Hi everyone! The following is a guest post by Jen at SavingWithSpunk.com. Check out Jen’s recommendations for 7 awesome side hustles to make extra money for the holidays!
There are a lot of things that can get in your way and make you press pause on your debt snowball, but Christmas isn’t one of them. It comes December 25th every year preceded by Thanksgiving and succeeded by calorie intake remorse. But we’re surprised every October when we hear the first holiday ad on the radio (yes, already happening in Florida).
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We started paying off our debt last October, or about 75 days before Christmas. We were newly married and I was totally unprepared for the 100 new family members I’d inherited (no exaggeration.) So in addition to using some of the gift cards we got from our wedding to buy Christmas gifts, we had to get to work to make up the difference and stay on track with our goal.
With the holidays comes lots of opportunities to break your budget but also tons of ways to make extra money. We know there are a ton of seasonal jobs in retail but there are so many outside too! You can set your own schedule and you don’t have to set foot inside a mall to benefit from the goldmine that is the holiday season.
7 Side Hustles to Make Extra Money for the Holidays
Ever wonder how all those coupons get into the newspaper the night before Thanksgiving? Real people have to do it. I know, I thought we’d made major advances in robotic technology. But that’s good news for you! If you have Thanksgiving week off this is the perfect short-term job to make some cash to spend in the stores of those Black Friday ads (if you’re not sick of looking at them.) You can call your local newspaper or check Craigslist for job listings.
Hang Christmas Lights
Big houses and businesses love to turn on their elaborate Christmas light displays as soon as they wake up from their turkey comas. That means these displays start going up in early November. Christmas decorators are already looking for people to help put lights up. Even if they’re not advertising, search Craigslist for businesses in your area and give them a call. A lot of the work is done on the weekends and all those lights need to be taken down so you can expect more work in the month of January.
There’s a Christmas party ever Friday and Saturday of December without fail. You can post yourself on Care.com or take the easy route and promote yourself on Facebook. Tell your friends they days you’re available and ask them to share to their parent friends. You’ll be trustworthier through your connections and not owe anybody a cut of the money.
Catering and Bartending
If parents need babysitters then they’re also gonna need a drink. It’s labor intensive but if you have foodservice experience catering and bartending at parties is very lucrative, especially during the holidays when everyone’s in a much more generous mood.
I recommend looking on Craigslist or GigSalad for a company that hires out for waitstaff and bartenders. The great thing about going through a company is that they carry liability insurance. The last thing you want from your holiday side hustle is to break Grandma’s heirloom vase and owe more than what you made for damages.
This may not be for everyone (I’m looking at you person who put a bow on the Amazon box and called it a day) but for those of us who love the feel of crisply folded paper and are desperate for a few bucks, it’s an easy way to make extra money. You can post to websites like TaskRabbit or Craigslist to offer your services in-home or at a public place like the library. You can also post flyers in coffee shops and day cares advertising your services.
Play Santa (or an Elf!)
Santa and his elves don’t just hang out in shopping malls. They’re all over the place! If you enjoy acting or seeing kids faces light up with the magic of Christmas then this is a great gig for you. It takes a certain type of person to play Santa but I hear elves are very diverse. Post yourself on GigSalad or contact a local Santa to see if he’s in the market for a sidekick.
Rent Out Your Space
Going out of town for Christmas or Thanksgiving? Rent your house out on Airbnb! As much as people love crashing with their in-laws over the holidays, a reasonably priced house rental is just as appealing as a pull out couch in the basement… in winter. You can even rent a single room if you’re not vacating. Airbnb will tell you what houses and private rooms are going for in your area so you can price comparably.
Whatever you do this holiday season, you can work a side hustle around it! Even if you don’t need it to pay off debt or buy presents for your freakishly large family, you can take advantage of this prime money making season to further your financial goals, whatever they may be.
What are some ways that you’ve used to earn extra money (for the holidays or other)?
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Amazon Mechanical Turk or usability services like TestingTime are easy ways to earn some folding money on your schedule with little effort. You’re not going to earn a living wage, but it’s a nice supplement that is incredibly flexible and you can do from home on your computer.
I’ve heard of AMT but have never checked it out before. I’ll have to look into it, thanks!
Missy Burson says
I love to wrap gifts- making them beautiful and festive is half of the fun for me. I never thought of offering my services for extra dough- thanks for such a great money making idea!
I know, that’s one of my fav things too!
Millennial Money says
Seasonal employment opportunities abound! Thanks for listing them here.
Thanks for stopping by!
Interesting ideas! I haven’t even thought of most of those. Great read!
Thanks Dominique! Thanks for stopping by!
Taylor Thrift says
I think you might be onto something where the Christmas decorating is concerned. EVERY year I get blagged into putting up most of my friends Christmas trees (mainly because their lack of coordination gives me itchy eyes!), I think I may just start charging it as a service!
There you go! Money in your pocket!!
Todd N Dina Ferguson-Johnson says
Sadly, these do not exist in all places in the USA
I live in Arco Idaho and there is NOTHING for over an hour away!!! NOTHING!!!!
I am not moving… but really could use some input for making extra income from home… we have been helping family battle cancer and dealing with my own health issues… I need something that I can do when I am feeling well to earn money… surveys are not for me either because I don’t ‘get out’, I don’t watch tv (I don’t even own one) I don’t game
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
I am so sorry to hear that. Here’s another post that I wrote about this exact topic, with lots of links for further info. I hope that this helps you out!