Are you looking for the best ways to make money for the holidays?
It’s no secret that many people get stressed around the holidays, trying to figure out how to afford holiday gifts and pay for holiday travel.
Sadly many people resort to going into credit card debt to make ends meet.
But not anymore.
In this post, I share with you 21 side gigs you can do to earn some extra holiday cash.
Pick one or a few of these ideas and you will be able to earn money in your spare time to help cover your holiday expenses.
Let’s get started finding you the perfect holiday side hustle!
21 Simple Ways To Make Money For The Holidays
#1. Take Online Surveys
In our current economic climate, everyone could use a little extra spending money to help them afford presents and other necessities for the holidays.
One way to make money for the holidays that is accessible to everyone is to take online surveys.
Although an online survey site doesn’t pay out a significant amount of money, you can easily do them during your free time and begin to earn passive income over time.
If you have a bit more time as well as a phone or laptop with a camera and a microphone, you can try a platform like UserTesting as well.
This isn’t a survey taking site, but you earn money to test websites.
There are many websites out there that will offer you $10 or more for 20 minutes of your time to see how well you can navigate their website and provide honest feedback.
Looking for something a bit more unique, you can always take surveys on SliceThePie for various music pieces.
No matter how much you’re looking to earn or what interests you most, there are plenty of great survey platforms out there to help you bring in the additional income you’re looking for.
#2. Join Swagbucks
Many people that sign up to Swagbucks do so for the surveys.
But Swagbucks offers so much more.
You can earn points by taking part in their daily poll, trying new things, watching videos and shopping online.
Then you take your points and turn them into cash or free gift cards.
With so many ways to earn points, many find this option to be their favorite.
And here is an extra tip.
You can use Swagbucks throughout the year in your spare time.
This will allow you to accumulate cash or gift cards all year long to help you pay for Christmas gifts and travel expenses.
To join Swagbucks for free, click the link below and get $10!
And if you want more sites like Swagbucks, check out MyPoints!
#3. Become A Freelancer
Working a 9-to-5 isn’t the only way to make significant money for your professional skills.
In fact, you can make money for the holidays by offering your skills outside of work.
For example, let’s imagine that you currently manage a marketing team at your company.
Knowing marketing inside and out, you can offer digital marketing services to individual clients on a freelance basis.
This gives you the ability to work on a schedule that works best for you while pocketing all of the profits.
But where are you supposed to find these clients?
Some platforms that can help you get in contact with companies and individuals who need your services include Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr.
The more you advertise yourself and the better your profile is, the more money you’re going to bring in for the holiday season.
If you enjoy writing, you can become a freelance writer.
Websites are always looking for content and if you can write well, you can make money.
Bonus points if you are knowledgeable about a topic, as you can write higher quality articles in less time, boosting your income
#4. Tap Into The Gig Economy
Gig-based tasks have taken on new popularity today.
As such, seeking out these tasks to earn some quick cash for the holidays may be a lucrative side business.
Gig economy apps are abound in today’s market, which means that you have a wide variety of options at your disposal and can diversify your streams of income to bring in maximum revenue during your free time.
If you’re looking to deliver food, you may want to sign up for apps like UberEats, Postmates, and DoorDash.
If you prefer to drive others to their destinations, you can always sign up for Uber and Lyft.
For grocery deliveries, you can turn to apps like Instacart or Shipt.
Put simply, there’s no shortage of apps to help you make the most of your delivery driver experience.
#5. Flip Items In Your Area Or Online
Looking for an easy way to make money for the holidays that doesn’t involve being online all the time?
One great way to do this is to try your hand as a flipper.
Flippers will typically find excellent products in their area using resources like garage sales, estate sales, Craigslist, or local Facebook groups and either selling those goods as is or fixing them up to turn a profit.
Some flippers are a bit more innovative and will pick up appliances that need some work so that they can make substantially more money.
Once you have an idea of what you want to flip and you’ve managed to get your hands on some merchandise, you can always sell locally through OfferUp or Facebook Marketplace.
You could also try to sell to people around the world on websites like eBay or Amazon.
The only thing to keep in mind when flipping is the money that you’ll have to invest in your business endeavors.
