You're probably feeling the usual holiday season financial stress right about this time. Everything from gifts and travel to food and festivities, your bank account is likely dwindling faster than you expected. Don't get yourself in a tizzy just yet - there are some easy ways to generate a bit of extra income over the next couple months.
Have a skill or talent you can monetize? The holidays are a great time to turn your hobby into some quick cash. You're also in luck if you don't mind putting in a couple hours at some seasonal work. Retailers are always hiring extra hands this time of year. Whether you want to work a couple of shifts or find a more flexible side hustle, this blog post will explore some clever ideas to help you earn that extra holiday cash you likely need this winter.
Become a Holiday Helper!
The holidays are a perfect time to earn money on the side, so why not dive into the spirit while you're at it? An easy way is to offer your professional services as a holiday helper:
Everyone appreciates a hand-wrapped gift. Offer gift wrapping services at local stores, charging a couple of dollars each item. All you need is wrapping paper, tape, scissors, and creativity.
Busy people often need help ticking things off their to-do lists. Post on neighborhood groups offering personal errand services like picking up groceries or dry cleaning, waiting in line at the post office, or dropping holiday gifts off to friends and family. Charge $10-15 each errand or offer package deals.
Not everyone has the time or talent to make their home look festive. Provide exterior holiday decorating services like hanging lights, wreaths, and garlands. You can also offer interior decorating by putting up a tree, staging a nice mantel, or creating custom centerpieces. Charge $35-50/hour depending on the services.
The holidays often mean extra events, parties and shopping trips. Offer drop-in babysitting or childcare services so parents can get things done without the children in the back. Charge $10-15 an hour for one child, with small increases for additional kids.
With some discipline and hustle, you could be earning more money in no time. The holidays happen every year, so the opportunities to earn cash on the side are endless. Go out there and spread some cheer while padding your wallet!
Turn Your Home Into a Holiday Hotel
Want to make some cash passively? Turning your home into a holiday hotel is another easy way to bring in a little extra holiday cash during the busy season. You just need a spare room and the willingness to share your space.
Choose a Competitive Rate
Do some research on comparable rentals in your area to determine a fair price range, then price on the lower side since you’re just starting out. Raise rates over time as you build up reviews.
Be Proud of Your Space
Make sure the room is clean and welcoming. Provide essential amenities like a comfortable bed, linens, towels, hangers, charging outlets, WiFi access, and TV. You may also want to include a mini fridge, coffee maker, space heater, or fan depending on the location.
Promote Your New Business
Create listings on sites like Airbnb or VRBO. Include professional photos of the space, some details about your available room, amenities you're going to offer, as well as your house rules. Build your credibility by getting verified and starting to earn reviews. You can also tell friends and family, and promote on local Facebook groups and NextDoor.
Be a Thoughtful Host
Do small things to make your guests feel at home like providing snacks, bottled water, maps of the area, and recommendations for things to do. Be available to answer questions and address any issues. Simple touches go a long way in earning repeat customers and positive reviews.
With some preparation and marketing, renting out a spare room during the holidays can be an easy way to generate $500-$1000 or more a month in extra income.
Sell Your Baking and Cooking Skills
During the holiday season, your baking and cooking skills could also be turned into extra cash. Many people don’t have the time or ability to make homemade treats, so they’re willing to purchase yours.
Bake and Sell Cookies, Cakes or Other Treats
If you have a go-to cookie or cake recipe that always gets rave reviews, consider baking extras to sell. Let people know using social media or at work or school that you’re taking orders for homemade holiday goodies. Price items individually or sell by the dozen. You can also set up a booth at a holiday market or craft fair to sell your treats.
Offer Meal Prep or Meal Delivery
For those too busy to bake, prepare entire meals or meal kits for them to easily heat and eat. Think lasagna, enchiladas, soup, stew, or chili that can be frozen in portions. Also consider doing meal ordering where you cook and deliver food fresh. Advertise your service around your neighborhood or using online platforms like TaskRabbit. Be sure to charge appropriately for your effort and cost of ingredients.
Host a Holiday Themed Cooking Class
If teaching is your thing, host an exciting holiday cooking class. You can do cookies, cocktails, candies, or meals. Charge students a fee for the class and provide all recipes and ingredients. Promote your class on social media, at local cooking stores, recreation centers, or at school or work. Students appreciate learning a new skill from an experienced cook.
Sell Homemade Gift Baskets
For those wanting to give food-themed gifts, create homemade gift baskets to sell. Pick a theme like a cookie, coffee, flower, or wine lover’s basket and fill a basket with homemade or gourmet treats. Also allow customers to choose items to create a custom basket. Promote baskets at local gift shops or online on sites like Etsy. Price baskets to earn a good profit for your time and the cost of good ingredients.
Offer Holiday Pets Sitting or Dog Walking
Guess what? The holidays are also busy time for pet owners—between travel, holiday shopping, and events, your furry friends often find themselves lost in the shuffle. Offering pet services is a great method to make some actual cash and help keep pets happy during this hectic season.
As a pet sitter, watch pets in their own home while their owners are away or busy. Here're some common activities:
- Feeding and exercising pets
- Administering medication if needed
- Playing with pets and providing companionship
- Bringing in mail and newspapers
- Watering plants
Charge $10-15 an hour visit or $15-50 a night for overnight sitting. Advertise your services on sites like Rover.com and by putting up flyers.
For those with limited time, a dog walker is a holiday lifesaver. As a dog walker, you could:
- Walk and play with dogs
- Pick up and drop off dogs
- Transport dogs to vet or grooming appointments
- Refill food and water bowls
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Whether you're trying to pay off student loan debt or you're just tired of completing online surveys for a couple bucks, we hope that after reading this blog you discovered some ways to make some money this winter. But what if we told you that you could make some cash (or rather save some cash) even easier?
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