No matter how hard you try to avoid gift-giving altogether, one or two people on your list are probably a must. Or, maybe you just want to take advantage of the great holiday sales for yourself.
If your budget is a little thin this year, consider picking up a side gig — as opposed to dipping into savings or charging your splurges to a credit card. You may even find your side hustle so appealing you want to keep it going year-round!
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How to make extra cash around the holidays (or any time of year!)
1. Uber or Lyft
The holiday season is often one of the most lucrative times of year for rideshare drivers. More passengers needing rides to holiday parties and the mall can mean guaranteed rates and driver incentives.
Depending on your location, saturation may be an issue. Many markets have been flooded with new drivers as rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft advertise for the upcoming season. However, it’s still not an opportunity to be overlooked if you are in need of a flexible side gig that you can pick up as need throughout the year.
2. Seasonal online customer service
There are so many companies this time of year hiring remote customer service reps. Amazon and others are happy to allow their seasonal reps to work from home in order to get their holiday needs covered.
As is typical in this line of work, you can expect a pay rate of $10 to $15 per hour. The hours are usually flexible with the strongest need at night and on the weekends. There is usually an hours-per-week minimum, but it’s often no more than 10 to 20 hours per week unless hired for a full-time position.
You will need a quiet home office environment free of distractions. Most companies also require a landline and high speed Internet.
If you meet your commitments and perform above average, you may be asked to extend your contract well into the New Year.
Read more: Easy ways to cut your monthly bills
3. Sell stuff on Facebook groups
Most of us do a little closet purging at the beginning of each major season change. Maybe you found a few clothing items in great condition that no longer fit. Perhaps you ran into a few gifts not-so-well-received last year that you are tired of storing in the back of the closet. This is a great time to get rid of those unwanted items in exchange for some extra cash.
Facebook Buy/Sell Groups have come a long way in recent years. These community-based groups are full of people looking to purchase items secondhand. List your unwanted goods at reasonable prices and you may find it’s a fast flip. For safety’s sake, make sure you meet during the daylight hours in a public place and not at your home if possible.
4. Pick up a few odd jobs
Speaking of Facebook Buy/Sell Groups, this time of year you will also find frequent requests for odd jobs. These can run the gamut from putting up holiday lights and decorating to gift wrapping to one-time cleaning jobs and beyond.
One of the great things about picking up odd jobs locally as opposed to getting a seasonal customer service job is that the pay typically exchanges hands on the date of service. You aren’t waiting two weeks for a check. That means you can work right up until, or even on, your last day of shopping if need be.
5. Job Spotter App
This new smartphone app from Indeed won’t pay you cash, but it will pay you in Amazon gift cards. This app was introduced by Indeed, one of the most popular job boards online. Your duty as a Job Spotter is to report Help Wanted signs in your local community. These job leads are then posted on the Indeed website at no cost to the business.
When you see a hiring sign while you are out and about, just snap a photo and submit it on the app. You will receive 50 points for every approved image. Every 100 points equals a $1 Amazon gift card. That’s $1 for every two help wanted signs you submit. You can request your gift card anytime your account reaches $1.
These opportunities won’t replace your full-time job, but they can provide some extra cash in a pinch and on a flexible schedule.