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21 Brilliant Ways to Make Extra Money Before Christmas

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Want to make extra money before Christmas but don't know how? Here are 21 ways to earn extra money before the holidays with little to no skill.

It’s hard to believe, but Christmas is creeping up on us. The holidays can be a stressful time for many people, especially when paired with the current pandemic.

Not knowing how you’ll pay for presents can cause additional anxiety. If that describes you, there are ways to make extra money before Christmas to help alleviate your stress.

Don’t believe the myth that it’s fine to put your spending on a credit card. That only causes debt. If you need Christmas money, there are ways to earn it.

In many cases, the opportunities don’t expire when St. Nick arrives. You can use them to make ends meet throughout the year.

Legit Ways to Make Extra Money Before Christmas

 

Do you need to earn Christmas spending money? Here are some of the best options to make it happen.

1. Deliver for Postmates

 

Perhaps the best way to make extra money before the holidays is to work for an on-demand delivery app. One great option is Postmates.

You might associate Postmates with meal delivery. However, the service delivers much more, including:

  • Groceries
  • Alcohol
  • Prescription medicine
  • Clothing

As a courier for Postmates, you accept orders through the Fleet app. Then, you pick up the items and deliver them to customers.

You can work as often as you wish and pay is distributed weekly. The service even allows you to cash out instantly if needed.

Postmates pays couriers a base rate. You keep 100 percent of your tips. Drivers must be at least 18 years old, pass a background check, and have a valid driver’s license.

Learn more: Postmates Fleet app review

Earning potential: up to $25 per hour

Get started: Sign up to deliver for Postmates

 

2. Deliver Meals for DoorDash

 

Similar to Postmates, DoorDash is a growing player in the delivery gig space. However, DoorDash focuses only on meal delivery from local restaurants. When you become a Dasher, you pick up meals from restaurants and deliver them to customers.

If you need money for Christmas, this is a perfect opportunity since people order meals as the holidays approach. DoorDash pays drivers weekly, though there is an option to cash out instantly. You can set your own schedule.

Like other delivery jobs, you keep 100 percent of your base pay and tips with DoorDash. You must be at least 18 years old, pass a background check, and have a valid driver’s license to deliver for DoorDash.

Learn more: DoorDash driver review

Earning potential:  $12 – $25 per hour

Get started: Sign up to deliver for DoorDash

 

PostmatesDoorDashInstacart
postmates logodoor dash logoInstacart logo

Read Review

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Deliver anything

Deliver food

Deliver groceries

Requirements
Insured vehicle (scooters/bikes OK)

Be 18; iPhone / Android

Drivers license / Background check

Requirements
Insured vehicle

Be 18; iPhone / Android

Background / DMV check

Requirements
Reliable vehicle
Be 18 years old

lift 30-40 lbs.

iPhone5 / Android 4.4

Pay: $18-$25/hr.
Base (time + distance) + Tips

Pay: $18-$25/hr.

Base + Promos + Tips

Pay: $20/hr.

Base + Tips

Sign Up

Sign Up

Sign Up

 

3. Buy and Deliver Groceries

 

Due to the pandemic, a lot of people are opting for grocery delivery to cover their shopping needs. If you don’t want your car to smell like restaurant food, you can deliver groceries to earn extra money for Christmas.

Instacart Shopper is the biggest player in the space and is available in over 5,000 cities nationwide. You accept orders through the app, go to the chosen grocery store, buy the groceries, and deliver them to customers.

You earn a commission based on the size of the order and keep 100 percent of your tips. Shoppers must be able to lift up to 30 pounds and meet other requirements common to delivery gig apps.

Learn more: Instacart driver review

Earning potential: $15 – $20 per hour

Get started: Sign up to deliver for Instacart Shopper

4. Start A Blog

 

Blogging is a terrific way to make extra money. It may not earn you loads of cash before the holidays, but you can make good money in the long run.

