The holidays are creeping up on us again. They can be stressful, especially if you’re tight on cash.
Not knowing how you’ll pay for presents is anxiety-inducing. Fortunately, there are ways to make extra money before Christmas.
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
Thanks to side hustles, it is easier than you might think to earn Christmas spending money.
If you have a few extra hours each week, you can make money on the side to help with holiday shopping and avoid debt.
|Job||Avg. Hourly Pay||Pay Frequency|
|DoorDash||Varies||Weekly + instant|
|Instacart Shopper||$20||Weekly + instant|
Here are some of the top choices to earn cash this holiday season.
1. Deliver Meals for DoorDash
One of the best side hustle ideas to earn extra money for Christmas is to work for an on-demand food delivery service. Courier jobs are an increasingly popular side gig and offer flexible schedules.
DoorDash is a leading delivery gig app that focuses on meal delivery from local restaurants. When you become a Dasher, you pick up meals from restaurants and deliver them to customers.
The platform pays drivers weekly, though there is an option to cash out instantly for a small fee. Better yet, you can set your own schedule.
Pay varies and depends on things like expenses and delivery times. Like other delivery app jobs, you keep 100 percent of your base pay and tips.
You must be at least 18 years old, pass a background check, and have a valid driver’s license to deliver for DoorDash.
If you need money for Christmas, this is a terrific opportunity since people order more meals as the holidays approach.
Learn more: DoorDash Driver Review
Earning potential: Varies
Earn cash and create your own schedule!
Deliver food with just a car or scooter. Get started today!
2. Deliver With Uber Eats
If you want to work with multiple courier apps, driving with Uber Eats is a fantastic choice to earn more money as an independent contractor.
The company operates similarly to DoorDash and is in 6,000+ cities throughout 60+ countries worldwide.
You must be at least 19 years old to drive with Uber Eats. In addition, your car must be no older than 20 years and have a minimum of two doors.
As long as you have at least one year of driving experience, a government-issued ID, and valid auto insurance, you can deliver meals once you are approved by the service.
The income potential with Uber Eats is $500 per month. You can also earn tips.
Pay is weekly, but you can request an instant cash out for a $0.50 fee. The fee is waived if you use the Uber Debit Card.
If you don’t want to deliver food or would like to earn more, you can drive with Uber Driver as well. This lets you drive riders to a chosen destination.
*As of 7/18/22, Uber is migrating to a combined Driver & Delivery program that will allow a user to select how they want to earn with Uber, i.e., driving, delivering, or both! This consolidated program will be named Uber “One Earner.” Under this new model, whether a user lands on a Driver or a Delivery page, they’ll have the option to self-select which type of earning opportunity they want.
Learn more: Jobs like Uber Eats
Earning potential: Up to $15 an hour
Get started: Sign up to deliver with Uber Eats
3. Work for Instacart Shopper
Grocery delivery is a convenient way for people to manage their shopping needs. It also creates a side gig opportunity by letting you deliver groceries to earn extra cash for Christmas.
Instacart Shopper is the largest grocery delivery app and is available in over 6,000 cities nationwide.
*Related: If you’re looking for other food delivery jobs, read our guide on apps like DoorDash driver to find additional income opportunities.
You accept orders through the platform, go to the designated grocery store, buy the groceries, and deliver them to customers.
As an Instacart Shopper, you earn a commission based on the size of the order. Plus, you 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.
If you want a good-paying gig, being a Shopper is one of the better $20 an hour jobs that don’t require a degree.
Learn more: Instacart driver review
Earning potential: $15 – $20 per hour
Earn up to $20+ per hour
Deliver groceries with just a car from nearby stores. Get started today!
You can compare the above three on-demand delivery apps with the other players in the space below.
|App||Avg. Hourly Pay||Pay Frequency||Bike/Motorcycle?|
|Postmates||Up to $20||Weekly + instant||Yes|
|DoorDash||Varies||Weekly + instant||Yes|
|Uber Eats||Up to $15||Weekly + instant||Yes|
|Instacart||$20||Weekly + instant||No|
|Shipt Shopper||$22||Weekly + instant||No|
|GrubHub||$19||Weekly + instant||No|
|Caviar||$25||Weekly + instant||Yes|
4. Become A Dog Walker or Dog Sitter
There are apps to make money on the side that go beyond simply delivering food. If you’re an animal lover, you can supplement your income by walking or boarding dogs.
