Make more money during the holidays

Make more money during the holidays

Every Wednesday, we will look into different side hustles as a way to make more money. So far, we have explored  


Making money at parties

Renting your parking space 

now let’s see how you can make money during the holidays.

Be it summer holidays, long weekends or Christmas, there are plenty of opportunities to make extra money if you are willing to work when the majority rests. It can be a great way to make more money on top of a day job, since you are getting the time off anyway. People are on holiday and ready to spend more. Be ready on the other side to cash in their holiday bonuses! Here are a few ideas of how you can make money during the holidays.


Work as an extra


Shops and restaurants are always hiring extra hands during the holidays. Drop your resume a few weeks before, or ask to talk to the manager. If you have a day job, clearly specify your availability for each day of the holiday (public holiday, Sundays, Christmas Eve, etc) and keep in mind there is often extra money to be made when no one wants to work. Spend a New Year’s Eve bartending and you could make as much as a normal week in tips.

Working as an extra is demanding, if your day job also gets tougher during that time, because the quarter is closing or the office is understaffed, make sure you are ready for the challenge of working extra. It can also be a lot of fun, as most of those jobs are staffed by students and young adults so you may even walk out with a few new friends.

You could also try to make more hours at your day job. A few of my past jobs paid overtime at 125% and Sundays or bank holidays double. Working for a day, getting paid for two should make you forget that you are working when no one is.

On a related topic, Tonya explains how you can make money as a TV or movies extra.




If you are a good photograph, you can contact the local mall to be the photographer for the Christmas season and take the kids with Santa, in summer you should get in touch with attraction parks, summer camps, etc.

Unless Santa’s photographer got the flu a week earlier, you should get in touch with your prospects up to 6 months in advance, to beat the competition. Have a book ready or a link to your online gallery to show your work, and for a first gig, offer a reasonable price, or to work on commission/tips.

It is still worth checking around a week before the holiday season if you are empty handed, Santa’s photographer may really be home with the flu.


Make holiday crafts


If you are crafty, you can make Christmas decorations and sell them to your neighbors, on Etsy or Amazon. Try to be early and start selling around Halloween at the latest.

You could put your famous Barbecue Sauce in a nice bottle and sell it in summer, or put a ribbon around your jars of tomato sauce and sell them at the town fair.


Sell souvenirs


As a kid I used to holiday on a small island of the Mediterranean Sea. With a couple of friends we would put  a small stand in front of the house and sell souvenirs to the tourists passing by. My friend was braiding hair with those colorful threads, I was making friendship bracelets and my cousin offered a selection of nice shells and rocks she had painted.

I hate to be a pushy saleslady so it was not really my scene but we did make what seemed like huge money for a 10 year old.

You can choose to buy the souvenirs in bulk (postcards, t-shirts, whatever local memorabilia your town is known for) and try to resell for a profit but may find yourself with unsold items at the end of the season. DO NOT buy anything that says “Summer of 2013” or could not be sold again the following year.


What you can do it make the souvenirs yourself, buy some nice little bottles with a cork and fill them with local sand. Buy a yard of fabric and fill some bags with lavender. Find nice flowers and dry them, to stick them on notebooks and pads.


Sell popular items


For the 4th of July you can buy fireworks in bulk and resell for a profit. Have you ever wondered how those guys who are selling umbrellas in the streets of NYC suddenly appear with the first drop of rain? Offer a product people will think they need, even if it is just for a few days. I remember a very hot summer in Paris and people were going crazy trying to buy AC units. All the shops were sold out. People were ready to pay premium to cool down.

You can sell paraphernalia at a football stadium or your school’s 5K race. Don’t be overly ambitious and bring a few items to sell, then if you sell out, come back with more the next time.


Sell your holiday stuff


Haven’t been skiing in years? List your skis on Ebay just before the first snows. You will get a much higher price than if you sell at the end of the season. In summer, get rid of the fan that has been gathering dust in the garage, the ice cream maker you got for Christmas and never used, and your summer clothes.

