Easy and lucrative side hustles to try this holiday season for extra pay amid inflation and high interest rates

 As the holiday season approaches, many workers are wrapping things up at work, setting up their out-of-office messages, and making plans for holiday travel and gift-giving. Some might be considering a side hustle to help cover their holiday expenses, especially given high inflation and interest rates. According to Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate, finding extra income is a concern for many people, and the holidays present a good opportunity to earn more if they can fit into their schedules.

Holiday side hustles have evolved with the changing economy. Years ago, seasonal hiring typically involved in-store roles like checkout clerks or gift wrappers, but today, side hustles are more likely to be related to delivery, warehousing, or e-commerce. Delivery and e-commerce jobs, such as those with DoorDash, have become more common holiday hustles.

Business Insider interviewed several side hustlers to find out which gigs are worth trying during the holiday season.  

You can sell items as a simple way to start

Taron Teague is a stay-at-home mom with two kids who have tried some side hustles to help supplement the family income while staying at home with her children.

She tells her friends who are curious about side hustles to start simple.

"Go into your garage, look around your house. What are things that you can sell that you don't use anymore?" Teague said. "Putting them on Facebook Marketplace is the fastest, easiest."

She said selling items through Poshmark is another good option but she believes it takes some more effort than selling through Facebook Marketplace. For instance, she said she thinks the pictures you post there "matter a little bit more."

Teague earned $56 for pants she didn't need anymore that she sold on Poshmark. She sold a dog crate that wasn't being used anymore through Facebook Marketplace for $35. Some other successful items sold include a dining room table for $70 and a few chairs for $20.

Another simple way to start could be looking at what you do at your regular job and making a side hustle based on those skills. Rossman said while you have to look out for non-compete agreements, "some of the most lucrative are times that you can leverage your day job in sort of the classic moonlighting sense."

"We actually see a lot of older people doing this as kind of a semi-retirement sort of thing that maybe easing out of the workforce, doing some consulting work, leveraging some of the skills and contacts they've built over the years," he said.

You can try Airbnb

One major side hustle for Teague is hosting through Airbnb.

She lives in the mountains of North Carolina and said it can be touristy during the fall and summer. Her family started renting out part of their split-level home on Airbnb last year. She said when she was house-hunting while pregnant, she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom and was looking for a place that the family could make rentable.

Taron Teague is sitting in her house
Taron Teague sitting in the Airbnb portion of her house, which is a split-level home in North Carolina. 
Courtesy of Taron Teague

While her family is not hosting on Airbnb this December, she said that if "you live in a place people visit around the holidays, it's a great holiday side hustle."

Teague said there are many options for Airbnb, such as just renting a bedroom. And it doesn't just have to be for the holiday season. For instance, in October 2022, Teague's payouts on Airbnb added up to nearly $1,900. She made a pretty similar amount a year later in October 2023.

Babysitting, pet sitting, or house sitting are also options

Rossman, the senior industry analyst at Bankrate, said parents may be looking for babysitters during the holidays, so that might be another side hustle option.

"Maybe you can watch their kids while they run errands or shop or do other things," Rossman said.

People may also need a pet sitter or a house sitter while they're busy or traveling over the holidays.

Meghan Lim in North Carolina said she's been doing pet sitting as a side hustle for a few years now, starting when she was in college. She's now a financial analyst and still makes extra money through pet sitting.

A photo of Meghan Lim
Meghan Lim. 
Courtesy of Meghan Lim

She said she's done pet sitting through apps, but she now does it privately too. Working privately means clients can pay her directly and can avoid service charges.

Lim said she has raised her rates since she first started. She said she thinks many of her higher-income clients are "willing to pay a premium for their pets to be taken care of."

She also can house sit while taking care of pets, which she says tends to pay more than just dog walking. While this can include walking dogs too, house sitting can also mean giving necessary medication, feeding the pet or pets, and giving them attention, she said.

"I would stay overnight, spend a lot of my time with the dog, and because I work remotely, it helps that I can bring my laptop wherever I go," Lim said. "Pet sitting kind of feels like a free Airbnb but with a dog. But you're also getting paid."

She noted overnight stays could typically earn her between $100 to $150 a night but it really varies given the number of dogs or cats she's watching and if it's the holidays.

She said she can typically make around $1,000 a month from dog walking, drop-in visits, and pet sitting. She suggested that people starting pet sitting starting with $50 to $60 a night as their rate, but she also suggested checking other rates where they live.

"Especially during the holiday season, it's nice because if you're not spending it with family, you could charge extra as a pet sitter," Lim said, noting that people may be looking for this if they are going out of town.

You can make content about products or market another side gig you have

Lim has also done content creation as a side hustle. She thinks it's "a super lucrative side hustle that anyone can get into" but notes it does take time and effort to do things like editing videos.

She said she's been doing it consistently for a few months.

Lim also recently started selling a budget template she made for people trying to get their finances in order.

"I released my template, I put it on sale for $5, and I basically marketed it to look like, 'Hey, instead of shopping for Black Friday, why not get this template to help you fix your finances for the new year?' And so I've been generating a lot of sales from that," Lim said.

In the three weeks since she started selling the template, she's already made a net figure of $1,900 off over 200 orders.

She said she offers one-on-one coaching "with people who need some more help with their money."

Lim suggested user-generated content as a good side hustle to try during the holidays given anyone can get into it and you don't need to have a following to start.

"People want regular people to make videos about their products," Lim said. "Around the holidays people are shopping and people want to push out their products a lot during Black Friday, Christmas time."

Lim made hundreds of dollars for a few short user-generated content videos.

You can also try delivery apps or the Amazon Influencer Program

Ryan, who makes videos evaluating different side hustles, said in an email to Business Insider that retail delivery apps are good holiday hustles given the demand for these services. Ryan said they can offer incentives, "making them an excellent choice for those looking to earn quickly, especially to fund holiday expenses."

A photo of Ryan
Courtesy of Ryan.

He thinks the Amazon Influencer Program could also be a good option to make money during the holiday period given Amazon's traffic during this time. Ryan said, "having the 'on-site commission' feature unlocked can be highly lucrative."

"Although the payment process includes a 60-day holding period, meaning the earnings are available post-holidays, the potential for substantial revenue is significant," Ryan said.

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