Christmas is finally upon us and while it’s one of the most wonderful times of the year, it can also be an incredibly expensive time if you aren’t careful. Having Christmas money in your budget is essential but sometimes it’s hard to squeeze out those extra dollars. I understand!
If you’re saying, “I need money for Christmas” you aren’t alone. A lot of people need money for Christmas before the holiday arrives so that they can afford the financial burdens it may bring.
If you’re lucky, your job may have an end-of-year bonus, but for others, it’s when bills and debts come due. It can also be a time of job cut-offs, lay-offs, reduced work, and whatnot. All of which means that you’ll need to find additional cash for Christmas.
Trying to make the holidays happen when you have no money for Christmas can be a tricky and time-consuming thing. Looking for free family activities and affordable gifts that you can make at home, such as homemade ornaments, playdoh ornaments, or even a wood sign can bring its own amount of effort but help to stretch out your Christmas budget.
But even with all of the tight budgeting, planning, and re-planning, in place, having extra Christmas money on hand is always the ideal solution. You can stretch a dollar pretty far, but having more dollars to stretch just makes sense!
How to Make Money During the Holidays
When you need money for Christmas fast, getting told to teach English to foreign students or to start a blog is a useless piece of advice. While there is plenty of money to make from those jobs, it can take weeks to even be accepted into the English programs (if you pass the interviews, plus you need a degree).
Blogging won’t make you money right away. It takes a lot of start-up costs, time, effort, self-motivated learning, and then some. You can make money blogging as a beginner, but it would still be weeks or months before that point happens if you have no idea what you’re doing.
You need fast cash. Money that can be in your hands within a few weeks tops because you need money before Christmas. Especially with Thanksgiving taking a stab at your budget in November.
[Related] How to Host Thanksgiving on a Budget
Christmas Money Making Ideas
Without further ado, here is a great list of ways that you can make that Christmas money quick, fast, and in a hurry! I’ve categorized it into sections to help keep it easy to navigate.
Work from Home Jobs
Making money from home is one of the most ideal money-making possibilities that you can think of. Not only does it allow you more time to stay home with the kids, but it can help to cut down on the high daycare costs.
While legit work from home jobs may cause you to be stuck waiting on paydays, there is still plenty of easy to snag jobs that could have you earning money much more quickly.
Seasonal Phone and Chat Reps
A lot of companies often employ extra hands for the holidays. I won’t lie, customer service and phone reps need to have strong back-bone and excellent communication skills if they want to succeed. So many angry customers call in and complain about things beyond your control and expect you to fix it.
If you think you can handle the task, check out Amazon’s seasonal representative job openings. As a bonus, they pay above minimum wage in most areas and the jobs are easy to get!
Crowdsourcing websites like Amazon’s MTurk is a favorite for a lot of stay at home parents as they try to earn money throughout the year. While the pa isn’t great, some money is better than nothing and the skills you pick up while doing data entry or other small jobs could help you to move on to higher-paying jobs elsewhere.
No one said you couldn’t play with all of the furbabies while trying to earn extra money for Christmas. Being a pet sitter is as easy as setting up a nice profile on Rover and putting out the word to your friends.
Something that recently blew my mind was that in high-traffic areas like cities, people are being paid $20 per dog per walk. That means if you walk two dogs twice a day you’re living large and only working about an hour a day!
Make Money Writing
I strongly suggest freelance writing for money to anyone with great writing skills. It has been my biggest side hustle of 2019. I started in May after taking the Freelance to 5k course and after that, I jumped in with both feet. Within a few weeks, I had made enough money to cover the cost of the course.
[Related] What you need for a successful freelance writing career
Between May 2019 and Nov 2019 I had made close to $10,000 from freelance writing alone. 3rd quarter was where I really gained confidence, raised rates and took on more referrals. By Nov I was making over 2k a month after taxes (I withhold for myself as a business owner, so it’s even more than the average person).
It took a while to build up, in fact, my first month was $40, the second month was $200 and it increased monthly as I continued to strive for higher profits and success.
If you thought dog walking was a high-paying job idea, babysitting may have it beat. Childcare in my area costs about the same (if not more) than a mortgage payment! Babysitting may not bring in as much money, but it can still be a great way to earn that Christmas money. Especially with parents needing to shop and wrap gifts away from prying eyes.
Trim Your Bills
While this isn’t technically a way to make money, it is saving you money (which is just as good). Using Trim as a money-saving assistant is probably the easiest and best way to go about this.
With Trim, they contact your billing companies such as cable, phone, and internet and then they try to negotiate a lower rate for you to pay. The savings can be pretty impressive too!
Earn Giftcards Online
You can earn gift cards online through a ton of different survey sites such as InboxDollar or SurveyJunkie. You can also buy them discounted thanks to websites/apps like Raise. Sign up for Raise now and get a FREE $5 gift card!
Part-Time Work Away From Home
Working away from home could be an ideal solution for many. Using the time you have between jobs to get a quick side hustle in and make that extra Christmas money. Check out these easy part-time jobs that could help you get through the holidays with more cash.
I know, I mentioned Amazon several times already (I don’t mean to, but they have a lot of entry-level options!) Amazon warehouse is something that I personally applied for last year because I was interested in knowing more. (Didn’t take the job, but I had every intention of doing so until a better opportunity was presented).
I know many people who work there and they all say the same thing. The job is difficult and hard labor but the benefits, pay, and control over hours are great.
