11 Simple Ways to Make Extra Money for the Holidays

Woman with plate of money

Make extra money to avoid spiraling into debt during the holidays. Here’s how.

‘Tis the season for being merry and bright. And broke. If you’re looking to earn extra coin for that hefty holiday shopping list without cutting into your Shondaland lineup, look no further.

Here are 11 ways you can make extra money, stat:

1. Offer to watch kids, pets, or home

Spread the word you’re available to babysit for frazzled parents who desperately need a date night, or housesit for people who travel for work. Reliable babysitters and housesitters aren’t exactly a dime a dozen, so channel your inner teenager and get ready to book oodles of gigs.

2. Collect your change

Even if you only start collecting your change now, come Christmas there will at least be enough for wrapping paper and those last-minute doo-dads we don’t remember we need until… well, the last minute.

3. Become a virtual assistant

To save money, business owners hire independent contractors to help them out with things like data entry, transcription and scheduling. Best of all, it’s a job you can make extra money from at home.

4. Sell stuff on Kijiji

The only way to make room for the new Christmas presents you’re going to acquire is to sell the old ones. (Kidding, sort of.) Sure, you could have a yard sale – but what if you’re an apartment dweller who doesn’t have a yard? Placing Kijiji ads is completely free and each community has its own section, so more often than not there won’t be shipping involved – perfect for getting rid of bulkier items that are starting to cramp your style.

5. Declutter

You’ve probably got old books, movies and electronics that are worth less than the time it would take to place a Kijiji ad – and this is where Amazon’s Trade-In Program comes in handy. Gather up all the itty bitty items you want to sell and find out how much Amazon will pay you for a Trade-In. If you like what you see, continue on to verify the condition, title and price. Print out the pre-paid postage label and ship your products to Amazon. Once they’ve received them and verified them, you’ll receive an Amazon gift card for the trade-in amount that you can use toward your holiday gifts. Bam.

6. Provide quick online/in-person gigs

Use Fiverr to sell quick online services for five dollars a pop. If you want to broaden your horizons, Zaarly is a website that connects people offering services (dog walking, being a personal assistant for a day, giving music lessons) with buyers who are looking for them. Simply setup an account and do a search to find out which services are in high demand. Then you know, provide them.

7. Take pictures

Stock photography for businesses and websites has become a big business – and a great way for shutterbugs to make extra money. Shoot stunning pictures and upload them to stock photography websites like Dreamstime, iStockPhoto, and Shutterstock, and earn money each time someone buys your images. Each site has its own set of rules and regs, so make sure to check them out before committing.

8. Be a know-it-all

Sites like ChaCha and LivePerson will pay you to answer questions. The more questions you answer, the more you earn – and you can answer questions on everything from fashion tips to homework advice.

9. Search the Internet

Instead of Google or Yahoo, use Swag Bucks. When you do this, you earn Swag Bucks points, which are redeemable for merchandise like Target gift cards and beauty products. If you’d rather have the cash straight up, you can trade in your points for a Paypal deposit into your bank account.

10. Rent your car

RelayRides is a program that allows you to either rent or loan your car to other people – and make extra money for doing so.

11. Test websites

User Testing is a company that helps web developers iron out the kinks in their websites. They hire real users like yourself to review websites and share the ways in which their websites are confusing or aren’t functioning properly. They give you software to install on your computer that tracks your mouse movements and ask you to supply a short video while you use the website.

How are you planning to make extra money for the holidays?

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Image: Gavin Schaefer

Krissy Brady

Krissy Brady is a women’s health + lifestyle writer who’s so out of shape, it’s like she has the innards of an 80-year-old. Instead of learning how to crochet, she decided to turn her emotional baggage into a writing career (genius, no?). You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (you know, if you want).