Make some extra cash this holiday season
If there’s one time of year when most people could probably use a bit of extra cash in their wallets, this would be the one. Gifts. Holiday parties. Secret Santa Swaps. A fabulous new outfit to go with the fabulous little holiday soirée.
It all adds up.
One way to help lighten the proverbial holiday load is to make some extra cash. We’re not talking a second job or taking out a mortgage on your house. There are tons of easy ways for you to make money these days, some of which require very little actual “work” from you.
Here are five of our favorite, easy ways to make some extra moolah this holiday season. Just try not to spend it all in one place. Empty those closets. Instead of socking away your spring and summer wardrobe in a cupboard somewhere, ask yourself one question: “How many times did I really wear this outfit?” If you can bear to part with some of your clothes, tons of fashion resale sites are just waiting to help you cash in. Of course eBay is a favorite, but others like Tradesy, Bib + Tuck (good only for making “virtual” money for reuse on the site), Klury and Threadflip work just as well, depending on your specific needs. A clean closet and some cash and/or goods in hand? Seems like a win-win to us.
Watch a furry friend. If you’re a dog-lover, taking care of some cute pooches for some extra cash probably seems like a dream come true. Use a service like DogVacay.com to help you find owners in your neighborhood who are looking for someone to walk their dogs or watch them while they’re out of town.
Open up your home. If you’re comfortable with it, renting out your own home space while you’re out of town can be an easy way to make extra money for doing practically nothing. Sites like Airbnb and VRBO make the process easy — just be sure to read all the fine print before signing on the dotted line.
Become a TaskRabbit. If you’re busy running around during the holidays for your own shopping, why not tack on someone else’s chores while you’re at it and make a little cash from it? TaskRabbit — now available in 17 cities — works by having people create accounts on the site and then bid on tasks that people post. Jobs range from furniture assembly to grocery shopping to cleaning, so you can pick and choose what works best for you and what fits with your own schedule.
Make more for your skills. Let’s say you’re a great writer, web designer or musician. It’s easy to pick up some extra cash during the holidays by offering lessons or picking up some extra freelance gigs on the side. Sites like Craigslist are a good place to start if you’re advertising lessons. (You can advertise at local schools, as well.) And check out Elance, Odesk and freelancer.com for job opportunities involving writing, editing, programing, designing, etc.
Cheryl Lock is a personal finance writer at and former editor at LearnVest and Parents magazine. When she’s not writing, she enjoys travel, which she blogs about at wearywanderer.wordpress.com.