The holidays can be such a stressful time – and not just because you have to see your weird Aunt who smells funny – but financially stressful as well.
If you’ve found yourself unprepared or with a less than impressive amount in your holiday sinking fund never fear…I’ve put together a list of seven extra income ideas (plus a bonus) to earn cash for Christmas!
Extra Income Ideas to Earn Cash Fast
The holidays seem to arrive quicker each year…hello, Christmas trees in Target in July?!?!
But sometimes things don’t always go as planned or maybe you’re budget is extra tight with all the insanity of 2020 – it’s cool, I got you.
I’ve put together this list of seven extra income ideas to help you earn some cash for Christmas – and quick.
These are legit ideas…no scams here, and I’ve actually tried a couple of them myself in the past.
1. Sell Your Stuff Online
I know you’re probably sick of dealing with the crazies on Facebook Marketplace who creep you out or never show up, and same here. That’s why I’ve moved on to better platforms.
Clean out your closet and your kids’ closets and make two piles: donate and sell. I suggest you keep the nicer pieces that maybe are a bit better brands for the sell pile as they’ll sell more quickly and for a higher price online.
I love to use Mercari to sell my clothing. Not only do I sell clothing but I sell purses, other bags, shoes, and I’ve even sold toys (Legos sell like hotcakes)!
I love Mercari for a few reasons:
It’s easy to ship. Once an item sells, I print out the shopping label, package it up in these bags I keep in my office, tape the label on, and put it right out in my mailbox for the mailman to grab when he delivers the mail…it’s SO simple!
No more fielding a million FB messages only for no one to actually buy. No more sitting in your car at Walmart waiting for your FB buyer to show up. No more spending hours on your Saturday mornings trying to sell a shirt for $1.00 in your garage and no more trips to the Post Office to ship your eBay items.
I used to hate selling items online before but Mercari makes it so simple to list and sell your items plus it’s easy to transfer your earnings directly into your bank account 💸 cha-ching!
Maybe you’ve been eyeing up that new iPhone 12 that just came out and you’re ready to upgrade but have a whole drawer full of old models and hate to spend the money…here’s a solution: sell your old electronics using Whistle.
If you haven’t heard of Whistle before, they’re a website that specializes in buying your used electronics. While you could sell your electronics on Mercari as well, selling on Whistle has a few advantages:
- You are actually selling the items directly to Whistle, not the end consumer
- You get a guaranteed offer once you enter all the info about your item
- You get a free shipping kit with everything you need to pack up your device and keep it safe (including tracking numbers)
- You get paid within 24 hours of your device being received #winning
2. Multitask While Watching Netflix
How much time do you reallllly spend Netflix + Chilling?? Be honest now 🤣
Doing online surveys while you’re watching tv is a great way to earn some extra cash – nope, it certainly won’t make you a millionaire any time soon but if you’re literally doing nothing but sitting on the couch anyway, why not at least make a few bucks at the same time?
My favorite platform for online surveys is Survey Junkie. They are reputable and have been around for a while.
It’s simple to get started – just create an online profile and give them some info so they’re better able to match you with specific surveys that would be a good match for you then fill out as many surveys as you can in your spare time!
3. Find Customers Online
Do you already have a business? Maybe the best extra income ideas for you would actually be focusing on your current business/trade but finding more jobs and more customers.
Consider listing your services on Thumbtack. This is an awesome site (and app) that people can go to looking for professionals in their local area.
For example, if I want to have family pictures taken but aren’t familiar with any photographers in my area, I can head to Thumbtack, search for photographers, and instantly get results plus a TON more information including:
- Price ranges
- Services offered
- Examples of past work performed
- Social profiles
- Contact info
- And so much more…(even their policies on handling social distancing)
Thumbtack is such a cool replacement for the yellow pages if you even remember what those are, or even regular online websites or listings.
