The holidays are creeping up on us already (wasn’t it just Summer?) and you may be looking at your budget to see what your finances look like as we head into this travel and gift heavy time. If you think your budget may fall a little short now is the perfect time to start looking for ways to earn some extra cash well before it’s time to start buying gifts and making travel plans. Even if you have a full time job already, there is probably something on this list that you can do to sock away some extra money to cover your upcoming holiday expenses.
- Work Overtime
I figure we can just get this easy one out of the way first. If you are eligible for overtime, now is the time to start looking to pick up extra shifts. It’s not the most fun thing we’ll cover on this list but if you have a job and this is an option for you it’s a tried and true way of making extra cash before the holidays. This can be especially helpful if your employer pays extra for overtime hours so make sure you make the most of the job you have.
- Sell Your Stuff
Tearing apart my closets and sifting through my junk this time of year has become an annual tradition for me. It’s a great time of year to dig through your closet and decide what fall fashions you’d kept from last year can be removed from your wardrobe. Just this year I sold a winter coat that no longer fits, a few sweaters that aren’t my style anymore, and a handful of dress shirts to Buffalo Exchange and made almost $200. You can also get use this as an excuse to get rid of old electronics, kitchen goods, books, or toys and sell them to second hand stores or online. You might be surprised what people are willing to buy from you on Craigslist or Ebay, so give it a shot and you can declutter your life and make some extra money.
- Winter Home Cleaning
After the hot summer now is the time that many people want to do a deep clean of their home before the winter months. If you don’t mind doing some scrubbing, you can easily find a homeowner who wants extra help making sure their home is spotless. A great way to go about doing this is to go on Craigslist or advertise on a classified ad board for a one time deep cleaning. Considering how many people have family and other guests come to visit for Thanksgiving and Christmas, make sure to point that out in your ad. You can quickly make a $150 or more for a deep cleaning, depending on where you live and how big the home you are cleaning is.
- Use Your Hobby to Make Money
Selling craft projects this time of year is a quick way for you to turn your hobby into a moneymaker. If you’re making artistic craft products you can sell them at local holiday markets or flea markets to eager buyers looking for unique gifts. You can also sell your products online through websites like Etsy or even Ebay. Another fun thing to make is canned goods. If your grandma made an amazing pickle or had a famous homemade jam, now is the time to break out that recipe and start canning! Artisan food items are hugely popular right now and if you can make your own pickles or jam you can sell them for $8-$14 a jar without a problem. If you aren’t into canning, then maybe you’ve got a knack for baking. Whatever the craft or hobby is, you can find a way to sell your products to eager consumers looking for unique gifts.
- Coordinate Couples Night
Babysitting is a tried and true way to earn some extra cash and give frazzled parents a break, but you can up the ante on babysitting by coordinating a couples date night. You probably have several couples who have kids and who all are in your same social circle. Take advantage of this and coordinate with a handful of couples to go on a date on the same night and you can host all the children at your place. By coordinating a larger effort you can charge a bit more per child and provide them with a unique experience like a movie night at your place with pizza, or another fun activity. Between now and Christmas you can host several of these couples nights and take home a few hundred dollars to help you fund your holiday travel and gift plans.
- Do Errands For Others
As people get busier and busier this time of year it creates an opportunity for you to pick up a few of the tasks they don’t have time for and help them out in exchange for a little extra cash. Maybe you’re helping parents with holiday toy or gift shopping, or taking clothes to or from the dry cleaner, or even grocery shopping, but however you slice it you’re helping somebody who is too busy to get their to do list completed and you earn some money in your spare time. Think of common holiday errands that you can help with and ask friends and family if they need any help with these issues. You can also use Craigslist, local newspapers or services like Taskrabbit to sell your services.
- Work Retail
Around the holiday season retail stores look to hire extra workers for a few months to ensure they can accommodate the extra shoppers. If you’ve got spare time on nights or weekends you can make some great money as a temporary retail worker over the next few months. You don’t necessarily need to have prior retail experience to get these jobs but it is helpful. Head down to your local shopping mall and ask around and you are likely to find that most of the stores are looking for extra help. The only issue is that time is of the essence and you need to apply for these jobs right away. Stores are going to be sifting through resumes now and hiring in the next couple of weeks which will give them time to figure out staffing needs and train the new hires on how the stores run.