Learn how to make money for Christmas by trying one of these legit side hustles.
If you are one of the many Americans who are filled with dread as the holidays are approaching, you are not alone. In 2019, U.S. households spent an average of $1,496 during the holiday season.* This is why it’s important to find ways to make extra money for Christmas.
Fall is finally here and the smell of pumpkins and apples are in the air. There’s just something about this time of year that we love.
The beginning of fall symbolizes the start of the holiday season and the most beloved time of the year. With the holidays slowly approaching, we can’t help but also think about our finances as the biggest spending season begins.
Did you set up a sinking fund this year to accommodate your Christmas shopping and holiday decor? While I absolutely recommend setting aside a little money each month towards a fund for Christmas and birthdays; it is okay if you didn’t quite get there this year. (Make sure to plan ahead next year, though!)
If you do not have extra money saved for Christmas, and you are living on a tight budget; the costs associated with the holiday season could leave you filled with dread.
Of course, there’s the gifts for your kids, spouse, parents, and siblings’. And you might also have the added expense of presents for extended family members, a best friend, or co-workers.
But there are so many more hidden and unexpected costs associated with Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve that we don’t even consider.
- Fall wreath, candles, indoor and outdoor decor
- Halloween costumes
- Halloween decorations for inside and outside
- Halloween candy
- Extra money in your grocery budget if you decide to host Thanksgiving or if you need to bring a side or dessert to a potluck dinner. We celebrate Thanksgiving with both sides of the family. Which means we have to bring multiple entrees or sides with us to both celebrations.
- Christmas decor for inside the house
- Christmas decor for outside the house
- Christmas lights for outdoors and for the tree
- Christmas tree
- Christmas tree ornaments
- Christmas holiday events in town
- Travel costs (airplane, gas, car rentals, eating out) for Christmas
- Lodging (hotel) for Christmas
- Christmas presents for every person you can think of. (The biggest money drain out of the whole list).
- Church attire for Christmas for the entire family
- Cute outfits for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve for your entire family
- New Year’s Eve decor
- Fireworks for New Year’s Eve
- Food costs if you are hosting Christmas or New Year’s Eve
- New Year’s Eve poppers, hats, etc. to use at midnight
- and more…
Maybe you are very frugal, live alone, and will only need a few things from the above list. But even so, those costs are outside of your usual budget, and it’s important to prepare for them.
This is why it’s imperative to either save money all year long through a sinking fund for the holidays, OR to get a side hustle started NOW at the beginning of Fall to start saving and making extra money for Christmas.
(Don’t forget to find ways to save money in your budget, too. This handy list of ways to cut costs from your monthly budget can save you hundreds of dollars each month. It’s easier than it sounds.)
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that I may earn a commission if you make a purchase through my links. This is at no extra cost to you. View our full disclosure here.
PRO TIP: Earn cash back when shopping for the holidays by using Rakuten. When you use Rakuten while doing your shopping in-store or online, you can earn money back from each eligible purchase. Hundreds of popular stores such as Target, Kohl’s, Amazon, Walmart, and many more are part of their program. Plus if you sign up with Rakuten, you get $20 to start.
Here are our favorite legit side jobs that will help you make extra money for Christmas:
1. Deliver food through Postmates.
Postmates is a delivery app. Customers will place an order for groceries, restaurant food, or alcohol through their website or app. Postmates drivers’ will then pick up the items for the customer and deliver it to their house.
If you feel comfortable shopping in the store but not going up to a stranger’s door to meet them face-to-face, don’t worry. Because of the pandemic, almost every delivery service now will let you leave restaurant food or groceries at a customer’s front door, without any face-t0-face contact.
Drivers for Postmates can get paid weekly, or can instantly get paid after each job. This job has the potential to earn up to $25/hour.
The amount of jobs available in your city should increase as the holidays begin to approach, as well. Although I know many friends that rely on these apps frequently already because of the pandemic, or just because they love the ease of the service and how it saves them time.
Become a driver for Postmates.
2. Shop for Instacart to make money for Christmas
Shoppers for Instacart can choose to work as an in-store shopper or a full-service shopper (which means they will also make deliveries to the customers’ home.) They will get paid hourly or a commission depending on which type of shopper they are.
Instacart also gives shoppers the option of getting paid right after they shop. They also have the flexibility of creating their own schedule, which makes this a great side job for those who work full-time, or even students or stay-at-home parents.
The demand for Instacart has increased since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic. Many families are choosing to get their groceries delivered instead of visiting their local supermarkets in-person.
Similar to Postmates, you can leave the groceries at the front door of your customer’s home, allowing for contactless delivery. While these jobs can be a great source of making extra cash fast, do keep in mind the extra risks of shopping in person given the pandemic, and determine if it is for you.
If you do decide to become a shopper, there is a high earning potential when you become a full-service shopper as you are able to receive tips for your deliveries. My family personally uses Instacart for all of our grocery shopping, and I typically tip $15-20 for each shopping trip.
