Here Are The Best Ways To Make Quick And Easy Money Before Christmas

Ah yes, that most wonderful time of year is once again here, so it is time to break out the eggnog, festive attire, and credit card so that you can rack up massive amounts of debt, right?

If you know me, you know that I LOVE Christmas (like, I listen to Christmas music/watch Rudolph/buy gifts year round), so I cannot help but feel giddy when Christmas commercials begin airing on November 1st! While this happy time of year brings great joy, it can also bring great anxiety, as gifts, turkeys, and higher electric bills cost lots of money. 

Before you go opening new charge accounts around town, we recommend checking out our list of the best ways to make extra money for Christmas:

easy christmas money

Become a personal shopper 

Mystery shopping has a negative connotation, but becoming a personal shopper with an accredited company like Instacart? 100% legit! Whether you are wanting to pick up a few hours here and there during the holidays or are looking for something a bit more consistent, there is money to be made as a grocery shopper/deliverer. 

Rent your guest room on Airbnb

You can read A LOT more about the Airbnb opportunity here, so I will just recap by saying that you can rent your extra room or guest house as little or as often as you want, and come out ahead each time.

Open a tiny boutique. 

As you may remember, I recently partnered with Kollectin and was super impressed by their incredible selection of bling and by their business opportunity! How does it work? In their own words, "you get to pick and choose the jewelry you love, and manage everything with a couple of swipes of your phone: keep for yourself, sell, or send back and get something new. It's that simple." (In addition to the business opportunity, Kollectin also has a lot of beautiful jewelry for sale, which makes for that perfect Christmas gift!) To get instant access to the app, use promo code Annie491!

Cash-back apps

If you have been around for awhile, you know that I LOVE me some Ebates... and what's not to love? To use a cash-back app like Ebates, simply go to their site/app, find the online store you're planning to shop at, click the link, and shop. That is literally it! The cash back varies depending on where you shop (it will tell you the cash back percentage on the store's home page), but it is a simple way to earn some extra money here and there.

Take surveys 

Are survey sites legit? Depending on the site? Yes. Can you get rich off of taking surveys? I wish... BUT if you are consistent, you can easily earn cash and/or gift cards, perfect for buying Christmas gifts! (Not sure which survey sites/apps are the best? We recommend Survey Junkie, My Points, and Swagbucks.)

Do quick, odd jobs around town 

Want to make $10+ in less than an hour? Do a few quick audits for Gigwalk! How does it work? In their own words, "Gigwalk is a mobile app for Android and iOS that allows you to find quick jobs (“Gigs”) in your area. A Gig is represented by a pin on the map in our mobile application and can take anywhere from 5 minutes to a few hours to complete and pay anywhere from $3 to $100. Clients see the work Gigwalkers submit through the app on our back-end Gigwalk platform.)" I have completed several gigs since beginning my Gigwalk venture and cannot recommend it enough... you can read a lot more about my experience here.

Flip on Craigslist 

Not to brag or anything, but... I have pretty much perfected the art of the Craigslist flip! Just how does one do it? You can start by emptying out your closet and/or the kids' toy box, OR you can do what I do, which is buy larger toys on sale at Goodwill, clean them up, and then sell them on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist for a profit. Easy peasy, right? To give you an example, last year I bought a Fisher Price playhouse for $2, buffed out all the scuff marks, and sold it on Facebook Marketplace a few days later for $15!

Flip on eBay

While the money may not come as quick as Craigslist, there is still cash to be made on eBay! For those of you who are unfamiliar with flipping something on eBay and what all that entails, it is essentially just finding/buying items like clothes, antiques, electronics, etc., and then re-selling them for a profit. (Side note: I have several friends/family members who sell full time on eBay, so it's great for both chump change and a full-time income.)

Turn your passion into profit 

Do you knit beautiful scarves? Sell them. Bake incredible cookies? Sell them. Create gorgeous jewelry? Do you see where I'm going with this?! My mother-in-law is one of the busiest people I know and -- in addition to working full time -- farms, bakes delicious breads, pours and sella her own candles, and more. If this is something that may interest you, start by marketing your product to friends on Facebook and then expand to groups, farmers markets, and/or artisan fairs.

