The holidays are upon us and the usual stress of getting gifts for the people we love is on our minds.
And since simply skipping out on the long-standing tradition of gift-exchange is not on the table (in most cases) finding ways to fund it become so necessary.
This year, we reached out and asked a few friends what creative things they have done in the past to make some good money for holiday gifts and they did not disappoint.
All of these answers we gathered are simple things anybody can pick up between now and the holidays and earn very decent money before the day arrives.
Here we go.
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1. Teach English
Brett Jaycox is trained nurse who lives with her two children and husband in Puerto Rico.
To help her save up money for Christmas gifts this year Brett said “I am teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) to kids in China before my kids wake up in the morning, Monday through Friday. I love the kids. It’s fun and I do it in my PJs. Plus the the extra hustle working from home is great.”
As the world becomes more globalized the demand for English teachers is increasing.
Back in the day, you would have to travel to live in a country to be an English teacher. These days, thanks to the Internet, you can teach virtually.
And this opportunity is not restricted to English either. There are people all over the world looking to learn Spanish, French, German, Mandarin and even some fairly obscure languages.
You can expect to earn between $10 and $30 an hour teaching languages online. We recommend teaching through VIP Kid - you can do it online in the comfort of your own home.
These resources are helpful if you are looking to teach languages as an extra source of income.
2. Short-Term Gigs
If you are not great at languages, that is alright!
It is a matter of deciding what skill it is you offer and then presenting that to the people who will pay you.
Amy Beardsley, a freelance writer, mentioned that she and her husband sometimes pick up these types of short-term but “low-paying” gigs to fund holiday gifts.
Yes, you heard that right.
While you might not earn a six-figure income from picking up short-term gigs, it is possible for you to accumulate a few hundred dollars to help you get those gifts.
3. Cash Back Rewards
“I am mad I got cash-back on that purchase”
Said nobody. EVER.
Another way our friends are making some extra cash to buy those gifts is by signing up for cash-back and gift card rewards websites like Ebates and Swagbucks. In fact, I just got paid my $100 Ebates check in the mail this week! It's a great reminder of how much you can save if you just click a link before online shopping!
Those gift cards can be given away as gifts in of themselves and you can certainly apply cash back to actual purchases.
4. Write Personalized Love Poems
Roshni Gandhi, a lawyer and freelance writer also weighed in on the conversation and mentioned that she has written personalized love poems in the past to earn extra cash for those holiday gifts.
Proof of the fact that if you can truly add value to people in ANYWAY, you can get paid handsomely for it.
5. Sell Your Old Stuff
In addition to earning that extra cash, selling your old stuff is a great way to declutter spaces in your home.
Don't quite know what to sell? We have this guide of 6 things you can sell right now to earn extra money!
6. Write Research Papers
This one was from Roshni again.
If you love to delve deep into topics and write about them, writing research papers could be that extra side gig that helps you win money for holiday gifts.
If you don't know about writing research papers, but do want to get paid to write, check out this article on how to get paid to write for blogs.
7. Deliver For Amazon Flex
Fred is a stay-at-home dad in San Diego who also delivers packages for Amazon on the weekends and at night. You can now sign up to deliver packages right to the doorsteps of people who have ordered items on Amazon under the Amazon Flex Program or deliver groceries under the Amazon Fresh Program.
“With Amazon Flex, I make between $18-$25 an hour and typically work in 3 to 4 hour blocks. If I am able to pick up 5 of those blocks per week, I can easily make $400 per week.”
Not bad at all!
This year Fred is planning on surprising his elderly parents and is proudly using using Amazon Flex to fund that.
Fred says “It is easy to sign up for and you can work it around your daily schedule.”
Check out Amazon Flex and Amazon Fresh.
8. Mystery Shopping
Companies want to make sure their marketing techniques for products are working. The best way to evaluate that is to be constantly conducting market research.
Market research companies are hired by bigger corporations and they use regular people like you and I to conduct that research.
That is all mystery shopping is.
This is another gig Fred (the dad who also works with Amazon Flex) mentioned as a source of income if you are cash-strapped for holiday money.
Signing up to become a mystery shopper does not require any qualifications.
You will just have to pose as a buyer, ask the questions outlined by the market research company, record and then submit those answers.
Mystery shops pay anywhere between $10 and $50 per shopping trip. And you can incorporate it into your regular shopping routine.
If you have been stressed out about having enough to cover gifts this year, let your mind rest easy.
Each of the gigs mentioned above can help you earn $10 an hour or more in the weeks leading up to the holidays.
None of them requires that you have particular qualifications and signing up for any one of them will take you but a few minutes.
Try them out and let us know how it goes!
Are there any other creative ways you are earning money for holiday gifts this year?
Comment below to let us know.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.