The holiday countdown is on, which can translate to stress if your gift-giving budget is slimmer than you would like. Before you resort to regifting or buying a knockoff version of this year’s trendy toy, consider supplementing your income.
But this isn’t the time to finally start a knitting business or to get your first freelance client. Instead, try these quick ways to make extra money to spend on the people you care about.
1. Sell old gift cards
You probably have a gift card or two from last holiday season that’s been gathering dust in your wallet. Sites like Gift Card Granny and Cardpool let you sell gift cards, usually for a discounted price. Cardpool says you can get up to 92% of the value for gift cards you sell there, depending on the brand. Or, why not use those gift cards to buy holiday gifts, like the latest “Star Wars” Legos for your niece or stand-mixer attachment for your brother-in-law?
2. Raid your closet
You could make money the old-school way by clearing out old clothes and taking them to your nearest consignment store. If you don’t want to lug a bag to the store and drag a slightly lighter bag home, you can set your own price and sell clothes in your community on Facebook, either through Marketplace or local Free and For Sale groups. Take lots of pictures of each item you post, and try to exchange the item for cash in person.
3. Walk or watch dogs
At Rover.com, you can connect with people who need a dog walker or sitter in your neighborhood. This is a good opportunity if you’ve been responsible for walking and training a dog of your own or you’ve watched a friend’s pet in the past. With Rover, it’s possible to get started within five days after a background check, review of your profile and a testimonial or two from friends.
4. Recycle electronics
If you have an old phone or tablet that’s in good condition, you can sell it on Swappa. The site requires it to be fully functional, free of significant wear and tear, and ready for activation. You must also own the device outright, rather than still be in a payment plan. Letgo, a marketplace similar to Craigslist, will let you sell your phone as is. This is helpful if you have a well-worn device that you want to offload.
5. Do odd jobs
Are you handy at something? Sign up at places like TaskRabbit or Fiverr. TaskRabbit, available in 39 U.S. metro areas, can help you get offline jobs, like building someone’s Ikea furniture or helping out with a move. It costs $20 to register. Fiverr helps you get quick jobs online for things like writing blog posts, transcribing audio and programming. It’s free to sign up, but as the name implies, jobs can start at rates as low as $5. Check out what the competition is charging for the kind of work you plan to do.
6. Find seasonal retail work
You have only a short time to take advantage of this option; job site Snagajob says that 94% of holiday-season jobs are filled by the end of November. But there’s still time to seek seasonal work, such as packing and shipping or customer service, at a local mall or retailer. Contact friends in retail to see if they have connections, or look at job boards like Snagajob and Craigslist.
You may not make millions with these gigs, but every extra dollar is one more you don’t have to pull from your everyday budget. And if you have any money left over, you can put it away for next year’s holiday gifts.