33+ Killer 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 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 $900 on Christmas gifts in 2016, according to the National Retail Federation. 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 -Use a credit card. I know, I mentioned not financing Christmas on a credit card. 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.

#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. You even get a $10 sign on bonus when you open an account.

#4 -Personal shopping. Do you love to shop? Then turn that desire into a moneymaker and make money through Christmas shopping. 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.

#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 Lyft 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. Until the end of the year, Lyft is offering a $250 sign-on bonus for all new drivers!

#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. Our favorite is Survey Junkie – as they pay you cash straight to PayPal. Below are a few other top survey sites:

Pinecone Research: They pay $3 per survey and they pay cash directly to your PayPal account

Opinion Outpost: One of the top survey sites in the space and they have quarterly $10,000 prize drawings

Inbox Dollars: Earn money for taking surveys, watching TV or making purchases online. Get $5 just for signing up

#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 five 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 $2.95 per month when you sign up through our link.

#9 – Retail arbitrage. Do you have an eye for a good deal? You can sell those items, for a profit, by using Amazon FBA. Here are some free training courses to help get you started to make money on Amazon.

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 made 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.

#15 – Deliver meals. Rather not serve at parties, but deliver meals? You can make good money delivering meals for Uber Eats or Door Dash.

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. You can advertise your services on so parents can check your references and do a background check so they’re comfortable using you.

#18 – Teach. Yes, teaching is a great way to make extra money. If you have a Bachelor’s Degree, or are in your final year of college, you can teach students overseas with Qkids. It’s all done online from the comfort of your home and they provide all the lessons plans and course materials you need and you can earn up to $20 per hour!

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. We have a good friend who makes good money as a photographer. If you have the skill and a nice camera turn it into extra money by offering your services for Christmas pictures, cards and more. You can also sell them on Deposit Photos to make residual income.

#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 – Proofread. Proofreading is the other side of writing. You proofread other people’s writing to correct mistakes before publishing and you can make $20+ per hour. Proofread Anywhere provides free courses to help you learn how to land general proofreading and transcript proofreading jobs you can do from the comfort of your home, or anywhere else you choose.

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 – Pet sit. You likely have neighbors traveling this time of year, many with pets. also lets you connect with people in your area who have pet sitting needs while they’re away from home.

#28 – Run errands. 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. Drive for Lyft and you can drive people as they run errands.



#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 Wealthsimple with no minimum balance. Wealthsimple even offers up to $100 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? You can sell them to CardPool to get cash you can use. 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. It’s my favorite way to make money because it also helps you be prepared for emergencies. Synchrony Bank lets you open an account with no minimum balance and pays at least 1.75% on your spare cash.

#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 through Decluttr. Decluttr buys old electronic devices, games, DVDs 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!

#34 – Rent a second property. You can also rent out a second home or apartment. Do you travel much or do you own a second property? Consider listing your house or apartment on Airbnb to earn extra money on the side or create a new stream of income.

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.


  • 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.

  • Mary says:

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

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