How to Make Extra Cash During the Holidays in 2023 – 14 Easy Ways

The holiday season often brings joy along with extra expenses. A 2021 survey found 74% of consumers plan to spend the same or more on gifts this year, with total holiday sales projected to top $1 trillion. Fortunately, the same season offering additional expenses also brings ample opportunities to earn extra income.

Estimated Holiday Spending and Growth

The National Retail Federation projects holiday sales could grow between 6-8% this year as consumers continue spending heavily.

Estimated holiday spending and growth

Source

With this high demand comes a wide variety of seasonal money-making opportunities. Whether you want to earn a few hundred extra dollars or generate more significant income, options exist to suit different goals and time commitments.

As a small business consultant who regularly advises entrepreneurs on starting side hustles, here are my top recommendations for how to make extra cash during the holidays.

14 Ways to Earn Holiday Money

1. Online Surveys

Taking online surveys though sites like SurveyJunkie, Swagbucks, and InboxDollars is one of the most flexible ways to earn extra income. Most surveys pay $0.50-$5 each and can range from 2-20 minutes long. I recommend signing up for 5-10 different survey companies to maximize the number of paid surveys available.

Pro tips:

  • Set a daily or weekly goal for number of surveys to complete. Treat it like a short part-time job.
  • Answer thoughtfully and consistently to qualify for higher-paying surveys. Avoid randomly clicking through.
  • Cash out earnings frequently instead of letting them accumulate to stay motivated.
  • Check for survey bonuses around the holidays when companies need fast feedback.

2. Rideshare & Delivery Driving

Driving for Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart, or other similar apps allows you to earn extra income whenever it‘s convenient around your schedule. Holiday demand for rides and deliveries surges as people travel and host events.

Average holiday pay:

  • Uber drivers: $22/hour
  • Lyft drivers: $17-$22/hour
  • DoorDash drivers: $13-$17/hour + tips

Maximize your driving earnings:

  • Target peak times – early mornings, evenings, weekends, holidays
  • Position yourself in busy areas – airports, malls, residential neighborhoods
  • Offer promo code discounts to encourage first-time riders/customers
  • Maintain excellent ratings to unlock benefit opportunities

3. Short-Term Rental Hosting

Renting your space on Airbnb or VRBO/Vacation Rental by Owner is a lucrative way to earn extra income, especially if you‘ll be traveling for the holidays. Average holiday daily rates for U.S. rentals are $170.

Tips for maximizing rental income:

  • Block off your personal travel dates, then open up as many days as possible.
  • Research comparable listings to price competitively.
  • Highlight festive amenities – holiday decor, proximity to events/attractions, kitchen for cooking, etc.
  • Require ID verification and minimum 2-3 night stays for safety.
  • Hire a cleaners and key handoff service for convenience.

4. Seasonal Jobs

Seasonal jobs are an easy, short-term way to earn extra income while working fun holiday positions. Retail sales associates can earn $12-$15 per hour. Seasonal delivery drivers often make up to $20 per hour.

Other seasonal opportunities include:

  • Gift wrappers, photographers, and craft fair vendors
  • Customer service jobs in high demand due to holiday product questions/returns
  • Warehouse order fulfillment positions to meet ecommerce shipping demands
  • Event staffing at holiday markets, concerts, parties and corporate events

5. Sell Handmade Goods

Crafty? Etsy and other handmade marketplaces see huge holiday sales. The global handmade goods market is projected to grow 12% annually through 2027.

Successful seasonal products include:

  • Ornaments, wreaths, and décor items
  • Custom garlands, signs, and other commission-based products
  • Baked goods and gourmet food gifts
  • Holiday-themed art prints, stickers, and paper goods

Pricing tips:

  • Price your labor at $20-$30 per hour plus materials.
  • Offer bundled discounted sets to increase order value.
  • Consider quick-turnaround holiday shipping fees.

6. Child Care Services

Parents need extra help over school holidays. Offering childcare, tutoring, or sitting services is in demand. Average pay rates:

  • Babysitters: $15-$25/hour
  • Private tutors: $20-$40/hour
  • Nannies: $15-$35/hour for part-time work

Maximizing your services:

  • Sign up on Care.com, SitterCity or local Facebook groups.
  • Offer discounts for booking multiple children or days.
  • Highlight holiday-specific availability like school breaks.
  • Provide age-specific toys, crafts or activities to entertain kids.

7. Household & Pet Sitting

When residents travel for the holidays, they‘ll pay for house sitters to maintain their home‘s security. Pet sitters and dog walkers are also needed. Average holiday rates:

  • House sitting: $50-$100 per day
  • Pet sitting: $15-$40 per visit
  • Dog walking: $15-$25 per 30 minute walk

Tips for sitters:

  • Join reputable sites like Rover or TrustedHousesitters.
  • Highlight experience with animals, previous sitting experience.
  • Offer holiday decorating or lighting services.
  • Send owners photo updates for peace of mind.
  • Meet pets ahead of time when possible for easier care.

8. Virtual Assistant Services

Many businesses need extra administrative help during the holidays. Offering virtual assistant services can earn $15-$50 per hour.

