The holiday season can put an unreasonable amount of financial pressure on anyone. When you start calculating gifts for other people, the parties and events, decorations and extra food, along with the fact that you still need to pay your regular bills, your funds can start to seem a little tight.
The holidays are a great time to relax and enjoy family while creating long-lasting memories. No one wants to be stressed out and wondering how they are going to afford everything or worse, go into debt by using credit cards for too many purchases and not having enough to pay off the bill.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to earn extra money for the holidays so you won’t be so strapped for cash. Here are five side hustles that you can start almost immediately.
Get a Seasonal Job to Earn Extra Money
A seasonal job is a great way to earn extra money without committing to anything long-term. Or, it could be a way to get your foot in the door at a job that you’d like to work at after the holiday season ends.
Related: Want more ways to make extra money for the holidays? Read 12 Great Ways to Make Extra Money Before Christmas
Either way, retailers and even online companies are hiring seasonal workers to start earning extra money now. Companies like: Target, Macy’s, Toys “R” Us and Sears and good retail options to start looking into.
If you prefer to work from home as a seasonal employee, you can look into customer service opportunities with companies like: Amazon, Apple, Groupon, SiteStaff and LiveOps.
Sell Homemade Gifts
Everyone is not great at DIY when it comes to creating nice gifts and gadgets to use. If you are crafty and creative, you can create unique gifts for others to purchase for the holidays.
Pinterest is filled with tons of handmade gift examples and ideas to use as inspiration. People love to look at and purchase handmade items, but have a hard time recreating it themselves and adding a personal touch so if this is your strong point, you can definitely earn a profit from your skills.
You can sell your gifts online on sites like Etsy, or you can sell them in person at craft and trade shows, church events, and out of your home.
Become a Secret Shopper
If you will be out shopping and running errands anyway over these next few weeks, you might as well earn money by doing it. Secret shoppers or mystery shoppers are hired to assess a company’s quality of service and compliance to specific standards and regulations.
Secret shoppers are generally supposed to visit the assigned location just like a normal customer, interact with the staff, make a purchase, then send in a survey or report about their experience.
Secret shoppers are reimbursed and paid for each job they do and have to freedom to choose which opportunities they’d like to do any create their own schedule. Most shoppers have main jobs, but work as a mystery shopping in their spare time, on weekends or even on their lunch break.
Mystery shop assignments include everything from dining out at specific restaurants, going bowling, shopping at a retail store and even getting your vehicle serviced.
To become a mystery shopper, you can sign up on legitimate companies like: Coyle Hospitality, Mystery Shopper Program, Secret Shopper, and Best Mark. If you’d like to make money, or get cash back, from your shopping during the holidays you can also check out sites like TopCashBack (which gives you cash back on Amazon.com purchases) or Swagbucks (which allows you to earn money by shopping through their online portal).
Offer Your Driving Services
You car can end up earning you a lot of money if you take advantage of rideshare opportunities like Uber and Lyft. These companies pay you drive other passengers around during your spare time.
Related: Want to read more about driving for Uber or Lyft? Read How Much Money Can You Make Driving for Uber or Lyft
Being a driver for Uber or Lyft is safe, flexible and pays well. The entire business aspect is completed through the app so passengers pay for their ride beforehand so you don’t have to worry about collecting and organizing money. As a driver, you will typically be paid every week.
Secure Virtual Assistant Gigs
If you’ve ever wanted to become a virtual assistant, this is the perfect time of year to get started. Business owners will most likely be taking time off during the holidays or trying to get ahead on certain tasks and start looking for individuals to help out as a result.
If you have great organizational skills and take direction well, you might enjoy virtual assistant tasks and secure some clients who may still need help after the holidays. First you’ll need to determine what services you can offer as a VA. Find out what your strengths are and what marketable skills you have.
Then, you’ll need to send email pitches to potential clients who can either be online business owners, bloggers or local companies that you are familiar with. You can even check out a website called Zirtual to help match you with an opportunity.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to earn extra money just in time for the holidays, but you’ll need to get started right away. Once you specify how much you’d like to earn, which option interests you most, and what will work best with your schedule and availability, you’ll be well on your way to increasing your side income.
What are other options you look at to make extra money for the holidays? Do you try to make extra money during the holidays? What’s your most effective way to mitigate the added cost of the holidays?