33 Killer Ways to Make Extra Money Before Christmas

Want to make extra money before Christmas but don't know how. Here are 33 ways to earn extra money before the holidays with little to no skill.

If you need to make extra money before Christmas, you only have a few months to go. Hard to believe, I know, but it’s the sad truth. The average family spent over $800 on Christmas gifts in 2015, according to Gallup. If you don’t budget for those expenses the money has to come from somewhere. This is where making extra cash before Christmas comes into play as we all know you don’t want to finance the holidays on a credit card – that’s just plain foolish.

Don’t think you have the skills to make extra money? Please don’t give into that belief! I know anyone can make extra cash, even without technical skills or knowledge. If you can wrap a gift or do yard work then you can make extra money before the holidays. Last I checked, nearly everyone can do those, and many other things.

Don’t stop with the holidays though. Use them as an opportunity to make earning extra money a mindset. Find a goal you want to accomplish and use that new stream of income to attack it – whether it be paying off debt, putting away more money for retirement, saving extra spending money or something else, all of these things require extra money to accomplish. If you want or need to make extra money before Christmas, check out some of the following ways to help you do just that.

Killer Ways to Make Extra Money Before Christmas


Go Shopping


#1 – Get paid to shop. Why not make a little money back for Christmas shopping you’re already doing? You can use a site like Swagbucks to earn cash back on all your shopping through earning points called SB points you can then turn into cash back – even on Amazon. Signup through this link and earn a $5 sign on bonus.

#2 – Personal shopping. Do you love to shop? Then turn that desire into a moneymaker and make money through Christmas shopping. I wouldn’t pay someone to shop for me, but there are many out there who will. Advertise for free on Craigslist, use word of mouth or offer your services to neighbors. You can charge by the hour or by trip, but this can be a great way to make extra money before Christmas.

#3 – Make more money shopping. Ebates is another option to use for online shopping during the holidays. The beauty of Ebates is that you can earn cash back, like on other sites, but you can also apply other discounts. So, you can save money and make a little extra at the same time – not too bad. Like with Swagbucks, you get a $5 sign on bonus when you open an account.

#4 – Use a credit card. I know, I mentioned not financing Christmas on a credit card. That being said, if you plan on paying them off the next month then why not take advantage? Many credit cards have rotating categories allowing you to get extra rewards back, or you could sign up for a new rewards credit card to get some free travel out of your normal Christmas shopping.

***Additional resource: If you’re looking for ways to save money when shopping online, check out some of my favorite sites – 15 Awesome Money Saving Websites.***

#5 – Mystery shop. I’ve never done mystery shopping, though I know many make extra money from it. You can earn things from free meals to other services and even cash in some instances.



#6 – Be a Designated Driver. Yes, you can drive for Uber and make good money while doing it, but there are also companies who hire out Designated Drivers. You can drive as little or as much as you want. Turn your free time into extra cash and keep the streets safe.

#7 – Take surveys. Ok, you’re not going to get rich quick taking surveys but you can still make a little extra money for your budget. There are many survey sites out there that allow you to make extra money in your free time. The best ones are: Opinion Outpost, VIP Voice, Earning Station, OneOpinionProOpinion, ShopTrackerNielsen Digital Voice, National Consumer PanelPineCone ResearchReward TV  or Harris Poll – each with their own specialty. Sign up for a few and increase your earning ability!

#8 – Start a blog. Starting a blog may seem overwhelming, but it really isn’t. I have few technical skills, but I started this blog four years ago and I’ve more than replaced the income from my former day job. If you need help starting a blog, Bluehost can get you started with only a few clicks and you get hosting for as little as $3.95 per month. It does take some time to make money blogging, but it can be very lucrative. One way you can make money blogging is through affiliate marketing. My good blogging friend Michelle makes over $50,000 each month through affiliate marketing and offers a course where she shares all her tips. Sign up for Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing to learn how to make money blogging.

#9 – Retail arbitrage. The main method to do this is through Amazon. The gist is to find reduced priced items, ship them to Amazon and let them sell said items at a profit. There is risk in this, mainly from Amazon’s return policy, but it can be a nice way to make extra money if you put in the work.


Spread Holiday Cheer


#10 – Be Santa. Do you have a beard? This is a great way to make extra money before Christmas. My Dad did this for years and makes nice money doing it.

#11 – Wrap presents. Do you like to wrap presents? Many don’t and retailers charge $5+ per gift. Undercut them and you can make some decent money if you’re quick with it.

#12 – Bake. The holidays are all about baked goodies. If you can make some mean cookies or other food, turn your time into cash. This can work for office parties, in-home Christmas parties and more.

#13 – Hang Christmas lights. People go all out where we live, hiring professional companies to decorate their yards. I’d never spend money on that, but many like it. If you love setting up Christmas lights this can be a great way to make a little extra money.

