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The holiday season can be a time for plenty of celebration, but with all the gift-buying, travel costs, and unexpected expenses, it can be one expensive time of year, too. The good news is that if you have a little bit of free time on your hands, there are plenty of seasonal opportunities to make some extra cash and alleviate the burden on your bank account. But if you’re trying to find ways to earn extra money before the holidays, how can you possibly do it online?
The best ways to make extra money during the holidays are to work online, either as a supplement to your regular income, or to toss a couple bucks your way. The cash won’t always be “fast” or instant, but by utilizing the skills you’ve already go on your resume, you can find legitimate means to pad your wallet.
Sure, you can always pet-sit or rent out your living space, and there are certain passive methods that don’t require as much effort (such as taking online surveys), but if you want to see a bigger return on the investment of your time, think of your seasonal side gig more as a freelancing effort.
Never fear, you won’t have to set foot in a crowded mall or pick up retail shifts — there are plenty of companies creating money-making opportunities during this time of year that are designated to be virtual. Job boards like ZipRecruiter are making it even easier to filter results and find freelance and part-time seasonal work.
Whether you’re looking to boost your gift-buying budget, or just trying to put some extra cash in your wallet, here’s everything you need to know about how to make extra money during the holidays.
1. Use Job Boards To Look For Online Freelance Work
Searching for the flexibility to earn money remotely can be simplified by knowing where to look — not every job search board is going to be flush with remote seasonal work opportunities. Sites like FlexJobs and Remote.co are specifically for finding vetted remote and flexible positions, but if you want to cast a wider net, you have a few other options as well.
We like ZipRecruiter because they’re the #1 rated job site online, and for a larger job board with a database of traditional full-time positions, they also feature a section specifically for remote work. You’ll be able to find administrative, contract, part-time listed work, all that you can do from home. Their remote jobs database has over 295,000 positions as of late last year, including virtual teaching and bookkeeping.
2. Sell Any Unwanted Personal Goods Online
Think about what you rarely use, or don’t really need around the house — especially since you’ll most likely be getting a few more new presents yourself soon enough. From unworn clothing, to older-yet-still-functional tech, one profitable side hustle is to look for the best sites to sell your things online and make some real money doing it. Sites like LetGo, Decluttr, and the old standby, Ebay, will either connect you will shoppers looking to buy things second-hand, or give you cash for your old personal items, and all you’ll have to do is cover the shipping.
Take a look at listings for similar items to get a sense of what prices they could reasonably go for, and what other shoppers are looking for in general. Make sure you take clear, well-lit photos, and be as specific as possible about the state of your merchandise in the post — no one wants to be sidelined by a smelly shirt or broken appliance when they get it in the mail.
3. Online Tutor Through Finals Season
It’s the end of the semester, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a student who isn’t stressed out about perfecting their final essays or trying to cram for the end-of-year exam. Online tutoring can be pretty lucrative, and you don’t have to have a PhD or have been on the honor roll in college to be able to do it.
If there’s a subject that you have a particular expertise in, or even if you just have good editing and grammar skills, online tutoring companies are looking to hire for a wide variety of topics at all different levels of skill. Some of the hard skills from your resume such as data management and Excel spreadsheet work can also be teachable subjects, and keep your own skills fresh with practice. Look for on-demand tutoring sites like TutorMe, Studypool, and Tutor.com, which offer legitimate work. Want a more long-term tutoring contract into the new year? Check out job boards like ZipRecruiter who post listings for online teaching opportunities.
4. Freelance On Creative Projects
If you’ve got artistic skills, you can turn that hobby into a freelancing opportunity in your spare time with on-demand freelancing sites like Fiverr. Especially during this time of year when everyone is looking for personalized gifts or creative presents, share your skills in specializations like writing, digital art, graphic design, video editing, and more for clients who have a specific vision, but need someone like you with a creative mind to execute it well.
You won’t even need a formal portfolio — just put together a resume-like profile, and let potential customers know about your experience, areas of expertise, and commission rates.
5. Become a User Experience Tester for Websites and Apps
Did you know you can get paid to share your thoughts on how user-friendly a brand’s webpage or app are? Sites like UserTesting and TryMyUI will pay you for your feedback on how well their certain sites display information, how easy it is navigate around, and just how aesthetically-pleasing they are.
After a short intro test, when you’re accepted, you can be paid $10 for each 20-minute test you complete. The tests often include answering written follow-up questions and a recording. You could even earn up to $120 if you participate in a video call with a potential customer after you finish the test.