Looking to make some extra money for Christmas? The holidays are right around the corner but don’t worry if you haven’t started saving. There are plenty of ways to earn an extra $500 for the holidays if you can spare a few hours per week.
Even if you’re not starting with much, earning $500 can help you pay for a few gifts and cover some other holiday expenses. Plus, some money-making opportunities may allow you to earn even more.
So, if you’re looking to earn an extra $500 for the holidays, this list will help get your creative juices flowing.
Sell Used Furniture
Furniture that is in good condition tends to sell pretty well and for a good price. If you have some gently-used furniture at your house that you’d like to get rid of, you could easily earn a few hundred dollars.
Even if you don’t have furniture to sell, keep your eyes open to see if you can obtain free furniture that you can flip for a profit. A few weeks ago, my mom was driving down my street and saw a nice gold and glass shelf that someone was throwing away.
We grabbed it off the side of the curb after confirming with my neighbors that they wanted to get rid of it. They claimed the shelf just sat in their garage. I thought it was beautiful but didn’t match the theme of my home.
So I decided to fix it up and try to resell it online. The shelf would normally go for $200 to $300 new. I’ll try listing it in the $150ish range and see how it goes. If any when it sells, it will be a great profit and I didn’t even have to spend any of my own money. Don’t get intimidated by the idea of flipping furniture if you’re looking to earn some quick money for the holidays.
There are lots of food delivery apps like DoorDash and GrubHub that are always hiring new contractors. All you need is a car and a smartphone to work. You’ll need to apply and pass a background check first. However, the process to get started is relatively quick and you get paid weekly.
I signed up for DoorDash a few years ago to see if you could actually make money on the app. Even though I don’t live in a busy city, I was still able to earn about $150 per week if I drove a few hours 3 to 4 days per week.
If you want to earn an extra $500 for the holidays, it’s doable with an app like DoorDash so long as you’re consistent.
Surveys and Focus Groups
Taking surveys online is one of the easiest ways to make money fast. While you won’t get rich taking surveys, you can earn some extra money for the holidays and retailer gift cards.
Swagbucks will also pay you for completing short tasks like watching videos, playing games and searching online. You’ll earn points that can be redeemed for gift cards or cash via PayPal.
Mindswarms is another site that will pay you to take video surveys that are more like virtual focus groups. Mindswarms is a little more selective with who they choose for a virtual focus group, but they tend to pay between $30 to $50 per opportunity.
Babysit or Pet Sit
People always need babysitters and may even want to care for pets as well. You can create a profile on Care.com or ask around in your neighborhood to see if anyone needs a babysitter. Parents may need a sitter while they work or during weekends. You can even offer sitting services while parents shop for the holidays so you can make cash for your holiday shopping as well.
Entry-level sitters can make anywhere from $10 to $15 per hour depending on the child’s age and what your service includes. If you charged $12 per hour for example, you’d need to spend 42 hours babysitting in order to earn an extra $500 for the holidays.
This could be broken up over a few weeks. So if you have 5 weeks this would mean sitting for 8.5 hours each week to reach your goal – pretty doable!
To accelerate your earnings, consider offering pet sitting or dog walking services too. Sites like Rover help you connect with pet owners in your area that may need to hire help. You can typically earn $30+ per night for pet sitting.
Shop For Groceries
Apps like Instacart and Shipt help you earn money from shopping for groceries and delivering them to customers. Many people use these apps nowadays for the convenience of not having to do their own shopping.
If you’re a pretty efficient shopper, you could earn a decent amount of money by using the app part-time. Instacart shoppers actually set their weekly schedule in advance but flexible shifts are available. You’ll earn a flat rate per order and get to keep 100% of your tips.
The key to grocery delivery apps is to be quick but accurate. You don’t want to waste too much time looking around in the store or transporting the groceries to the customer because you’ll lower your earning potential.
Clean Gutters (And Do Other Odds Jobs)
Yes, you can earn an extra $500 for the holidays by doing odd jobs like cleaning gutters. You don’t have to be a contractor or expert in order to make money doing this simple task.
The national average for cleaning gutters ranges from $158 to $225. You can charge a fraction of that and still earn $500 by doing a few houses. Start by asking your neighbors if they need help with their gutters.
Sometimes people mean to do this task but they procrastinate or just don’t have the time. Gutters can be clogged with leaves and other debris so it’s a much-needed service you can offer. Aim to work on one-floor houses so you’re not putting yourself at too great a risk.
If you’re interested in cleaning gutters, get creative and think of another odd job you can do in your area. You can offer services like leaf raking, picking up branches or even shoveling snow as it gets closer to winter.
Make Holiday Masks
Masks are part of the everyday items we use now and there’s no telling how long we may be wearing them in public. While I’m sure most people won’t be giving masks out as gifts this holiday season, you can still make some holiday-themed reusable masks if you know how to sew.
People may want to get them for themselves or their kids to wear over the next few weeks. Or, you can make several masks for business with several employees who must wear masks. My sister sews and was able to make over $1,000 selling masks locally in just a few short weeks.
There’s still time to earn an extra $500 for the holidays. Just determine what you’re interested in and how much time you can dedicate to an extra income stream. Break down your goal by week if you have to so with smaller goals is seems more attainable to reach.
At the end of the day, you’ll be happy you took the time to side hustle instead of using credit cards to finance your holiday purchases.