Tasks clients may need:

  • Answering customer service queries
  • Posts & ad management on social media
  • Appointment scheduling & email management
  • Webinar or event coordination support
  • Data entry, bookkeeping, invoicing

Pro tips:

  • Create service packages around skills you excel at.
  • Be flexible for urgent or last-minute tasks.
  • Use tools like Calendly and Trello to stay organized across clients.

9. Tutoring & Educational Services

Students of all ages need extra academic support leading up to important end-of-semester exams and assignments. Tutors can earn $20-$60 per hour based on experience level and subject matter.

Other educational opportunities:

  • SAT/ACT prep instructors
  • Independent college counselors
  • Private music lesson teachers
  • Homeschool curriculum providers
  • Virtual learning course creators

Maximizing your services:

  • Note holiday availability periods prominently.
  • Offer discounted holiday intro packages.
  • Be flexible with online or in-person sessions.

10. Freelance Writing Gigs

Nearly every business needs extra content for holiday promotions, gift guides, and end-of-year thought leadership. Freelance writers can earn $30-$75 per hour depending on speed and skill level.

Types of seasonal content needs:

  • Blog posts about holiday products, events, and content
  • Holiday email & social media marketing campaigns
  • Newsletters with gift ideas, reflections, and recaps
  • Holiday-specific website copy for seasonal companies
  • White papers or eBooks on annual industry trends

Pro tips:

  • Have portfolio samples ready that showcase your festive writing skills.
  • Be prepared to turn around content quickly to capture timely trends.
  • Offer discounted packages in exchange for longer contracts spanning the holidays.

11. Selling Handcrafted Items Online

Handcrafted decorations, gifts, and fashion items spike in demand leading up to the holidays. Selling homemade items through Etsy, eBay, Facebook shops and other online marketplaces can earn hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on your production capacity and marketing efforts.

Popular seasonal handcrafts include:

  • Christmas ornaments
  • Knit winter accessories – scarves, hats, headbands
  • Scented candles and bath/beauty products
  • Printable holiday cards, planners, and stationery
  • Custom wreaths, centerpieces, and garlands

Pricing strategies:

  • Price based on materials + $20-$50 per hour of labor
  • Offer tiered pricing for customization add-ons like engraving
  • Bundle sets of items to increase order value

12. Dropshipping

Dropshipping allows you to sell trendy products year-round without holding inventory. You list items with a markup on your own online store, and partner suppliers ship orders directly to customers. This business can be scaled up significantly during the holidays. Average profit margins range from 20-50%.

Tips to maximize holiday dropshipping income:

  • Target seasonal best-sellers like electronics, toys, and home goods.
  • Automate store admin with tools like Oberlo.
  • Join communities like r/dropshipping on Reddit for product ideas and trends.
  • Offer holiday delivery guarantees and discounted bundles.
  • Use social media ads to promote trending gift options.

13. Renting Out Parking Spots

If you live near major holiday events, attractions or airports, renting out parking spaces can earn hundreds of dollars per month. Average event parking rates range from $15-$50 per spot per day.

Maximizing parking rental income:

  • Research rates for nearby lots and garages to competitively price your spaces.
  • List availability on Spacer, Parking Panda, Craigslist or by directly contacting event coordinators.
  • Offer overnight and weekly discounts for travelers.
  • Ensure walkability, lighting and signage directing renters to spaces.

14. Reselling Limited Edition Items

The holidays are a hot time for resellers to buy and flip limited edition items, especially new electronics, toys, and sneakers. Average profit margins range 30-90% depending on the product demand.

Tips for savvy holiday reselling:

  • Check release calendars for upcoming holiday product launches. Line up early on launch days.
  • Utilize buying bots and autofill browser extensions when trying to purchase limited items online.
  • List immediately on eBay and Facebook Marketplace once purchased to capitalize on hype.
  • Offer local meetups or fast 2-3 day shipping options.

Keys to Holiday Side Hustle Success

If you want to maximize your holiday earnings, keep these tips in mind:

  • Diversify income streams – Combine a few complementary seasonal gigs rather than relying solely on one.
  • Leverage your talents – Focus on opportunities that align with your skills and interests.
  • Set goals & work back – Calculate required hours/income, then make a plan to achieve it.
  • Be flexible – Adapt to urgent client requests and peak demand periods around holidays.
  • Market aggressively – Promotions and ads are key to getting holiday business.
  • Provide excellent service – Go above-and-beyond to get 5-star reviews and repeat business.
  • Stay organized – Use calendars, schedules, and tools to juggle multiple holiday gigs smoothly.
  • Keep safety top of mind – When meeting new clients or driving passengers, take necessary precautions.

Conclusion

The diverse range of seasonal side hustles highlighted above offers ample opportunities to earn extra cash this holiday season. With preparation and commitment, you can offset inevitable holiday expenses and reach financial goals in the process. The key is choosing ideas that align with your unique interests and abilities, then executing those plans efficiently by working during peak demand periods.

By providing excellent service and promoting yourself actively, you can build a base of loyal holiday clients that expand each year. Diversifying your income and staying organized are also vital to maximizing your profitability. With the right hustle-oriented mindset, creativity and dedication, you can absolutely achieve your holiday money-making goals.