If you don’t want to go into debt over the holidays, Christmas shopping can be stressful. There are so many temptations to overspend. While you can cut down the number of people on your gift list or get creative and make some of your gifts, another option is to try to earn a little extra money around the holidays.
That might seem easier said than done, but there are few ways that almost anyone with a little bit of time can make some additional dough during the holiday season.
1. Sell Things You Don’t Use
Selling things you don’t use anymore is one of the easiest ways to make extra money around the holidays. Maybe you have some college textbooks that are still in demand that you can sell to your local college bookstore. Or maybe you have a bike that your child has outgrown. Gold jewelry you don’t wear can be easily sold, as can video games or gaming systems you no longer use. Take a look around your house and choose a few items that you believe you can sell. You can list your items on Craigslist or Kijiji to sell them locally or you can list them on eBay or Amazon.ca if you think there might be greater demand there.
Also read: Save Cash With the Second Hand Economy>
2. Work Online
Do you have some extra time and want to work from home? There are a lot of places that you can find work online that you can do in your pajamas. Check out websites like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and Fiverr.com where you can do small tasks and get paid. You should also look into sites like Upwork, Freelancer.com, and Elance where you can find some great freelance opportunities.
3. Do Odd Jobs
During holiday season, everyone is busy which means that many people don’t have time to get everything on their ‘To Do’ lists done. Some people might need help with yard work or shovelling snow. Others may be looking for help putting up lights or outdoor decorations. If you have handyman skills, people are often eager to finish small renovations in their homes before opening them up to friends and family over the holidays. Put up flyers advertising your services in coffee shops, grocery stores, or community centers. Online classified sites are also great places to advertise. Finally, get your friends to refer you to potential clients.
If you have a particular skill, you might be able to do some tutoring. For example, if you’re good at Math or English there is potentially a demand from high school students around this time of year who are getting near the end of term and trying to improve their marks. To advertise your services, put up flyers in your community, advertise online and also contact the high schools themselves and let the guidance counsellors know that you’re looking for clients.
Some people work in fields where it’s easy to pick up freelance work. For example, if you’re a marketing professional you can potentially offer local businesses your marketing expertise around the holidays. If you’re an accountant, you can offer to help local small businesses whose fiscal year ends are in December. Because staff members might be going on vacation at this time, some businesses need extra help and are willing to take on a freelancer. Just be sure that your freelance work is okay with your primary employer and that it doesn’t interfere with your job.
6. Craft or Bake
December is the season of craft fairs and bake sales so if you are skillful at either baking or crafting, you can potentially make some quick money by renting a booth at one of these events and selling your wares. This can be risky since you often have to spend money in order to create products but if you do a little market research and ask friends, and family what you should produce, you should be able to make some extra money. Popular items around the holidays include ornaments, children’s toys, chocolate bark, and Christmas themed pancake and scone mixes.
7. Get a Seasonal Job
Many places hire seasonal workers for a couple of weeks around the holidays in order to deal with the additional workload. For example, many retail stores will bring on extra people to prepare for the holiday season. Canada Post also hires seasonal workers around this time. Check the classifieds for seasonal work that you can do during the evenings and weekends.