Babysit 

Whether you nanny during the day or pick up jobs in the evening, there is always a need for trusted caregivers! Not sure where to find your next job? Offer your services to friends or utilize sites like Care.com

Paper route

I know, I know... the words paper route bring up images of teenage boys on bikes, but do you know what? Paper routes are a quick and simple way to bring in an upwards of $1K per month! Picture it: A quiet car, your favorite coffee, virtually no traffic... total dream job, right?!

Earn gift cards with Job Spotter

Have you heard of Job Spotter? It's an app that let's you snap pictures of help wanted signs around town, upload them, and then rack up points to put toward Amazon cards and more.

Cut the cord

This one is more about saving money than it is making money, but have you thought of getting rid of your expensive cable and switching to just over-the-air? We haven’t had cable in nearly 5 years now (and before that got it for free, thanks to my husband’s job) and are amazed by just how much we save by relying solely on over-the-air! Not only is the picture crystal clear, we still get 50+ channels (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, a bunch of oldies/game show/movie channels) and save an upwards of $150/month by not having pricy cable on demand! (My other favorite cable-less hack? We recently downloaded the FREE Pluto TV app on our Roku and get a ton of free news channels, a 24/7 Mystery Science Theater 3000 channel, and even a home channel that airs old HGTV shows from the late 2000’s, early 2010’s.)

Transport food (or people)

This is a super easy and popular way to make money that deserves mentioning: food delivery! Uber Eats and DoorDash are HUGE in the city (especially for us lazy folk who sometimes do not feel like cooking or driving anywhere for food) and give you the flexibility to work as little or as often as you like!

Seasonal Retail

Last but certainly not least is what is quite possibly the most obvious: seasonal retail. If you have someone to watch the kids and are able to commit 20+ hours a week through the new year, you can make some serious cash! To find out who is hiring, check out your local Target, World Market, Walmart, or any other of your favorite stores.

I hope these tips make your holiday season a little merrier, brighter, and greener! Do you have any tips for making extra Christmas money? Please share them in the comments!

Please Note: This post may contain affiliate linking. While these links don’t cost extra for you to use, a percentage of all sales made through these links will help fund future Side Hustle Mom content.

How To Rent Out Your Guest Room On Airbnb (And Make An Extra $1,000/Month)

Please Note: This post may contain affiliate linking. While these links don’t cost extra for you to use, a percentage of all sales made through these links will help fund future Side Hustle Mom content.

I have said it before (just last week, I believe!) and i will say it again: motherhood is one of the busiest, most challenging, yet most rewarding things you will ever do...

...and not only is it all of the above, but it is also pretty freaking expensive, seeing as though kids like to outgrow their clothes every week, eat multiple times a day, and eventually have the gaul to leave you to pursue their future at college.

Speaking of college, did you know that as of this publication, the average cost of school per year is $10,000+, which will only go up more and more by the time our kids and grandkids are ready to go? 

Now that I have got myself both worked up and freaked out, you are probably wondering why I am going off on this irrelevant tangent... well, one of the reasons I wanted to work on the side while staying home with the boys was to put more money into both their savings/college accounts and ours, and I know that I am not the only one, which is why I am constantly on the prowl for potential money-making ideas for busy moms like you. 

Enter Airbnb.

For anyone unfamiliar with the company, Airbnb "uniquely leverages technology to economically empower millions of people around the world to unlock and monetize their spaces, passions and talents to become hospitality entrepreneurs." 

In other words, your spare bedroom becomes a hotel of sorts and you take home the cash.

Obviously, this approach to making extra money is unconventional and not for everyone, but if renting out your spare room, home (if/when you are out of town), or second home sounds like a financial path you would be willing to explore, read on: 

How does renting your space on Airbnb work?

I'm so glad you asked! The first step in the process is to create or log-in to your account, in which you describe your space and location, and receive an instant estimate on how much Airbnb thinks you can earn by consistently renting it out.

Airbnb’s estimate if I rented out our entire house consistently.

Airbnb’s estimate if I rented out our entire house consistently.

Estimate for renting our guest room.

Estimate for renting our guest room.

Obviously, this is just an estimate and at the end of the day, you get to name your own price (also remember that Airbnb does take a 3% cut), but keep in mind that it's a competitive market, so you will want/need to price it fairly.

