How to Earn Extra Money for Christmas and Holidays
The holiday season is festive, and fun, but it can also be expensive. Even when you plan to keep gift-buying to a minimum and make a point to take advantage of popular retail sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, holiday-related costs can start to tally up very quickly. According to the National Retail Federation, the average American plans to spend over $1,000 on holiday gifts. Having a plan in place to come up with additional funds for Christmas and the holidays can allow you to focus on the fun of the season.
4 ways to get the money you need for Christmas and the holidays
Here are some strategies for earning extra money for Christmas and the holidays
Get a freelance holiday gig
Find an event staff in need
The holidays typically lead to large celebratory events for organizations in your area, so ask your local event halls, caterers and event planning teams if they need any supplemental help. Given their seasonal nature, they won’t be put off by part-time availability but can offer the chance for a nice load of holiday cash.
Hang holiday lighting
If you don’t mind spending a few hours each day hanging from a ladder, offering to hang holiday lights can lead to some surprisingly substantial extra income. Start by decking your halls with flair and tell anyone that asks that your services are available. With every successful hanging, ask to place a lawn sign to advertise, then keep track of your clients and build the business each year as a way to develop recurring holiday cash.
Get a seasonal gig
As the holiday season ramps up in early fall, many employers look for seasonal employees to help manage the holiday rush. But you don’t have to wait until the holiday season — for example, in the summer there are swimming pools, golf courses and outdoor entertainment complexes looking for help. In the early fall, you may have luck looking for part-time job options at farms and fall festivals. While online job postings can be convenient, you can beat the flooded inboxes by inquiring directly with stores and events that are likely to need the help.
Childcare and pet care
Holidays often coincide with festive nights out and vacations, so turn that time away for your neighbors and friends into income by offering to babysit or dog-sit. If you handle your duties with care, you can expect an invitation to lend a helping hand during other occasions.
Deliver Christmas Cash with Your Car
Picking up rides using a ride-sharing app has become the simplest way of monetizing any of your free time and can be a great way to earn money during the holidays. Before you sign up, make sure you’re aware of any potential costs — for example, you may need supplemental insurance to be a rideshare driver, and it’s important to account for the wear and tear on your vehicle as well.
Take on some tasks
Plenty of apps have made it easy to offer your services to people who may need it, so explore task gig apps and find one that meets your qualifications and needs. For higher levels of task income, you can use your knowledge of computers or home repair to generate additional income that lasts throughout the year.
Deliver the goods
From grocery pickups to takeout deliveries, there are definitely jobs in your area for those with cars. Research which delivery services best match your schedule and browse the wide selection of “delivery job apps” that feature satisfied employees.
Stock your savings online
Download Apps that pay
Some apps incentivize online shopping with cash-back programs — for example, you can make money by taking online surveys as you shop. Adding cashback apps to your shopping routine can save you money for Christmas and holiday spending, but there’s nothing to stop you from earning year-round.
Join a focus group
In a focus group, you’re paid for your time and honest opinions about a product. It’s not uncommon for focus group participants to be thanked with a gift card for their time, which can often be in the range of $100 or above.
To find focus groups, search online for focus groups near you. Some focus groups may be exclusively online, some may have a one-on-one video or phone chat, or some may be in person. In general, in-person or one-on-one sessions with a researcher are likely to be most lucrative in terms of payment.
Cash in on your local network
Take part in a study
Live near a university? Universities are often the best places to find paid studies. Look into the university website or search online for “paid clinical studies near me” to find ones you may be eligible for. Eligibility may depend on medical condition, age or other factors, but a study can be a great way to get some Christmas cash and contribute to gaining important information for the university.
Promote yourself to friends and family
Whether it’s occasional babysitting, assisting an elderly relative, or baking cupcakes for a party, there are always ways to lend a hand to your network for pay. Think about the things you can offer: Do people rave about your baking? Offer your services for birthday cakes. Do you have a flexible schedule? You could accompany elderly relatives to mid-day doctor’s appointments. Come up with a list of things you can do, and let family and friends know that you’re eager to help.
Sell your stuff
Clean out a closet or basement and sell what you can to get some extra money during the holidays. You can always host a garage sale or yard sale, but it may be easier and more effective to look online for opportunities. Secondhand item sites can be good possibilities to consider, but consider that listing and management can eat into your time. An easy way to unload some possessions is to use local social media groups to buy, sell and trade among neighbors.
Cash loans that can get you money to cover emergency holiday expenses
If you need cash right away to cover emergency holiday expenses, here are some loan options you can choose from:
A payday loan is a short-term loan that can give you the funds you need to cover expenses until your next paycheck. With these small dollar loans, borrowers can receive a few hundred dollars. Then, they’ll pay back the loan in two to four weeks, on their next payday. This can be a great loan option if you need extra cash around the holidays to pay for essential costs like groceries and gas.
With installment loans, you can receive a lump sum of money that you can repay over time in fixed monthly payments, or installments. Repayment terms can last from a few months to a few years, depending on the lender and loan terms. Installment loans can help people that have to pay a large expense during the holidays, like a car repair or medical bill.
Title loans are secured loans that let you use your car’s title as collateral. With these short-term loans, the lender will appraise your car and offer you a loan amount worth 25 to 50% of its value. You can keep driving your car as you repay the loan. These loans are a great option if you own your car outright and are willing to use it as collateral to get some extra funds around the holidays.
Lines of credit
Lines of credit are flexible loans that let you access funds as needed, up to your set credit limit. With these loans, you can pay back what you owe all at once or over time, and will only pay interest on the amount you borrow. A line of credit can come in handy if you want access to extra Christmas cash or need to pay for an expense like a home improvement or repair project.
Which plan for getting extra holiday cash is right for me?
There are a variety of different ways you can make extra money during the holidays. It's important to find a method that suits your needs and unique situation. For instance, if you have a car, you could consider being a rideshare driver. And if you have a lot of unused items sitting around the house, consider having a garage sale or selling online. Ultimately, find a method for getting extra holiday cash that works for you, and stick with it!
Make a Christmas or holiday budget and stick to it
Remember: Taking on extra gigs and responsibilities during the holiday season will require extra time, so it’s important to factor that into your overall plan. If the side gig you land requires you to find childcare for your own family or makes you feel behind at your main job, it may not be worth it. In that case, a smarter strategy may be to consider pulling back on spending this holiday season. Regardless, coming up with a holiday budget can help you have a goal in mind as you hustle like an elf.