21 Creative Ways to Make Extra Cash Before Christmas

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Here are 21 ways to make extra cash before Christmas, including legitimate work-from-home opportunities, and how to trade in your junk for maximum profit!

Friends, family, and fun activities…..that’s what the Holidays are all about, right?

Well, kind of.

For some of us, this time of year can cause a huge strain on the budget, and if you’re not careful, you could end up paying for gifts, food, and decorations long into March. While ideally you should start saving for Christmas in January, it never hurts to earn a little extra before the big day, and if you can do so without getting a seasonal part-time job at a retail store — thats even better!

Here are 21 creative ways to make extra cash before Christmas, including all sorts of legitimate work-from-home opportunities, and how to trade in your junk for maximum profit.

How to Make Extra Cash Before Christmas:

1. Cash in Last Year’s Gift Cards

Do you still have a few gift cards form last year stashed in your wallet or thrown into the back of a kitchen drawer? If none of those gift cards can be used to purchase gifts for this year, consider cashing them in or exchanging them through my new favorite site, Raise.

2. Purchase a Table at a Local Vender Fair

Vender fairs are all over the place during the Holiday season, and most are accepting new applications up until the day before the event. If you have any sort of craft that you enjoy making, or have the best homemade recipe for jam, cookies, or other types of desserts, rent a table and get selling! You can search for vendor fair listings in your local paper, or visit FairandFestivals.net.

3. Open an Etsy Shop

If you don’t have any available vendor fairs in your area, open an Etsy shop to sell your handmade creations. It’s super easy to start one up, and the listing fees are not much at all. Plus, folks love buying handmade items for the holidays!


4. Take on Odd Jobs 

It’s easy to take on an extra job at home, rather than apply for a seasonal position at a retail store. Babysitting, dog walking, or house cleaning can be done in just a few hours each day. You can find all sorts of requests on Craigslist for help, and even list your own services! Don’t forget to try Petsitter, Care.com, and SitterCity too.

5. Become a Virtual Assistant

I was a virtual assistant long before I became a full-time blogger, and it was exactly the transition I needed before taking my blog to the next level. If you excel at administrative-type tasks, such as organizing email, moderating comments, and even helping out with social media, there is probably a company who wants to hire you!

The Bootstrap VA is a great resource to get started, and you can find a few current openings at WAHadventures.com.

6. Shop with Reward Apps

Even though you might only earn a few cents or dollars here and there, reward apps are quickly becoming my favorite way to earn extra cash. I’ve already experimented with Savings Catcher, and now I am falling in love with Ibotta (here’s my ibotta app review!). I have also heard good things about Checkout 51 and Receipt Hog.

7. Sell Upcycled Furniture

If you enjoy dabbling in refinishing furniture and creating pieces of art from thrift store or garage sale finds, why not turn around and sell them? My blog buddy, Jenna, from Rain on a Tin Roof, did that with the most adorable table {I seriously need to consider moving to her area!} She suggests listing the pieces in Facebook Yard Groups, which you can learn more about here.

8. Trade-in Your Stuff on Amazon

I used to sell books on Amazon all the time, but after the shipping and listing fees, I maybe walked away with $2 at most. That’s where Amazon’s Trade-in Program comes in. You can list all sorts of books, music, movies, and electronics, then ship it with a prepaid label and earn an Amazon gift card. Super easy!

9. Advertise on Fiverr

If you haven’t heard of this website yet, Fiverr is a place where you can buy and sell for just $5 a piece. For example, if you can create nice-looking images, offer a logo or graphic for $5. Likewise, if you’re a good writer, offer a 400-500 article for $5. It might not seem like much, but it’s a great start if you’re looking for extra cash!

10. Sell on Consignment

Do you have nearly new, branded clothes still hanging in your closet? If you are ready to purge some unneeded items, bring them to a local consignment shop in exchange for store credit or extra cash when it sells. Psst…you might even find some reusable Christmas gifts in there too. Just be sure you know your recipient well enough that you’re sure she won’t mind!

11. Earn Gift Cards through Swagbucks

If you commit to put in a little bit of effort every day to fill out surveys, watch videos, and do random searches, you can earn $5 Amazon gift cards from Swagbucks pretty quickly. I always notice a big difference when I’m actively vs passively earning. Sign up here if you don’t yet have an account, and get a $5.00 sign-up bonus!