You can start a blog on any topic. Keep in mind that finance, health, and relationships tend to be the most profitable niches. Blogging allows you to earn cash in various ways, including display ads, affiliate marketing, and sponsored campaigns.

You don’t need to be a technical whiz to start a website. For just $2.95 per month, Bluehost will launch the site for you and provides 24/7 support for any technical issues.

Learn more: How to make money blogging

Earning potential: Varies and is unlimited

Get started: Launch a site with Bluehost

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5. Become A Virtual Assistant

 

Do you have strong administrative skills and enjoy working on multiple projects? If so, becoming a virtual assistant (VA) is a perfect way to earn cash for Christmas.

VAs help small businesses manage workflow and can include anything from project management to social media marketing. You don’t need to be technically inclined to do much of the work, though this can help you earn more.

If you’re a stay-at-home mom or need to supplement your income, being a VA can be a good option. If you don’t know where to start or how to succeed, check out our friend Kayla Sloan’s course, $10kVA, to get started.

Learn more: Guide on how to become a VA

Earning potential: $25+ per hour

Get started: Sign up for $10kVA

Benefits
$10kVA
Cost: Earn up to $25 per hour!

Learn how to make $25 per hour as a virtual assistant with Kayla's course!

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10K VA logo

 

6. Get Paid to Lose Weight

 

What better way to earn Christmas money than to improve your health? That’s right, you can earn money by shedding pounds.

HealthyWage is a weight loss app that lets you bet on yourself to lose weight. You can compete against yourself or join a team challenge.

The app doesn’t offer a meal plan, but it will give you tools to improve your health.

If you give up on your goal or don’t reach it, you lose the money you bet. However, reaching your goal can be quite lucrative.

Learn more: Ways to get paid to lose weight

Earning potential: average winnings are $1,400 per person, but can be up to $10,000

Get started: Start losing weight with HealthyWage

Benefits
HealthyWage - Win up to $10,000!
Cost: Varies

Bet on yourself. Choose how much weight you want to lose and how much money you want to wager.

Sign Up Now

HealthyWage logo

 

7. Fill Out Online Surveys

 

You won’t become wealthy with paid surveys, but they’re an easy way to earn extra cash for Christmas. Survey Junkie is our favorite online survey site because they have low redemption minimums and pay at least $1 per survey.

Surveys don’t require a huge time investment. You can fill them out whenever you have free time.

Learn more: review of Survey Junkie

Earning potential: $50+ per month

Get started: Sign up for Survey Junkie

Benefits
Survey Junkie
Cost: Earn $50+ per month

$1 per survey. Cash out fast with low redemption minimums.

Sign Up Now

Survey Junkie logo

 

8. Sell Used Electronics

 

Do you have old electronics you no longer use? If they’re still in working condition, you could be sitting on hundreds of dollars. Why not sell those items to get extra Christmas spending money?

You can sell used electronics locally, but it’s usually best to sell items online. BuyBackWorld is our top choice to sell electronics. They buy various items, including:

  • Phones
  • Tablets
  • Laptops
  • Cameras
  • Game consoles

Upon accepting an offer from BuyBackWorld, they send you a shipping label. You then send them the items. When they receive them, they pay you via check or PayPal.

Learn more: Best sites to sell used electronics for cash

Earning potential: Varies

Get started: Get a quote at BuyBackWorld

9. Write Articles for Money

 

Freelance writing is the perfect side hustle to earn extra money before Christmas. You don’t need a specialized degree and you can work from the comfort of your home.

Many businesses outsource writing needs. Some assignments pay extremely well. Content can include blog posts, white papers, speeches, and more.

If you don’t know where to start as a freelance writer, check out our friend Holly Johnson’s course, Earn More Writing.

Learn more: Ways to get paid to write articles

Earning potential: $100+ per article

Get started: Sign up for Earn More Writing

10. Become A Proofreader

 

All content written by freelance writers needs to be edited. Content that’s incorrect or has poor grammar can cost companies significant money. This creates an opportunity for proofreaders to earn money.

