In just a few short months we will be celebrating one of the most festive, yet often stressful, holidays of the year – Christmas. This time of year isn’t just stressful because of gift giving, but you may find yourself in need of additional funds for taxes, increased utility bills due to the cold weather or children’s school activities.
Regardless of why you need the cash, read on for 40 ways to make money for the winter holidays.
1. Work at Home as a Seasonal Customer Service Rep
This is one of the easiest work-at-home jobs to land. There are so many companies – big names like HSN, Willliams-Sonoma and Groupon – looking for temporary seasonal phone and chat reps to answer questions and enter sales during the holiday shopping season. And the pay isn’t too shabby – usually $9 to $15 per hour – with regular paydays.
2. Earn with Swagbucks
I’m a big fan of Swagbucks. Earn points called SB that can be redeemed for gift cards and cash by PayPal. One of the easiest ways to earn right now is watching videos. I explore the other ways to score SB with my Swagbucks review.
3. Make Money with Your Car
Isn’t it time you car got a job? This is a great time to become a driver with Lyft or Uber as people want to get out and shop without having to worry about parking spaces and a cold seat. Then there’s the folks exhausted from holiday engagements who just don’t feel like cooking dinner – and let’s not forget those needing a designated driver home from holiday get-togethers.
4. Deliver Groceries
Instacart hires two types of grocery shoppers. Full-Service Shoppers do both the grocery shopping and delivering. In-Store Shoppers do the shopping only. Customers then pick up their groceries from the store. Full-Service Shoppers need their own cars and may enjoy a more flexible schedule. In-Store Shoppers do not need a car but may have a more set schedule.
5. Deliver Lunch
There are also several companies that hire delivery drivers for restaurant orders. These opportunities are incredibly flexible and you don't have to worry about letting strangers in your car. Some locations even allow for deliveries by scooter, bike or on foot! Check out UberEats and DoorDash.
Get rid of those old smartphones, electronics, video games and more on Decluttr.
7. Earn Extra Money with Crowdsourcing Websites
Make a little cash completing small business tasks and more on sites like FancyHands or mTurk. The pay isn’t great, but there’s usually no schedule or specific time commitment involved. Hop on whenever you have a few minutes.
8. Start Investing
I LOVE passive income. There are very few opportunities as passive as investing – let your money do the work for you. You have several options to choose from based on your cash on hand and comfort with risk. Look into peer-to-peer lending, eREITs and automated investing. Acorns, for example, rounds up your change and invests it automatically. THIS IS A LONG-TERM PLAN. You need to be able to ride the tides of the market. You can’t yank out your money next month if the market is down. If that’s nothing something you are comfortable with, do something else on this list.
9. Make Money Shopping
I love Ebates. Earn cash back when shopping at your favorite online merchants. You’ll get a $10 bonus when you sign up and make a qualifying purchase. You’ll be happy you joined when it comes time to do your online Christmas shopping!
10. Remember Christmas Clubs?
Some banks used to offer “Christmas Club” savings account in which they would deposit a specific amount of money every month to get you ahead of the game for the holidays. Some banks still do this. If yours doesn’t, check out Qapital. This is a neat new app that allows you to set savings goals.
One thing I really like about this app is that you can get it working with your personality. You can set rules such as a $20 per week fast food budget. If you go over that limit, you can set your Qapital to deposit a specific amount of money as your punishment. (Either way, you save money. Right?) If you are a rewards-motivated person, you can tell Qapital to deposit the remaining balance of that budget into savings if you don’t spend $20 on fast food this week. I love that!
Qapital is not a bank but they do keep your funds in an FDIC-insured bank. They also stop all transfers that would leave you with less than $100 in your funding account so there is less risk of overdrafts.
11. Make Money with Ibotta
Earn cash back rebates when you grocery shop. Ibotta also offers cash rebates for online shopping (similarly to Ebates).
12. Clear Off Your Bookshelves
In our recent post about becoming an Amazon FBA seller, it was brought to my attention how lucrative selling used books on Amazon – and elsewhere – can be. It's also a great flexible gig for those looking to do something part-time or just on the weekends.
13. Trade-in Stuff for Amazon Credit
There are several ways to get rid of unwanted books, electronics, DVDs, or video games. If you’re looking for a convenient way to get rid of these items, you may be interested in Amazon’s trade-in program. You can receive free Amazon gift cards for items you trade, plus Amazon will pay for shipping costs on the items you send them.
14. Save Your Change
So, maybe my husband and I are the only people that still keep some cash on hand. If not, start saving your change. This can really add up over time! Especially if you start saving your $1 bills in addition to hand change.
15. Save Your Digital Change
Chime is a new banking option with no fees. (No overdraft. No minimum balance. No monthly service fees. No foreign transaction fees. No transfer fees. Over 38,000 fee-free MoneyPass® and Visa Plus Alliance ATMs, plus 30,000+ cash-back locations.) When you bank with Chime, you get a Chime Visa® Debit Card, a Spending Account, and an optional Savings Account – all managed through a beautifully designed mobile banking app. Save When You Spend automatically rounds up transactions to the nearest dollar and transfers the Round-Up from your Spending Account into your Savings Account app. You can also choose to have 10% of your deposits automatically added to your savings.
