However, we don’t often think about the financial opportunities that this time of year can present.
That’s right – Christmas doesn’t have to only be about spending money! Why not use the holiday season to actually make money?
There are a range of ways to do this, including while you are diving into your Christmas shopping, so take a look and see how you can start maximising your income this December.
Make Money While Shopping
There’s no denying that Christmas can be an expensive time of the year. You may start off gathering “just a few” presents and before you know it, your budget has spiralled completely out of control.
While there are many ways to limit your spending these holidays, it can be next to impossible to completely cut out all of your expenses at this time of year.
Luckily for us, we can use this to our advantage by actually making money while shopping!
Ebates is an amazingly simple, amazingly great and amazingly FREE way to earn money while you shop online.
All you do is the following:
Step 1: Sign up for an Ebates account here (for free!).
As a special limited time offer, sign up today and receive a $10 welcome bonus!
Step 2: Go to the Ebates website and search for the store from which you want to buy something. There’s a huge range of stores available, including:
- Old Navy
- Best Buy
…and literally thousands more.
Each store has different rates of cash back available. For example, at the time of writing, Amazon offers up to 6% of your total purchase price while Walmart only has 1%. It’s just a matter of searching for the store in which you’re shopping.
That includes both online and in-person shopping!
For in-person shopping, add your bank card to your Ebates account. Then search the shops you need on their website and press “Link Offer” to add them to your card. You can even do this when you’re actually in the store!
When you go to pay, make sure you use the linked card (if it’s a debit card, they advise to run it as a credit transaction by signing the receipt instead of entering a PIN) and the cash back will happen automatically.
While you can click through to the Ebates website to see the deals that are available, make it easier for yourself by being told automatically when a store provides cash back.
You can do this by installing the “Ebates Cash Back Button” as an extension in Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. The link to this can be found in the menu at the very end of the Ebates homepage or as a popup at the bottom of your screen when you click through to their website.
Once this has been added to your extensions toolbar in your browser, which you can see through the addition of a small “E”, just make sure you activate the button (which, as you’ll see when it’s installed, is super easy to do) and it will automatically tell you when a website that you’re on is offering cash back.
It’s perfect for making sure you’re maximising the amount of cash you’re getting!
Step 3: Wait for the cash to be sent to you each quarter through either cheque or PayPal! It’s really that simple – particularly when they say that their users have collectively received $100,000,000 back in total. That’s an insane amount of money!
Remember: sign up with Ebates for free RIGHT HERE and you’ll get a $10 welcome bonus!
Ibotta is essentially like using coupons to get money back – without the time needed to cut, collect and hoard a stack of pieces of paper. It does it all for you!
And once you’ve earned $20, you can choose to either have it transferred to you by PayPal or Venmo. Alternatively, you can get it sent to you as a gift card. Super easy!
Quick! Sign up today and receive a $10 welcome bonus!
Step 2: This short video perfectly explains what you need to do.
The “small task” you have to do to get the cash back really is tiny. For example, videos are only about 15 seconds each and answering a question can be even quicker.
A great way to do this is to do the “tasks” while you’re writing your shopping list. Write down the item you need, search in the app, press play and let the video run while you start completing the rest of the list.
Because this is generally more useful for smaller items, you probably won’t earn as much as with Ebates. But every little bit counts, especially when it’s this simple and ESPECIALLY if you’re going to be preparing a big Christmas dinner – think of all the cash back you can get on those groceries!
AND to earn even more back, make sure you sign up through Facebook. This is because Ibotta allows you to create “teams” with your Facebook friends who also use the app. These teams can then collectively earn cash bonuses.
Don’t miss out on the limited time $10 welcome bonus by signing up through this link!
Make Money From Other People’s Holiday Plans
Rent out a spare room (or your entire house if you’ll be away)
As discussed in this article, accommodation costs for people travelling over the Christmas period can be exorbitant. So travellers are always keen on trying to save money on this in any way they can.
