Between party threads, cross-country travel and gifts galore, the holiday countdown is on — meaning your wallet is feeling the heat. While we’re all for creating a holiday shopping budget (and sticking to it, of course!), we know a thing or two about best laid plans. To help you recoup some cash, create wiggle room in your budget, or even pad your savings because you’re just that good, here are a few ways to bring in extra money this season.
Sell Off Old Gift Cards
If you’ve got leftover gift cards from holidays past, you’re sitting on a pile of money. Sites like Cardpool will buy your physical or e-gift card for up to 92% of the card’s value. (You can choose to be paid by mailed check or an Amazon gift card.) Raise, an exchange site, lets you list cards at your own price. You get the cash by direct deposit, PayPal or check minus a 12% selling fee once another buyer scoops it up. And on Gift Card Granny, earn cash or swap it for a gift card to another store.
Clean Out Your Closet
Inspired to do a closet purge or just need more room for all your holiday swag? Get ahead of the game by reselling your gently-used clothes now. Online thrift store thredUP sees a 14% spike in apparel listings the week before Christmas, and a 59% increase the week of Christmas. If you get your items on the market now, you’ll beat the upswing in supply, especially for their most popular brands including Lululemon, Vince, Kate Spade handbags and Steve Madden shoes. Bonus: You’ll get your stuff in front of other holiday shoppers looking for party outfits, jewelry, handbags, cold-weather accessories and winter gear.
Take Care of Your Neighbors’ Pets
If you’re not traveling for the holidays, first of all, congrats on avoiding the traffic and the crush at the airport. Also, congrats on being available to watch over all the cute pets in your neighborhood who can’t join their humans on vacation. If you’ve exhausted your neighbor list — or don’t talk to them in the first place — try Rover. You can sign up to provide services including dog hosting in your own home, dog sitting in the owner’s home, dog walking in the area or doggy day care. You’ll set your own rates anywhere from $10 to $150 per day or per walk, and take home 80% of your earnings.
If dogs aren’t your thing, there’s PetSitter, where you’ll get connected with pet owners in need of pet sitting, walking, grooming and boarding for dogs, cats, fish and beyond.
Rent Out Your Room
If you’re hitting the road or just have an empty room to spare, consider renting it out to travelers. Renting on Airbnb is one of the most lucrative side hustles, according to a recent report from Earnest. Hosts earn an average monthly income of $924. Even a fraction of that cash from a few days or weekends could be worth the effort of setting up a listing and putting fresh sheets on your guest bed.
Offer Up Your Parking Spot
Maybe you’re not open to having strangers in the house, but what about renting out your parking spot? Services like ParqEx, Spot and ParkingSpotter can help you do so. With Spot, for example, you’ll pin your parking space on the site’s map, upload a photo of the space and list its availability and rate by the hour, day, week or month (most sites will suggest a range to work with). You can be paid by direct deposit, PayPal or Venmo, minus a 20% commission fee.
Sell Stock Photos
You can only Instagram so many dreamy photos before you start spamming your friends’ feeds, so why not sell some to earn cash? Stock image sites like Shutterstock and iStock will pay contributors royalties — from a few cents per image to more than $100 each time your photo is downloaded. Members of Foap, another stock image service, can earn $5 every time an image sells, and its contests offer winnings of $100 or more for everything from the best holiday baking photo to the most stylish fashion shoot.
Take On A Micro-Job
Not afraid to brave supermarket crowds? Can you design a holiday party invite in minutes? Or have a free hand to offer catering support? Post your skills on Fiverr or services on TaskRabbit. How much you rake in depends entirely on how much free time you have and the rates you set. And with all those errands that need running or new gadgets that need assembling, quick projects here and there can help keep your budget merry and bright through the New Year.