4 side hustles that could earn you some extra holiday cash

Get creative about how you can make more money.


Americans plan to spend as much money on the holidays this year as they did in 2019, even if it means getting a second job. More than 8 in 10 adults, 84%, said they planned to apply for seasonal work, in fact, according to a recent Monster poll of 3,889 respondents. And for online shopping, people plan on spending even more than in 2019: The National Retail Federation expects American nonstore sales to range between $202.5 billion and $218.4 billion this holiday season, a 20% to 30% increase from last year's levels.

If you're looking for some extra cash to cover your holiday costs, getting a side hustle could be a good idea. Of course, the coronavirus pandemic is still a major factor in daily life, so no matter which gig you choose, it's crucial to adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions' safety guidelines.

Here are four side hustles that could earn you some extra money for the holidays.

Become a proofreader

You could make up to $85 per hour or $100 per project as a proofreader on a website like Upwork or Fiverr. You'll need to have editing experience and a knack for grammar.

Teach classes online

With institutions leaning on remote learning more than ever, you could land a gig teaching your favorite subject. Those who pass a brief interview process showcasing their academic credentials can earn between $14 and $22 an hour teaching one-on-one classes on VIPKid.

If you'd rather create your own online video courses, you can earn cash every time a student buys one of your tutorials through the online course site Udemy. Once you choose a topic and detail the course material, the platform will help promote your work for a fraction of the sales.

The site charges a 3% administrative processing fee when a student buys an instructor's video with a coupon or course referral link and charges 50% on organic purchases when a student buys a video after browsing the site for courses or making a purchase through a promotion.

Now may be a particularly good time to teach online. Since many parents are pitching in to tutor their children, they or their kids may be looking to brush up on a few subjects over their holiday break.

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Drive your car

If you have a car, a smartphone, and some spare time, you could become a driver for Uber or Lyft. Ride-share drivers typically earn between $8 and $11 per hour after the app takes a cut. Both apps take between 20% and 25% of the total depending on the style of service.

The more you drive, the more you can earn. Just be sure you and your passengers wear a mask and abide by the other safety measures laid out by the companies.

Deliver food or groceries

Americans have been ordering in all year, and the demand for delivery drivers (and bikers) could grow throughout the winter. Picking up a gig at Instacart could earn you around $13 an hour, according to Glassdoor.

DoorDash drivers make an average of $14 per hour, while Postmates drivers can bring in $15 per hour, according to Indeed.

Ask your employer what sort of contactless delivery system they have in place and make sure to adhere to the CDC's guidelines on social distancing and frequent handwashing.

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In addition to the side jobs listed above, workers can land seasonal jobs at delivery companies like Amazon or FedEx as they ramp up their staffs to handle the holiday rush.

Many stores even need extra assistance gift wrapping and are willing to pay, says James Bayard, CFP, ChFC, RICP, AIF, of Capital South Wealth Management. "I would imagine with many people remaining distant this holiday season, gift wrapping will likely be in demand."

Get creative about how you can make more money. Whether you take on an extra job or find another way to earn, setting aside a portion in a separate account could help you capitalize on it. A high-yield savings account, for example, lets your money grow through its high annual percentage yield. Or if you're looking toward a future goal like retirement, Bayard says, "you can open an IRA and contribute to the account with your extra income."

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