8 Ways to Earn Extra Money Right Before the Holidays

Christmas is right around the corner, and people plan to spend around $983 on gifts this holiday season according to a new survey.

Does this sound like you, and do you need to earn extra money to get there?

If you’re worried about how you’re going to buy presents this year, there is still time to hustle. With a little bit of hard work, you can earn extra money for your last-minute holiday shopping.

I’ve listed some of the most popular (and legitimate) ways to do so below.

Table of Contents
  1. Watch Some Videos
  2. Sell Your Books on Bookscouter
  3. Help People Decorate Their Homes for the Holidays
  4. Start Ride Sharing
  5. Work Retail
  6. Babysit School-Aged Kids
  7. Sell Your Gift Cards
  8. Get Comfortable Using Apps

Watch Some Videos

InboxDollars is a popular rewards program that will give you money to do things you’re already doing on the internet – like watch videos, read email, and answer surveys. They give you $5 to start and have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Here’s a full review of InboxDollars to help you decide, or sign up!

(another popular one is Swagbucks, both of which are owned by the same company now)

Sell Your Books on Bookscouter

If you have textbooks or any other book around your house that you don’t want, you can type in the ISBNs on Bookscouter and see how much they are worth. Bookscouter will give you offers from several different book resellers.

I’ve used the service myself before, and it’s incredibly easy. Most resellers will send you a pre-paid postage label, and once they receive the package, they send you a check or PayPal cash.

You can make extra money within a week or so provided your book is in good condition and meets their requirements.

Help People Decorate Their Homes for the Holidays

My mom hires a woman every year to help her decorate for the holidays. None of us live close to my parents anymore (and my dad isn’t much help with the decorating!) So, my mom enlists the help of a local designer.

After years of being overwhelmed by the Christmas tree, wreaths, and more, this solution helps her so much. Her house looks beautiful, and she doesn’t have to lift a finger.

If you enjoy decorating, you can advertise your services on Facebook or even by putting a flyer in the mailbox in some of the nicer neighborhoods in your area. All you need is a few clients right before the holidays to earn some extra pocket change.

Start Ride Sharing

Ride-sharing with Uber or Lyft is an incredibly popular way to make extra money, but did you know you can become a driver with those services in as little as 1-2 weeks?

If you become a driver, look up local events, concerts, and holiday shows in your area because many people use ride-sharing services to travel to those events. You can also spend time giving people rides to and from the mall because the closer you get to Christmas, the more packed the parking lots will be.

If you don’t like driving around people, or driving too far away, you can always deliver food for Door Dash.

Work Retail

Right now, retail stores are hiring for the Christmas season. Head to your local mall or look up jobs online to find stores that need help during extended holiday hours.

This is great because you don’t have to commit to the job for longer than the holiday season, but you can make some cash (and score some great discounts) in the process.

Babysit School-Aged Kids

If you like school-age kids, now is a great time to up your babysitting game. Parents need time to go holiday shopping without their kids in tow. Plus, most kids will have 1-2 weeks off of school during the holiday season.

I know that I am already lining up childcare for the days before Christmas and the first week of the new year. My kids are off of school and our regular babysitter is traveling, so we need help with childcare so we can get all of our work done!

Sell Your Gift Cards

Do you have unused gift cards lying around? If so, you can sell them online. You won’t get their entire value, but you will get a percentage of it.

For example, if you have a J. Crew gift card, but you’d rather have cash to spend at Target, you can sell your gift card at a place like Raise and get money in as little as 24 hours.

Get Comfortable Using Apps

Lastly, one of the best ways to make money quickly is to save money! You can do this very easily by learning about some of the most popular money-saving apps.

For example, there are several apps that will pay you just for uploading your grocery receipts There are also several great budgeting apps that can help you to keep track of your spending so you don’t run out of money during the holidays.

The more you’re aware of your spending and the more you save on the items you were going to buy anyway, the more cash you’ll have in your pocket.

Ultimately, if you want to earn money quickly before Christmas, there are many different ways to do so. All it takes is some ingenuity and a little bit of hustle to make it happen.

Whether you start simply by selling small items on Craigslist or try to rustle up some extra business for your holiday decorating service, you have enough time before Christmas to make enough money to get your shopping done on time.

If you want to know some other ways to make more money and have a bit more time to devote to it after the holidays, read the articles below.

Do you plan to spend almost $1,000 on Christmas like the study mentioned in this article projected? Or, do you plan on spending less and spending more time making gifts for your family and friends? Do you plan to hustle before the holidays to make extra money? If so, which of the ideas above will work best for you?

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About Catherine Alford

Catherine Alford is the go to personal finance expert for educated, aspirational moms. She founded her award winning personal finance blog, www.CatherineAlford.com, in 2010.

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  1. Aaron says

    Good list – especially for folks looking to pad their wallets a bit before Christmas.

    Been taking a citizen’s academy through the local police department and they mentioned how they pay underage kids to go into liquor stores and try and purchase alcohol (to see if the store is following licensing laws). Thought it would be a fun way for a kid to earn extra money and a little exciting at the same time!

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