It’s that time of year! A time that seems to drain your wallet or your savings! Well, we want to help you keep your savings and money in your wallet by paying for Christmas with extra holiday jobs that you can do to earn a little extra.
Here’s 15 Ideas:
- Install Christmas Lights for homes and businesses – check out this post for more ideas on how to do this and advertising and marketing ideas that are free or cheap!
- Offer Snow Removal services to businesses, HOA’s and home owners/property owners (like apartment complexes, etc.) – check out this post HERE for more ideas on how to make this work as a way to make money this year.
- Paint the windows of businesses with a holiday theme – check out this post HERE on ideas and ways to market and advertise this type of money making service.
- Sell at holiday events. If your area has nighttime holiday parades, events, craft fairs and more (most communities do) for Christmas or even the New Year, consider selling some popular novelty items with a low investment and large return. We shared this idea over the Fourth of July holiday, but it also works well for the winter holiday’s like Christmas and especially the New Year. See our previous post HERE on how to start with a small investment and get a large return for easy selling of these novelty items.
- Sell hot coffee, hot chocolate and hot cider at these same events. We go to a Christmas parade every year and there are several families that sell these drinks and they are very popular! We support them every year!
- Offer a gift wrapping service to a group, or to individuals or set-up a gift wrapping booth at craft fairs (this is perfect way to make money if you are not super crafty and can’t make something to sell!) as there are usually many craft fairs going on right now!
- Offer to write Christmas Cards, New Year’s cards, etc. for businesses to their loyal customers. Realtors, doctors, chiropractors, orthodontists/dentists, car dealers, massage therapists, salon clientele, attorneys, loan officers, daycare, or any other type of service based business that just would love to hire this very seasonal task out as they love to have hand-written personal cards! It can be done from home too!
- Make candies, cookies or other baked goods and sell them or make special made to order sales of these same items. You can sell them door-to-door, at craft fairs and events, or even advertise your services with some free ways we list below.
- Make gift baskets for a businesses’ clientele. Similar to the card writing in number 7, many service based businesses also love to give their best customers gift baskets. We personally know someone who has this seasonal job and she just drummed up business by asking those businesses if she can make gift baskets for their top clientele. The discount and dollar stores become your best friend. Markup on those items are incredible, but you can beat the prices of floral shops for the same thing – so you make extra money and your client is happy to have the personal touch and savings! Food and treat based baskets are the most popular. If you plan on this in future seasons, you will get the best return on your investment with the after holiday sales, and looking for cheap baskets all year. But even mugs with treats will be good too!
- Use your skills – do you have a specific skill that you can turn into a part of full-time money making effort? Are you really good at sewing? Computer programming? Just a couple of thousands of skills that can be used to turn extra cash! Alex is a programmer and he will often pick up some extra “non-holiday” related work around the holidays to earn extra!
- Sell product in a boutique. I am adding this one as my girls and I have a small booth at a local boutique where we sell all sorts of miscellaneous items to earn a little extra! They make the booth rent very reasonable.
- Offer a “Christmas shopping babysitting service.” If you are like me, a full-time in-home or on-site daycare/babysitting business is out of the question with our busy day-to-day routine. However, this time of year, I could easily find a few days and times that I would open my home to my friends and neighbors to watching kids while mom or mom and dad shop and run Christmas errands. It’s also something that I would also take advantage of myself and it is pretty much just this time of year that I would need something like this!
- Resell used items! Consider being a smart thrift shopper and find good quality big ticket used toys, wooden toys or electric toys and buy them second hand. Fix them up and then resell for a markup! We do this a lot! In fact, one year when we were working on our $100K debt, our kids got mostly all used toys that were in nice condition (a play kitchen and more!) and we bought some used big ticket toys and resold them. We also did this when we were earning to save for a vacation.
- Resell hot toys. As a bit more investment and risk required, you could consider buying the “hot” toys this year that have a risk of selling out and nabbing some and reselling. We did this one year and it worked well. But we have only done this once. Remember that “Tickle Me Elmo” several years ago? Well, we were smart savvy shoppers using our low-price shopping skills and shopped at the right time and nabbed a few and was able to re-sell them that year for $30 more than we bought them! We don’t have a blog post and pictures about this one as it was a couple of years before we started our blog, but it was fun! If you want to know the hottest toys this year, you can do a google search, or start with this list here.
- Use the Amazon Trade-In program. Finally, if you do any of your shopping on Amazon, consider using the Amazon Trade-In program earn Amazon gift cards. It’s very simple and can get you several Christmas presents for nothing.
BONUS: Make handmade gifts or products for Christmas gifts: jewelry, crocheted items, woodworking items (dollhouses, wood toys, shelves, other handmade items, etc.). This one is something our whole family has done many times, including many extended family members.
As another note, It won’t be much help this year (you will probably be able to earn $5-$15 before Christmas) but it might get a gift or two this year and then if you do this all year, you can even pay for Christmas with your Swagbucks. You will want to read-up on all of the hoopla and details on this post HERE.
With those 15 seasonal ideas to get you started, you may be surprised to find out what kind of business you may acquire!
Now for some additional ideas on how to find the clients as well as free and cheap ways to advertise and market your business.
To Find Those In Need of Any of the Above Services:
- Look in the newspaper! You may find people advertising the need for seasonal jobs and needs!
- Look in the online classifieds or Craigslist to see what services people are looking for
- Talk to your personal service providers such as doctors, dentists, realtors, attorneys, etc. (this is an endless list!) and ask if they would be needing anyone this holiday season to hand write notes or cards or to make gift baskets for, a window painted seasonally, etc. – just whatever tasks above that you think they might be interested in!
- Use your social circles on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest (like pinning a picture of a window you painted, your gift baskets, etc.) as well as email your email list and tell them to pass the word around that you are going to be doing “xyz” this season and to let their contacts know. Never underestimate the power of the social media!
Ideas on How to Advertise Your Business
- We recommend taking advantage of free advertising services in your area like the online classifieds or the newspaper (if yours is free).
- Consider approaching businesses, HOA’s, apartment complexes, and find out if you can even pass around or hang-up fliers advertising your service to their customer bases.
- Consider placing fliers on cars in parking lots advertising your service (but get permission from the business who owns the parking lot).
- Go door-to-door to hang fliers or if you know those in a specific neighborhood, just asking them!
- Start a Facebook page and/or Twitter account for your business to spread the word and to avoid costs associated with running a website – this is free and a free way of advertising your business. This is also a great way to keep past clients in contact with you. Of course, a website is a very good investment if you want to turn this into a business even more, or if you decide your first year was worth it to invest even more into it in the future!
- Consider offering an incentive to your customers if they send you a referral such as “$5 off your next service” to help your business grow. It always seems that word of mouth referrals are the best kind.
With a quick list of ideas, we also encourage you to read up on our Marketing 101 guide HERE to help you be a more effective money maker this season!
A couple of final thoughts:
Keep detailed records.
Be organized and keep good income and expense records as you will need them for reporting on your taxes. What? Yes, this is a business so you will need to report your income, but don’t forget those receipts for all your mileage on your car, equipment and marketing supplies. Of course, we encourage you to talk to a good accountant to help you through this.
Finally, don’t forget to have fun making that extra money.
We have found some of the greatest joys in working together as a family in our different ventures. And all that extra exercise and time working instead of lounging in front of the television just might help bring your family closer, make you a bit healthier, and help you achieve that goal you are trying to meet.
The list above is not an exhaustive list of ways to make money, so we encourage you to see our list of Over 100 Ways to Make Extra Income and Counting post HERE to help you find more permanent ideas, but this list may be of big help this holiday season!