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The best way to ensure you have enough money for Christmas is to prepare all year long, but many of us – myself included – just don’t have that much forethought. Every year, it seems like Christmas sneaks up on me, and I’m scrambling to get ready. Can you relate?
At least, don’t wait until the last minute. There is plenty you can do during the second half of the year to make money for gifts and celebrations. Remember, you don’t just need money for gifts – you may also need to spend money on food for parties and Christmas dinner, hostess gifts, travel expenses, new clothes, and more.
Make sure you figure in all the money you’ll have to spend this holiday season, so you won’t have to charge anything on your credit card – for more on this plus helpful tips to save money, check out 10 Smart Ways to Avoid Debt This Holiday Season.
Sometimes, saving money just isn’t enough – you need a way to earn more. These Easy Ways to Make Extra Money for Christmas will help you make money for the holiday season FAST! For more money making ideas, check out 20 Side Hustles You Can Start Today.
For more genius financial tips, check out the following:
Brilliant Ways to Make Extra Money for Christmas
START A BLOG
I know this post is about making money FAST in time for Christmas, but I still want to include my favorite way to make money – blogging! I won’t lie, it usually takes some time – and a lot of effort – to make a blog successful, but it can be so worth it!
GET PAID TO LOSE WEIGHT
It sounds too good to be true, but you really can get paid to lose weight! With HealthyWage, you place a bet on how much weight you’re going to lose. Set realistic goals and reach your weight loss goal, and you’ll win your bet and earn money – the average prize for goal achievers is $1,331! According to HealthyWage, studies have found that financial incentives increase weight loss success, so this program may provide the motivation you need to lose those extra pounds and make some money in the process!
Click here to read the success stories of real people who have lost weight and made money with HealthyWage.
TRADE-IN YOUR UNWANTED STUFF
Get rid of your unwanted stuff and earn free Amazon Gift Cards with the Amazon Trade-In Program.
MAKE MONEY WRITING
If you have solid skills in writing, grammar, and research, consider a side gig as a writer. This job can actually be very lucrative – if you have knowledge in a specialized area like personal finance or healthcare, you can easily charge $150 or more per article! Check out this hugely helpful blog post for more information on freelance writing gigs.
WORK A SEASONAL JOB
A lot of places like stores and restaurants get a lot busier during the holidays. Since this is just a short-term trend, these places will be offering temporary jobs for people who need extra money during the holidays. Look for help wanted signs at retail stores, restaurants, grocery stores, and other places that get busier during the holidays.
WORK FROM HOME AS A SEASONAL SERVICE REP
You can also get a seasonal job working from home as a service rep. These positions are actually one of the easiest work-from-home jobs to get because there are so many companies – even big names like Amazon, HSN, Williams-Sonoma, and Groupon – looking for temporary seasonal phone and chat reps to answer questions and enter sales during the holiday shopping season. The pay isn’t bad either – usually $9 to $15 per hour with regular paydays.
Amazon work-at-home customer service positions are one of the most coveted at-home jobs for holiday season. When these jobs come open, you need to apply fast! These positions generally require a commitment of 20-29 hours per week. If you perform well and meet the commitments for these seasonal work-at-home jobs, you may be offered a permanent, year-round position. Amazon pays around $10 per hour and currently hires remote workers in 30 states.
RENT OUT YOUR EXTRA SPACE
Many people travel home for the holidays and will need a place to stay. Take advantage of this by renting extra space in your home on Airbnb. You can easily earn $100 or more per day! Also, be sure to take advantage of special events in your town.
My sister and her husband have been renting out their finished basement for Penn State football games. They don’t even live right in town, and they still make up to $595 per night!
Don’t have a whole room to rent out? Not a problem! You can even offer up your couch, or set up a tent in your backyard!
TAKE ONLINE SURVEYS
Instead of just mindlessly surfing the net every night (don’t worry, I’m guilty of this, too), make your computer or smartphone work for you by completing online surveys to earn free money and gift cards. These paid survey sites are completely free to use. Just be careful – some online survey companies are scams. Stick with legitimate companies like the ones listed below, and never pay money to join.
