With Christmas easily being the most expensive time of the year for many of us, it’s no wonder that you may be looking for how to make quick cash for the holidays.
Luckily, while you may be used to spending way more over the holidays, this actually means that it can be one of the best times to also make some extra money.
Not only are there usually more Christmas jobs than would otherwise be available, but plenty of people are short on time and are looking for others to help them with the tasks they simply aren’t able to do themselves.
All this means is that there are plenty of ways to make quick Christmas money which you can definitely take advantage of.
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How to make quick cash for the holidays
When working out how to make quick cash for the holidays, the trick is to think of what people really need during the Christmas period – and then think about how you can provide them with a service that will meet that need.
At the same time, you probably already have a bunch of money making opportunities lying around your house. This is why the holiday season is a perfect time to earn some extra cash from these.
(And don’t forget to also check out these 15 proven ways to get free money for Christmas.)
1. Get cash back on your Christmas shopping
If you’re not using cash back apps to earn money for things you’d be buying anyway, you’re practically throwing away money.
How these apps work is that they pay you cash as a portion of what you’ve spent on each item. This means that if you’re buying things that you’d be using during the season normally, such as food for Christmas dinner or even gifts, you can use this strategy to easily make some extra money.
And our tip for the best cashback app is Ibotta. It offers money back on items at more than 500,000 partner retailers, meaning that you’ll definitely be able to make some quick cash based on what you’re buying already.
And not only is the app completely free, but you get an amazing free $20 welcome bonus just for redeeming your first offer. To find out more, check out our in-depth Ibotta review.
Free sign-up bonus: $20
Ibotta’s a completely free app that gives you cash back on what you’re buying already – groceries, medicine, clothes and more.
In fact, users make $150 per year on average – not including your free $20 welcome bonus – with over $682 million having been paid out, so you know Ibotta is definitely legit.
2. Sell your unused items
If you haven’t decluttered your house lately, it’s almost guaranteed that you have things gathering dust that you could earn money from.
And with people looking to save money any way they can, your unused items could definitely be someone else’s Christmas gift that they’d be happy to buy from you.
Depending on what you’re looking to sell, there are websites for your every need including:
- Selling clothes on sites like Poshmark, Mercari or eBay
- Selling unwanted cell phones on Gazelle
- Selling old textbooks and other used books on BookScouter
3. Give opinions
Companies will pay good money to get your opinion. One common way you can earn extra cash doing this is by completing surveys, with one of the top apps for this being Swagbucks.
Swagbucks is one of the best apps out there for making money through options like, as mentioned, completing surveys, but also watching videos, playing games and simply surfing the net. Its earnings definitely make Swagbucks worth it – and the free $5 sign on bonus is pretty amazing too.
Free sign-up bonus: $5
A great app for making extra money, including with cash back from online shopping, watching videos, playing games and more.
And given it’s paid out over $400 million through Amazon, Paypal and other gift cards, it’s 100% legit.
Another option that’s very straightforward is Respondent. There, you can sign on to basically be in a focus group, getting paid up to $125 for one hour of giving your opinion.
Simply visit their website, create a profile and you’ll immediately see the available offers at the moment. You’ll have to provide some details to make sure you fit their target demographic but assuming you do, you can immediately start applying for these various groups.
4. Cut your bills
Figuring out how to make quick Christmas money doesn’t necessarily mean you have to actually earn this money.
Instead, an easier option can be to work out how you can save money on what you’re currently spending. And a great example of this is finding ways to reduce your ongoing bills – or cancel them all together.
And Trim is an amazing app that can help you with this. It’s completely free and works by looking at your spending and letting you know whether ongoing bills or subscriptions that you can cancel.
It also looks at things like your insurance and internet bill and suggests ways that you can reduce them, including that it will automatically negotiate a reduction on these on your behalf.
Click here to find out more about Trim or to sign up for free.
5. Review your own budget
As mentioned above, when you need to make quick Christmas money, it can be tempting to look for new ways to earn this. But an alternative that many people don’t even think of is to look where they’re currently wasting money and make some easy adjustments.
When doing this, your first step should always be to create a budget. By setting out your expenses in a list in front of you, you’ll easily be able to see where your money is coming in and out – and probably where more of it is going then you actually realized.
From there, it becomes a simple question of better money management. That is, limiting your expenses overall by cutting your spending on wants, when possible, and reducing your spending on needs.
And our favorite app for better money management is always Personal Capital. It’s completely free and lets you see easily in one quick snapshot what you’re doing with your money – and where you could do better to free up more of your budget each month.