Many dog owners are willing to pay contractors to walk their dogs while they are at work. Plus, if you can board dogs in your home when their owners travel, you can earn even more.
The Rover dog sitting app is an excellent resource to find gigs near you and connect with local clients. They let you create a profile to showcase your experience and locate jobs.
The company claims that you can earn up to $1,000 per month through its platform, making it one of the top high-paying apps in the animal care niche.
That can go a long way to help with Christmas expenses.
Learn more: Best dog walking apps
Earning potential: Up to $1,000 per month
|Rover - earn up to $1,000/mo. walking dogs! |
Rover offers $1,000,000 in protection, 24/7 support, and vet assistance.
5. Fill Out Online Surveys
A part-time job isn’t the only way to make extra money before the holidays. You can also take surveys for cash to pad your wallet.
While you won’t get rich with paid surveys, they’re an easy way to earn Christmas money with minimal effort.
You can take surveys on your phone while waiting for an appointment or when watching TV at night. It’s easy to fill them out when you have free time since they don’t take long to complete.
Survey Junkie is our favorite online survey site since you can redeem earnings once you reach a $10 balance. Earnings can be redeemed via PayPal or gift cards to popular retailers.
Furthermore, Survey Junkie pays at least $1 per survey.
Learn more: Review of Survey Junkie
Earning potential: $50+ per month
Earn $50+ per month
$1 per survey. Cash out fast with low redemption minimums.
6. Search the Web
If you don’t want to take surveys for money, micro-jobs are an excellent alternative to earn extra cash for Christmas.
Get-paid-to (GPT) sites like Swagbucks let you earn money for your search activity. When you set Swagbucks as your default search engine, you earn points to get gift cards or cash.
Your search activity isn’t the only way to earn money either. Swagbucks offers multiple ways to earn cash, including:
- Using their online shopping portal
- Watching sponsored videos
- Playing online games
- Completing various online jobs
- Reading sponsored emails
Swagbucks gives users a free $5 when they open an account. You can redeem earnings starting as low as $1 for an Amazon gift card.
You must have at least $10 to redeem earnings for cash.
Like survey sites, you can complete easy jobs in your free time. This makes Swagbucks a fantastic option to earn cash for Christmas expenses and make money from your phone.
Learn more: Review of Swagbucks
Earning potential: Varies
Get $10 when you sign up now!
Earn free gift cards and cash rewards taking surveys, shopping and more.
7. Start A Blog
Blogging is one of the best small business ideas to earn extra income and make money online. It may not earn you loads of cash before the holidays, but it can be lucrative 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, which is a 67 percent discount from its standard price, you can start a site with Bluehost.
Bluehost will launch the site for you and provide 24/7 support for any technical issues.
Learn more: How to make money blogging
Earning potential: Varies and is unlimited
|Bluehost - Free Domain for a Year|
Cost: $2.95/month using our link!
Perfect for beginners. Launch your website in a few clicks and get 24/7 support.
8. Become A Virtual Assistant
Do you have strong administrative skills and enjoy working on multiple projects at once? If so, becoming a virtual assistant (VA) is a perfect way to earn money for the holidays.
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 the work, though it can help you earn more.
Being a VA can be a good option if you want to make money without leaving your home. Plus, it’s a fantastic opportunity if you want to work remotely year-round.
If you don’t know where to start or how to succeed, check out our friend Kayla Sloan’s $10K VA free webinar to get started.
Learn more: Guide on how to become a VA
Earning potential: $25+ per hour
Get started: Sign up for $10K VA
Earn up to $25 per hour!
Learn how to make $25 per hour as a virtual assistant with Kayla's course!
9. Get Paid to Lose Weight
What better way to earn Christmas spending money than to improve your health? Believe it or not, you can earn cash while you get fit.
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
|HealthyWage - Win up to $10,000!|
Bet on yourself. Choose how much weight you want to lose and how much money you want to wager.
If you’re looking for quick ways to make money, babysitting is a classic side hustle to pursue. As the holidays approach, there is more demand for babysitters.
If you enjoy spending time with children, this is an excellent opportunity to make extra money for holiday shopping.
You can advertise your services on social media or through word of mouth.
Alternately, you can use a site like Care.com if you need help finding local gigs. The platform lets you create a profile to get reviews and expand your reach.
Learn more: N/A
Earning potential: $12+ per hour
Get started: Start an account with Care.com
11. Sell Used Electronics
Do you have old electronics that you no longer use? If they’re still in working condition, you could be sitting on hundreds of dollars.
