Dazzling lights, the smell of gingerbread, and credit card debt; those are the hallmarks of the holiday season.
Trying to buy thoughtful gifts for friends and family and finding just the right outfit for every holiday party can hurt your budget. If you’ve been working on paying down student loan debt or building an emergency fund, the holidays can be a serious setback.
Luckily, you can turn the holiday season into a major moneymaker with a little ingenuity. Everyone is stressed and needs help, which makes it the perfect time to make extra cash. And, you don’t have to dress up like an elf or work endless hours in retail. Instead, you can work on your own schedule and set your own rates.
Here are seven creative ways you can make money this year:
1. Wrap presents
Many people procrastinate wrapping presents until the last minute. For some, it’s a tedious task that results in lumpp-looking packages. If you have a knack for wrapping gifts neatly, you can make money wrapping gifts for other people.
You can advertise your services on Craigslist, Care.com, and social media or look for gigs on sites like TaskRabbit. You can ask customers to provide supplies like wrapping paper and tape, or you can bring your own and charge a premium for that added service. You can charge as much as $15 an hour and, if you can do more elaborate bows, you can charge even more.
2. Hang up lights
Many people are nervous about hanging Christmas lights themselves, or they simply don’t have the time. If you don’t mind climbing a ladder, you can make up to $25 an hour hanging lights and decorations. You can find decorating gigs on sites like Craigslist or TaskRabbit.
3. Spend time with pets
During the holidays, many people travel to see their loved ones and have to leave their pets behind. Or, they have late night parties and their furry friends will be left alone for long stretches of time. That means the holidays are a perfect time to make extra money by pet sitting.
You can set up an account on Rover.com and start earning cash by walking dogs or watching pets while their owners are away. You can make as much as $40 a day by spending time with an adorable cat or dog.
4. Do someone else’s shopping
Many business people are short on time when it comes to gift shopping and holiday preparation. If you’re willing to brave the mall, you can serve as someone’s personal shopper and handle their Christmas shopping for them.
Look for gigs on sites like Care.com or advertise your services on social media or on local community notice boards.
5. Sell old stuff
You likely have plenty of clutter hanging around your home, even if you’re not aware of it right away. Most people have hundreds, if not thousands, of unused stuff. You can earn extra money for the holidays while making space for your new presents by cleaning out your home.
You can sell clothes and get cash on-the-spot at places like Plato’s Closet and Clothing Mentor. If you have old furniture, you can sell pieces on Craigslist. If you have any unusual collectibles, you can get the best prices selling on eBay.
6. Rent out a room
Do you have a spare bedroom? If so, you can rent out the room on sites like AirBnB or VRBO. Budget-conscious travelers turn to those sites as an alternative to traditional hotels. Renting out a room can be an easy and effective way to earn extra money without much effort. Because the holidays are such a busy time, you can charge higher rates than you could during other times of the year.
7. Let strangers borrow your car
If you have a car you don’t use on weekends or can go without it during the week, you can make hundreds from your vehicle by renting it out to holiday travelers. Turo is a site that connects tourists with area locals to rent vehicles. Depending on the type of car you own and your location, you can charge as much as $100 a day. And, Turo provides insurance coverage, so you know your car will be safe while it’s rented out.
Earning money over the holidays
While the holidays can be expensive, they can also be an excellent opportunity to earn extra money. With a little creativity and planning, you can make money and accelerate your financial goals.
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