With Christmas just around the corner, many people are shifting into Holiday Shopping Mode and are looking for extra ways to make money for the holiday shopping season. From Christmas dinner to the mountain of gifts under the tree, the need for extra cash adds up quickly. A whole 70 million Americans have a side hustle to earn extra income, and the holiday season can be a great occasion to earn some extra cash.
Here are a few ideas on how to make extra money for Christmas, especially if your income goal is in the range of $2,500 to $5,000.
How Do I Make Money on the Side for Christmas?
Check out these six side hustle ideas to make extra money for Christmas!
Hop on your neighborhood app and offer your gift-wrapping services for a fee. This is one of those holiday tasks that some people dread, so if you’re crafty and creative about gift-wrapping, there is a great market for your artistic flair with paper and ribbons this time of year. You can bill out at an hourly rate of $25 per hour, or consider a more elaborate per item cost of $15-$25 per gift. You can ask customers to provide wrapping paper, but most people will likely expect you to have it.
At $25 per hour, you would need to work a total of 100 hours to bring in $2,500. That’s 12.5 hours per week for eight weeks. Most people will not have gifts ready to wrap in November, so you might see the most demand for gift-wrapping services starting in December.
Bake Holiday Cookies
Nobody likes to show up at a Christmas or holiday party empty-handed, but not everyone knows their way around a kitchen. Build up a calendar full of baking customers by advertising your custom holiday cookies to friends and neighbors now! Facebook, Nextdoor and other local neighborhood apps are great options to get the word out there that you’re setting up shop. Price your products at a level that helps you cover your costs and generates a healthy profit; for example, you might want to sell homemade Christmas cookies for $30 per dozen. If you sell 100 orders, you’ll make $3,000 (before costs).
People are often willing to pay more money for homemade goods, especially if you do a custom order for their special event or for their specific family’s needs. You can decide if you will be selling one particular type of cookie or multiple styles. Take orders in advance, set up a time for order pickups and deliveries and make the most efficient use of your time (and your baking space).
Seasonal Work-from-Home Customer Service Job
The holiday season means many retailers are looking to hire additional seasonal help for their customer service teams. With so many people shopping online, this means you have an awesome opportunity to score a remote, work-from-home customer service rep (CSR) position making extra Christmas money on the side.
Retailers like Amazon frequently hire for seasonal help; you just need to check out their website to see if there is something that works for you. Also check out FlexJobs for part-time, temporary or freelance remote (WFH) customer service roles. Many other retailers offer similar positions. These types of jobs usually pay between $10-$15 per hour, depending on the responsibilities. Twenty hours per week at $15 per hour equals $300 per week of extra income.
Pet Sitting/House Sitting/Dog Walking
The holidays are a great occasion to help pet owners who need pet care while they are traveling or out of town visiting family. People want responsible helpers to take care of their pets, and they’re often willing to pay extra for the peace of mind. Pet sitting, house sitting, dog walking or other pet care can be a great side hustle to make extra money. If you charge $50 per pet per day and care for multiple pets, you could make $2,500 on the side in time for Christmas.
Apps like Ibotta and Rakuten will pay you cash back for your online activity. Ibotta gives you cash back on the items you are purchasing every day like groceries and travel. You add your offers on the app, do your shopping, submit your receipt and then earn cash back when you purchase the products that had offers.
Rakuten is a similar coupon/cash-back app where you shop online and use the app’s browser extension to get cash back on offers you purchase. Rakuten will also search for available coupons for your cart to help you get the best prices. You might not earn $2,500 on these apps, but everyday cash-back savings can help you get closer to your goal.
Start an Etsy Business
If you are crafty and creative, the holiday season can be a great opportunity to start an online business with an Etsy shop. Etsy is an online marketplace for handmade goods and crafts. During the holiday season, people are often interested in finding unique gifts made by hand.
How Can I Make $2,000 On the Side?
Setting a big side hustle income goal can feel intimidating at first, but if you break down your Christmas earnings goal into months or weeks, it starts to feel more doable.
For example, if you are looking to earn an extra $2,000 for Christmas and you start at the beginning of October, you would have approximately three months. This means you need to plan on bringing in an extra side income of about $700/month. If your side hustle can pay you an average hourly rate of $20 per hour, at that rate, you would need to work between 35 hours a month, or 8-9 hours per week, to save $2,000 in time for Christmas.
Get Your Holiday Side Hustle Started
These examples are all great ways to help you earn $2,500-$5,000 on the side just in time for Christmas. Check out our free Side Hustle Checklist for all the details to help you get started earning extra income this holiday season and beyond.
Ben Gran is a freelance writer from Des Moines, Iowa. Ben has written for Fortune 500 companies, the Governor of Iowa (who now serves as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture), the U.S. Secretary of the Navy, and many corporate clients. He writes about entrepreneurship, technology, food and other areas of great personal interest.