It’s so convenient for your customers to be able to search by their zip code and find professionals in their area – and you need to be on that list for them!
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4. Proofreading from Your Couch
I have a weird quirk about me…I love to proofread, like LOVE…and so do my mother and sister (apparently it’s hereditary 🤣).
Usually, this task was reserved for editors but with this digital age we live in there are SO many options to earn money from home as a proofreader.
I know I’m a #supernerd but I think this sounds like the most perfect side gig ever! Sitting on the couch curled up with my laptop getting to correct people’s spelling and grammar without having to actually talk to any people!
It’s surprisingly easy to get started and you do not have to be an expert or have any specific degrees!
5. Use Apps to Save When You Shop
This is one thing I consistently see people NOT doing that can save a substantial amount of money, especially during the holiday shopping season.
Cashback apps and websites are often dismissed as a scam but they are just the opposite! I earn hundreds of dollars a year by using cashback apps and websites.
I’m able to cash in my points for gift cards, a check, or deposits right into my PayPal account.
Plus, many apps and sites will even give you more points if you opt to use your points for gift cards instead of cash.
I love to trade mine in to treat myself to Starbucks, Chipotle, or a Target gift card, that was I can even use the earnings to purchase groceries or household items.
Here are some of my favorite cashback apps and websites plus each one offers a welcome bonus to sign up (you’ll have to make a qualifying purchase to earn the bonus)…
Rakuten is seriously the best! You may have heard of them before they changed their name to Rakuten – they used to be called Ebates. They are my favorite website/app to use when shopping online.
Rakuten is simple to use, I prefer the app or the browser extension. When I want to shop I go to the app first and search for the store I want to shop at. When the store pops up just click and it will take you directly to that store’s website.
Place your order as you normally would and when you order processes the cashback you earned will be credited to your account.
Pros: Rakuten partners with over 2,500 retailers so most stores you’ll shop at will be found on their site. Their Chrome extension makes things even quicker when shopping on your computer and if you visit a website that is partnering with Rakuten a notification will pop up showing you the amount of cashback available and you can simply click it to activate it.
Rakuten consistently offers the highest referral bonuses, which is great news because once you sign up and start using Rakuten you can share it with your friends and family and earn substantial money when they join (at no cost to them).
Cons: Rakuten only pays out quarterly, while other platforms pay once you reach a specific threshold BUT Rakuten will mail you a physical check every single quarter or send your money directly to PayPal.
While the premise is the same: earning cashback for purchases, Ibotta works a bit differently than Rakuten.
Ibotta is more of a reverse-couponing app. You sign up for Ibotta and download the app, then scroll through the available offers (or search for a specific item/offer). You then click on the offers you’d like to save.
After you do your shopping come back to Ibotta to scan your receipt then the app will match the items you purchased to the offers you saved and credit that amount to your account!
Pros: You can earn a substantial amount of cashback if you purchase brand-name grocery, household, and personal care items. They also offer generic offers from time to time.
Ibotta just recently released its browser extension and allows you to link certain accounts (hello, Walmart Grocery Pickup) so you can earn money on your purchases where you don’t receive a physical receipt.
Cons: You must earn $20 in cashback before you’re able to cash out your points, though this may not necessarily be a “con” depending on how much you shop and use the app.
Fetch rewards has quickly become my favorite of all the cash-back apps! It’s just SO easy.
They have specific offers like Ibotta but you don’t have to search through them or add specific offers. Just shop and scan. That’s it. Literally the easiest app ever.
Pros: You can now earn cash-back on ANY receipt you scan, although for most places it will only be 5 points (which is super low, but better than nothing).
It only takes a second to scan your receipt, plus you can now connect to your email and it will *virtually* scan any email receipts you get as well like Amazon, Walmart Grocery, etc.
You’ll earn the most points on grocery receipts, gas, hardware stores and you can cash in your points once you get only 3,000!
