Looking for a little extra cash to get you through the holiday season? Between gift-buying, parties, and travel, budgets can get pretty tight. Luckily, if you have a little extra time and the desire to work can pick up a few extra dollars this time of year, there are plenty of opportunities out there. Your results may vary based on where you live, your availability, and the skills you have to offer, but here are eight ideas to get you started.
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Seasonal Retail Work
Plenty of big box and mall retail stores hire people for the holidays, and they’d love to see an application from a responsible and dependable employee. Even local and smaller stores do extra hiring sometimes, so ask around if you have a favorite store. Most stores want employees to work when people are shopping on evenings and weekends, which works great if you already have a full-time gig. Apply somewhere you plan to shop, and you might even get a discount, too, and your gift-giving budget will go even further.
Sell Your Goods
Have extra stuff around the house? If you’re not using it, try selling it for a little extra pocket money. Of course, it has to have some value and someone has to want it. If your weather is warm and sunny in November and December (lucky you), you can clear out clutter and make money with a yard sale. Have extra books and electronics items sitting around? Trade them in for store credit, and use the credit to buy gifts. Online store works best for large items that you want to sell to someone local. eBay charges fees, but you’ll get more potential buyers and can get a higher price for specialty items like toys and memorabilia.
You have plenty of parties to attend and errands to run during the holiday season, and so do your friends with kids. Take in a few older kids at the same time, find a fun activity, and make it a fun night for the parents as well as the younger set. When you offer to babysit for your friends or family, be sure to make it clear that you’re asking to be paid. You don’t want to be on the hook for free babysitting if that wasn’t your intention.
Let your network know that you’re open and available for any kinds of tasks for pay. Finally, all those Facebook friends will pay off! There’s usually something that your busy friends hate to do that they’re willing to pay someone else to take the trouble. Addressing Christmas cards, maybe? Landscaping? Snow shoveling? Baking? Use your expert skills, or your favorite leisure activities, and make them useful for someone else.
Make and Sell Crafts
All sorts of crafts are sellable this time of year as people search for the perfect gift. If you sew, or make jewelry, or enjoy other popular and marketable crafts, get up and running on Etsy, or look into sharing a table at a local craft fair. It can take a little money to get up and running, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll make sales. But if you enjoy making crafts, you have extras around that you won’t be able to gift, or if people have asked you if they can buy from you, this might be a fun and fulfilling option.
Call Center Sales and Customer Service
Stores at the mall aren’t the only businesses that need extra sales people during this busy season. Call centers for customer service and catalog sales are also hopping this time of year. Incoming sales means that you won’t be pushing too hard – the customer already decided to call you. Outgoing sales means cold calling, and can be a little more challenging for those of us who aren’t sales-oriented.
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Plenty of people go out of town during the holidays. If you’re staying at home, you can help your neighbors, co-workers, friends and acquaintances keep their homes safe. The time required will depend on the comfort level of the person who’s hiring you. Pet-sitting can be extra fun for pet lovers. You might even be able to watch the pet in your own home to save some gas money.
Companies like UPS, DHL and FedEx all have extra packages to deliver during the holidays, and they need extra help in their warehouses. The hours aren’t always ideal, with lots of graveyard and split shifts, but they do hire a lot of people and normally pay decent wages.