Happy holidays everyone! I have one more day of work, and on Christmas day I am heading home to Los Angeles to be with my family. I haven’t been home for Christmas since 2009. I can’t believe it’s been so long! I am so grateful to my partner’s parents who bought both of our tickets, so we could go home this year.
I am taking some time to enjoy family and friends, and will not be working, but in years past, the holidays were a great time to side hustle! If you can’t go home or have nothing to do, go make some extra money 🙂
Here’s a review of what I’ve done to make extra cash during the holidays:
Pet sitter – Three years ago, a neighbor of mine was going out of town for two weeks and needed someone to take care of her pets while she was away. This was actually an exchange, as she had a place to herself (a rarity in NYC) and I thought it was worth it as my partner was coming to town to visit me and we wanted the extra space and privacy. This saved me the discomfort of sharing my cheap twin bed with my bf and 4 other roommates in the house, and saved me hundreds of dollars in possible hotel fees. Last year I got a pet sitting gig from a co-worker. I suggest looking at Craigslist and Taskrabbit for these gigs. Word of mouth is best, though!
Event Helper: At the same time I pet sat in exchange for a place, my boyfriend and I took a gig to help out with cooking and cleaning at a Christmas party. This family was something straight out of a Woody Allen film. I burnt the asparagus and almost set off their fire alarm. Aside from the mishaps, we had a good time, got paid several hundred dollars, got to eat and drink and had an adopted Italian family for a night. Last year and this year I have worked several holiday parties serving food, taking people’s coats, washing dishes and helping clean up. People are stressed about their events/parties, so having someone take care of the small stuff is a huge help. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, there are lots of these gigs out there. I’ve also found these gigs on Craigslist and Taskrabbit.
Brand Ambassador: I love being a brand ambassador (and this is my most read article). I think it’s easy money and most of the gigs are fun. The past few years I have worked holiday promotions for Columbia Sportswear, Ghirardelli, Starbucks and Keurig. You’re really just having a conversation with people; there is no money exchanged, which is awesome. I got lots of free goodies from these gigs too!
Take someone to the airport: I have seriously thought of just having a car for the month of December so I could do this. I can’t count how many gigs I’ve seen for people hiring someone to give them a ride to the airport. I want to be one of those people this year, but I will be a good debt blogger and take the bus instead. This is a great way to make easy money if you have a car and free time! Again, check Craigslist and Taskrabbit.
Gift wrapper/personal shopper: I haven’t done this myself, but I’ve seen gigs for this. We live in a world that if you can afford it, you can outsource anything. Too lazy to wrap your own gifts? No time to shop? Hire someone else! Being flexible and being able to do a variety of tasks can really help you bring in the extra cash.
Sell your art/crafts/baked goods: People are always looking for original gifts, so start letting people know about your knitted sweaters, handmade cards, or homemade caramel. People enjoy buying local and having an interesting story to tell about their gift.
Retail: Two words, seasonal work. Macy’s, the Airport, UPS, FedEx and probably most places in a mall hire extra folks to help out around this crazy time of year.
In short, you don’t just have to spend money during this time of year, you can make it too. A lot of it if you play your cards right. Don’t settle on cheap wages though, because it is still a holiday and you deserve some time to yourself. But if the price is right, go make some extra cash to help kick-start your goals and lessen the damage from your holiday shopping.
Do you make extra money during the holidays? If so, how? Anything else you’d add to the list?
P.S. I know this article is kind of late in the holiday game, but I promise all you bona-fide hustlers that if you really look, you can make some extra money in the next week before the New Year.