You can host a yard sale during one of the first weekends of summer, and have a seasonal items section, it should be pretty popular.

Summer is also the perfect time to sell your bicycle and motorcycle.


 Have you ever worked a holiday related job?

This post was featured on the Money Bulldog, My Personal Finance, Your PF Pro, Hurricanes Panties and Dollars, Carnival of Money Pros, thank you!


Thank you for reading! Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Never miss another post and subscribe via Pinterest RSS feed or email. Or come and say hi on Facebook and Twitter

About Pauline

A 30 something French girl looking for ways to make more money. I blog about real estate, side hustles, improving your career, investing and making money online.

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  1. I spent one winter break during college filling in during the busy season for a local business, doing whatever administrative work they needed done. It made me good money, which I then used to finance my spring break trip to Mexico.
    Matt Becker recently posted…DIY Car Maintenance: How to Change a Car BatteryMy Profile

  2. I worked during the holidays at the mall in a kiosk. I didnt realize how much money those things actually made. The lady I worked for sold fake snow flakes which might seem weird to everyone else but here in Florida it was a hit. She only worked 4-5 months out of the year and easily netted 100k from what she told me. A friend of mine worked as an elf for Xmas but she hated that gig.
    Thomas | Your Daily Finance recently posted…How to Curb Impulse Buying HabitsMy Profile

    • Being an elf sounds tedious but the fake snow flakes gig is great. I met a few people who travel with the seasons, spend summer on a beach bartending and winter in a ski station teaching ski or bartending again in a cold setting. In between they get 2-3 months holidays, and the pay is pretty decent.

  3. I have not worked a holiday-related job, but I definitely would consider taking on some additional work around the holidays. It seems like there is so much work available around that time and it’s almost always temp work so you don’t have to commit long-term.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted…Student Loans: My Biggest Financial MistakeMy Profile

    • There have to be tons of winter related jobs in your area! A friend of mine works in construction so he has a small caterpillar at home. Every time the snow falls he makes about $50 per house cleaning the snow for his neighbors.

  4. I think these are some great ideas. My day job is very slow around the months of November and December so this would be a great opportunity for me. I would be most likely to open an Etsy and sell a craft of some sort.

    • time to start knitting then haha. I would make Christmas baskets with gourmet food, crackers, a bottle of wine… and offer it to companies to give their employees or best customers.

  5. Very good points Paulience, Nice post. I like photography and I am planning to take it up as my new gig and learn professional photography, It is very good idea to convert your passion into money making business
    Rita P @ Digital Spikes recently posted…Quick tips for startups to manage cost and customersMy Profile

  6. Most of the stores in my area hire holiday help. My mom sometimes gets a seasonal job to buy Christmas presents.
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted…Five Ways to Successfully Slack Off at WorkMy Profile

  7. All great options Pauline! Both my wife and I worked extra holiday hours when we were first married. It was a great way to make a little extra money and it was usually for a short time so it was no big deal.
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted…When Should You Start Saving for Retirement?My Profile

  8. I tried to work for about two months in our local government offices when I about 16 years old. I appreciate the way I earned money at that time rather than playing.
    My Wealth Desire recently posted…Wealth Inequality in America and Reality of Income DistributionMy Profile

  9. Some of the local garden stores will come decorate your Christmas tree for you. I think that is the ultimate in laziness, but I would certainly take someone’s money to decorate for the holidays.
    Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted…One Year of Blogging and $100 GiveawayMy Profile

    • agreed, that’s pretty lazy! I lack the eye to turn a house into a Christmas wonderland but that is a great idea. Putting up Christmas lights too.

  10. These are some great ideas. I normally think of the Holidays as a time to relax with family and friends, but there are definitely opportunities to make money if you’re okay with working. I wouldn’t mind making crafts and selling them or reselling something (your fireworks example) at a higher price. It would probably be enjoyable if I just did it for a little while.
    Jake @ Common Cents Wealth recently posted…What to do After You’re Debt FreeMy Profile

    • We used to sell greeting cards around Christmas for charity, the charity would sell them to us for the same price we were reselling, it was a nice way to have more people who wouldn’t necessarily give donate to charity.