Our pick: Best budgeting app
Easily our choice for the best app to help you manage your money better.
Create a budget, track your spending automatically, receive personalized advice, get alerts about hidden fees and a ton more – and it’s all free.
6. Meal plan
One of the biggest parts of any household budget is food. This makes it a really great area of our spending where we can save money.
This means an easy way to make fast money for the holidays is to really work to rein in your spending on your groceries. And this is especially the case given how much of the holidays revolves around food.
One very simple way to do this is to start meal planning. By planning exactly what you’re going to eat for each meal of the week, you’ll be able to make sure that you’re only buying exactly what you need at the supermarket.
You’ll also avoid the wasted cost involved in food wastage, as well as the expense of buying takeout when you think you don’t have anything to eat in the house.
To make this even easier for you (and to make sure you actually do it), the service provided by $5 Meal Plan is for you.
For just five dollars per month, they’ll send you a full month of meal planning, with most meals costing less than two dollars per person.
And you can even get a free 14-day trial at that link to get you started!
7. Do some cash-in-hand tasks
Plenty of people are short on time over the holiday season, especially as they get ready for their own Christmas and all that comes with it. This means that one easy option for earning quick cash for the holidays can be to do some cash-in-hand tasks that others may not want (or have the time) to do.
These can include things like:
- Shoveling snow
- House cleaning (before guests arrive)
- Hanging Christmas lights and other decorations
- Running errands
You can find other ideas in our article on 43 Amazing Under the Table Jobs that Pay Cash.
The best ways to secure these kinds of jobs is to either do a letterbox drop with flyers in your local area just prior to the holidays or to post on local Facebook groups.
That way, when people realize they need these kinds of tasks done ASAP, they’ll quickly remember your name and you’ll be first on the list to get their cash.
Need to make more money but don’t want to waste your time?
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8. Get a seasonal job
It’s no surprise to hear that the holiday season is one of the busiest periods for many retailers. This is why a simple way to make quick cash for the holidays is to get a seasonal job.
A good place to start is checking some of the larger retailers in your area, like Target and Walmart. This includes the period leading up to Black Friday, with many retailers going into overdrive.
(And this is also a great way for teens to make money for the holidays!)
You can also look into getting a seasonal job online. For example, Amazon customer service agents are in hot demand over this time, which would be perfect for you if you need the flexibility of an at-home job.
You may also be interested in: Working Part Time: 9 Reasons Why To Seriously Consider It
9. Work as a pet sitter
As people travel over the Christmas period, they’re always on the lookout for someone reliable to look after their furry family members.
This is why working as a pet sitter can be really lucrative over the holidays. Simply create a profile on Rover.com to allow people in your local area to find you and sign up for your pet sitting services.
This is an ideal side hustle for anyone who loves animals. After all, not only will you get paid but you get a bonus pet for a little while!
10. Deliver items
Another way to make quick cash for the holidays is to sign up for a delivery job in the lead up to Christmas.
This could include:
- Delivering food with Ubereats or similar companies
- Delivering groceries with companies like Instacart
- Delivering basically anything by signing up to deliver with Postmates
- And even delivering people with companies like Uber or Lyft (a super valuable service over the Christmas period as people indulge a bit too much!)
In some cases, you’ll have to have a car to do this, but other companies are fine if you do this on bike or on foot. Just keep in mind that if you do choose to do this by car, make sure the cost of any wear and tear is worth it and that your insurance covers you.
11. At-home daycare or babysitting
We all know how busy the lead up to Christmas can be for parents, and this can be made even more difficult when the kids aren’t in school or when daycares may be closed for the holidays.
This is why an easy way to make quick cash for holidays can be to offer an at-home babysitting or daycare service. This is especially good if you have your own kids, as they’ll have built-in playmates while you’re getting paid.
Simply asking around your local area or posting it in local Facebook groups can be a good place to start. Alternatively, check out Care.com to see if anyone is looking for these kinds of services in your neighborhood.
12. Rent out your space on Airbnb
If you have any extra space – or if you’re traveling over the holidays and your house will be empty – then why not make some quick Christmas money by renting out the space on Airbnb.
It’s going to be especially lucrative if you live in a high tourist area or even in any major city where a lot of people like to come for the holidays. In those cases, accommodation is in high demand, meaning you can charge good money for making your space available to others.
Click here to find out more.
13. Advertise on your car
Another way to make fast money for the holidays – or even any other time of year – is to allow advertising on your car.