Cons: It’s probably the lowest earning of all the apps mentioned here. But believe it or not, the points still add up quickly!
» READ MORE: How To Start An Easy Side Hustle During Quarantine
Top Cashback works almost exactly like Rakuten but has over 4,000 retailers they participate with.
Pros: They pass on 100% of their commission to their customers so you can often find some of the highest cashback offers on this site.
Top Cashback also has a browser extension available and no threshold to cash out!
Cons: Their app isn’t as great, I prefer to use Top Cashback on my laptop instead and their site can sometimes be a bit slow (but it’s usually worth it for the higher cashback!)
Dosh is also a crazy-easy cashback app to use! Simply download the app, set up your account, and link a card or preferred method of payment.
When you shop online, you’ll get instant cashback credited to your account when you make eligible purchases!
Pros: After you set up your account and link your card there’s not much to do…just make your purchases using the card you linked and you’ll earn cashback automatically!
Plus, they give you $1 for every card you link right off the bat 🙌🏻 And don’t worry, they have a heavy focus on security and don’t actually store your credit card data so it’s completely safe to link your credit/debit cards!
Cons: You can’t cash out until you reach $25 BUT then you’re able to transfer to your bank, PayPal, Venmo, or donate to a charity!
I’m not sure if you were counting…but if you sign up for all of the apps listed here you’ll earn $63.00!
Now, remember, you won’t actually earn the bonuses until you make the qualifying purchases required but I don’t want you to go buying stuff JUST to earn free money…that doesn’t make much sense, does it 🤷♀️
The way to do this is to either purchase Christmas gifts using these apps/sites that will help you earn your bonuses OR purchase things you were already planning to purchase ANYWAY…this way you’re not spending any additional money and the $63.00 you earn can be all extra money!
6. Deliver Groceries
If you ask me (I know you didn’t) grocery delivery is the BEST invention of the past few years…especially during a global pandemic.
While I mostly use Walmart Grocery Pickup because it’s less than a mile from my house, I have had my groceries delivered right to my door a few times and it is magical ✨
Because I’m a “questioner” and always have to know everything about everything I grilled the woman who delivered my groceries most recently.
She was wearing her bright green Instacart T-shirt and I just HAD to know if she liked her job and if she actually made any money!
She told me that she was a teacher and had been working for Instacart the past few summers to earn some extra cash and she loved it, plus she said she was happy with the amount of money she earned (she didn’t share any numbers with me, of course) and absolutely loved how flexible it was!
Instacart has just blown up the past year and is always looking for new people to deliver groceries in your area!
7. Browse the Web
Did you know you could actually earn money and other rewards just for playing around on your phone/computer or searching online? Crazy, right?
It’s true. There are companies who will pay you to collect patterns of how people show online and browse the internet.
Swagbucks has been around forever! You can earn points for shopping online, surfing the web, completing surveys, and watching videos…it’s super simple and fun to do when you’re bored.
There are a bunch of different ways to use Swagbucks too – pick which way works best for you and start earning.
You’ve probably heard of Nielsen before, maybe as a child? They are the company that used to contact people to watch the unreleased pilots of tv shows and ask for feedback as market research to try and predict the future success of a series.
But these days, Nielsen will actually pay you to allow you to track some of your online behaviors…not in a creepy way, though 🤣
You can earn rewards for installing an app on your phone that allow Neilsen to gather data in regards to surfing the web in general or about Facebook and Instagram!
Bonus Tip: Sharpen Your Skills
Do you have money-making skills that you’d love to practice and perfect? Try taking some online courses from the comfort of your home on Skillshare!
You can find courses on literally anything on Skillshare’s platform. They offer thousands of classes to spark your creativity…
Unlock a passion, side hustle, or new professional skill with thousands of classes in design, business, and more.
Learn how to monetize your passion and get paid to do what you love!
These extra income ideas will help you earn some extra cash for Christmas quickly so you can have a debt-free Christmas this year.