Survey sites won’t earn you enough money to quit your job by any means. You’ll only earn about 41 cents to $2.03 per hour depending on which site you choose, but they’re a great way to earn some extra money and gift cards for holiday shopping while you are doing typical “time wasting” activities like watching TV, listening to music, or just hanging out.
PRO TIPS: Set up an email just for survey sites to avoid clogging up your inbox. Also, be sure you have anti-malware installed on your PC in case the aggregator sends you to a spammy site. Sign up with a couple different survey sites to maximize profits.
Here are my Top 2 Survey Sites:
1. Swagbucks is one of the most popular survey sites in the world and has already paid their members $291,529,301 to date! You earn points called SBs that you can redeem for cash via PayPal or gift cards to popular retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Starbucks, iTunes, and many more. You can also earn points for shopping online, watching videos, searching the web, and finding great deals.
2. Survey Junkie is another extremely popular survey site. The site is easy to use and offers a high point value for each survey you complete.
GET PAID TO SHOP ONLINE
Shop online with Ebates, and earn up to 40% cash back on purchases at over 2,500 stores! Ebates earns commission by referring users to retailers, and they, in turn, share that commission with you. Use the site for your holiday shopping and all year round – it’s a completely painless way to save money on items you would purchase anyway. Plus, it’s 100% free to join!
EARN MONEY WITH IBOTTA
Earn cash back rebates when you shop for groceries. Ibotta also offers cash rebates for online shopping (similarly to Ebates).
WORK FOR A DELIVERY SERVICE
Be your own boss and earn extra money in your spare time delivering for services like Instacart, UberEats, Postmates, or Amazon Flex. Depending on the service, you may not even need a car and can instead use a bicycle, scooter, or your own two feet! However, you will need a smartphone to accept and process jobs, and you’ll usually have to pass a background check.
BABYSIT OR HOUSESIT
Many people will be going out of town for the holidays, and parents will need sitters to go to holiday parties. If you’re responsible and know people who may need these services, let them know you’re available and looking to earn some extra cash. Making an announcement on Facebook can be a great way to drum of business among your friends and family. If you don’t know anyone locally, make an account on Care.com, and see if you can find some jobs on there, including babysitter or nanny, senior care and nursing, pet care, tutoring, housekeeping, running errands, and more.
Are you a dog lover? Offer your services dog walking, dog boarding, house sitting, doggy daycare, or providing drop-in visits on Rover. I have a friend from college who regularly posts on Facebook about all the super cute pups she gets to walk in NYC! She’s loving her side hustle!
WORK AS A MYSTERY SHOPPER
Mystery shopping gigs can vary greatly, but basically, companies pay you to pose as a regular customer and provide feedback to the company on things like store cleanliness and customer service. In exchange for your feedback, they pay you – typically between $8 and $25 per mystery shop – and will reimburse you if they ask you to make a purchase. Sounds easy, right?
Just be careful because there are a lot of scammers out there. However, the following companies offer legitimate jobs:
After your application is approved, you’ll log in to their website and choose jobs you’re interested in. You can expect to earn a pretty steady extra $400-$500 per month, but may also have months where you can earn much more.
How can you tell if a company is legitimate? Legitimate companies will never ask you to pay them to see their list of jobs. You can also check to see if the mystery shopping company is a member of the MSPA, the official organization in charge of regulating mystery shopping companies.
BECOME A WEBSITE TESTER
A website tester is similar to a mystery shopper except you visit websites. Typically, these companies will ask you to complete certain tasks and offer feedback on your experience. However, there are many more testers than jobs available. You won’t make enough to support yourself, but it can be a great way to make some fast cash.
Gigs are usually open to U.S. and international residents. Please note that these companies typically do not withhold taxes, so you’ll have to pay them come tax season. Here are some companies you can try:
- UserTesting: UserTesting pays $10 per desktop test and $15 per mobile test, and tests only take about about 15-20 minutes.