Airbnb is certainly not a new player anymore in this area, but most people only consider the company as being an option when they are looking for somewhere to stay.
Instead, why not consider them as an option to make some money?
It has been calculated that the average monthly income for Airbnb hosts is $924. If you have a spare room, this is a money stream to seriously look into.
Even better: if you are going to be away from your home over Christmas, consider putting your entire house or apartment on their website. This is a great way to earn some extra money, especially considering your home will be sitting there unused otherwise.
Just make sure, especially if you’re renting, that you’re allowed to do this.
As a special offer if you’re not already a member, sign-up for Airbnb here to receive $25 credit!
It should be noted that there is nothing stopping you from listing your room or home on multiple sites and this may help in ensuring that you are maximizing the period in which your room is occupied. So why not try signing up for both!
Look after people’s pets
Putting dogs into kennels is not only expensive for people travelling over Christmas, but can be very stressful for the animals. It’s only natural then that people would turn to an option that allows the dog to be more comfortable at home – either theirs or someone else’s.
And that’s where you step in!
Rover is a website that allows you to become a dog boarder (watching dogs overnight in your home), a house sitter (taking care of a dog while staying at the dog’s home overnight), a doggy day carer, a dog walker, or simply doing drop-in visits.
Rates vary, but Rover says that you can earn up to $35 per night if you have a pup at your place, for example. They also say that a stay or walk is booked through the website every four seconds! So there’s definitely an opportunity there for you to make some money.
What’s great is that you don’t have to sign up to take care of only one dog, but can do several at once, allowing you to earn even more money (and play with more dogs – an important point!)
Simply sign up with Rover at this link and check out the opportunities available near you!
Rent out a spare parking space
This is a particularly good option if you are planning a road trip this December, leaving an empty parking space that is just begging to be monetised!
A number of companies around the world, including in the US, the UK, and Australia, allow you to rent out your spare parking spaces. This can be particularly lucrative if you live in a big city (tourists need to park their cars somewhere and hotels can charge a fortune for this) or near a major events location.
Rent out a spare car
Turo is a great site that links you up with people who will pay you to lease your car for short periods of time. It’s available in the US, Canada and the UK and the company covers you for up to $1,000,000 in liability insurance as well as protection against physical damage. You can, however, take out your own policy (or see if this falls under your existing coverage) and Turo will reduce their fee accordingly.
If you’re travelling over Christmas and your car is sitting unused in your garage, consider whether you’d like to use this option to earn some serious cash while you’re away.
In addition, sign up for Turo here and receive $25 credit for free if you wish to use them to rent a car yourself.
Make Money From Seasonal Jobs
Many companies, including small businesses, hire people to ensure that enough staff are on board during the crazy Christmas shopping season, so ask around at local places to see what’s on offer.
It’s no surprise that spending is way up over the holidays (even if there are a whole bunch of ways that people could be saving money) and so retail stores often need to take on extra people to cope with the massive increase in business.
Larger chains are well known for this, such as Target which is renowned for hiring thousands of extra staff over this period. That said, you should definitely inquire in smaller stores in your area as well.
Please note that you may have to be flexible and willing to work late during extended shopping hours.
Shopping malls often hire people to wrap gifts for customers or to work as Santa’s helpers. You look good in an elf outfit, right? Or, if you’re of the right, ahem, demographic, perhaps you’d be a fine fit for a jolly red suit! Ask around your local area for any opportunities that may be available.
Outside of the malls, pumpkin patches or Christmas tree lots also need people to work during the few weeks per year that they are open.
As above, an ability to be flexible will be a must here.
Look into distribution centres or warehouses in your area, as these kinds of places often need a bunch of extra people to handle the added demand of making sure that presents make their way to their destinations in time for Christmas.
As above, you may need to be flexible, including working overnight, but this can be a great opportunity to earn some extra money if your schedule during the day is strict.
