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As we head into the most wonderful (and most expensive) time of the year, I always try to find ways to earn extra cash to help us get through the holidays. Besides the obvious expenses from Christmas gifts, we also have to think about Halloween costumes, Thanksgiving dinner, seasonal activities and decor, Christmas trees, as well as church attire for Christmas Eve. That sounds like a lot of potential debt headed our way unless we try to bring in extra income to prepare for it. This is why I always try to find ways to earn extra cash for Christmas.
Others may have to find extra money for traveling to visit family, hotels, hosting parties, get-togethers, clothing, and more festivities. When you are trying to live on a budget, these costs can add up very quickly. You could easily spend hundreds of dollars outside of your budget during this time of year.
It’s common for many to set a budget for the holidays but still overspend. (Guilty as charged! And more than once.) And if you are trying to pay off your debt, you could end up just accumulating more and wrecking all of your hard work.
That’s why it’s important to save some money each month to go towards the holiday season, as well as to try to earn more money to have more cash at your disposal for your proposed budget.
But, if you have not saved up a holiday stash, here are some great ways to make extra cash in time for the holidays.
Deliver food through Postmates.
Postmates lets customers place their orders for groceries, food, or alcohol through their app. Then drivers go to their local grocery store or restaurant, and do the shopping for them, as well as delivery of those items. As a driver for Postmates, you will get paid weekly, or you can instantly get paid after each job. You can earn up to $25/hour with this side gig. With the holiday season upon us, the amount of jobs available should definitely see an increase as everyone starts to prepare for their festivities.
Become a driver for Postmates.
Deliver food for Door Dash.
Similar to Postmates, being a driver for Door Dash requires you to pick up food from a local restaurant and deliver it to a customer, using their app. They let you keep the entire delivery fee, as well as the tip. Earn up to $25/hour driving for Door Dash. The more you drive, the more you earn.
Become a driver for Door Dash.
Teach English online.
Online teaching is one of my favorite ways to earn an income from home and it pays pretty well (up to $24/hour). You teach English online to students in China in the early morning or late evening hours using a platform similar to Skype. There are many companies out there but the best company is VIPKid. I have worked as an ESL teacher for VIPKID since April of 2018 and they are 100% legit. The high pay is just an added bonus to waking up to see those adorable faces everyday.
Becoming a teacher at VIPKID does require you to have a bachelor’s degree (in any subject), and 1 year of experience with children.
It is important to mention any experience of working with children in your application. This can include mentoring, coaching, tutoring, homeschooling, teaching, helping with homework, etc. If it is not included then you will not pass the initial application review.
Due to the new regulations in China, they are now requiring the TESOL certification, as well, for those that do not have a degree in Education. VIPKid includes their own TESOL certification for free at the end of their hiring process.
To learn more about teaching online, check out our post here.
Babysit or Nanny
This can include babysitting for friends and neighbors, becoming a nanny for a family, or even working in the childcare center at your local gym or daycare. A lot of local gyms allow their employees to bring their child to work with them in the childcare center. That makes it a great opportunity for stay-at-home Moms who want to bring in extra income for their families but don’t want to leave their kids. You can ask friends if they need a sitter, as well as sign up at sites such as Sittercity.com.
Become a seasonal worker at a retail store.
Many stores are now hiring thousands of seasonal workers to cover the busy holiday season. With stores such as Target paying $13.00/hour, it’s a great way to gain some extra cash without taking on a full-time position.
Other stores that offer seasonal positions are Macy’s, Kohl’s, UPS, Petsmart, Carter’s, JCPenney, Old Navy, Five Below, The Salvation Army, Burlington, and many more.
Blogging is a great way to earn a full-time income from your home while doing something you love. It is my favorite way to earn money from home. But it is not a get rich quick scheme. You have to put in many hours of hard work, but if you do, you will see it pay off.
We have a step-by-step post about how to start a blog here. It goes into detail about how to set up your blog, as well as steps to get you started with creating posts. We also discuss different ways to monetize your website and how to choose a niche that will earn you money.
Start your own blog here.
Teach online classes to home-schooled children
Have you ever heard of Outschool? We are a homeschool family and frequently take classes on their platform. Outschool offers courses in a wide variety of subjects including the formal subjects of language arts, social studies, math, and science.