3. Teach English online
Don’t let this job title intimidate you. It took me months to finally apply because I didn’t know if I could do the job. (I had never taught in a classroom, and I’m an introvert).
But I’m so glad I took the plunge and became an online English teacher.
It’s an easy and great way to earn extra cash, and it’s a remote job (you work from home!)
The best part is:
You don’t have to be a teacher.
You don’t need to have a degree in Education.
But you do need a bachelor’s degree (in any subject) in order to teach, as well as a year’s worth of experience working with kids. (The latter is absolutely vital to include on your application in order to proceed to the next step of the hiring process. This experience should include some type of mentoring, coaching, tutoring, homeschooling, assisting at Sunday school or Cub/Girl Scouts, etc.)
As an online English teacher, you can earn up to $22/hour. You teach English online to students in China in the early morning or late evening hours using a platform similar to Skype.
Due to the new regulations in China, every online English company in China now requires having a TESOL certification if you do not have a degree in Education. VIPKid includes their own TESOL certification for free at the end of their hiring process. Luckily, Groupon offers a highly discounted certification ($19) for TESOL that is accepted by Qkids. It only requires a few hours of work to complete. (TESOL on Groupon through International Open Academy)
This is one of my favorite ways to earn money for Christmas and all year long: not only do they pay great, but the kids are wonderful and start your day on a positive note.
The great part is that teaching English online is easier than you would think. All of the lesson plans and learning games are laid out for you. And they have a lot of great resources to help you get started to make it super easy!
If you are looking to get on board quickly with one of these companies, Qkids would be the fastest to start with. Not only can you get hired easier and quicker with Qkids, but the company also books the classes for you based on your availability, which means you can start earning money for Christmas quicker.
The hiring process with VIPKID tends to take a little bit longer, and once you are hired, it’s up to the parents to choose you as their teacher based on your profile. Some teachers get a full schedule from the start while others may take longer to book classes and start earning money. Nonetheless, it is still a great company to work with.
As a teacher for both of these companies, I would be happy to answer any further questions if you leave a comment below!
3. Teach online classes to children ages 3-18 on Outschool
If teaching English isn’t for you but you love the idea of working with kids, then teaching for Outschool might be for you.
Have you ever heard of Outschool? We are a homeschool family and frequently take classes on their platform. (Sign your kids up for an Outschool class here and get a $20 credit towards their first class).
Outschool offers courses in a wide variety of subjects including the formal subjects of language arts, social studies, math, and science.
But they also offer extracurricular courses such as coding, world languages, art, music, life skills, technology, health, and more.
(Some examples of class titles are Harry Potter and the Wizard Writing Class, Wilderness Survival Skills 101, Video Game Design (Beginner Coding), American Government and Politics, Fortnite Club, Preschool Story Time, and more.)
You can teach a class one time, or it can be a weekly or monthly class. You will instruct online, live classes through Zoom.
The hiring process is quick and painless, allowing you to start working fast.
4. Babysit or Nanny to earn money for Christmas
Babysitting is a quick way to earn extra money for Christmas, and could be one of the fastest ways to find a job if you know families with small children who are looking for help for date nights or appointments.
If you don’t have a full-time job, or if you are a student or stay-at-home parent, you could also consider becoming a nanny. Many families will allow you to bring your own children with you while watching their kids.
If you don’t know any families who are in need of a sitter or nanny, you can sign up for a free account at Sitter City and apply to local jobs in your area.
5. Sell used items from around the house to make money for Christmas.
Consider having a yard sale or selling gently used clothing, toys, shoes, books, and other items to your local consignment shop to make money for Christmas.
I have a yard sale at my house every year to purge all of our used items to make room for new ones. Whatever doesn’t sell at our garage sale, I will try to sell to local consignment shops such as Once Upon a Child or Plato’s Closet.
You can also consider selling to places such as eBay, Craig’s List, Facebook marketplace, Amazon, and the apps Offerup and Letgo.
Don’t forget to always meet potential buyers in public, well-lit places such as a Target parking lot to ensure you stay safe. Always let a friend know where you are headed, and never give out your home address or meet up with a buyer alone.
After I finished my last pregnancy, I was able to sell all of my maternity clothing on eBay. (Ebay is great for selling and buying gently used maternity clothes).
6. Take online surveys
Taking online surveys is a great way to make money for Christmas by filling out some quick questionaries’ or surveys. You will not make tons of money from taking surveys but can make a little extra cash or gift cards for shopping.
It’s important to fill out the questionnaires honestly so they can match you with more surveys so you can earn more money.
Taking surveys is an easy way to earn a little bit of cash because you can do it while you’re at home binge-watching your favorite show or playing with your kids, which makes it a no-brainer.
Some legit companies that I recommend are Survey Junkie and Swagbucks.
Survey Junkie is one of the highest paying survey sites you can sign up for. In addition to surveys, Swagbucks also lets you earn free gift cards by watching videos and playing games.
7. Take care of pets
This side job is great for pet-lovers. Earn money for Christmas by taking care of pets for other local families with Rover.