How it works is the companies like Wrapify will pay you to put stickers on your car advertising other companies. The idea is that as you drive around, other people see the stickers, meaning you’re basically advertising for these companies.
And keep in mind that you’ll be paid about $450 a month for this, which is great money considering that you don’t actually have to do anything.
14. Sell Christmas-related items
If you have any sort of creative streak, Christmas can be a goldmine for you. Whether you have a knack for creating Christmas related jewelry, food or homemade decorations, selling these online or in-person at places like Christmas markets can be a fantastic way to make quick cash for the holidays.
And if there aren’t any markets in your area, check out Etsy.com for a way to show off your products to basically the entire world.
You’ll want to start advertising your goods as early as possible, as many people like to get in early when buying things for the holiday.. But if you manage to nail a particular corner of the market, you can easily make a ton from this.
15. Do online freelance work
Doing freelance work online is an easy way to make quick cash for the holidays – or even at any other time of the year when you may need a bit of a boost to your budget.
There are literally dozens of different types of work you can do in this kind of role, so it’s worth playing to your strengths or your professional background.
- Preparing content for websites
- Working as an online bookkeeper
- Doing transcription work by getting paid to type
- Getting paid to test websites
Click here to read more about some of the highest paying online jobs to find one that works for you.
16. Work as a virtual friend
Getting paid to be a virtual friend is a really interesting money making opportunity that’s appeared in recent years.
There are a range of different sites that you can sign up for to do this, letting you get paid up to $50 an hour just to talk to people.
Don’t worry, it’s completely platonic and you don’t have to provide any of your real information to the person speaking with, meaning it’s very safe.
And if you’re considering this, you should also look into some of the similar ways to make quick cash for the holidays in our article on getting paid to chat with lonely people.
17. Donate plasma
A lot of people consider donating blood but, for some reason, donating plasma simply isn’t as well known.
And it’s hard to think why given how valuable it is for the recipients. At the same time, it can be pretty valuable for the donors too given that you can make between $20 and $50 per donation.
You can also donate more frequently than blood, in that you can donate plasma twice in every seven day period. What this means that you can actually make up to $400 per month doing this.
To find out more, including to find your nearest plasma donation center, go to donatingplasma.org.
18. Tutor online
When looking for how to make a quick Christmas money, tutoring online can be a simple way to do so.
You don’t even need formal qualifications in the field in which you’re tutoring. For example, plenty of middle school and high school students are happy to be tutored by college students.
You can even consider tutoring in subjects that aren’t typical for schools and colleges. For example, there are examples of people running online classes on subjects like knitting, negotiating in a professional setting and even doing things like online yoga classes.
There are plenty of websites offering this, so have a look to see which is best for the area in which you want to start tutoring.
You may also be interested in: 29 Great Jobs Where You Work Alone (That Are Perfect for Introverts)
19. Teach English online
…and if you have a bachelor’s degree and are interested in tutoring in English, VIPKid is one of the best sites for doing this.
You can earn up to $25 per hour by teaching English to students in China. VIPKid prepares all the teaching materials, meaning all you have to do is show up for your lessons.
Click here to find out more about teaching English online.
How can I make fast cash for the holidays?
The best way to make fast cash for the holidays is going to differ from person to person. But as with most money making opportunities, a good place to start is to consider your strengths.
For example, if you’re a fast, accurate typist, one of the online freelancing tasks listed above may be perfect for you. Alternatively, if your closet is a bit fuller than it probably should be, selling your unused clothes on sites like Poshmark or Mercari can be an easy way to make some quick cash.
And there’s no reason why you can’t combine some of these to really maximize your Christmas earnings. For example, while you’re tutoring online for a few hours a day, you can use your spare time to review your budget and see where you can make some further cuts to stretch your money even further.
Final thoughts on making quick cash for the holidays
We all know how expensive the holidays can be, so having extra cash over the season can be a godsend for helping our budgets to make it through the festivities.
And ideally, you’ll be able to use some of these strategies to continue to make money throughout the rest of the year.
For example, tweaking your budget is something you can do at any time. By doing this over a longer period – say, the next 12 months, not only the month or two leading up to Christmas – you’ll definitely be able to notice an actual difference in really seeing how far your budget can stretch.
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About the author
Anna is the founder of LogicalDollar and a personal finance expert, having been featured on Forbes, HuffPost, Reader’s Digest, MSN Money, Yahoo! Finance, CreditCards.com and many more. She’s committed to helping others get on the path to financial freedom using the experience gained from turning $60,000 in debt into a six-figure investment portfolio. Find out more.