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5 Ways to Make Extra Money This Holiday Season

Nov 08, 2012 02:34PM ● By Erin Frisch

5 Ways to Make Extra Money This Holiday Season

Starbucks is serving their winter drinks, and soon holiday music will fill the air in restaurants, shopping malls, and just about everywhere else you go. As we approach the holiday season, stores get crowded with shoppers on missions for the perfect gifts for their loved ones. It’s easy and tempting to break out the credit cards and worry about the extra money we’re spending later as we check off each item on our lists. When possible, planning ahead for holiday gift shopping is the best way to go. In the current economy, though, budgeting may be too tight to save extra money beforehand. Another option is to earn extra money this season. Here are five easy ways to make your holiday shopping less stressful on your pocketbook.

1. Sell on Craigslist. Select items in your house, garage, basement, or attic that are just taking up space. Then start listing them on Craigslist. We all have “stuff” we don’t use anymore but that’s still in good condition. Extra furniture or home-decorating accessories, toys the kids no longer play with, dishware you haven’t used, electronics—the list goes on. If you have the original instructions for any appliances or electronics you hope to sell, hunt them down and include them. There’s no charge to list items for sale, including up to four photos, and you definitely want to use photos. Most people choose to check out items with photos first. Happy selling!

 2. Seasonal Retail Jobs. Everyone shops during the holiday season. This is when retailers pull in most of their profits, and nearly all of them hire extra hands to work extended shifts and handle crowds. Often, retail jobs pay more than minimum wage, and some may even offer overtime for seasonal workers during these busy weeks. Visit your favorite stores to ask about seasonal opportunities. Those who do business on the Internet may hire extra workers to staff their call centers too. Jobs can include anything from warehouse work, stocking shelves on the floors, and working the cash register to greeting customers. If you like kids, apply to be a shopping mall Santa or elf! You’ll make extra cash and collect some cute stories to tell over the holiday dinner table.

3. Odd Jobs. House sit or pet sit over the Thanksgiving holiday. Many people will travel and they’ll need someone to collect their mail, water houseplants, and take care of pets. Do you own a pressure washer? Print fliers and deliver them in and around your neighborhood offering to wash people’s siding before their decorations are put up. If you don’t mind heights, you might also offer to put those lights up for them. You’ll be surprised how many people would be thrilled to have somebody else drag the decorations out of the basement or attic and set them up in the yard. Unless you’re all thumbs, offer to help wrap gifts. If you enjoy driving, run errands for people. Taking the pets to get groomed for the holidays is a chore many people would love to delegate. Time is always in short supply during this busy season. It’s easy to pick up extra items for others while you’re out running your own errands anyway. You can earn several hundred dollars for the holidays this way, and make a lot of people happy as well. Don’t forget to wear your Santa hat!

4. Outdoor Jobs. If you live in the snowbelt, fire up your snowblower or dust off the shovel and offer to clear snow for your neighbors. Check with local businesses that sell holiday trees to see if they need extra hands to sell or load them for customers. If you are willing and able to work outside, many businesses pay cash for people to help them keep things running smoothly. Is there a ski resort or skating rink in your area? They’re likely to need maintenance people, operators, and other personnel to work the slopes or the ice and manage the crowds.

5. Crafting and Baking. Holidays are high times for crafters. If you’re creative, make ornaments, festive wall hangings, and door decorations (wreaths, anyone?), or embroider napkins or kitchen towels with seasonal designs. Sell them locally at craft fairs or online via where it’s easy to set up your own shop. If you enjoy baking, offer to handle baking for others’ holiday parties. Sell cookies, pies, and cakes made to order. Hosts often have so much to do to prepare for get-togethers that hiring someone to do the baking is very attractive.

Take the extra money you earn and put it toward your holiday shopping; hey, you might even have enough left over for a post-holiday trip to somewhere warm and sunny!

Share your ideas! What have you done in the past to boost your income during the holidays?


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