You can apply for an Amazon warehouse job online and have an interview set up within days. Your first shift is scheduled when you apply and you can be working within the week! Especially if you choose nightshift (they seem to always need more of those!)
Lyft or uber can also be good, but you may have to pay to fix up your car beforehand which is a pain. My husband came close to driving for uber but the truck was denied simply because of a small bumper dent/fender damage from a deer hitting it. It would have cost way too much to fix so we canceled those plans. If your car can meet the strict criteria, you’re golden!
Thanks to companies like Instacart, you can do someone else’s grocery shopping and get paid to do so! So easy to use that I actually tried it. You sign up through their app and they send you a lanyard and green debit card for shopping. The card will be loaded with the money needed to shop so you never need to worry about using your own money.
They have two different types of jobs available:
- Purchase and delivery
- In-store shopping (no delivering)
My friend makes a good amount of money every month by delivering groceries in her spare time. You can see how she makes bank doing her side hustles here.
Door Dash is a good way to make money too! Instead of grocery shopping for others, this one has you shop for food from restaurants. Fast food like Taco Bell or Wendy’s all the way to Olive Garden and Denny’s. If you can go through a drive-through or park and wait for a carhop to bring out food, you’re already skilled enough to do this simple job.
With the holidays, comes events. Concerts, plays, and other theatrical or musical events are happening in huge abundance. Not to mention other events too. As fun as it is to attend these things, it could be even better to get paid to do so.
Look at your local Craigslist pages and look under the “gigs” section for event staff or small jobs you can do during the holidays.
Make Money for Christmas With Your Cell Phone
Might as well try to make some money from your smartphone since it’s attached to you so often already. There are a ton of money making apps out there, a lot can help you earn money from shopping receipts and some require you to do small tasks. These are some apps that can help you make money quickly.
Swagbucks is a very popular site and app for many stay-at-home moms. Not only is it easy to earn money with this site through surveys or video watching and then some. The best part is that cashing out is pretty fast and easy.
With apps like Gigwalk allowing you to make money with tiny tasks such as going to a grocery store and taking photos of a display case, you can make money with minimal effort. Check it often as the tasks will change and each one comes with a different pay rate.
School textbooks are incredibly expensive and most college students try to save money by looking for their textbooks in used condition. Anything to save a penny right?
Using Cash4Books, you can sell old unwanted textbooks for quick cash. This site may also accept non-text books as well, so check out your local thrift shops for discounted books and sell them online for extra Christmas money.
Selling old clothes on Thredup can be a great way to make some fast money too. Going through your kid’s closets is sure to be a goldmine as they continually outgrow everything.
Make Money Selling Things
As many people as there are buying things around the holidays, there are just as many people selling. It’s a great time to market your best products and hit some last-minute sales quota if you try.
Here are some different things to sell during the holidays:
- Gently used kids toys
- Home decor
- Nice clothes
- Winter weather gear
- Kitchen appliances
- Crafts and homemade gifts
- Baked goods
These items all do very well in a lot of areas! But it’s important to know the secrets to sell things online successfully so there are more sales and fewer flakes.
Places you can sell things include:
- On the Facebook marketplace
- Sell stuff on eBay
- Have a rummage sale
Making and selling craft items or other homemade goods at a bazaar or similar vendor-friendly event can also be a great way to bring in the holiday cash from people doing their Christmas shopping.
Another great thing to sell is your old unwanted makeup. You can do this easily thanks to companies like Glambot.
Flipping items is another great way to turn a profit, but it can cause a little work on your part. Buy items for cheap and either refurbish them or buy cheap and sell for a higher price.
A little out-of-place, but a great tip nonetheless!
You can trade in stuff with Amazon in exchange for gift cards. One of the biggest promotions currently running is trading in old tablets (that still work) in exchange for a gift card at the appraised face value and a 20% discount on a new tablet. The best part is that they pay the shipping!
While this isn’t giving you Christmas money to spend, it is making it easier to do your holiday shopping!
Other Ways to Earn Money for Christmas
Here are some other suggestions for earning money! These ideas are for more long-term money earning solutions, but they’re still great!
If you have enough time to plan in advance, you can set up a sinking fund to save money to pay cash for Christmas. A sinking fund is when you set a certain amount of money aside every payday or week until you reach the desired amount.
[Related] A Complete Beginners Guide to Sinking Funds
Save the Change
When you shop, do so in cash. Every time you get handed coins, put them aside in a jar and do not touch them. After a while, you’d be surprised at how much money you’ve acquired.
Take is another step further and don’t spend anything less than $5. Every time you get handed a $5, $1, or change, put them in that jar. The money will accumulate faster and you’ll become a more frugal shopper.
Similar to saving the change, but this is for digital spending. Setting a round-up program can help you to save your change mindlessly.
Not many people are confident with carrying and paying in cash and would opt for using a debit card instead. While cash is king, it’s totally understandable why people trust technology.
With a round-up program, you shop like normal, but any time you spend money, the change is rolled over. If you spend $1.45 on something, $0.55 will be the amount rolled over.
You can think of it as spending $2, but you really just paid yourself $.55 of that. This amount adds up fast and it’s important to maintain proper budgeting practices so you don’t underestimate your available finances.
Christmas money is an expensive time of the year, but with some fast cash, you can enjoy the holidays with a bigger peace of mind.
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