With the end of the year approaching, you might also be nearing the end of your holiday budget. If money’s tight this time of year, consider getting one of the best seasonal jobs to earn some extra cash over the holidays.
Plenty of people are looking to hire a helper, find personalized gifts, or add some cheer to their holiday event. Here are 16 part-time holiday jobs to earn money on the side this season.
1. Part-time holiday jobs in retail
Most retailers will hire extra help to handle the influx of customers during the holiday season. Check with local stores for seasonal positions and pick up some extra hours (and income) each week.
Plus, most stores give employees a discount, so if you’re working at a favorite shopping spot, you can save more on gifts, too.
2. Mystery shopper
If you do a lot of holiday shopping, you can make money doing it by becoming a mystery shopper. This is a person who goes into a store and gives feedback on their experience as a customer.
“Mystery shopping is abundant because retailers have specific deals that they want to make sure their employees are offering, and they want to make certain that the retail stores are in welcoming condition,” says Bethany Mooradian.
She’s been a mystery shopper for over 17 years and writes about earning extra income on Queen of the Random Job. “It’s a great way to earn money on a flexible schedule,” she adds.
3. Holiday item reseller
Whether it’s artificial trees, holiday decorations, or ugly Christmas sweaters, you might be able to make some dough snatching up lightly used items and reselling them.
Kat Tretina, Student Loan Hero’s resident side-hustle expert, says she used to flip Christmas sweaters to make extra money in college. “I would look for them in September or October (the uglier, the better), and sell them on eBay,” she says.
4. Gift wrapper
Tretina also wrapped gifts — and made decent money doing it — during the holiday season.
“I would post on Craigslist, and people would pay a flat rate per package,” Tretina says. “I’d go over to their home armed with wrapping paper, glue guns, ribbon, and ornaments from the dollar store.” After supplies, she estimates she made $20 to $25 an hour wrapping gifts.
5. Holiday decorator or light hanger
Plenty of people are willing to pay someone else to put up and take down holiday decorations.
This might include decorating inside, such as putting up holiday garland or hanging ornaments and lights on a Christmas tree. You can make more putting up lights on home exteriors, however.
Prices can range upwards of $600 for a single-story home if you provide the lights. All you’ll need is a ladder and some know-how.
6. Snow remover
There’s serious money to be made in snow removal services. You can offer to keep neighbors’ sidewalks and cars snow-free, for a price. Businesses, in particular, need their driveways, sidewalks, and parking lots snow- and ice-free.
This can be especially lucrative if you already own a snow-plow attachment.
7. Rideshare or delivery driver
Maybe you’ve considered driving for Uber or Lyft, or working for a delivery service like Postmates or Shipt. Around the holiday season, there will be lots of business to be had shuttling people, food, or other items around.
Earn more by taking advantage of surge pricing and driver sign-up bonuses.
8. Holiday-themed baker
The best seasonal jobs let you earn money while you do what you love.
If you have a passion for baking, make some cash whipping up holiday-themed cupcakes, cookies, peanut brittle, or another specialty. You could even cater an office party or put together baked-goods gift baskets.
Advertise on a listing site, on social media, or by word-of-mouth. Just make sure you’re complying with your state’s cottage food laws.
9. Family portrait photographer
Lots of people need an updated professional photo to send with their holiday card around this time of year. If you have a decent camera and photography skills, you can offer family portrait sessions.
Photography prices vary a lot by experience and area. Check the pricing of other photographers in your area to know what to charge.
10. Christmas card designer or mailer
If you have graphic design, calligraphy, or illustration skills, you can charge a flat rate to design holiday cards.
If you lack those skills, you can still make money by setting up a card-sending service. Customers send you a photo, text, and a list of addresses; you get everything printed, stuff the envelopes, and mail the cards on their behalf.
Just make sure you’re pricing this service correctly so it’s worth your time after all of your costs.
11. Live musician
Those with a musical talent can get paid hourly for providing live music at churches, holiday parties, and other seasonal gatherings. Get together friends from your choir or old band and learn some carol arrangements.
12. Santa impersonator
Have a resemblance to a certain jolly holiday figure? You can earn $100 or more an hour as a Santa Claus impersonator — and you can charge even more on weekends, Christmas Eve, and Christmas. Even if you’re renting a costume, you can still come ahead with this gig.
If it’d be hard to pass yourself off as Santa Claus or the Mrs., you can also dress as an elf, snowman, nutcracker, the Grinch, or another holiday-themed character.
13. House or pet sitter
With many people leaving town for the holidays, it’s the perfect time to make some extra money as a house or pet sitter. If you’re visiting another city, house sitting can also be a great a way to find a free place to stay.
For pet sitting, sites like Rover connect pet parents with locals who are willing to provide in-home care and dog walking while their owners are away on vacation. If you’re an animal lover, it’s a fun and easy option to make some extra cash.
If you really want to make some dough, fall back on an old stand-by: babysitting.
“We go on a hiring spree before the holidays because of the increase of business during that time in all of our markets,” says Rachel Charlupski, founder of The Babysitting Company. “Sitters make between $15 and $30 per hour, and some even get perks like first-class travel to Aspen, Europe, and even private islands.”
15. New Year’s resolution coach
Gene Caballero, founder of lawn care service GreenPal, has a unique way of making money each holiday season: He helps people achieve their New Year’s resolutions.
With his exercise science degree and past experience as a personal trainer, Caballero puts together personalized fitness plans. “The timing for this is perfect because these plans can be given as gifts to family members and friends, or even coworkers,” he says.
If you have a similar area of expertise, you could help people put together plans or roadmaps to achieve career goals, financial resolutions, or other important personal accomplishments in 2017.
16. All-purpose holiday helper
“This time of year can be especially busy and stressful,” says Angie Nelson, an entrepreneur and owner of The Work At Home Wife. “Rather than spend our days stressed out and unable to enjoy the festivities, we outsource what we can around the holidays.”
Many people who are short on time are willing to pay to clear some items from their to-do list.
“It’s also pretty easy these days to find a short-term personal assistant who can help with last-minute shopping and running errands leading up to holiday gatherings,” Nelson says.
Whatever time or talents you have available to you, there are plenty of opportunities to put them to use earning extra cash before the end of the year. There’s still time to find the best seasonal jobs in your area — and your holiday budget will thank you.
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