- Respondent: This company looks like one of the highest-paying. The average hourly payment is $140 with an average interview length of 30 minutes. Plus, you get paid automatically when you complete the interview!
- Testing Time: Earn up to € 50 (currently $58.58 US dollars) per study. Each study is conducted via Skype and usually takes 30-90 minutes. Once the study is complete, you’ll be paid within 5-10 days via PayPal. TestingTime is open to global residents who have an internet connection and Skype installed on their computer.
- Validately: Compensation varies, but you can earn $5 for a 5-minute test. Live tests where you speak via phone and share a screen with a moderator pay a minimum of $25 for 30 minutes. To register as a tester, scroll to the bottom of their website, and click “Sign Up” under the “Panel” heading.
DRIVE WITH UBER
My brother-in-law also makes extra money driving for Uber and Lyft. Their side hustles are helping them pay off their $200K+ home in less than 15 years (side hustles ftw)!
Offer your driving services through Uber and Lyft to earn some extra money, and sign up with both companies to get more rides and earn even more! The holiday season is the perfect time to start this easy side hustle. Shoppers will need transportation to and from stores, and guests will need to get home safe after all those holiday parties.
Click here to get started with Uber and here to go with Lyft. I recommend trying both.
RENT OUT YOUR CAR ON TURO
If you prefer to stay home instead of driving people around town, rent out your car on Turo. An average car owner earns $720 per month, and Turo provides $1 million in liability insurance and coverage for any physical damage to your car.
YARD SALE FLIPPING
If you enjoy going to yard sales, thrift stores, and flea markets, start a resale business. You can research antiques and sell to collectors or remodel and sell furniture if you like DIY projects. You can also find items to resell on Craigslist and in Facebook Sell & Swap groups.
SELL ON ETSY
Do you like to make things? Sell your crafts and other homemade projects on Etsy. You can also sell items on Amazon, eBay, or your local Facebook Sell & Swap page. With Amazon, you find bargains in your local area and ship them to sell on Amazon. Check out this article to learn great tips for selling on Amazon.
Ebay can be more competitive, but it’s still possible to find success in selling your old, unwanted stuff or flipping bargains found at yard sales and flea markets.
LOOK FOR ONE-TIME GIGS
Offer your skills and services for random jobs like the following:
- Mow lawns
- Rake leaves
- Shovel snow
- House cleaning
- Painting services
- Assemble IKEA furniture
These side gigs are typically one-time, but could turn into something more long-term. And the best part – you’ll be paid immediately! To find jobs, check out Craisglist under “gigs,” or ask friends and family if they need any work done.
Want to work remotely? Check out Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk), a flexible remote job opportunity that allows you to work whenever and wherever you want. Various business submit Human Intelligence Tasks, called “HITs,” to the website, then workers complete these small jobs and submit for payment. Earnings are transferred to an Amazon Payments account or can be redeemed for an Amazon Gift Card.
MTurk provides a description of the marketplace on its FAQ page:
“Amazon Mechanical Turk is based on the idea that there are still many things that human beings can do much more effectively than computers, such as identifying objects in a photo or video, performing data de-duplication, transcribing audio recordings, or researching data details. Traditionally, tasks like this have been accomplished by hiring a large temporary workforce (which is time consuming, expensive, and difficult to scale) or have gone undone.”
Sometimes, the money you make from your day job just isn’t enough to do all the things you want. These Genius Ways to Make Extra Money for Christmas will help you make this holiday season even more special for the ones you love!
For more easy ways to make money in your free time, check out 20 Side Hustles You Can Start Today.
For more ways to make your money go farther this holiday, check out 10 Smart Ways to Avoid Debt This Holiday Season and the frugal gift guides linked below!
I would love to hear from you!
Please let me know what you think of these Quick + Easy Ways to Make Extra Money for Christmas in the comments. Have you had luck with any other fast, legit ways to make some cash? Please share your experience below!
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