous jobs that may involve heights or large trees.
You can also offer a light takedown service at a similar price to keep the money rolling in after the holidays.
4. Offer to Watch Neighbor’s Homes
In 2018, AAA forecasted that one-third of Americans would travel for the holidays. This means if you live in a 200 home subdivision then there will be 66 empty homes around the holidays.
Now make sure we’re thinking of this from a house sitting perspective and not a Home Alone Wet Bandits strategy!
Many of these homeowners will have pets or will just be uncomfortable leaving their home unattended while they are away.
If you use NextDoor, are active in neighborhood Facebook groups, or have a local community center where you can hang a flyer, offer up housesitting services. At $20/day you can promise to check-in daily, feed the cats, turn lights on/off, bring in the mail/newspaper, etc.
For folks with dogs or especially needy cats, you can charge even more for full-time petsitting. Booking 2 or 3 of these clients could bring in well over $100/day.
5. Rent Out Your Car on Turo
Turo is an exciting, Airbnb style company where instead of renting out your home you are renting out your car.
Places, where this works really well, are locations further away from airports and rental car hubs and by offering flexible drop off and pickups.
During the holidays, car rental prices can skyrocket at airport rental locations. If you can get by without a car or have an extra car to rent out it can easily bring in an extra $50 – $100/day or more!
6. Sign Up to Take Online Surveys
A few weeks ago we took an in-depth look at online side hustles to start making money fast. One of the best options to start making money quickly was by filling out online surveys.
Some of our favorite options were:
These surveys are all super easy to complete and can be done by anyone with a little extra time on their hands.
7. Sell Crafts on Etsy or at a Local Holiday Bazaar
If you enjoy knitting, woodworking, making prints, collecting antiques or anything else crafty there is a marketplace where you can start making money from your hobby.
We run an Etsy shop selling my woodworking including platters, bowls and various kitchen utensils. The holidays are a huge time for Etsy so by starting now you can get a shop populated with items in time for the big rush.
Many people recommend having at least 25 items in your shop, writing keyword-rich descriptions and taking high-quality photos to really stand out.
Also, note that Etsy, for better or worse, has really begun pushing free shipping and will reward shops who offer it by improving their search rankings. So when you are setting your prices keep that in mind and take into account any shipping and packaging costs you may have to incur.
Local holiday craft fairs or bazaars are also a great way to get your crafts out to the market. Some of these shows are huge and require an established presence and early registration while others are much more open to the public and all levels of crafters.
8. Deliver Food or Groceries with Postmates or Instacart
Everyone seems to get busier around the holidays with visitors, holiday markets, kids at home, etc. Often this can lead to people eating out or running out of time to go grocery shopping.
Postmates is an app that folks can use to have food delivered from local restaurants to their homes. Like other gig type companies, you can work at your own schedule and earn as little or as much as you need.
Instacart offers the same type of service but for grocery delivery. Once again you can set your own schedule and easily earn $10 – $15/hour.
My delivery drives will sign up for both apps and use them at the same time to ensure they stay busy while they are working.
9. Sell Unused Stuff Around the House
While spring cleaning may be THE time to go through and declutter the house the holidays are also a good time to reassess what you are and aren’t using.
Have your kids outgrown toys over the past year? Have them go through their toys and pick out 3 that they no longer use and are ok getting rid of.
Take a look at your summer or fall wardrobe and pick out anything that you didn’t wear this year.
The same can go for kitchen appliances or home decorations.
Many people are in the spending mood so this can be a great time to list some good deals on craigslist, eBay or Facebook.
10. Walk dogs or Petsit on Rover
Rover is another gig economy type app that connects pet owners with people who are willing to pet walkers or sitters. If you love animals and have a flexible schedule this can be a big money earner as lots of people will be out of town traveling and leaving their pets behind.
Jobs are posted both in advance and on a spot basis so keep your eyes peeled for opportunities that are close by and fit your schedule.
When you register as a pet sitter or walker you earn ratings and reviews so getting started early can also help give you a boost before the holiday rush.
Final Thoughts on Ways to Earn Extra Christmas Money
The holidays can certainly bring about a lot of financial stress and uncertainty. These ideas for earning extra Christmas money should help you ease some of that financial stress and optimize your free time.
What have you done in the past to earn extra money around the holidays? Drop us a line in the comments below.
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