How to Make Extra Money for the Holidays With a Side Hustle

Written By Duncan Ryan
Last updated November 12, 2021

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Personal Finance
November 12, 2021

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

When the holidays roll around, everyone could use a little extra cash in their pockets. Here are some of the top ways to make extra money for the holidays outside of your regular job.

Driving for Uber is one of the best ways to make extra money for the holidays. As an Uber driver, you can work flexibly and set your own hours. The fast sign-up process also makes it very easy to start earning extra income. This process involves a basic background check and insurance verification. Your car must also have four doors and be no more than 15 years old. As long as you meet these basic requirements, you can earn a side income with Uber.

After all expenses, Uber drivers take home about $9-12 per hour. While this certainly won’t make you rich, it’s enough to come up with some extra holiday cash. You can also bolster this number by driving at high-demand times. Areas with events or lots of nightlife also tend to offer higher rates.

While Uber lets you transport people in your car, several other apps will pay you to deliver food and groceries. Three of the top delivery apps are DoorDash, GrubHub, and Instacart. GrubHub and DoorDash are both geared toward delivering meals from restaurants. Instacart, on the other hand, involves picking up and delivering groceries as a personal shopper.

All of these apps can help you make extra money for the holidays. If you’re trying to make up for lost time, though, Instacart may be your best bet. This app experiences a predictable fourth-quarter surge every year around the holidays. So, if you need fast cash for gifts, Instacart is a great place to get it.

If you’re a photography enthusiast, you can make good money from your camera skills. Hobbyist photographers can charge anywhere from $25-75 per hour for shooting events or family photos. While this rate comes down once editing time is counted, it’s still a decent side income. Selling photography sessions is also one of the best ways to earn extra money while indulging your creative side.

You can also earn money from your photography using Foap. This marketplace lets you sell your photos to brands that need visual content. This method isn’t as good for making fast holiday cash, but it can supplement your side income from photography.

Another one of the best ways to make extra money for the holidays is to become a part-time tutor. Tutors can make anywhere from $12 to $25 per hour. Under some circumstances, the rates can be even higher. SAT and ACT test prep, for instance, usually commands higher prices. The one downside to this option is that most tutoring sites require a college degree. Some marketplaces will let you tutor with an associate degree, while others insist on a bachelor’s.

If you’re good at writing, social media, or other professional skills, you can sell those skills as an online freelancer. Businesses often need skilled digital workers for temporary projects. By offering your services online, you can earn a decent side income. There are quite a few freelancing platforms to choose from, but Fiverr and Upwork are among the most beginner-friendly.

Beyond being one of the best ways to make extra money for the holidays, freelancing can become a full-time income. The average American freelancer makes about $20 per hour. Between good earnings and scheduling flexibility, many part-time freelancers eventually choose to go full time.

Selling items on eBay is a great way to convert things you don’t need anymore into holiday cash. Electronics, tools, and household goods can all retain secondhand value. Used items also sell quite well on eBay. In the U.S., about 39.8 percent of used eBay listings result in a sold item.

Selling on eBay can also become a long-term side hustle. Buying inexpensive used items and listing them on eBay is an easy way to earn a sizeable side income. Start by making extra holiday money, and you may find yourself with your own year-round eBay side hustle.

Children, pets, and elderly parents all need supervision and care. With sites like, you can offer your services to families as a caregiver. is mostly for babysitting but also hosts caregivers for pets and the elderly. You can even offer cleaning and tutoring services through the site. While being a professional caregiver isn’t for everyone, the money can be decent. Some jobs pay as much as $30 per hour.

If you’d prefer to work with pets, you can also consider Wag or Rover. Both of these sites let you set your own rate for pet-related services. You can sit for pets, walk dogs, or even provide pet boarding services. Most people associate these sites only with dogs, but you can get paid to care for cats as well.

If you’re good with tools, there are people who need your skills around their homes. Marketplaces like Handy make it easy to sell your services as a handyperson. Simple tasks such as cleaning, painting, and furniture assembly make it easy to get started on this site. You can, however, offer more advanced services. The site also connects electricians, plumbers, and other professionals with customers in need.

Because of the variety of services it handles, pay rates on Handy can vary quite a bit. On the low end, cleaners make about $22 per hour. For more skilled jobs, you can make $45 per hour or more.

There are many ways to make extra money for the holidays this year. Whether you just need a few extra dollars or a second income, these side hustles can help you.

About the Author

Duncan Ryan

Duncan Ryan is a long-time professional freelance writer with a focus on finance, economics, science, technology and medicine. A lifelong independent learner, Duncan is always on the search for the next exciting challenge.

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