You can sell those items and make easy money. While it’s possible to find buyers for used electronics locally, it’s usually best to sell items online.
SellCell is our top choice to sell electronics. They are a marketplace that connects users with 30+ companies that buy back used devices.
Related: Do you have items besides electronics to sell? Read our guide of the best apps to use to sell your stuff online to learn how to make more on your used items.
You can sell various items, including:
- Game consoles
Upon accepting an offer, the company sends you a shipping label. You then send the platform your 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 SellCell
12. Write Articles for Money
Freelance writing is one of the top gig economy jobs to earn cash before the holidays. You don’t need a specialized degree, and you can make money from home.
Many businesses outsource writing needs, and 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 free webinar, 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
13. 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 at-home jobs for proofreaders to make extra money on the side.
A proofreader reads through various forms of content to ensure everything is 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, so you can work from home if you want.
Not sure where to start as a freelance proofreader? Check out our friend Caitlin Pyle’s free workshop, Proofread Anywhere.
Learn more: How to become a proofreader
Earning potential: $25+ per hour
Get started: Sign up for Proofread Anywhere
14. Use A Rewards Credit Card
Credit cards 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 might shop at for gifts.
You can amplify your earnings by selecting a card that offers a bonus or travel rewards. This is in addition to any bonuses you can potentially earn from your normal spending.
If you manage credit cards wisely, this is a terrific way to maximize your spending.
Learn more: N/A
Earning potential: Varies
Get started: Find a new rewards card
15. 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.
You shop online as you normally would. Then, after you make a purchase, your account will be credited with a rebate depending on your purchase category.
Rakuten also has an easy-to-use app if you’re shopping on the go.
As a bonus, you receive a $10 cash bonus when you open an account.
Learn more: Rakuten review
Earning potential: Up to 40 percent cash back on purchases
Get started: Get $10 from Rakuten
16. Be A Tasker
Online side hustles from home aren’t the only opportunity to earn extra income. If you have mechanical or technical skills, you can try making money doing odd jobs in your city.
Taskrabbit is the top platform to find handyman jobs near you. Money-making opportunities you can find on Taskrabbit include:
- Delivery services
- Furniture assembly
- Heavy lifting
- Home repair (electrical/plumbing work)
- Moving help
- Wait in line
Similar to other gig economy 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.
The platform manages payments, so there is no exchange of cash with customers.
If you want to make money around town, Taskrabbit is a must-use resource.
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
17. 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 earning opportunity is in the add-ons you can offer since those have no set price.
Similar to other app-based job options, you will want to land a few clients who give good ratings to increase your chances of success.
Fiverr is free to join, and you can start earning money right now by claiming gigs.
Learn more: Best side hustle apps
Earning potential: Varies
Get started: Sign up with Fiverr
18. Test Products at Home
Market research companies pay significant sums of cash to learn consumers’ opinions about products. If you’re looking for ways to make extra money, you can test products at home.
Pinecone Research is a paid survey site, but they specialize in product testing. The company sends you the product. Then, you test it and provide your feedback via completing a survey.
This won’t earn you loads of cash, but it’s a good opportunity to help with Christmas expenses.
Learn more: Review of Pinecone Research
Earning potential: Up to $75 per product test
Earn $3 per survey!
Get paid for your opinion. Earn points to redeem for cash or merchandise.
19. Get Rebates on Your Groceries
As the holidays approach, you will likely spend more money 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. It’s also possible to 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 $5 when they make their first purchase.
Learn more: Review of Ibotta
Earning potential: Varies
This list only scratches the surface of ways to make extra money for the holidays. Some options may only score you a little extra pocket change, but others can add up to good money.
Don’t overlook the possibility of combining multiple opportunities to increase your earnings.
Additionally, as you plan for next year, aim to save money for Christmas each month so you can avoid debt.
What are some of your favorite gig jobs to earn cash?
*Earning more on certain types of orders (ex. alcohol): Earn more per order as compared to restaurant orders. Actual earnings may differ and depend on factors like number of deliveries you accept and complete, time of day, location, and any costs. Hourly pay is calculated using average Dasher payouts while on a delivery (from the time you accept an order until the time you drop it off) over a 90 day period and includes compensation from tips, peak pay, and other incentives.
*Get paid instantly (DasherDirect): Subject to approval
*Cash out daily (Fast Pay): Fees apply
*Start Dashing today: Subject to background check and availability
*Dash anytime: Subject to availability