There’s a significant increase in demand for driving services over the Christmas period. At the same time, many drivers take time off, meaning that you can take advantage of both the greater demand and reduced supply!
You can choose to drive when you want and, while each company will take a small fee, you keep most of it as well as any tips. There are also some requirements with respect to your car, such as in relation to its age.
Check out Lyft’s earning calculator on its site to see your income potential. For example, based on the details I entered, it estimated that, for ten hours work in one week, I could earn $250. Not bad!
Make Money From Seasonal Jobs At Home
At-Home Customer Service
Much like the above in-store opportunities, companies often need extra people to man the phones (or the computers) over Christmas to handle the increase in customer enquiries.
They generally pay up to $15 per hour and will require you to have a good internet connection, certain software, usually at least a high-school diploma and possibly a landline phone.
Dozens of companies offer this as an option, including the following:
- Amazon: All of their virtual jobs are listed here and are generally customer service-oriented. See this website for more information on Amazon’s work-at-home job opportunities.
- Apple: They have a range of At-Home Advisor Opportunities, which involves being the first point of contact for customers. See more detailed information here.
- Enterprise: At the time of writing, almost 100 work at home jobs are listed on Enterprise’s Careers website in both customer service and reservation sales. Have a look at the list and see what may work for you.
- Needle: This company involves providing customer support through online chat. As such, you may not need a phone for this one, but basic computer skills will be a requirement. Apply through this link.
Searching on Google will pull up a number of other opportunities for you to look into. Be aware though that there are scams floating around that pose as legitimate work-at-home positions but that try to get your bank account number or may involve having you deposit cheques that end up being fraudulent. Just use your judgment and if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
Many small business owners that maintain a strong online presence (including bloggers!) like to take time off over the holidays but don’t want to abandon their website and social media over this period.
As such, consider becoming a virtual assistant for these companies over the holidays. You will need fairly good online skills, especially if you are being asked to produce content. But if you think you have what it takes, sign up for Freelancer here and see what’s on offer.
I just searched “Virtual Assistant” in the “Projects with my Skills” section of that site and there are 681 results, so it’s highly likely you’ll find something that works for you!
Make Money From Jobs To Be Done Around The Home
In the lead up to Christmas, people often quickly realise that they’re nowhere near ready for the holiday season, particularly if they have guests arriving. They may become desperate to get those last few odd jobs done but lack the time in the midst of all the other necessary preparations.
Fortunately for you, their stress is your opportunity!
Simply sign up for an account with TaskRabbit here and have a look at the long list of jobs that are available there!
And when I say long, I mean it. Options include assembling furniture (such as spare beds for incoming guests), moving heavy items, shovelling snow, putting up Christmas lights, cleaning and gardening, doing minor repairs, hanging pictures, grocery shopping, picking up or delivering other items…almost anything you can think of that may need to be done around the home.
Better yet, most of them are not all day tasks, so you can agree to do several in one day to maximise your earning potential!
Make Money From Your Christmas Clean-Up
Christmas can be a great time to start clearing out your extra stuff. After all, how can you have guests stay with you if the wardrobe in the spare bedroom is full of clothes that you haven’t worn in years?
Ebay to the rescue! Instead of simply throwing out unwanted items (or shifting them to another room to delay dealing with the problem…), it’s super straightforward to list them for sale online. And with a massive potential customer base, it’s a great way to make a few extra dollars while also taking comfort in the extra space that you’re freeing up in your home.
Simply sign up for eBay here if you don’t already have an account and start selling today!
Need some help with saving money over the Christmas period in relation to gifts, decorations, food and drink, or travelling? Or want to learn how to make money this Christmas? If so, click here for more of our “We Wish You a Frugal Christmas” series.
By the way…it’s no secret that Christmas can be a difficult time financially. Why not make things easier for yourself by grabbing our completely free, interactive Christmas Budget?
Let us know in the comments your side hustle of choice this Christmas season!