#14 – Work holiday parties. If you live in a bigger city there are likely many large holiday parties thrown. If you have serving, bartending or valet skills (who can’t drive a car?) you can make some nice cash. You may need to go through a company to do this, but it can still be a great way to make extra money before Christmas.

#15 – Decorate. Do you love to decorate your house for Christmas? Turn that into extra cash by offering your services to neighbors, co-workers, etc.

Traditional Methods


#16 – Get a part-time job. This isn’t my most favorite way to make extra cash before Christmas, but I have done it. Retailers ramp up hiring before the holidays to handle increased traffic. Just make sure not to spend all your earnings on discounted store products. 😉

#17 – Babysit. This is the standard of making extra money. With all the parties, events, etc. during the holidays there is ample opportunity to make money. It’s nothing to see a babysitter make at least $8-10 per hour.

***Additional resource: If you want a great way to begin saving money before the holidays and cut down your high priced cell phone bill, check out Republic Wireless. Plans start at $15 per month for unlimited talk, text and WiFi data, plus they pay you back for what data you don’t use.***

#18 – Ask for a raise. When was the last time you got a raise? If it’s been awhile, stop waiting and ask! If that’s not a possibility, then volunteer for overtime work. Often times, the best place to make extra income is in your current job.

Get Creative


#19 – Sell something on Etsy. Are you good at crafts? Turn that skill into cash. I know it may take time to set up a store or stand out, but this can be a nice way to make extra cash before the holidays if you know what you’re doing.

#20 – Take pictures. Admittedly, this does require talent. I know I couldn’t charge people to take pictures for them, but many can. If you have the skill and a nice camera turn it into extra money by offering your services for Christmas pictures, cards and more.

#21 – Start writing. Writing does take some talent, but all you need is a voice. There is a lot of opportunity online as many companies have content needs. If you have experience in a certain topic area you can turn this into money. I now make my income from writing online, though it did take time to build up. If you’d like training on how to write online, check out Cat’s course to help get you started writing online.

#22 – Sell items at a craft fair. Don’t want to take the time to establish a shop on Etsy? You can still make extra cash for the holidays if you are crafty. Sign up for a table at a craft fair or bazaar to sell your wares. You’ll likely have to pay back some of your earnings to a charity or the event organizer but you get to pocket the rest.
Want to make extra money before Christmas but don't know how. Here are 33 ways to earn extra money before the holidays with little to no skill.



#23 – Yard work. As a homeowner I can tell you yard work doesn’t come to an end when the summer winds down. It’s a year-round activity. Does your neighborhood have a lot of older trees? People hate leaves. Turn those leaves, or any other yard work activity into cash.

#24 – Shovel snow. Do you live in an area that gets a lot of snow? Turn that snow into cash. There are kids in our neighborhood who charge $25+ per yard to shovel snow. All it takes is a few clients and you can get started making some serious extra money.

#25 – Housesit. Do you know people who travel during the holidays? A warm body is about all this side hustle takes.

#26 – Clean homes. One thing to remember about holiday parties…often they’re in homes. Last I checked, cleaners are expensive; if you know how to sweep and spray a little Windex this can be a great way to make extra cash before Christmas.

#27 – Clean Gutters. Remember the leaves earlier? You just can’t rid of those things. If you have a ladder, and know how to clean out a gutter (really, who can’t clean a gutter?!) this can be easy money. Turn it into a family affair and have one person do the gutters and the other rake.

***Additional resource: Looking to travel during the holidays for cheap, or rent out your house? Check out VRBO as a money saving or money making option!***

#28 – Run errands. The holidays are busy for many. If you have spare time and don’t mind doing mindless tasks for friends or co-workers this you can be a lifesaver to them and you get to make extra money.



#29 – Open a brokerage account. Do you have an old 401(k) you need to rollover? Have you put off investing in the stock market? Many brokerages offer year-end promotions to get new clients, which is extra cash you can use to invest. You can start investing with someone like Motif Investing for as little as $250. Motif even offers up to $150 cash back when you open a new account.

#30 – Cash in old gift cards. How many gift cards do you have sitting around from last year? There are many sites out there that allow you to sell gift cards. Turn that plastic into cash you can use in better ways.

#31 – Open a savings account. I know a savings account may not seem like a good way to make extra money before Christmas, but hear me out. Saving money can be a hassle if you don’t remember to to do it or automate it. Thankfully there’s a service that handles all the work for you and saves you money in the background – that service is Digit. When you sign up for Digit, they analyze your spending and pull out small amounts every few days and put it in a fee-free savings account you can use at any time. You even get a savings bonus every three months!