  11. I hear those Santa jobs can be decent pay for folks who really fit the bill! But in all seriousness, I know UPS always needs extra help around the holiday and if you can fit their schedule, it’s not a bad gig.
    Tara @ Streets Ahead Living recently posted…Life works itself outMy Profile

    • Is it? I recently published a post about the easiest/hardest ways one made money and a couple of ex UPS workers categorized it as the hardest way.

  12. hmm, where I live you do have to be open to random schedules that can be crazy early morning or really late at night but for a seasonal job, it’s one of the better paying in my area, at least compared to working a seasonal shift at a clothing store. It also requires no major skill sets except the ability to stand for long periods of time, lift heavy boxes, work well with others, and show up to work on time. So for someone without much job experience, it’s a good opportunity.
    Tara @ Streets Ahead Living recently posted…Life works itself outMy Profile

  13. I’ve done the picking up retail work during the holiday thing. I did some seasonal work for a record store a long time ago, and also helped this photographer out a couple years ago with the pick up in business around the holidays…and helped plan his annual christmas party. Craigslist has a lot of those types of job listings.
    Budget and the Beach recently posted…This blogging thing is not just a “hobby”My Profile

  14. I like the photography angle. As for me, I would love to grow my side income by using photography to increase blog views. I know Philip from PT Money uses creative commons on Flickr with his pictures. He just requires that people link back to his site when they use his pictures. I think that is a brilliant idea.
    Nick @ recently posted…What Would Make You Take a PaycutMy Profile

  15. With my parents not really around this season I might actually consider working nights somewhere close by. I have a few clothing stores and a Target that would probably be hiring. The only issue I have is most places expect you to stay very late into the night, and I’d be a zombie at my day job if I did that, so hopefully I can find a place that will be understanding.

    I got my first job at a toy store right around Thanksgiving – they were originally hiring for extra help, and they ended up liking me so much they kept me!
    E.M. recently posted…Frugal Meal #1 – Fettuccine AlfredoMy Profile

    • that is a great idea for easy extra money. the toy store sounds like fun too, especially after the crazy holiday rush when it is only birthday kids.

  16. Bonjour Pauline! I really like your ideas! Selling popular items is such a great idea, there is a lot of money to make that way!

  17. That’s awesome Pauline, you have some great tips here! I remember talking to my wife about doing Santa Photos in the winter when I first moved here for extra money. I love photography so it seemed like an easy way to bring in some cash. I never ever did it but hey, why not if you can.
    Canadian Budget Binder recently posted…Expired warranty: Do you buy expensive cheap junk?My Profile

    • thanks Mr CBB photography is a nice way to make money, Santa’s has to have very long hours around screaming kids though, you have to be tough!

  18. I’ve worked seasonally at malls and shops. Sometimes they just needed some extra help over the holiday rush. It was nice because it paid for Christmas for me, and I didn’t have to scramble because I worked in a mall so I could Christmas shop on my breaks!
    Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter recently posted…4 Ways to Improve Your Travel ExperienceMy Profile

  19. After reading your recent post about making money on Amazon, I’m contemplating buying hot toys for Christmas and selling them on Amazon. I live in NYC and have access to a lot of stores, so this may be a doable plan.
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted…Higher Price, Better Product?My Profile

  20. You need to be careful when selling around stadiums. If it is professional or collegiate it maybe illegal. Especially if you are trying to sell items with team logo’s. You may need a vendor’s license just to sell any items.

  21. I definitely want to do photography as well, but haven’t had the time to do it yet.
    Marissa @ Thirty Six Months recently posted…How To Invest In Property The Right WayMy Profile

  22. Many of my friends are making money on holidays. Some of them go to big cities and stay there to work during Christmas and New Year holiday. They can earn much when they work during the holidays because the salary is high and the tip is also higher than usual.

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  1. […] the month with me, talking about how much you need to be financially independent, how to save more, earn more, and so on, you will be able to decide if that kind of altering life choice is right for you. Some […]

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