5 side hustles to earn you extra cash during the holidays

Holiday small business woman gift wrapping presents side hustle
If you’re good at shopping for other people, consider a side hustle as a gift consultant. JGI/Tom Grill/Getty Images
  • If you’re looking to make extra money during the holidays, consider starting a seasonal side hustle.
  • For people with a knack for planning, consider offering gift consultant or travel guide services.
  • If you have a good-sized backyard or living room, you can rent out your space for holiday events.

Ever since the start of the pandemic, I’ve become obsessed with brainstorming new and odd ways to make money. Like so many other people, I lost a big part of my income when the world shut down and COVID-19 erased events, clients, and business meetings off my calendar.

I wanted to find different ways that people could make extra cash (part-time, freelance, or even doing one-off jobs) by putting to use a skill or hobby they already had. I ended up creating an odd job newsletter to showcase these gigs for people who were either in-between jobs or looking to earn more in their free time.

For many of us, the holiday season is a time when we find ourselves eager to spend on the people we love as well as pay off lingering bills by the end of the year. Having a seasonal side hustle that you can start now, quickly and easily, is a great way to pull in cash during these months. Here are five side hustles that can help you do that.

1. Start a holiday decorating business

‘Tis the season of holiday parties, events, happy hours, and get-togethers. This means that businesses, restaurants, and even people throwing house parties are in need of cheerful holiday decor.

You can start a decorating business where you work with customers to hang lights, wreaths, and colorful items around their space to transform it into something Instagrammable for the holiday season.

Reach out to local businesses, restaurants, and stores and show them how you’d decorate their space. You can charge for the time, labor, and decorations and set rates based on the size of the space you’re decorating.

2. Rent out your space

People are looking to host parties, meetings, and even company retreats in comfortable and smaller scale places, instead of hotel ballrooms or conference rooms. If you have a good-sized backyard, living, or dining room, you can put your home on a website like Peerspace or Splacer, and rent it out by the hour.

3. Become a gift consultant

Not everyone is a great gift-giver, but everyone wants to give great gifts. If you have a knack for understanding people and what they’d enjoy this holiday season, become a gift consultant.

Offer your services to people by advertising on neighborhood websites or social media as someone who will shop for gifts for people’s families and friends.

Create a package where you have a consultation with the person to learn about the people on their gift list and then present them with a list of 10 to 15 gift ideas per person and help them narrow it down to the perfect option.

4. Pet or house-sit for people who are traveling

People use the holiday season to pack up and go, leaving behind pets, plants, and homes that need a human to care for them. Consider putting a profile up on a house sitting or pet sitting website offering your services to pet or house-sit during the holidays.

With plant or pet-sitting, you don’t necessarily need to spend 24/7 at a client’s home, so you can take on several clients at the same time. Consider it a paid staycation.

5. Help with last-minute travel plans

Many people are hoping to travel this holiday season, but not everyone has time to plan their own getaways. If you live in a popular destination for holiday visitors, offer your services as a travel consultant to help people find great last-minute deals and offerings.

You can plan their itinerary, recommend the best local hotels and restaurants, and even prepare a list of must-see spots in the area. You can advertise this service on neighborhood websites, social media, or travel blogs.