12. Offer to Take Holiday Photos

Do you have a knack for taking beautiful family photos? Use your expertise to take Holiday portraits for others. Place an ad on Craigslist or Facebook, and let your friends know you are offering affordable photo sessions just in time for the Holidays. Most families I know would jump at the chance to have their photo taken!

13. Sell Your Photos

Take your photography skills even further and start selling your work as stock photos. Companies and bloggers love to purchase these for their posts, especially if they are not especially talented in this area. There are links to submit your samples at iStockPhoto.com, Stockfresh.com, and 123rf.com.

14. Sign up for Direct Sales and Hustle

Working a direct sales business, such as Mary Kay, Scentsy, and Pampered Chef, takes a lot of work to become an income-producing business. However, the Holidays are a time when friends and family are thinking about buying gifts, so if you give it your all, you can effectively sell these items to them at a time when they need ideas most!


15. Take a Survey

Years ago when I was first married, I tried really hard to make extra income by taking surveys. It was a slow process, and I didn’t qualify for all of them, but earning a few dollars here or there did add up! Experiment with VIP Voice and Inbox Dollars.

16. Open Your Home to Airbnb

I’ve become a huge Airbnb convert over the past year—I just love how affordable AND personable each place is! A lot of people are traveling over the Holidays, so this is the perfect time to earn some extra cash. Learn more about how to become a host from someone who made over $4,000 doing it.

17. Give Lessons

Offer lessons in person with an ad on Craigslist or let your friends and family know on Facebook what you can do. Give piano or guitar lessons, or teach others how to paint and finish furniture. Turn your skills into cash!


18. Enter Giveaways

There was a time in my life when I was really into giveaways, I mean, really. I’ve won quite a few little odds and ends here and there when I put in the effort, and some of them made the perfect Christmas gifts. Look for sites with low entries and follow a blog like ILoveGiveaways.com or SweepstakesFanatics.com for notifications on the best giveaways.

19. Become a Mystery Shopper

About the time I started doing those surveys, I also did a few mystery shops as well. It wasn’t exactly fun for my introverted personality, but I made sometimes $20-$30 per shop!

20. Test Websites

Website owners, like me, want to know if our sites are easy to navigate, so we submit our sites to anonymous users so they can then give their initial response and thoughts about each site. You can apply here and earn up to $10-$15 per site.


21. Open a Checking or Savings Account Online

Even though you won’t receive cash right away, earning a sign-up bonus through an online checking or savings account can be extremely helpful in replenishing your cash after the Holidays. I personally love the Rize app!

Just one of these methods might not seem like much of an increase to your income, but add in two or three, and they can go a long way in reducing financial stress around the Holidays. It’s a fantastic option to get your budget prepared for Christmas spending!

Have you ever tried earning extra cash for Christmas?

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.

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  1. These are all fantastic tips Kalyn. 🙂 The key is to find what you are good at and what you love and you can even carry over the money-making skills throughout the year. I’m a single SAHM and it’s because I’m always thinking of creative outside-of-the-box ideas to earn money from home to support my wee little ones.

  2. Never thought about selling old gift cards back, will have to check it out.

    I like the problogger job board for freelance writing jobs. I’ve had much more success getting something there than the typical freelancer sites like oDesk, and the pay is much better.

    Great tips. Thanks.

  3. I love the idea of refinishing furniture and selling it. I see so many good pieces at Goodwill and yard sales. I just may start giving this a try.

  4. Pet sitting is not a job to be taken lightly and is definitely not something you do just a couple of times quick before the holidays. Being a professional and qualified pet sitter requires a client to put a great deal of trust in the sitter. We who are successful in the business have put years of training and work into being the type of person who is able to be trusted with someone else’s home and living creatures. Please take it off your list as a fast, throw away effort to grab a quick buck. I have many clients who, after my first visit with the, pour out stories of horrible experiences they and their animals have had with “sitter” who are just doing it to make a quick buck.

    1. Deb, completely agree that you need to be responsible when considering anyone for a job, especially when dealing with animals! I would never just leave my bunny with anyone, but I am also willing to give someone else a chance who is just starting out, especially if I know them. I did not intend that someone need to go out and start a business right away, but rather ask around with friends and family to see if they can get a couple hours here and there of dog walking, etc, while the owners are at work. Everyone has to gain experience somehow, and I’m sorry that it came across as making a “quick buck”. That was not my intention!

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