Christmas may be the “most wonderful time of the year” but it’s also easily the most expensive. So a great way to help your budget survive the festive season is to use this time of year to actually make quick cash for the holidays. You’ll see that there are a ton of ways to make money at Christmas which can all go a long way to making the holidays way more manageable.
I mean, we always think that Christmas is about spending money.
But when it can also be about making some extra cash, this can be hugely helpful at removing some of the financial stress that this season can bring about.
Better yet, these ideas (mostly!) involve you doing things that you would have been doing anyway around this time of year!
So if you can make quick cash for the holidays doing almost nothing extra, these could be the easiest ways of all to make sure your budget gets through the season unscathed.
1. Get free gift cards from doing your Christmas shopping online
Let’s be honest: you’re going to be spending money these holidays.
But seeing as some spending is inevitable, why not use it to actually make some money!
In particular, Swagbucks is amazing for giving you free gift cards.
Signing up takes literally five seconds – just check out the screenshot below! Yep, that’s seriously all the info you have to give them.
All you do is login before you shop online at over 1,500 websites, including major ones where you’re probably planning to buy some Christmas presents – like Amazon, Walmart and Target.
You then get back up to 10% of what you spend through gift cards for places like Amazon, Target, Starbucks and more.
You can even get straight up cash back through PayPal gift cards.
These are great for helping you pay for holiday expenses – or even just for giving yourself a treat for surviving the holiday season.
And better yet, you’ll get a $10 welcome bonus just for signing up here and verifying your email address!
2. Get cash back automatically when shopping in-store
If you prefer to shop in-store, then don’t worry – you can definitely make quick cash for the holidays from that as well.
And the easiest way I’ve found to do this is with Ebates. It gives you cash back when you shop at literally thousands of stores, including major ones like Walmart, Macy’s, Target, Best Buy, Sephora and so on.
All you do is this:
Step 1: Sign up for an Ebates account here (for free!).
(As a special limited time offer, they’ll even give you a $10 welcome bonus just for doing this!)
Step 2: Add your bank card to your Ebates account. This is just so the account recognises when you use it – so it’s very secure and won’t involve Ebates using your card to make any purchases.
Step 3: Search on their website for the stores you plan to visit and press “Link Offer” to add them to your card. You can even do this when you’re actually in the store!
Step 4: 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.
And that’s it! Steps 1 to 3 take literally three minutes and given that it will let you get cash back on your in-store purchases, you’d be crazy not to spend the time to make that money.
To find out more or sign-up to get your welcome bonus, check out Ebates here.
3. Make quick cash for the holidays by renting out a spare room (or your entire house if you’ll be away)
The cost of travelling over the Christmas period can be insane.
While there are tricks you can do to save money on your own Christmas travel, you can also benefit from people’s need to travel over the holiday season by using it to make money at Christmas!
For example, even if you don’t do it during the rest of the year, why not consider renting out a room over the holidays with Airbnb?
Unfortunately, as you’ll know if you’ve travelled over the holidays, accommodation costs explode around this time.
But you can also use this to your advantage by renting out a spare room for an amount that’s more than what you’d probably get for it during the rest of the year – especially if you live in an area that gets a lot of tourists.
And with Airbnb hosts making an average monthly income of $924 (source), you could easily make close to that just over the Christmas break given how high demand is.
And here’s an even better tip: if you’re going away 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.
Finally, if you’ve never used Airbnb before for travelling, sign-up at this link to get $25 credit for free!
4. Make money at Christmas by pet-sitting
Putting dogs and cats into kennels isn’t only hugely expensive for people travelling over Christmas, but it can be super stressful for the animals.
So people are always keen to find an option that allows their pet to be more comfortable at home – either theirs or someone else’s.
And that’s where you step in!
Rover is a website that lets you make great money from doing things like:
- Being a dog boarder by watching dogs overnight in your home
- Being a house sitter through taking care of a dog while staying at the dog’s home overnight)
- Being a doggy day carer
- Walking a dog
- 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.