But they also offer extracurricular courses such as coding, world languages, art, music, life skills, technology, health, and more. (Some examples of class titles are “Harry Potter and the Wizard Writing Class, Wilderness Survival Skills 101, Video Game Design (Beginner Coding), American Government and Politics,” and more.)
You are in control of the class price and number of participants for each class, and Outschool takes a fee from what you make for each class. This makes this side hustle one of the highest paying you can find online.
You can teach a class one time, or it can be a weekly or monthly class. You will instruct online, live classes through Zoom.
Become a teacher with Outschool.
Sell used items from around the house.
Every year, I like to do a purge of things in our house. I go through the kids’ clothes, toys, shoes, books, and other items that are gently used and can be re-used. Then I sell the items at a yard sale or our local consignment shop.
I have also sold all of my maternity clothing on E-bay and made a good return. (Ebay is great for selling and buying gently used maternity clothes).
Some other places that you can sell items are Craig’s List, Facebook marketplace, Amazon, and the apps Offerup and Letgo. Remember to always meet potential buyers in public, well-lit places to ensure you are safe if using websites such as Craig’s List or Facebook marketplace to sell your items.
Take online surveys
You won’t get rich with this one, but you will be able to generate a little bit of extra cash or gift cards for shopping. Make sure that you complete the questionnaires out honestly so they can match you with more surveys so you can earn more money.
Taking surveys is a good way to earn a little bit of cash because you can do it while you’re at home binge-watching your favorite show or playing with your kids.
With Swagbucks you will also be able to earn free gift cards by watching videos and playing games, as well as taking surveys on their site. They also give you a free $5 to start when you sign up.
Take care of pets
If you love dogs and cats, then why not get paid to watch them. Join Rover to dogsit or catsit for other families. If you offer pet boarding services (caring for an animal overnight in your own home), you earn the most. You can also be paid to walk dogs, check in on pets at their homes, and stay with pets at their own home or at your house. This is a great side gig if you are an animal lover. You set your preferences for which animals you would like to watch, pick your hours, and then customers can choose you through the app. You can earn up to $1,000/month doing something you love.
Check out Rover here.
Work from home as a proofreader
If you are a grammar pro, you have the potential to earn a decent living wage as a proofreader. Proofreaders review the final draft of books and other documents to check their grammar, spelling, punctuation, and other typographical errors. You must enjoy reading because you will be doing a lot of it.
You could work for a business or you could build your own business as a freelance proofreader. If this sounds like something you would be interested in learning more about, then you should check out a free webinar, Proofread Anywhere, to get started here. This webinar will go into detail about all of the skills needed to build your business and find your clients.
Check out the free webinar here.
Try your hand at transcription
Transcription is a great way to earn money from home. It involves listening to audio files and typing out what you hear. You must have a good headset, computer, and be able to type quickly. While the job can be monotonous at times, it’s a fairly simple job once you get the hang of it. Occasionally, it may be hard to understand an accent during transcription. Even though you can do this at home, you do want to make sure you are working in a quiet environment to efficiently do your job.
If you have no experience with transcription, check out this free mini-course to get you started.
You can learn more about transcription here.
Earn cash back when shopping online
By using browser extensions such as Rakuten, you can continue to do your online shopping for Christmas but earn money back from each purchase. You get $10 to sign up to start, and when you are shopping, the extension will seek out the best promo codes for you on the internet and apply them to your order. They will also alert you if you can earn cash back from the product you are purchasing.
Sell your services on Fiverr
Fiverr is a marketplace where you can offer your services to others as a freelancer. If you are great at graphic design, writing, video editing, coding, marketing, or many other services, then you have the opportunity to sell them through Fiverr. You choose your price starting at $5 – $995. When you complete gigs, you get paid. Work as much or as little as you want.
Check out Fiverr here.
Make and sell crafts
If you have a talent for creating products, then selling your crafts could be the key to making extra money for Christmas. If you own a Cricut or Silhouette, the options are endless as to what you can create. I LOVE my Sihouette Cameo. I can make decals, wooden signs, decorations for my home, T-shirts, and so much more. You could easily create these items and sell them.
