Easy and Lucrative Side Hustles to Try This Holiday Season for Extra Pay Amid Inflation and High Interest Rates From selling templates to pet sitting, here are some "easy" side hustles to help you make extra money this holiday season.
- "The holidays do represent a good time to earn some extra money if you can squeeze it into your schedule," Bankrate's Ted Rossman said.
- Pet sitting and renting through Airbnb are two holiday side hustle options.
- Selling items is a low-lift side hustle people could try over the holiday season too.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
It's the holiday season, and workers are finishing up for the year and prepping their out-of-office messages while also thinking about budgeting for holiday travel and considering who they still need to get gifts for.
While some people may be able to lean on a bonus or pick up more shifts at work, others may be looking for a side hustle to help pay for holiday expenses.
Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate, told Business Insider that given high inflation and interest rates, side hustles are especially relevant.
"I feel like just about everybody's looking for extra money these days, and the holidays do represent a good time to earn some extra money if you can squeeze it into your schedule," Rossman said.
Holiday side hustle options have changed as the economy has shifted over the years.
"You are more likely now to find a side hustle related to let's say delivery or warehousing or something like that as opposed to being like a checkout clerk in a physical store," Rossman said. "I feel like if we were to go back 10 or 15 or 20 years that was the kind of holiday hiring. It was people in the physical stores to process transactions, help shoppers do gift wrapping, things like that."
He added that e-commerce or delivery jobs, such as for DoorDash, are more common holiday hustles today. Business Insider asked a few side hustlers what gigs to try if you want to make some money during the holiday season.
You can sell items as a simple way to start
Taron Teague is a stay-at-home mom with two kids who has tried some side hustles to help supplement the family income while staying at home with her children.
She tells her friends who are curious about side hustles to start simple.
"Go into your garage, look around your house. What are things that you can sell that you don't use anymore?" Teague said. "Putting them on Facebook Marketplace is the fastest, easiest."
She said selling items through Poshmark is another good option but she believes it takes some more effort than selling through Facebook Marketplace. For instance, she said she thinks the pictures you post there "matter a little bit more."
Teague earned $56 for pants she didn't need anymore that she sold on Poshmark. She sold a dog crate that wasn't being used anymore through Facebook Marketplace for $35. Some other successful items sold include a dining room table for $70 and a few chairs for $20.
Another simple way to start could be looking at what you do at your regular job and making a side hustle based on those skills. Rossman said while you have to look out for non-compete agreements, "some of the most lucrative are times that you can leverage your day job in sort of the classic moonlighting sense."
"We actually see a lot of older people doing this as kind of a semi-retirement sort of thing that maybe easing out of the workforce, doing some consulting work, leveraging some of the skills and contacts they've built over the years," he said.
You can try Airbnb
One major side hustle for Teague is hosting through Airbnb.
She lives in the mountains of North Carolina and said it can be touristy during the fall and summer. Her family started renting out part of their split-level home on Airbnb last year. She said when she was house-hunting while pregnant, she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom and was looking for a place that the family could make rentable.
Taron Teague sitting in the Airbnb portion of her house, which is a split-level home in North Carolina. Courtesy of Taron Teague via BI
While her family is not hosting on Airbnb this December, she said that if "you live in a place people visit around the holidays, it's a great holiday side hustle."
Teague said there are many options for Airbnb, such as just renting a bedroom. And it doesn't just have to be for the holiday season. For instance, in October 2022, Teague's payouts on Airbnb added up to nearly $1,900. She made a pretty similar amount a year later in October 2023.
Babysitting, pet sitting, or house sitting are also options
Rossman, the senior industry analyst at Bankrate, said parents may be looking for babysitters during the holidays, so that might be another side hustle option.
"Maybe you can watch their kids while they run errands or shop or do other things," Rossman said.
Meghan Lim in North Carolina said she's been doing pet sitting as a side hustle for a few years now, starting when she was in college. She's now a financial analyst and still makes extra money through pet sitting.
Meghan Lim. Courtesy of Meghan Lim via BI
She said she's done pet sitting through apps, but she now does it privately too. Working privately means clients can pay her directly and can avoid service charges.
Lim said she has raised her rates since she first started. She said she thinks many of her higher-income clients are "willing to pay a premium for their pets to be taken care of."
She also can house sit while taking care of pets, which she says tends to pay more than just dog walking. While this can include walking dogs too, house sitting can also mean giving necessary medication, feeding the pet or pets, and giving them attention, she said.
"I would stay overnight, spend a lot of my time with the dog, and because I work remotely, it helps that I can bring my laptop wherever I go," Lim said. "Pet sitting kind of feels like a free Airbnb but with a dog. But you're also getting paid."
She noted overnight stays could typically earn her between $100 to $150 a night but it really varies given the number of dogs or cats she's watching and if it's the holidays.
She said she can typically make around $1,000 a month from dog walking, drop in visits, and pet sitting. She suggested to people starting pet sitting starting with $50 to $60 a night as their rate, but she also suggested to check other rates where they live.
"Especially during the holiday season, it's nice because if you're not spending it with family, you could charge extra as a pet sitter," Lim said, noting that people may be looking for this if they are going out of town.
You can make content about products or to market another side gig you have
Lim has also done content creation as a side hustle. She thinks it's "a super lucrative side hustle that anyone can get into" but notes it does take time and effort to do things like editing videos.
She said she's been doing it consistently for a few months.
Lim also recently started selling a budget template she made for people trying to get their finances in order.
"I released my template, I put it on sale for $5, and I basically marketed it to look like, 'Hey, instead of shopping for Black Friday, why not get this template to help you fix your finances for the new year?' And so I've been generating a lot of sales from that," Lim said.
In the three weeks since she started selling the template, she's already made a net figure of $1,900 off over 200 orders.
She said she offers one-on-one coaching "with people who need some more help with their money."
Lim suggested user-generated content as a good side hustle to try during the holidays given anyone can get into it and you don't need to have a following to start.
"People want regular people to make videos about their products," Lim said. "Around the holidays people are shopping and people want to push out their products a lot during Black Friday, Christmas time."
Lim made hundreds of dollars for a few short user-generated content videos.
You can also try delivery apps or the Amazon Influencer Program
Ryan, who makes videos evaluating different side hustles, said in an email to Business Insider that retail delivery apps are good holiday hustles given the demand for these services. Ryan said they can offer incentives, "making them an excellent choice for those looking to earn quickly, especially to fund holiday expenses."
Ryan. Courtesy of Ryan via BI
He thinks the Amazon Influencer Program could also be a good option to make money during the holiday period given Amazon's traffic during this time. Ryan said "having the 'on-site commission' feature unlocked can be highly lucrative."
"Although the payment process includes a 60-day holding period, meaning the earnings are available post-holidays, the potential for substantial revenue is significant," Ryan said.