It’s almost that time of year again. The holiday season is upon us and you may find yourself needing extra money. The holiday season can be hard if you are on a tight budget.
Not everyone is able to set aside money for Christmas early on. However, you can still earn $500 before Christmas by using some clever techniques. I love earning extra money so my husband and I always keep a side hustle. There’s just nothing better than being able to earn some extra cash on a whim – especially when the holidays roll around.
If you need extra money for gifts, decorations, or anything else, here are 7 smart and real ways to earn $500 before Christmas.
1. Sell Items Online
If you ever want to make money fast, consider selling items online. You can sell literally anything to make a quick buck. If you have old old clothes, toys, tools, or electronics, start listing items online to sell for extra cash. Sites like Offer Up and the Facebook Marketplace make it easy to sell your old stuff quickly and painlessly.
It may sound like a challenge to make $500 by selling things online, but you really just need to comb through all your old stuff and be proactive. Set a goal and break it down to make the amount more attainable. For example, you may try to sell about $150 worth of furniture, $50 worth of clothes, and $50 worth of toys to start. Focus on items that may sell really well like electronics even if they don’t work. If you have an old smartphone, for example, you can still make $100 or more by selling it online.
2. Deliver Food
Another easy way to make $500 before Christmas is to deliver food during your spare time. Apps like DoorDash and GrubHub are always looking for new delivery drivers and will pay you well for your time. You can earn around $15 per hour or more with most apps. This means to make $500, you just need to work about 10 hours per week for the next 3 weeks.
What’s great about food deliver apps is that you can get signed up and start working very quickly. You will need a vehicle, scooter, or some transportation to deliver the food. Another thing you’ll need to do is pass a background check. Then, you’ll be ready to start working and making money. Set your own hours and deliver restaurant meals when it’s most convenient for you. Sites like DoorDash pay weekly or you can request your payment earlier.
3. Write For Money
Writing for money is one of my favorite ways to make $500 before Christmas. You don’t have to be the best writing in the world or have a writing degree to make money contributing articles online. You just need some basic grammar skills and a level of expertise as it pertains to the subject you’re covering.
There are plenty of sites that will pay writers for guest posts. Or, you can reach out to bloggers and see if they pay writers for articles. As a beginner, you can typically earn anywhere from $50 to $100 per article to start. This is enough to get you well on your way to earning $500 for Christmas. Writing online can even be an ongoing gig that can help you earn extra money during the year. That way, you always have extra money for the holidays and other needs.
4. Sell Crafts on Etsy
Consider cashing in on your creativity and selling crafts on Etsy for extra holiday cash. Etsy is a popular marketplace where you can sell your homemade and digital goods to people all over. It’s easy to open your own Etsy shop and start listing your creative products. Etsy does take out a small fee when you make a sale but the platform does an excellent job of setting you up with a professional digital storefront so you can connect with customers.
Whether you want to do woodworking, sell homemade soaps, or make your own jewelry, Etsy is a perfect place to start selling your creations. Choose a price point that will make selling on Etsy well worth your time and effort. Again, work backward from the goal of $500 to see how much you need to sell depending on the price point you set.
5. Walk Dogs
Walking dogs can be a fun and simple way to make some extra money. If you love animals, sign up for Rover and market yourself as a dog walker. You can also offer pet sitting services and keep other people’s pets overnight. You can earn anywhere from $15 to $20 per dog walk and around $30 to $45 by keeping other people’s pets overnight.
6. Earn Rewards Online
If you’re short on time, you can still earn $500 before Christmas by trying out different rewards sites. The key is to just get started now. Sign up for Swagbucks and Inbox Dollars to earn money by completing short tasks. Both sites will pay you to complete surveys, watch videos, and try out different offers. You won’t get rich on these sites, but you will earn some extra cash with very little time and effort on your part.
Another rewards site you can check out is Rakuten which pays you cashback for online shopping. If you’re spending some money on online purchases anyway, you might as well sign up for Rakuten for free and make some cashback. Finally, consider taking some surveys during your spare time to maximize your earnings. Sites like Survey Junkie, Branded Surveys, and Pinecone Research are all excellent options.
7. Do a Focus Group
Focus groups are like surveys but they’re often longer interviews that may take place in person. Focus groups also pay more and you can expect to earn anywhere from $50 to $250 for an hour or your time. Mindswarms is a site that provides virtual focus group opportunities that pay around $50. You can also sign up for Respondent to find both online and in-person focus groups to complete.
Doing focus groups is not something that you can rely on for a consistent income, but it can be a great way to earn a few hundred extra dollars fast.
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Summary: Making $500 Before Christmas is Possible
If you need to make $500 before Christmas, you’re not alone. There’s still plenty of time to make extra money. Just narrow down your options and set a schedule to start side hustling for a few hours per week. Odds are, once you get started you will exceed your goal of making $500. By earning extra money for the holidays, it means you’ll be less stressed and can avoid unnecessary debt.