By: Stella Katsipoutis
If you’re like most Americans, the mountain of gifts you’ll be buying during the holiday season is likely to rival the one in Santa’s sleigh. And the price of it all? Let’s just say it won’t leave you feeling very jolly: According to a recent National Retail Foundation survey, consumers plan on spending an average of $935.58 on their holiday shopping this year. So if there’s so much cash flying out of your wallet this winter, why not find a way to make the money flow back in?
There are plenty of opportunities to make a quick buck during the priciest season of all—without having to take on a second full-time job. Below, we’ve compiled a list of five easy ways to bring home the dough so you can focus less on your checking account balance and more on the festivities.
Between the late nights at work, big family gatherings and endless hours stuck in traffic, getting the everyday stuff done during the holidays can sometimes be too tall of an order for some to handle. That’s where you can step in to save the day. Companies like TaskRabbit and Care.com make it simple to sign up, run errands for those who need the help, and get paid.
You can also use the good old word-of-mouth method and ask your friends if there’s anything you can do to lighten their load in exchange for a small fee. Whether you clean their house before a dinner party or offer to watch their kids for a night or two, most people will graciously accept any help they can get!
The holidays are especially “ruff” for dog owners. Many are forced to board up their pooches while they go away on vacation, while others just can’t seem to keep up with daily walks thanks to their crazy schedules. But because most puppy parents have a hard time leaving their beloved pets in a kennel, they are particularly grateful when someone trustworthy can look after their fur-baby for a good price.
Know anyone with a dog? Give your friends a helping paw—er, hand—by offering to pet-sit or take Fido for daily walks. Or, visit reliable sites like Rover.com to sign up as a sitter for the critters in your area. It’s a win-win: Owners pay a fraction of the astronomical “doggy hotel” prices, while you get to watch your shopping fund grow.
Pulling together a beautifully wrapped present takes a lot more effort than crumpling some paper around a box, slapping on some adhesive tape and calling it a day. It takes time and patience—something that not everyone has around this time of year. Not to mention that giftwrapping charges at retail stores can be ho-ho-horrific. So if you’re known for your ability to fashion the prettiest package under the Christmas tree, sharing your talent with others could help you earn a pretty penny too.
Here’s all you need to set up shop right in your own home: scissors, tape, ribbons, bows, boxes, tissue paper, tags and, of course, wrapping paper. Social media makes it a snap to spread the word to your friends and show off what you can do!
Do you have a knack for making gorgeous handmade Christmas cards, personalized stockings, original ornaments, or other festive decorations? There are plenty of people out there who’d be willing to pay for your one-of-a-kind giftware. This is your chance to turn something you love into a profitable side-business for the holiday season and beyond!
Setting up an online storefront on trusted websites like Etsy.com or Facebook Pages makes it easy to start selling your crafty creations almost instantly. Don’t want to go digital? Ask local business owners if you can sell your product in their stores, or team up with your neighbors to host an outdoor neighborhood craft fair.
When schools are closed in December, the excitement of winter break can often dull kids’ memories of what they learned in the classroom during the fall semester. Continued practice and studying, even during vacation, is one of the best ways for children to retain information. However, many students understandably struggle to keep school top of mind this time of year. If you’re particularly knowledgeable in a certain subject area, like math or writing, offering tutoring services lets you earn money while helping kids sharpen their skills.
There are two possible routes to take with this one: Hold private one-on-one sessions at your house or in your client’s home, or check out the National Tutoring Association or the American Tutoring Association for more information about becoming a certified tutor, which would allow you to apply for jobs at tutoring companies—and possibly earn more money—if you wish to do so.
Do you have other fun and easy ideas for earning extra cash for the holidays? Share them with us in the comments below!
The content provided in this blog consists of the opinions and ideas of the author alone and should be used for informational purposes only. VyStar Credit Union disclaims any liability for decisions you make based on the information provided.