Once you have your Airbnb account set up, it is time to get even more in-depth about both yourself and your space, which is where you get a chance to tell potential guests a little bit about you (their host), build trust, and then explain the space even more in depth, including amenities, (towels, internet), perks (in-room snacks, breakfast in the morning), and nearby activities/attractions.

One of the great things about using a platform like Airbnb is that you have complete control over how often you rent, so if there is a particular time that does not work for having guests, you can simply block it out on your calendar! Another bonus? You can have as little or as much interaction with your guests as you would like, making this the perfect side gig for introverts and extroverts alike.

Now that you know the basics of renting your space on Airbnb, here are a few do’s and don’ts for getting the most out of your listing.

For visuals sake, the following are pictures of our downstairs guest room… if any of you reading this have an eye for design, please give me your tips for sprucing up this space!

Do: Make the space as clean and comfortable as possible

Whether you hire a professional cleaner or do the deep cleaning yourself, it is vital that your space be spick and span, as it may reflect on both you and your Airbnb rating! (You would hate to walk into a hotel room to find used sheets, dust, and an un-vacuumed floor, so don’t expect that to fly with your guests.)

Don’t: Make the space a shrine to you or your family

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As you can see, we display A LOT of old family photos on the guest room dresser, which is obviously fine when our parents visit, but may not be the best when Airbnb guests are using the space!

Do: Spruce up your space

Not the greatest shots/angles of our guest bathroom, but bear with me!

Not the greatest shots/angles of our guest bathroom, but bear with me!

A pretty shower curtain. Some art deco prints. A colorful bedspread. These little touches can add so much to a room (and are really affordable, if you look around!), and can make your guest’s experience all the more enjoyable!

Do: Add extra amenities

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As I previously mentioned, extra amenities are always a good thing in the world of Airbnb, so get creative with it! One idea: Our basement (where the guest bed and bathroom are located) has a really nice theater room, so I would advertise that as one of the perks of staying at our home.

As you can see, renting your space on Airbnb is a great way to make extra cash, so if you are comfortable with hosting, I highly recommend you look into it! (If one of your reservations is safety — as it would be with me — check out what Airbnb does to keep you, your home, and your guests safe.)

Now I want to hear from you: Would (or have) you host on Airbnb? Let me know in the comments!

How to Rent Your Room on Airbnb

5 Legit Survey Sites That Actually Pay

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Since joining several work-from-home Facebook groups, I have discovered that there are A LOT of scams out there. While work-from-home surveys are a real thing, it should be known that they probably won't make you rich (or ever come close enough to replacing your income), but can make you a little extra money here and there. One of the biggest and most blatant of lies I read about in groups are people claiming they are making $100-some a day by taking surveys... this isn't a real thing, people! If you want to try your luck at legit surveys that will make you some extra moolah here and there, check out these 5 legit survey sites that actually pay:

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1.) Swagbucks: I have mentioned them before and I will mention them again, because not only is Swagbucks a legit company, but they offer their users free ways to make extra money! From taking surveys with accredited companies to watching videos and shopping online via their code, there are countless legitimate ways to earn with the 'bucks.

2.) Survey Junkie: We already established that you will not get rich from filling out surveys, which is seconded on  SurveyJunkie's own website. Now that we have re-established this (apparently) common misconception, let's delve into the fact that you can earn an average of $1 to $3 for each 10-15 minute survey you complete... cool, right?

3. i-Say: With so many supposed survey sites out there, it can be hard to separate the real from the fake, which is why we love long-time companies like Ipsos i-Say, which has been around since 1975 and is now the "third largest survey-based research firm in the world with more than 15,000 employees in more than 80 countries worldwide." Like other sites, i-Say consists of answering questions and racking up points for Paypal cash, gift cards, or sweet sweepstakes entries.

4. Google Rewards: I know, I know; you don't get paid in cash for taking Google surveys, BUT you do get a decent amount of credits, which can be worth its weight in gold if you're an Android user who likes to download movies onto their phone and tablet before boarding a flight with two kids! (Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything...)

5. MyPoints: Last but certainly not least is MyPoints, which I happen to LOVE because you not only make money by taking legit surveys, but by using their search engine, shopping via their link, and watching videos. As if this wasn't reason enough to join MyPoints, you can also refer your friends and receive 10% of their earnings for LIFE. Cha ching!