A proofreader reads through various forms of content to ensure it’s correct. You won’t copyedit, but proofreading is the final step before content is published to verify there are no errors.

Like writing, you don’t need a specialized degree to proofread. This work can be done from anywhere.

Not sure where to start as a freelance proofreader? Check out our friend Caitlin Pyle’s course, Proofread Anywhere.

Learn more: How to become a proofreader

Earning potential: $25+ per hour

Get started: Sign up for Proofread Anywhere

11. Get Cash Back on Your Shopping

 

What better way to get Christmas spending money than to receive cash back on your online purchases? You can do this with a rebate site like Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates).

Rakuten works with over 2,500 online retailers and gives you cash back when you make a qualifying purchase.

As a bonus, you receive a $10 cash bonus when you start an account.

Learn more: Rakuten review

Earning potential: Up to 40 percent cash back on purchases

Get started: Get $10 from Rakuten

12. Search the Web

 

If you are always online, you can get paid for your search activity.

Several sites will pay you to use their search engine, though Swagbucks is our top choice. When you set Swagbucks as your default search engine, you earn points to convert to cash or free gift cards.

You can also earn points via paid surveys, their shopping portal, and more. Swagbucks gives users a free $10 when opening an account.

Learn more: Review of Swagbucks

Earning potential: Varies

Get started: Get $10 from Swagbucks

Benefits
Swagbucks
Cost: Get $10 when you sign up now!

Earn free gift cards and cash rewards taking surveys, shopping and more.

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swagbucks logo

 

13. Become A Dog Walker or Dog Sitter

 

You may not think dog walking as a profitable side hustle in the winter, but it has a lot of potential. Many dog owners are willing to pay contractors to walk their dogs while they are at work.

If you can board dogs in your home, you can earn even more. Rover is an excellent resource to connect with local clients if you’d rather not promote your services on social media.

Learn more: Best dog walking apps

Earning potential: Up to $1,000 per month

Get started: Walk dogs with Rover

14. Be A Tasker

 

Do you have mechanical skills or enjoy running errands? If so, you can advertise your services on Taskrabbit to find work.

Similar to other on-demand apps, you create your own hours. You can also set your own rates.

Pay is distributed weekly. You get to keep 100 percent of your earnings, including tips.

Learn more: Apps like Taskrabbit to make money

Earning potential: Varies, though 15 percent of Taskers earn up to $7,000 per month

Get started: Sign up to be a Tasker

15. Do Work on Fiverr

 

Fiverr is the ultimate resource to make extra money before Christmas. You can earn cash by offering nearly any service, from writing a thank you note to programming a website.

Services start at $5. However, the real money is in the add-ons you can offer since those have no set price. Similar to other side gig apps, you will want to land a few clients who give good ratings to increase your chances of success.

Learn more: Best side hustle apps

Earning potential: Varies

Get started: Sign up with Fiverr

16. Babysit

 

Babysitting is the classic side hustle. As the holidays approach, there is more demand for babysitters. Not to mention that, during the current pandemic, parents may simply want a break.

You can advertise your services on social media. Using a site like Nextdoor to find clients and get reviews is also an option.

Learn more: N/A

Earning potential: $10+ per hour

Get started: Start an account with Nextdoor

17. Test Products at Home

 

Market research companies pay significant money to learn our opinions about products. This presents a legitimate way to earn extra cash for the holidays with Pinecone Research.

Pinecone is a paid survey site, but they specialize in product testing. The company sends you the product, you test it, and then you take a survey on it.

This won’t earn you loads of cash, but it’s an opportunity to make some extra spending money.

Learn more: Review of Pinecone Research

Earning potential: Up to $75 per product test

Get started: Open an account with Pinecone Research

18. Use A Rewards Credit Card

 

While credit cards are divisive, they can be a helpful tool to manage your finances if you pay them in full each month. At the end of the year, many rewards cards offer rewards categories at stores you may shop at for gifts.

