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15 Ways to Create Some
Extra Holiday Money
Originally, this was going to be a list for my two teenagers but some of these ideas
are better suited to adults with a valid driver’s license and a bit of know-
2. Grab a ladder and offer to clean leaves out of your neighbors’ gutters. Many
people are so busy during the summer months that they completely forget to clean
all of the debris from their gutters when the sun is out and it is dry outside. It
is cold and yucky outside now and many people are too busy to get to it themselves.
They will probably be glad that you offered and they can check it off their to-
3. Bake something amazing and offer to sell it to your friends and coworkers so they will not have to do their own holiday baking. You probably have to be careful about selling your baked goods to professional organizations and such, but you could do some sideline baking to help out your friends, neighbors, and coworkers who are going to be entertaining guests over the holidays and simply do not have the time to do their own baking. Do you have an awesome recipe that stands out as everyone’s absolute favorite? Is it the hit of every potluck? Make up some tiny sample sizes or bring it in to the office break room and serve up samples to your potential clients. Then while their mouths are watering, tell them that for a fee you will bring them one to their home the day before their guests are to arrive. You will have to work out the scheduling and cost of ingredients and such, but this could be a fun way to make some money and spread some serious joy. The hostess will be so pleased when she pulls your work of art out of the fridge and her guests ooh and ah over the scrumptious homemade dessert she did not have time to bake herself.
4. Offer to collect people’s empty soda cans and cash them in. My son raised almost
$300 last spring doing this so that he could go to a training course to become a
camp counselor for the little kids at our church. He went door-
5. Sell something on eBay. I know a number of people who make a decent second income
6. Hang up people’s outdoor Holiday lights for them. As a single mom, I would have loved it if someone had come to my house and hung the Christmas lights on my house for me. My children always wanted us to decorate the outside of the house and I hated not being able to do that for them. I did not know the first thing about how to go about hanging them up. I did not even own a ladder! Therefore, I would think that you could go around offering to hang up people’s outdoor holiday lights for a fee. If they don’t even own lights but want to get some, you could offer your expertise as to which kind to buy and where to get the best prices and such.
7. Grab a broom or a shovel and offer to clean the neighborhood sidewalks. This is another good one for the younger teens. There are always sidewalks that need swept or shoveled. And there is always someone too busy or too tired to do it themselves.
8. Work a second job as seasonal help at one of the department stores in the mall. Most of the major department stores hire extra help in October or November so they can have them fully trained by the time the really busy holiday shopping season kicks in. They are kept on until after the inventory counts are done in January. Then most are let go if they haven’t already quit. Those who have proven themselves to be quality employees will often be asked to stay on longer.
9. Sell something at holiday bazaars. I suspect that you have to get these kinds of events lined up ahead of time with a bit of preplanning and such, but plenty of folks make a decent seasonal income by selling cool arts and crafts type items at those holiday bazaars. Often a percentage of the sales go towards a fundraiser, but you still make enough to make it worth your time and energy to create the art and to hang out at the art shows.
10. Sell your plasma. We all know how important it is to donate blood during the holidays, but many people do not know that you can get paid for sitting through a procedure quite similar to the donation process. The difference is that they run your blood through a machine that separates the plasma from the red blood cells and puts the red blood cells back into your body. It takes longer and I guess that is why they are willing to pay you for your time. Years ago, I used to do this when my kids were really little and we needed some extra money for upcoming birthdays and such. They will not let you do it more than once a week or so and they only paid about $25 each time, so you had to plan ahead if you were going to raise $100 or $200 for something you wanted to purchase. Contact your local Red Cross or other blood donation centers for help finding the plasma centers.
11. Clean houses for others who have holiday guests coming. Typically, if someone
has out of town guests coming for the holidays, they have a lot more on their to-
12. Run errands and do odd holiday jobs like wrapping gifts or delivering packages to the post office. You could start a little side business where all you do is run other people’s errands for them. Drop off and pick up the dry cleaning. Take their pet to the vet. Deliver cupcakes to the charity fundraiser. Pick up a handful of gift certificates from national department stores that will later be mailed out. Address and stamp their Christmas cards for them. Do their grocery shopping. Pick up new printer cartridge and some desk calendars for them. All of those tiny little errands make for frazzled schedules and crazy timelines. For a fee, you could do it for them.
13. Decorate the inside of people’s homes or offices for the holidays. You do not have to be a professional interior decorator to be helpful. If you have a good eye for attractive and festive decorating, you can help others to set up their trees, hang garland, and place some nice poinsettia here and there. You can help make people’s homes and their office space a warm inviting environment and also include coming back after the holidays to break it all down into to storage containers as part of the deal. I hate tearing down the decorations and would love to pay someone to put it all back away!
14. Cater some dinners for the extremely busy shoppers or for Holiday parties. Those
who are not awesome cooks need not apply for this one! Let’s say that your boss
is having the annual company Christmas party at his house and his wife is swamped
with running kids back and forth to choir concerts and peewee football camp while
shopping and planning for her in-
15. Chauffeur someone’s children to and from school and other activities so the parents have some free time. This is not quite the same as babysitting. You would be amazed at how much time a person can spend picking up and driving two or three kids to different events and hauling musical instruments and sporting gear from one event to the next. You could simply run a taxi service for children and teenagers who need rides from point A to B. You do not have to hang out and watch them once they get there. Just make sure they arrive on time. Even just having an afternoon at home to cook and clean house while someone else gathers up all of the kids and brings them all home could make a world of difference for someone.
As you can see, some of these services could easily be turned into a year-
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