By Holly Reisem Hanna
Every year my sister makes these beautiful hand-knit scarves, I pick out the yarn that I like (last year it was camel-colored cashmere), and she makes me a scarf for my Christmas present. I have also bought these fabulous scarves for other family members and friends who always LOVE them!
My sister-in-law, on the other hand, makes gorgeous hand-beaded jewelry that she gives away to lucky family members and friends around the holiday season. My point is, when it comes to finding ways to make some extra cash this holiday season, everyone has some talent or passion that they can call upon.
Need some help finding ways to make quick cash for the holidays?
Here are 20 work-at-home cash-earners for the holidays:
1. Child Care
One of the easiest ways to make some extra holiday cash is to just provide child care services. With kids being on holiday vacation, parents attending holiday parties, and secret shopping trips being executed — there are more than enough opportunities for you to cash in on this much-needed resource this holiday season.
2. Cookie Baking
Do you love to bake? Do you have a particular recipe for fruitcake that everyone raves about? Fill a need this holiday season by selling homemade cookies, candies, or cakes. Everyone loves to have homemade goodies for holiday gatherings, but so many people lack the time to actually bake all the various sweets that they would like to serve. This is where you can be a valuable holiday asset. Tell family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers that you're selling cookies and cakes for the holiday season and ask them to place their orders.
3. Create a Holiday Gift Guide
Create a holiday gift guide that includes gift ideas, recipes, tips for surviving the holidays, holiday decor, and gift wrapping ideas. You can upload your text, images, and links into a Word Document, then convert it into a PDF. To monetize the guide, sell advertising space or add in your affiliate links. Lastly, promote your guide on your social media channels, via free online publishing websites, on your website, and to your email list.
To get some ideas, check out these gift guides from other bloggers:
4. Direct Sales
We’ve all heard Avon, but did you know that there are thousands of direct sales companies? Find one that offers products that you feel passionate about and get selling. Direct sales companies offer starter kits that give you everything you need to get started, and they usually have low startup costs. Your first prospects and buyers will generally be friends, family, and neighbors; then you will then build your customer base by getting referrals from these people. As a sales consultant, you will be paid a commission for each product you sell.
To get some ideas, check out these direct selling companies:
5. Gift Wrapping
My mom always disliked wrapping the Christmas gifts, I, on the other hand, loved it and would do the majority of the gift wrapping for her. Here is an another easy service that you can provide this holiday season, especially useful for personal concierges and virtual assistants to add to their list of services.
6. Hang Holiday Lights
This has become a trendy home-based business in the past few years. Installing outdoor holiday lights takes time and requires a great deal of physical strength. You’ll need some essential tools, like a truck and a ladder, but if you’re not afraid of heights, this can be a lucrative and fun way to make some extra holiday cash. Be sure you check with your insurance agent to make sure you're covered in case of an accident.
7. House Cleaning
It’s that time of year where there is a lot of holiday entertaining going on. With people being so busy, it will be easy for you to establish yourself as a holiday helper. Offer cleaning services, ranging from laundry and house cleaning, to meal prep, and running errands.
8. Make and Sell Handmade Gifts
Make and sell your holiday gifts, a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing are Handmade candles, handbags, jewelry, soap, tutus, skin care products, toys, quilts — the possibilities are endless for those who have a creative flair. Want to sell your gifts online? Here's a list of 111 places to sell your goods.
9. Making and Sending Holiday Cards
Fulfill a need this holiday by creating one of a kind holiday cards, and even offer to address them, and send them out for an additional fee. Virtual assistants and personal concierge providers make sure to add “sending out holiday cards” to your list of services. So many people stress out about trying to do it all — help them out this season by taking one of their tasks off of their to-do list.
10. Personal Holiday Shopper
Do you love to shop? Offer your shopping expertise to others by looking for the best deals and then purchasing the gifts either online or in store. This will save your clients a ton of time; you can even offer to wrap the presents for an additional charge.
11. Holiday Party Planner
Fill a void this holiday season, by providing holiday party planning services! Event planners handle the details of location, budget, lodging, decorations, entertainment, food, beverages, transportation, activities, invitations and the like.