Things like fuel, repair costs, and shipping costs will all factor into what your profits look like once you manage to sell your goods.
#6. Become A Mystery Shopper
Since you’ll be shopping for Christmas presents ahead of time, it only makes sense to double down and make some extra money along the way.
If you love going on adventures, becoming a mystery shopper is great idea for you.
Mystery shoppers are tasked with going into stores and taking down the prices of certain items, evaluating customer service, and taking other notes about the store.
In return for your time and discretion, certain agencies will pay you for this work. Others might allow you to keep the merchandise you buy as payment.
Some agencies that you can apply for include Intellishop and Second to None.
#7. Pick Up A Seasonal Retail Job
If you’re itching for a reliable income and have the extra time, you can make money by picking up a seasonal job.
Retail stores in your area are likely handing out applications to bring new employees on board who are willing to help them with their holiday rush.
Once you’re finished with your seasonal position, you can always continue working if they’re looking to hire someone full-time or part-time, which means extra money in your pockets even after the holiday season has come to a close.
And you could put this money into a separate savings account so you have the cash for gifts for next year!
#8. Sell Homemade Crafts And Goods
There’s just something different about purchasing an item that was made with care and love over a product that was mass-produced and may be of lower quality.
If you’re someone who’s great at making things for yourself, you could use this talent setting up your own online store.
Just a few ideas of things that people may buy online from independent store owners include products like candles, knitted goods like sweaters or throws, and even small furniture.
You could also combine some of your own homemade goods with other products that you personally love and promote.
With the right marketing technique, you can then drive shoppers to your website to start turning your hobby into profit.
That said, making the decision to dive right into this type of side hustle can be one that’s both financially demanding and time-consuming.
Rather than setting up your own website and having to deal with the other business demands that are involved in this, you can use a platform like Etsy.
Etsy makes it easy for you to open up your own digital storefront on their platform so that you don’t have to worry about things like hosting.
Just remember that they will take a certain percentage out of each sale.
#9. Become A Pet Sitter Or Dog Walker
Not only is it cold outside, but pet owners are often busier during the holidays, which makes this the best time of year to pet sit or dog walk.
With websites like Rover and Wag!, you can find people in your area who need dog walking services or pet sitting services.
This gives you an opportunity to express your love for animals and make a little extra cash along the way.
If you don’t mind a more demanding way to make good money, you could always try your hand at babysitting by signing up through platforms like Care.com.
- Related: Learn how to become a nanny
People are always in need to child care and around the holidays when there are lots of events and parties, the demand is even higher.
Having a great demeanor with kids can help you to find long term positions if interested.
#11. House Sit
Did you know you can get paid to stay at someone’s house for free?
Many people who travel don’t want their own home to be vacant during these times.
So they find people interested in staying at their house and making sure everything is safe.
In some cases, you may even need to watch pets or water plants.
It’s a great side hustle if you have the option of traveling for extended periods of time, and Trusted HouseSitters makes the process easy.
To get started, check out Trusted HouseSitters by clicking the link below.
#12. Hang Christmas Lights
Here is one of the best side hustles for making extra money around the holidays.
Many people, while loving the holidays, don’t enjoy the holiday work that comes with it like decorating or hanging lights.
If you enjoy this type of work, you definitely will find a market for your services.
Pay varies by the complexity of the job, but you could earn anywhere from $10 an hour up to $25.
#13. Use Cashback Sites
This idea isn’t so much a way to make money for the holidays, but it is a great way to save money on gifts and presents.
These sites partner with retailers and offer cash back on your purchases.
The amount you earn varies by store, but usually is somewhere between 1% and 25%.
This is how I shop and usually save a few hundred dollars on the holiday gifts I buy.
To join Swagbucks and get $10 for free, click the link below.
To join Rakuten and earn $30 after you spend $30 at your favorite retailer, click the link below.
#14. Shop For Others
Related to decorating for others, many don’t have a lot of time to shop for gifts.
You can offer to do the shopping for them to help save them time.
Just get a list of things to buy and then complete the list.
