7 Side Hustles to Make Some Extra Cash This Holiday Take some of the pinch out of January bills by planning an extra source of income now.

By Chirag Kulkarni

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


The holiday season can be expensive, with the average American spending at least $800 in gifts, alone. That's before you've even bought the turkey, hung your decorations or sent your Christmas cards. If you love this time of year, but want to offset some of the cost and ease the January bill hangover, why not make some extra cash this holiday season?

Related: How One Seasonal Company Manages The Full Year

Who knows, your effort might even turn into a viable business you can keep open all year. Check out these ideas for embracing the Christmas spirit without absorbing the cost:

1. Freelance

Freelancing is one of my favorite ways to make some extra money for Christmas gifts, family vacations or anything you are looking to spend money on this holiday season. There are hundreds of websites you can visit to find freelance gigs, whether you are into writing, web development or more.

Some of my favorites are Rat Race Rebellion, Elance, fiverr and even Amazon's Mechanical Turk. All you need to do is go onto these sites to have access to the job offerings. The key to getting more ratings is to get more reviews for jobs you have done.

2. Blog

When I started blogging, I had no clue what tools I should use to get more traffic to my site, what different on-page SEO tactics were or even what I could consistently write about.

All you need to do is create useful information that helps your readers. Over time, your readers will subscribe to your blog and a percentage will convert into customers. Check out this guide to learn more about how to start a winning blog.

3. Sell Christmas trees.

What's it like buying a Christmas tree where you live? Does it take time, hassle and cost a lot of money? Not if you're lucky enough to live in New York. Christmas Tree Brooklyn was launched in 2012 by siblings Morgan and Dan Sevigny. They had a mission to ease the pain of buying a fresh Christmas tree for New Yorkers.

The brothers analyzed the market and realized they could deliver a fresh Christmas tree to their customers' doorsteps that was cheaper than that of their competition. The business has no high overheads. They operate online, which saves on rent. Those savings are passed on to customers.

Related: Entrepreneurs Should Always Be Dabbling in Side Businesses. Here's Why.

Think about where you live: Is there a way for you to improve on the traditional model there?

4. Provide decoration services

These days, families and businesses alike spend a lot of time decorating for the holidays. You can help by creating a business to decorate for people who do not have the time, energy or experience to do it themselves. If you have a good sense of style, you can make your own decorations, decorate outdoors and indoors with lights, holiday plants, glitter balls and more.

The Christmas Decorators began with a small idea to sell decorations for residential customers, but evolved into a thriving full service business. Not only do they sell decorations, but they take the hassle out of putting them up. Start your decorating business by catering to homes; and as you grow, you can expand your services to hotels, businesses and even shopping centers. You can make enough money during the holiday season to last you throughout the year, if you plan things carefully.

5. Get crafty

Ever wanted to try your hand at decoupage, making fashion accessories, candles or pottery? Why not turn your hobby into a business before Christmas? With a small investment you can put your products in front of your customers through peer-to-peer platforms like eBay, Etsy and Amazon.

You don't even need your own website, although a Facebook page to start with would be good. Check out Pink Rose Accessories for Christmas jewelry or Wood "N Stitches for beautiful wooden decorations, to kick-start your creative juices.

6. Help people out

The holidays are a busy time of year. One thing a lot of people lack is time.

Set up your own service which lends a helping hand. You could try delivering last-minute party supplies on your own or join a site like Task Rabbit. An extra pair of hands will always come in handy; and, if you've got time on yours, you can use it to help people get things done.

7. Rent out a room

One of the easiest way to make cash these days is by joining Airbnb or Wimdu and renting out a spare room or apartment. Make sure you clean it out, decorate it nicely and provide all modern comforts possible, such as WI-FI access.

Don't have a spare apartment or room? How about renting your home while you're staying with the family over Christmas? That way, you'll be helping another family with their relatives visiting. The great thing about these sites is that you can decide to accept a guest or not, based on their profile. What's more, payment is guaranteed.

Related: 25 Part-Time Business Ideas

So, there it is: Take some of the pinch out of January by planning an extra source of income now. What starts as a way of covering the cost of the holidays might well be the stepping stone toward something big.

Chirag Kulkarni

CMO of Medly

Chirag Kulkarni is the CMO of Medly, a digital pharmacy in New York City.

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