#32 – Get rid of your crap. How much stuff do you have lying around the house you don’t use? Instead of keeping the clutter sell it. There are many ways to do so – Craigslist, consignment, Ebay and more.

#33 – Sell a bodily fluid. Not the most pleasant, I know, but the holidays are a high need time for things like blood and plasma. You can help someone out in need plus make extra money!

This list only scratches the surface of ways to make extra money before Christmas. The goal is to view it as a year round activity that helps you accomplish your goals.


What are some of your favorite ways to make extra money for Christmas? How much do you spend on Christmas shopping? How do you respond to people who say they can’t make extra money?



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I'm the founder of Frugal Rules, a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. I'm passionate about helping people learn from my mistakes so that they can enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. I'm also a freelance writer, and regularly contribute to GoBankingRates, Investopedia, Lending Tree and more. If you're wanting to learn how to monetize your blog, check out my blog coaching services to see how I can help you take your site to the next level.


  • These are all great lists John! I’m planning to sell my pre-loved “used” clothes to have extra money for this coming holiday season.

  • These are great tips and more importantly it reminds us that it’s time to start planning for the holidays. Christmas is never an emergency!

  • I do so much Christmas shopping on Amazon, I need to look into TopCashBack. Thanks for the tip!

  • Hannah says:

    “Sell bodily fluids.”

    My brother in law paid for my sister’s engagement ring by donating plasma. Around this time every year he says that fall makes him think about the start of the new year and selling his blood for diamonds.

  • Anyone can make extra money like you said and I really hate it when people limit themselves by saying they can’t

  • I don’t want to think about holidays yet, but it is that time. Having a plan in place is really the only way to avoid overspending.

  • Jason Butler says:

    Those are all great tips. I plan on implementing a few of them before Christmas myself.

  • I think if you’re selling your bodily fluid to have extra money for Christmas, then you need to sit down with people you are buying for an explain why maybe this Christmas there might be less or no presents. 🙂 Actually, in general, I think less is more. Granted I don’t have kids and I wouldn’t to rob them of the joy of Christmas, but I do think families tend to go overboard. I’m very fortunate I don’t have a demanding family who insist on gift giving. I think all (but the bodily fluids one) are great, but I’m just playing devil’s advocate and say that sometimes that takes away time…and sometimes time is more precious than gifts.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Oh, completely agreed Tonya. If I was selling plasma in order to buy gifts then it’d be high time to communicate the lack of presents. We typically don’t buy a whole lot for our kids – we usually hold back at least 75-80% of what we budget for them and put in their 529s as the grandparents get them more than enough as we see far too many go overboard. That being said, there are still ways to make extra income before the holidays that can be used for things/needs other than gifts. 🙂

  • Michelle says:

    Love this! I think EVERYONE can make extra money and making extra money for the holidays so that you don’t go into debt is a great idea.

  • These are some great suggestions, John. People always complain that they don’t have enough money but a little ingenuity and willingness to work some extra hours can make all the difference.

  • Ha! This is an awesome list John! My hubby always ramps up his side hustling of tutoring around this time with the specific goal of paying for the holidays. I laughed when I saw give fluids, though, because I actually donated plasma when I was in college for money. If I actually had the time to sit there for it again, I would look into it. 🙂

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s awesome he does that Shannon – great way to monetize something he does for his day job anyway. 🙂

      Lol, I did the same exact thing – well to help pay off debt. I’d do it again if I had to.

  • Okay, I love cash back shopping as much as the next gal, but I don’t think you can count the cash back as making extra money, can you? Maybe that’s just me.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Fair point Abigail. As someone who does almost all of their holiday shopping on Amazon I would qualify it that way. That has the potential to make 8.5% back on your shopping there. Sure, it’s not a ton of money, but I’ll take the extra. 🙂

  • Danell says:

    I’m sorry, but the amount of money some people spend on Christmas is just sickening to me. There is just no need for it. It’s frustrating to hear people always complain how they don’t have any money but then at Christmas, they spend ridiculous amounts. They get so caught up in trying to give their kids everything society says they NEED, plus think they need to give a gift to every person they come in contact with in their life. They end up stressed out and further in debt which is not what the holidays should be about.
    Sorry for the rant, but love the list of ideas! Wish more people would do these things!

    • John Schmoll says:

      No apologies at all Danell! I completely agree with you. I see it as well and just don’t see the point. I know it’s easy to give into that temptation to buy for kids, but it’s just not worth it in the long run nor is that what the holidays are about.

      Personally speaking, we take 75% or more of what we budget for our kids each year for the holidays and put it in their 529 accounts. They don’t notice what we spend, they still have something and the money gets put to much better use. Plus, with three sets of grandparents they already get too much as it is – it gets to be too overwhelming for the kids and a nightmare for us if we just buy them stuff without thought.

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