You can offer pet boarding services (caring for an animal overnight in your own home) to earn the most money. But they also are looking for people who are willing to walk dogs, check in on pets at their homes, and stay with pets at their own home or at your house.
This is the side hustle for you if you are an animal lover. Choose your preferences for which animals you would like to watch, set your available hours, and then customers can choose you through the app.
8. Sell your services on Fiverr
Fiverr is an online marketplace that offers freelance services. If you have a knack for a specific skill such as graphic design, writing, video editing, coding, marketing, or another specialty, then you have the opportunity to sell your talent through Fiverr.
You are able to choose your price that you sell your services for ranging anywhere from $5 – $995. This can be a great way to generate some extra money for the holidays if you do a few jobs a month and price them just right.
Check out Fiverr here.
9. Make and sell crafts
If you love making crafts and are skilled at what you do, then creating and selling crafts could earn you extra cash. If you own a Cricut or Silhouette, you can create a variety of items to sell such as decals, wooden signs, decorations, party supplies, T-shirts, and so much more.
If you know how to knit, crochet, or sew, you could create blankets, quilts, hair bows, sweaters, or clothing to sell. If you can paint or draw, you also can make money from selling your art work.
The options are endless as to what you can create.
There are many different places to sell your crafts:
One of the best places to sell your crafts is by setting up an Etsy store. But you could also sell your items at a booth at your local craft market, or by creating a page on Facebook and selling your products to your family and friends.
10. Make and sell digital printables
If creating art and crafts is not your thing, but you have a talent for graphic design, then you could create printables. Etsy has a huge market for printables.
From quotes, to bible verses, to planners and wedding invitations, there are many different printables you could sell on their marketplace.
You can check out Etsy to see what is selling and what is popular, and base your printables around what works.
11. Sell educational lesson plans and printables
If you are a teacher, homeschool parent, or online teacher, then you probably already make lesson plans, unit studies, printables, rewards, and other worksheets for your students.
One of the ways that I bring in some passive income is by selling homemade worksheets, rewards, and games through Teachers Pay Teachers.
I have been able to sell rewards for VIPKid and online English teaching platforms. But this is the best time of the year for me, because many of my homemade lesson plans and worksheets are seasonal. Seasonal worksheets sell fast on Teachers Pay Teachers.
You can create math or reading worksheets with a Halloween or Christmas theme. You can create a holiday game such as Bingo to sell on there. (Remember to never use photos you find on Google: you must always use your own original photographs or commercial free photos.)
Check out Teachers Pay Teachers here.
12. Pick up part-time shifts as a server at a local restaurant.
Servers typically work a few hours in the evenings at local restaurants and can bring home extra money through tips. Some restaurants will give you the potential to earn bigger tips such as upscale restaurants.
If you enjoy customer service and working with a team of others, then this side hustle could be perfect to make extra money for Christmas. The best part – you get paid every night you work instead of waiting two weeks for your paycheck.
13. Become a bartender
Bartending has the potential to earn a great deal of money if you know how to properly mix drinks. Clubs and high-scale restaurants would most likely help you make the most money for Christmas.
In order to be successful with this job, you must be willing to work late hours and work well with customers. But on busy nights at the right place, you could go home with hundreds of dollars.
14. Get a seasonal job in retail
With the holidays approaching, many stores will start hiring for seasonal help. Stores such as Target, Walmart, etc. will need extra help for the increase in demand from shoppers.
Did you know that Target pays their employees $15/hour? If you don’t mind working in retail, this could be a great part-time gig to pick up to make money for Christmas.
The best part is that the position is seasonal so once the holidays are over – you are done. (Unless of course you want to keep earning the extra money to help you pay off debt).
Related post about Christmas: How to Afford Christmas on a Small Budget
We hope that our list of potential jobs helps you make money for Christmas. Which job is your favorite?
40 Proven Ways to Make an Extra $1000 a Month
25 Things I Stopped Buying to Save Money
FREE Holiday Budget Planner
32 Easy and Frugal Fall Dessert Recipes
27 Frugal Fall Dinner Recipes (That You Will Love This Season)
29 Frugal Fall Decor Ideas on a Budget (Cheap and Easy Ideas That You’ll Love)
24 Frugal Vegetarian Fall Recipes
Looking for other money saving tools?
Earn cash back through every online purchase with Rakuten. A rebate site that lets you shop at your favorite stores and earn cash back on every eligible purchase. They also help you find any promo codes and coupons available and apply them to your purchase. Get $20 to start at Rakuten by signing up with our link here. (Limited time only through my link).
Undebt.it is our favorite free tool to keep track of your debt payments and progress using an online spreadsheet.
Another great resource is to use $5 Meal Plan. With $5 Meal Plan you get a pre-made weekly meal plan and shopping list to help you save time and money with your grocery shopping.
Grab your free credit score to stay up to date with your financial health. Sign up for Credit Sesame.
Ibotta earns you cash back anytime you shop online or at brick-and-mortar stores such as grocery stores, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Domino’s, Petco, Sephora, Target, Gap, REI, and many more. Sign up for Ibotta to start earning money back today.