12. Sell Used Items on Craigslist, eBay, and at Consignment Shops
I cleaned out my daughter’s closet; I came up with a couple of bags of gently used clothes, some shoes, a baby monitor, a highchair, and a pack-and-play. I took the clothes, shoes, and baby monitor to a local resale shop and made $44.00. I then listed the highchair and the pack-and-play on Craigslist, and I was able to sell these items for another $160.00 for a total of $204.00 – not bad for a couple of hours of work. Also check out online resale shops, like ThredUp and Gazelle.
13. Travel Planner
Take the stress out of someone’s day by offering travel planning services. Search for the cheapest holiday flights, car rentals, and hotel accommodations; you can even add extras in like things to do and see while they're visiting another part of the country.
Holiday vacation is the perfect time to get caught up on studies. Tutoring can be an incredible home based business opportunity, especially for those people who have an extensive knowledge of a subject; such as a college student who is majoring in English, a school teacher, or an individual who is fluent a foreign language.
15. Virtual Call Agent
With all of the extra orders coming in for the holidays, companies like Williams Sonoma and ContractWorld are looking for extra home-based customer service representatives to handle the increased call volume. Cash in on this home-based opportunity – who knows it could lead to a long-term position. For more seasonal, virtual, customer agent jobs — check out Anna's list of 9 companies that hire home-based workers for the holidays.
Business owners and bloggers like to take time off for the holidays too, so why not offer to remove some of their workload by offering your writing services? From blog posts and newsletters to articles and advertising copy — people are always looking for writers. Check with some of the major freelance sites, like Upwork and Guru and see how you can offer up your writing services this holiday season.
17. Add Advertising + Affiliate Marketing to the Mix
Are you a small business owner or blogger with an active website? Then make some additional revenue by adding advertisements to your site. Depending on your traffic you may be able to work with an ad network like BlogHer, AdThrive, or Federated Media. Or you can generate revenue by selling directly to brands and companies. Look at other blogs in your niche with the same traffic rankings for competitive pricing, then use PayPal to invoice your customers. Want more information? See how I scored my first blog advertiser here.
You can also suggest holiday gift ideas by adding some affiliate advertisements to your blog, newsletter, website, and social media accounts. As an affiliate marketer, you will place banner ads, blog posts, reviews, newsletter promos, or social media updates for products and services free of charge. In return, you will earn a commission on every product that is sold through your affiliate link. To get started with affiliate marketing, check out this post.
18. Snow Removal
If you love being outdoors and you don't mind manual labor, shoveling snow, or removing snow with a snowblower can be a great way to earn some extra holiday cash. Simply create flyers and pass them around your neighborhood or post them on nearby bulletin boards. If you have a neighborhood Facebook Group, you can also tout your services there (be sure you abide by the group's posting rules). According to this article, you can earn $20 per driveway.
More than likely, you'll be doing a fair amount of holiday shopping for your loved ones this holiday season, so, why not get paid for it?! Sites like Ebates allow you to earn cashback from online purchases — and it's completely free to use. In fact, I suggested it to my newsletter subscribers, and here's what one of them had to say:
“I wanted to thank you and your partners for the information you gave me to earn extra income. I've never made money online before, I've tried, but failed many times. This week I tried out Ebates and made $102.06 and my wife made $22.13 just today. I am so overwhelmed and beyond excited. I have tears of joy. My passion is to help the inner city youth especially in the Chicago area, the elderly, and our vets. Thank you and God bless you.” – Paulus, from Mount Prospect, Illinois.
I've personally been using Ebates since 2013 and during that time, I've earned over $900 cashback — not bad!
20. Christmas Tree Removal
Going to the Christmas tree farm is a fun family tradition, but removing the ornaments and getting rid of the tree is another story. Offer tree removal services after the holidays, by picking up used trees and disposing of them at your local recycling center. You can even offer to remove the decorations and put them away for an additional fee. The cash that you earn can be used to pay off your holiday bills.
So there you have it, 20 ways to make quick cash for the holidays! How are you earning extra pocket cash this holiday season? We'd love to hear your ideas below!
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Originally published December 11, 2009. Content updated November 1, 2017.
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