As the holiday season approaches, so too does the stress and anxiety of the expenses that follow. From the first gift bought to the special holiday food purchases for family gatherings, the end of the year can be expensive. On gifts alone in 2017, Americans spent an average of $983, according to the American Research Group, Inc. This number has gone up over the years since the economic recovery after the housing market collapse in 2008. At its peak in 2001, Americans would spend an average of $1,052 on holiday gifts. But, when the collapse happened, that figure dropped to $417. So with spending rates edging back up to previous peaks, an extra side income helps to minimize the holiday financial crisis.
Regardless of where you are in your professional career, a little extra money during the holidays would be a welcome treat. Perhaps it’s time think of some creative side hustle ideas to supplement your income. Side hustle ideas to make money all revolve around a simple concept: Use your excess time or resources to make some extra side income. Consider that side hustles are different than just getting a second job. While getting a seasonal job is a valid solution to acquiring more income, being tied to strict work schedules can be problematic. Usually a side hustle idea is a more creative avenue for income or it can be done whenever the opportunity strikes.
Below is a list of potential side hustle ideas:
ARE YOU ARTISTIC OR CRAFTY?
Then you’ve got an opportunity to make extra cash over the holidays selling your handiworks. People are eager to purchase unique decorations and gifts during the holiday season. Prepare your arts and crafts and head to a holiday crafting festival. Check your newspaper or sites like FestivalNet and The Crafts Fair Online for information about craft fairs in your area. In addition, you can also sell your items on Etsy, Ebay, or Craigslist.
CAN YOU COOK WELL?
Many U.S. states have Cottage Laws, where you can sell certain foods that you make in your home until you reach a certain income level. A number of states limit the sales of home processed foods to farmers markets, bake sales and charity events. This is an easy side hustle idea that can be launched within the comfort of your own home.
Alternatively, you can also offer to use your talents in the kitchen to become a personal chef and prepare meals for other people. Advertise through your social media networks or sign up with a service such as, HireAChef to get business.
BUY LOW, SELL HIGH
f you’re a schrewd bargain hunter, you can earn an additional side income by finding a popular item at a low price and sell it online somewhere else at a higher price. By taking advantage of super sales and discount coupon codes on sites like Wish.com, you can not only get good deals for yourself, but get a decent profit margin when you turn around those items on Amazon, Ebay, Craigslist, or Facebook Groups. If you have a good eye for saleable products, you can definitely earn money on the side.
DRIVE FOR UBER OR LYFT
One of the most widely-available ways to make money on the side is to drive for Uber or Lyft. Ridesharing is increasingly popular for users and drivers. You can turn on and off your availability through these networks with the simple click of a button, effectively allowing you to make money no matter what time of day or night it is.
DELIVER FOR POSTMATES
Another option for earning a side income is to deliver for PostMates. The concept is similar to working for a ridesharing program, but instead of delivering people, you are delivering holiday packages.
RENT YOUR SPARE ROOM TO TOURISTS OR HOMESHARE WEBSITES
Sites like AirBnB and Wimdu connect people from around the world with affordable sleeping quarters at rates cheaper than hotels. The holiday season is perfect for welcoming travelers to your town. If you’re in a bind for some fast cash, these sites offer you an avenue for creating some income quickly within 24 hours of guest check-in. Rent out a room or the whole house as a great way of making money on the side. Just make sure you prepare it with all the modern comforts possible, such as WI-FI access.
RENT OUT YOUR VEHICLE
A cross between ridesharing and homesharing is carsharing. Using a website like Turo.com, you can rent out your car during times when you don’t need it, by the day or by the week. For best results, list at a low price for the first few rentals then raise the price once you have good reviews.
JOIN THE GIG ECONOMY
There are an increased number of websites designed to fulfill those small requests that pop up during the holiday season. People typically lack time to complete their tasks and could use an extra hand. Whether that hand is physical or digital, you can earn a side income by performing simple jobs across a gamut of topics that range from dog walking, closet organizing, and errands to designing someone’s logo or revamping a resume. Virtual assistants are big right now as well. Getting paid to do physical chores for people, like Christmas decorating, can be a fun way to fill your pockets for the holidays. To begin, sign up with sites like TaskRabbit, ThumbTack, Rat Race Rebellion, Elance, Fiverr and even Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. On all these sites, the key to getting more business is with great customer reviews for jobs you have done.
BECOME A HOLIDAY AMAZON AFFILIATE
The Amazon Associates Program is one of the oldest and most common affiliate programs. It’s free to start and it takes about two minutes to sign up. The best part about taking on an affiliate side hustle idea is that you can bring in your side income without having to dedicate too much time. Start looking at products that you love, you may be able to become an affiliate for them. Earn money every time someone buys something through your Affiliate Link. You can earn 7% the selling price on fashion items, 8% on furniture, 10% on luxury beauty items; items in nearly every category of Amazon can be sold through your links. Advertise your links on blogs, websites, social media, videos, etc. Take advantage of the holiday online shopping spree and make money by spreading your Affiliate Link to all your friends and family to use.
With the internet and smartphones revolutionizing our lives, side income is no longer limited to your physical location. If you know how to tap into the vast amount of opportunities found online, you can find ways to make money on the side during the holiday season or year-round.