If you are great at knitting, you could create blankets or clothing to sell. If you can paint, then you could sell your art work. The options are endless as to what you can create.
You could open up an Etsy store and sell your items on there. You could also visit craft markets in your town and sell your items at a booth there.
Make and sell digital printables
Similarly to selling your crafts, if you have a knack for graphic design, you could create printables. You could open a store on Etsy where there is a huge market for printables. From quotes, to bible verses, there are many different ideas you could profit from.
You could also open up a Shopify store to earn more money from your digital goods.
Sell Educational lesson plans and printables
Are you a teacher, homeschool parent, online teacher or just a parent who loves to make printables and worksheets for your students? I love making rewards for VIPKid, as well as worksheets and fun games for my kids who I homeschool. One way that I bring in some passive income is by selling them online through Teachers Pay Teachers.
I just recently started selling my items on there but I found a major boom during Halloween for my Halloween Bingo and VIPKid rewards. At this time of year, you can make really good money making lesson plans and worksheets aimed towards the holiday season. Make Thanksgiving BINGO or Christmas matching, etc. They sell quickly!
Check out Teachers Pay Teachers here.
Become a mystery shopper
Mystery shopping is something I did for awhile when I first became a stay-at-home Mom. It didn’t bring in a huge amount of money but I was able to make about $60-100/month for a minimum amount of my time.
To become a mystery shopper, you will visit stores, restaurants, movie theaters, gas stations, car dealerships, and many other types of businesses under the guise that you are shopping. While you are there, you may have to take photos of specific products and answer questions about the store’s appearance and the customer service. You may be required to ask specific questions to the store employees and mark down what they say. Of course, since you are “mystery shopping,” the idea is that you are undercover. So you don’t let them know. Then when you leave, you will go home and fill out your paperwork to submit for your payment.
This is a relatively simple gig to earn some extra cash. It’s great when you get jobs at restaurants or movie theaters, because then you are getting paid to do the things you enjoy!
Test out websites
With Usertesting, you get paid to evaluate websites and apps, and give your opinion and feedback. They pay $10 per test and can take about 10-20 minutes to complete. The number of tests you receive will depend upon where you live and how well you do rating their tests.
You won’t make a huge amount of money, but it’s some extra cash to go towards those Christmas presents. They pay you through Paypal.
Check out Usertesting.com.
Evaluate search engine results and online advertisements.
This is another way that I earn money from home. I am an online rater, which means I evaluate the accuracy and relevancy of search engine results and landing pages. There are three big companies that offer these positions, with jobs ranging from Search Engine Evaluator, to Ads Evaluator, and more. Ads Evaluator (a role I’ve held in the past) will examine different online advertisements to see how effective they are and how well they match the guidelines set forth by the company.
This is a great job for Moms because unlike other work-at-home positions, you can do this with your kids in the room with you, and can take breaks if needed. They typically allow you to work up to 25 hours per week depending on your position, with a minimum of at least ten. These companies pay up to $15/hour. The work can get boring at times, but you can’t beat making money from home while taking as many breaks as needed to feed and play with your kids.
Of these “big 3” companies, Appen is currently rated as the number one work-at-home job for Forbes for 2019. Appen offers many different positions, but the one with the most earning potential are their hourly rating and social media positions. Some of these positions do require an exam to be considered for their roles.
Pick up part-time shifts as a server at a local restaurant.
Servers can work a few hours each shift in the evenings and take home a decent amount of pay. If you work at a fine dining establishment, then you have the potential to earn bigger tips. If you enjoy customer service and working with a team of others, this could be a great side hustle to make extra cash for the holidays. The great part of this side gig, is that you typically can take your cash tips home each night instead of waiting for a payday every two weeks. It is also a great way to make more friends.
Become a bartender
If you know how to properly mix drinks, then this has the potential to earn a lot of money. You could work one or two shifts a week, or work more hours depending on your schedule. Clubs and high-scale restaurants will earn you the most cash.
You must have great people skills and be willing to work late nights to be successful with this job. But on busy nights, you could go home with hundreds of dollars if you are working at the right place.
I hope this has helped you find a way to make the holiday season more affordable by increasing your income. Feel free to leave a comment if you have used one of the methods above to make money! Happy holidays 🙂