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Five Ways to Earn Additional Income Before the Holidays

Five Ways to Earn Additional Income Before the Holidays

It’s hard to believe, but the final quarter of 2023 is upon us, and the holiday season is rapidly approaching. I eagerly anticipate this festive time of year with all its warmth and joy. However, after a summer of embracing a carefree spirit and saying yes to countless social outings, my wallet isn’t quite as enthusiastic about gearing up for the holidays. Regrettably, I haven’t been as diligent about saving for gifts in my sinking fund this year. So, like many others, I’m looking for ways to earn some extra cash before the holiday season arrives without jeopardizing my other financial goals. If you find yourself in a similar situation, don’t worry; we still have ample time to generate extra income and make the holidays magical!

Start a (temporary) side hustle

Embarking on a temporary side hustle is a fantastic way to earn extra money within a short timeframe. This isn’t the time to launch a brand-new endeavor like a blog or a full-fledged business, as these typically require more time to establish. Instead, consider activities such as food delivery, pet sitting or dog walking, driving for Uber or Lyft, or tutoring young children. Personally, when I needed extra income in the past, I edited academic papers for college students, babysat for a family friend, and wrote freelance articles. These side gigs are relatively painless, can be adjusted to fit your existing schedule, and allow you to control your workload. Once you’ve accumulated the required funds, you can step away from these activities.

Sell unused items

One of the quickest ways to earn extra money is by selling items you no longer need, whether it’s old furniture, clothing, or neglected kitchen appliances. Spend some time combing through your cabinets and storage bins to identify items that could be sold. Then, take photos and list your items on platforms like Facebook Marketplace, Poshmark, or Depop. You’d be surprised at how swiftly your items can find new owners, especially if you live in an area with college students or frequent newcomers. Last year, I made around $700 in just a few days by selling my old clothes, shoes, and some furniture pieces—truly the easiest money I’ve ever made.

Another viable option is conducting a substantial closet purge and taking your unwanted clothes to stores like Buffalo Exchange or Crossroads. While they may not accept everything, a closet cleanse can still net you a couple of hundred dollars in a single trip, especially if it’s been a while since your last cleanout.

Create and sell crafts at a craft fair

If you have a knack for crafting, this option is for you! Consider selling your creations, whether it’s calligraphy art, knitted sweaters, or other handmade items. For instance, a friend of mine with excellent calligraphy skills put together a calligraphy kit comprising the right pens, paper, and guided worksheets. She then rented booths at local craft fairs in our city. In just a few months, she made $5,000 from something that took her less than an afternoon to create—not a bad return on investment. If you’re proficient in a craft, can produce charming knitted goods, or have another cozy hobby, contemplate selling your wares on platforms like Etsy or at nearby craft fairs. However, consider the time required to create these items and the selling price to ensure it’s a worthwhile income source. If crafting a small crocheted giraffe takes an hour but can only be sold for $10, it might not be the most efficient way to earn money.

Rent out unused items

If you’re not ready to part with your unused items, consider renting them out instead. This is especially practical if you have a spare room that can be listed on Airbnb, an available storage shed, or an unused parking space. You can even rent out your bicycle or car when you’re not using them through platforms like Turo (just ensure your car insurance covers other drivers in the event of an accident). While it takes a bit of effort to set up your listings on various rental sites, it can be a lucrative way to make money from items that are currently sitting idle.

Explore retail or service jobs

For corporate workers, Q4 is typically the busiest period of the year, and the same goes for the retail and food service industries. Now is an ideal time to consider taking on part-time retail or food service roles to earn extra income on the weekends. Stores and restaurants are actively seeking seasonal employees to bolster their staff in preparation for the holiday rush. What’s advantageous about seasonal positions is that there are no expectations of a long-term commitment. Both parties understand that this is a temporary arrangement, allowing you to earn extra money without feeling obligated to continue working after the season ends. Plus, if you happen to join a store where you frequently shop, you’ll likely enjoy a generous discount during the holiday season’s busiest shopping period.

Bonus: Use reward points to cover holiday expenses

While this isn’t a tip for generating more money, I couldn’t wrap up this article without emphasizing the importance of maximizing your loyalty program benefits. Think of it as essentially free money. When I was a recent graduate with limited disposable income for the holidays, I used grocery store reward points to bring food to gatherings, combined leftover gift cards and points to obtain free gifts for friends at Sephora and ULTA, and used accumulated cashback from my credit cards throughout the year to purchase everything else. With resourcefulness, you can navigate the holiday season without going into debt or missing out on all the fun. Take some time now to devise a plan for securing extra cash and making the holidays enjoyable!

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