You can amplify your earnings by selecting a card that offers a bonus or travel rewards. If you manage your finances well, this is a terrific way to maximize your spending.

Learn more: N/A

Earning potential: Varies

Get started: Find a new rewards card

19. Get Rebates on Your Groceries

 

As the holidays approach, you’re likely to be spending more at the grocery store. Similar to shopping online, you can also receive rebates on your grocery shopping with Ibotta.

You can select rebates on items you plan to purchase before heading to the store. You can also scan your receipt after shopping to find additional rebates. While you won’t earn much, this is a nice way to reduce spending at the end of the year.

The app gives new users $10 when they open a new account.

Learn more: Review of Ibotta

Earning potential: Varies

Get started: Sign up with Ibotta

20. Sell Items on Amazon

 

Amazon’s FBA service is a popular way for side hustlers to sell items through Amazon. You can send products directly to the retailer and they store, ship, and manage returns on your behalf.

Although there is a small fee for this service, it’s an excellent way to take advantage of retail arbitrage and not have to manage inventory. With the increased spending many people do on Amazon during the holidays, this can be a good way to make extra money.

If you want to learn more about Fulfillment by Amazon, check out the free course by our friends at The Selling Family.

Learn more: N/A

Earning potential: Varies

Get started: Sign up for The Selling Family

21. Trim Your Bills

 

Our favorite option to make extra money before Christmas is to trim your bills. Earning extra money is awesome, but saving money is just as essential.

Part of reducing your spending is negotiating lower prices with service providers. It also includes eliminating subscriptions you don’t use. This can be time-consuming and something many people don’t like to do.

If that describes you, Trim is a free to use service that works on your behalf to lower your monthly bills. If they’re successful, they retain 33 percent of the savings and you keep the rest.

Learn more: Review of Ask Trim

Earning potential: Varies

Get started: Start saving with Trim

Summary

 

This list only scratches the surface of ways to make extra money before Christmas. Some may only score you a little extra pocket change. Others can add up to significant income.

Don’t overlook the possibility to combine multiple opportunities to increase your earnings. With a little effort, you can get through the holiday season without debt and extra money in your pocket.

 

What are some of your favorite ways to make extra money for Christmas? How much do you spend on Christmas shopping? 

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John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.

Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.

Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.

Latest posts by John Schmoll (see all)

34 Comments

  • Clarisse @ Make Money Your Way says:

    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.

  • Natalie @ Financegirl says:

    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!

    • John Schmoll says:

      Excellent point Natalie! I used to view it that way – the kicker is we know it’s going to come every year and thus NOT an emergency.

  • Kalie @ Pretend to Be Poor says:

    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.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Wow! I did it to help pay off debt, but awesome he did it for such a reason – not to mention seeing the tangible result of it.

  • Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life says:

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

    • John Schmoll says:

      Exactly Stefanie! I hear excuses all the time. I used to be guilty of that myself, but there are just too many options to making extra income out there.

  • Kim@Eyesonthedollar says:

    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.

  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach says:

    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.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Could not agree more Michelle! There are so many options out there that virtually anyone can make something off of.

  • Shannon @ The Heavy Purse says:

    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.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Thanks Shannon! Completely agreed, if you have the willingness to put in the time and are creative you can find many ways to earn more money.

  • Shannon @ Financially Blonde says:

    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.

  • Abigail @ipickuppennies says:

    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.

  • Mary says:

    I started digit service right after reading this. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Gay Ferland says:

    Hi John!
    I do craft fairs starting in October to make Christmas money. I like all the information you shared, thank you!

  • Jim says:

    Great post John, especially selling a bodily fluid, didn’t realize there was a market for that. That said it’s a win win, the recipient likely needs the fluid and you the money, so what better Christmas gift!

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