Ideally they will give you a form of payment to purchase the gifts, that that they can get the money back if it needs to be returned.
Otherwise, be sure to get a gift receipt for all purchases and hold onto the original receipt for a few months after the holidays.
You can charge on an hourly basis or charge a flat rate if you are only going to one store.
Finally, if you are paying with your credit card and getting reimbursed, be sure to use a card that offers you rewards.
And if you shop online, be sure to use Swagbucks or Rakuten to earn cash back.
#15. Clean And Organize Houses
Either before the holidays, after the holidays, or both, people need help with cleaning and organizing their house.
Chances are they have to find new homes for things in order to put up a tree and decorations.
Or they need help finding a place to put all the things they get for the holidays.
This is where you come in.
You can help organize their home so they can keep it free from clutter.
And don’t forget about cleaning.
They might be having get together’s or holiday parties that they need a clean house for.
After the holidays, they need to good cleaning to get all the tree needles out of the house.
If you are skilled at cleaning and organizing, you could make extra cash providing this service.
#16. Put Together Greeting Cards
As much as people love getting cards in the mail around the holidays, most people hate sending them out.
Not only do they have to find a card, address it, and mail it out, many people now have to pick pictures to create a custom card.
This takes a lot of time, and even more time if you aren’t skilled in the various online sites that help you to design these cards.
If you enjoy this work, you can make a lot of extra income.
And don’t think you need to know graphic design either. As long as you can navigate the website, you can create the greeting cards.
All you need are the pictures and the addresses of who to send them to.
You can bill the person for any supplies you used, like address labels, stamps, cards, etc. as well as your fee for the work.
#17. Find Short Term Work On Craigslist
People are always posting on Craigslist for short term help.
And by short term, I am talking about one day jobs.
You will see posts looking for help cleaning up a yard, or moving some furniture, or even hauling away items in their house.
You might even see posts for help with hanging Christmas lights.
While these jobs won’t pay a lot, they will pay $50 to $100 for a few hours of work.
Complete a handful of these tasks and you have money to pay for your presents.
#18. Run Errands
If you want to expand on the idea about shopping for presents, or offer a different service, look no further than running errands.
People need help running errands in general, and around the holidays, even more so.
You can pick up or drop off dry cleaning, run to the grocery store to pick up groceries or party supplies.
There are all sorts of errands people need help with that you can do for them.
#19. Collect And Sell Old Phones
This idea is one you can use to make money after the holidays this year, but could jumpstart your savings for next year.
Since many people get new phones as gifts, they have old phones now collecting dust.
And many of these phones are in good working condition.
You can offer to buy these old phones, clean them up, and resell them for a profit since most people don’t know what their phone is worth.
If you want to make good money, consider buying phones with a cracked screen as well.
While it looks costly to repair, the truth is it is an easy fix with the right tools.
You can then flip the phone for a profit.
Finally, if you don’t want to find buyers, you can use a site like Decluttr who buys old phones.
They also buy other older electronics too, so you could even expand your business into this area too.
#20. Become An Online Friend
Here is an underserved side gig that you not only can make money doing, but also feel good about.
There are a lot of people who can’t be with loved ones during the holidays or don’t have any family.
As a result, they get depressed this time of year.
As a virtual friend, you can brighten their day by being someone to talk to, or if local, someone to spend some time with.
- Related: Learn how to become a virtual friend
- Related: Find out how to make money talking to lonely people
It’s an easy way to make a little extra money and help people at the same time.
#21. Take Holiday Photos
While you could simply offer to take holiday pictures of families, you can expand this idea into Christmas lights and other holiday events.
People love looking at houses decorated for the holidays, but might not want to go out into the cold weather or have the time.
You can sell photos of the decorations for these people to buy.
And if you have a drone, you could get some unique images to sell that very few others will offer.
You might even consider putting together a short video of local homes that are decorated and selling access to the video to people in the neighborhood.
There are a lot of things you can do to make money for the holidays.
The biggest thing to remember is the sooner you start, the better.
The last thing you want to do is wait until December and have to try to earn $1,000 in a month.
Instead, if you start in September, you only have to earn $250 a month and can work a lot fewer hours in the process.