16. Become a Mystery Shopper
This is a great opportunity that you can do as you choose. There is no big commitment involved, but make sure you’re careful and only accept legitimate opportunities.
17. Become a Website Tester
Give website owners your opinion on what they could improve to make your visit better; work with established companies and complete prescribed walkthroughs of specific tasks.
22. Make Money Writing
This is such a lucrative gig if you have a love for grammar and research. If you have knowledge in a specialized area like personal finance or healthcare, you can easily charge $150 or more per article. A few of those and your income goals have been met!
23. Work On-Demand
Freelancing doesn’t just mean working online. There are some great opportunities to earn extra cash in your community, from carpooling to local deliveries to housework and handyman gigs.
These sites will help you find them.
24. Open a saving or checking account
Capital One 360 will give you a $25 bonus when you open a new savings or checking account with a qualifying deposit. I don’t know about you, but I’ll pick up free $25 bills wherever I can find them. Just use this referral link.
25. Get Paid to Lose Weight
You know it’s coming in the face of all these rich holiday meals! Why not make it a game, go into the holidays healthier, and make some cash from your exercise and dieting efforts?
26. Buy Low Sell High with Retail Arbitrage
Speaking of flipping product, want to know where to get some more cheap goods for reselling on eBay, Amazon, Craigslist or Facebook? This post has some great ideas.
27. Start a Blog
So maybe you won’t be able to generate extra cash for this Christmas, but starting a blog now may help you have things in place for the next one. And blogs can generate income all year long.
It really isn’t that hard to get started. Sign up for my free 5-day blog beginner brainstorming series below.
28. Trim Your Bills
Trim is a free app that can help you save money. Link it up to your credit card or bank account and it will then start scanning for recurring subscriptions you no longer use. Once it finds them, it can then cancel them for you if you would like. In some cases, it can even negotiate a lower cable or telephone bill on your behalf!
29. No Time to Compare Prices? Let Walmart Do It.
If you are a regular Walmart shopper and aren’t yet using their Savings Catcher, you need to start. Scan the code on your receipt when finished shopping and Walmart will compare the prices of the things you purchased with the prices listed in local sales flyers. If they find a lower price elsewhere, they will credit your Savings Catcher account with the difference. Save that cash up throughout the year and use it at Christmas!
30. Be a Brand Ambassador
Have you ever been to a baseball game or “taste of the city” event and noticed those smiling, happy people handing out samples of the latest sports drink or branded swag? They all have matching t-shirts and matching enthusiasm? Those are brand ambassadors. And this can be a really lucrative gig!
31. Be a Field Agent
Field Agent is a smartphone app that will allow you to pick up small gigs in your community. You may be checking a store for a price or seeing if a product display is up and fully stocked.
Stockpile is a site I started dabbling in earlier this year. You can buy fractional stocks of your favorite companies. That means even though a single Amazon stock currently costs over $1,000, you can buy just $25 worth of Amazon stock if you like. Some companies pay dividends which means you could have a little cash showing up every quarter if your stocks are performing well.
33. Earn Extra Money as a Pet Sitter
People travel during the holidays. Make a little extra money watching their furkids. If you’d prefer not to petsit, you can also score some holiday funds as a dog walker – spare elderly pet-owners the cold or give dogs the attention busy folks lack time for during this busy holiday season and check out Wag!.
34. Sell on eBay
eBay is another great way to make money by selling unwanted items – or by having those hot holiday items that you manage to score and then flip for a higher price. Sarah Titus has some great tips for getting started and becoming successful.
35. Event Staff
Craigslist has a little section called “Gigs.” Under Gigs you will find “Events.” There can be some really cool opportunities in here depending on your location. In my area recently, I saw gigs for political canvassers paying $15 per hour, event cleanup for $9/hour, hosting a trivia tournament and much more! So what if this isn’t stuff you want to do for the rest of your life! If you need cash and can earn $100 in one night doing something safe and legal, I’d sure do it.
36. Flip Stuff
Have you ever been to a second-hand store or flea market and thought, “Gosh. That’s cool. It’s not for me, but someone would love it.” I have. And flipping is a great way to earn some extra cash in those situations. Buy it cheap. Sell it for a profit.
37. Deliver Drinks
We have already talked about delivering food and delivering packages, you can also get paid to deliver alcohol! Sometimes the party runs out of booze before the party’s over. No one should drink and drive, go what’s a crew to do? Call Saucey! As a Saucey Courier, you can make some good money in your free time and work when you want.
38. Sell Your Wares at Vendor Events
This time of year, we see a lot of handmade vendor events popping up. If you have a hand for handcrafted, it’s time to get busy. You will want to think about things you can make that would make for great holiday gifts, like embroidered dishclothes, hand-painted wall quotes, crocheted scarves and hats, handcrafted Christmas ornaments, etc.
39. Sell Your Unwanted Stuff
If you’re down to the wire and need cash fast, hit up your basement, closets and garage for unwanted items. There are tons of companies that will take your unwanted items – and some don’t even require you to leave the house!
40. Make Money with Your Smartphone
While we are at it, isn’t it time your smartphone got a job?! There are so many apps out there that can help you make money on the go.
First published August 2015. Updated October 2018.