Smart SpendingSmart Spending

6 ways to earn extra holiday cash

This time of year may require some work on the side. If you're resourceful, you can find it.

By MSN Money Partner Nov 19, 2012 12:15PM

This post comes from Chris Birk at partner blog Wise Bread.


Wise Bread logoThe most wonderful time of the year is also the most expensive one.


Image: Woman looking at coin purse © Meiko Arquillos, Getty ImagesConsumers of all stripes would probably love to gain some supplemental income during the holiday season. A holiday boost to the bottom line lets you spoil those you care about or simply helps cover your expected outlay. At the same time, more cash gives you the chance to indulge yourself with some fancy holiday snacks, drinks or gadgets.


There are dozens of ways to pick up some side cash to fatten your wallet. Here's a short list of realistic options for consumers to explore:


Pick up a seasonal gig

These jobs are not glamorous, but the retail and service industries depend on temporary, seasonal workers during the holidays. If you're stuck at your office job during the business week, you can still work nights and weekends. That's when you're needed most. Even though the unemployment rate is still high, you have a shot. Just don't pigeonhole yourself into retail. Food services expect more customers, too.


Sell stuff you don't want anymore

Thanks to Craigslist, eBay and, shoppers hit the Internet knowing they can get used items as gifts. Capitalize on this, and get rid of things you don't need or want anymore. Sure, this is a great way to get rid of any junk you have, but also look for rare items that are collecting dust in the basement or attic, especially if there's a seasonal tie-in. Holiday collectibles are obviously in hot demand.

Work the neighborhood

Whether you live in suburbia or a downtown loft, there's bound to be a service you can charge for. Ask neighbors if they'd like you to spice up their holiday decorations. Make it known that you're willing to shovel driveways and sidewalks when snow falls. If you're handy in the kitchen, offer to cater friends' and family members' holiday parties, or work as a bartender or server at those functions.


Be your own boss

Use your skills to land a freelance gig. Anybody can look for freelance work; it's not just for writers. If you're in a band, look for parties or venues that need live performances. Photographers can offer one of the most in-demand services this time of year, so seek work at upscale offices and benefit gatherings. For the more artsy types, look for work decorating inside and outside, making holiday cards or designing storefronts for local businesses. If you have a skill, get paid for it.



You don't have to be 13 years old or in a special club to do this. In fact, many a graduate student has earned spending money by baby-sitting throughout the calendar year. The holidays in particular are a busy time that can generate opportunities.


Seek extra hours at your current job

For those already employed, consider asking for more hours. Full-time employees might be able to earn overtime and get paid time and a half or better. There's no harm in asking. At the very least, your boss will appreciate your attitude.


More on Wise Bread and MSN Money:


Nov 21, 2012 2:20PM
Is that Elizabeth Ho in the top photo? She is so hot !
Nov 26, 2012 1:39PM
Those are all decent ideas but some are not so great,but what I'm doing is simple stuff and its guaranteed work. I work with MCA Motor Club of America and I get paid $80 for every person I signup easy stuff and u can do it from your phone or tablet :P  If you only signup 2 people thats a few extra Christmas gifts right there alone, not to mention u can do it year round if you're interested just go to and click become an associate you can thank me l8r ;)
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.


Smart Spending brings you the best money-saving tips from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.