And that’s just the usual, “rest of the year” rate! Over Christmas, prices definitely go up, letting you make some great extra cash.
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.
It’s also fine if you already have a dog as many owners looking for services through Rover are more than fine if your dog is walked with theirs, for example.
And what’s even better about this is that you don’t have to sign up to take care of only one dog.
Instead, you can do several at once, letting you earn even more money (and play with more dogs – an important point!)
To find out more or to set up your profile, check out Rover here.
5. Rent out a spare parking space
This is a particularly good option if you’re planning a road trip this December, leaving an empty parking space that is just begging to be monetised while you’re away!
This can be particularly lucrative if you live in a big city, as tourists need to park their cars somewhere and hotels can charge a fortune for this.
It’s also great if you live near an airport as you’ll almost certainly cost less than longterm airport parking, meaning it should be super easy for you to get a booking.
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6. Rent out a spare car
Turo is a great site that links you up with people who’ll 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.
So if you’re travelling over Christmas and your car is sitting unused in your garage, this could be a great coption to earn some serious cash while you’re away.
And as an added bonus, sign up for Turo here and receive $25 credit for free for when you want to use them to rent a car yourself!
7. Get a seasonal job in-store
Many companies, including small businesses, hire people to ensure that enough staff are on board during the crazy Christmas shopping season.
So to make quick cash for the holidays, consider asking around at stores near you to see what’s on offer.
Larger chains are particularly well known for this, like 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.
One thing to keep in mind is that you may have to work late during extended shopping hours. But if that’s possible for you, then this is a great way to make money at Christmas!
8. Find a short term Christmas-related job
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!
So 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.
Like at number 7, you may need to have a flexible schedule that lets you work late and on weekends. But it’s only for a few weeks for some great extra cash, so it’s definitely worth it if you can!
9. Find a short term delivery job
For other short term jobs over the holidays, look into distribution centers or warehouses in your area.
In particular, if you happen to live near an Amazon distribution center or something similar, that could be perfect for you to find this kind of thing!
Stores like this 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.
10. Earn money by driving
There’s a massive 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.
To give you some concrete numbers on what you could earn, Lyft’s webste has a nifty little earning calculator. For example, based on the details I entered, it estimated that, for ten hours work in one week, I could earn $250. Not bad!
11. Take an at-home customer service job
Much like the in-store job opportunities mentioned above, 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. For example:
- 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.
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12. Look after people’s online businesses while they’re away
Many small business owners that maintain a strong online presence (including bloggers!) like to take time off over the holidays.
At the same time, they really can’t afford to abandon their website and social media profiles over this period.
So that’s where you step in!
Working as a a virtual assistant over the holidays is a great way to take advantage of this situation to make some seriously great cash.
You’ll need fairly good online skills – or at least be comfortable with the main social media networks.
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!
MORE INFORMATION: HOW TO BECOME A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT (AND MAKE $50,000 WORKING FROM HOME)
13. 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 coming.
As you may have experienced yourself (not just me?), it easy to quickly become desperate to get those last few odd jobs done – but you simply don’t have time to do them with everything else that needs to be done!
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 fairly quick to do, so you can easily agree to do a few in one day to make as much money as possible!
14. Make quick cash for the holidays from your Christmas clean-up
Christmas can be a great time to start clearing out your extra stuff.
After all, knowing that guests are coming to stay can be amazing motivation to finally clean out the closet in the spare bedroom!
So got some old phones in a drawer gathering dust? Check out Gazelle to get a few hundred dollars for them.
Or what about some old CDs and DVDs that you haven’t played in years? Try DeCluttr to easily trade them in for some extra money.
Sell Back Your Book is a great site for selling almost any book that you have lying around.
And for everything else, Ebay is always an excellent option!
MORE INFORMATION: HOW TO MAKE SERIOUS CASH CLEANING OUT YOUR OLD STUFF
Need some help with saving money over the Christmas period? 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 if you’ve found a great way to make extra money over the holidays!