There is probably no greater time when your budget feels strained than the holidays. If you have children, of course, they expect presents both from you and Santa. That expense is a given, but then there is also pressure to give a small token to everyone who helps you during the rest of the year: your hairstylist, the mailman, your children’s teachers, your children’s coaches, babysitter or your children’s daycare, on and on the list seems to grow. If you have extended family, you may exchange presents with them too.
If you are searching for ways to make extra money this holiday season, consider some of these ideas:
1. Get a seasonal job. Many stores are hiring temporary workers, and they likely need people during the weekends and week nights, so you could work around your day job or your parenting duties if you are a stay at home parent. Choose a store that you shop at normally, and one of your job perks could be a discount on the products. If you love Gymboree clothing for your kids, work there and get a nice discount. Another good idea is Toys ‘R Us or another toy store where you can save on your children’s presents.
2. Sell crafts. Are you crafty? If so, consider setting up your own small business. I have a friend who buys light switch plates and covers them with different decals. Some are sports themed, some are Disney themed, some are just for boys or just for girls. During November and December, she is at a craft fair every weekend where parents can buy these light switches for their kids.
3. Sell your own baked goods. Do you have a dish that everyone raves about? Why not start making it and selling it for a profit? My mom has been making pumpkin roll for 25 years now, but in the last few years, she has started selling them to friends and family. Some people buy them for themselves and their own parties. Others buy them as gifts for teachers or to take when they attend a holiday party and need a gift to pass. They can bring a good dessert, and they don’t have to spend time in the kitchen cooking.
4. Decorate someone’s house. Many people like their homes to look festive for the holidays, but they dislike dragging out all of their holiday decorations and putting up the decorations as well as taking them down. You could offer to do this for a friend or family member for a set fee. Then, hopefully through word of mouth you could get more clients. You would likely be very busy in late November and early December as well as immediately after the holidays.
5. Offer a day camp for children who are out of school. Often, children are out of school on vacation, but there parents still have to work. You could offer a specialized camp for the children to attend. When my son was small, the art teacher offered day camps that children could attend every day or on a chosen day. The children would learn about artists and have time to create their own works of art as well as have nutritional snacks and other activities. She charged $50 per day per child. These weren’t cheap, but for parents who wanted an educational experience for their children, it was a nice alternative to hiring a babysitter for the day.
If you are looking to make extra money, there are plenty of conventional jobs you could find. Even better, think what need those around you have and seek to fill that need. This is even easier to do during the busy holiday season when people have so much to do and so little time to do it.