The holidays are just around the corner and I know lots of us are brainstorming to try and figure out how to scrape together some extra cash for gifts and other things this year. We’re early in October, so there is still some time!
Below, I’ve created a list of the best 25 ways I could think of to earn some extra money now. And when I say “extra money,” that is exactly what I mean. These ideas likely won’t replace your day job if you have one, but they should be easy side earners to fit into your daily schedule.
If you are in need of an actual work from home job before the holidays, you should check the work from home job leads page to see what companies are needing help right now.
25 Ways to Earn Extra Cash For Christmas
#1 – Rewards Sites That Pay Fast
Rewards sites are very popular online right now because they make it super easy to earn a little extra. Most of them will give you redeemable points or cash for doing things like short tasks, printing coupons, searching the web, playing games, offers, surveys, and any number of other things.
Here are a few that pay fast:
- Quick Rewards – Pays daily.
- Swagbucks – Pays usually within 10 days, often sooner. The Penny Hoarder has a great post you can check out with more info on how Swagbucks works.
- MyPoints – Pays within 4-5 business days if you opt for Paypal cash.
- Bing Rewards – Usually pays within 24 hours after you redeem. Unlike Swagbucks, Bing gives you guaranteed credit for 30 web searches a day.
- InstaGC – If you redeem for an Amazon (or any other type) of gift card, you can get it as soon as you redeem it. Absolutely no waiting at all.
#2 – Survey Panels That Pay Fast
Survey panels are also good for scraping up occasional extra money. After you’ve registered with the below panels, you should get occasional survey invitations to your email.
The panels below are known for paying quickly and they have low cash-out thresholds:
- YourWord – Usually pays with one to three days after you redeem. Low $5 cash out threshold.
- Opinion Outpost – Payments are usually made instantly after you redeem. The cash out threshold is $5 for Amazon codes and $10 for Paypal.
- 1Q – They pay .25 to .50 per question answered, and payments are made instantly via Paypal.
- I wrote an eBook based on my seven years of experience taking paid surveys if you want to learn more about it and have access to a list of 50 more legitimate panels to join.
#3 – Rate Music
You can use Slice the Pie to earn extra cash for rating and writing short reviews for new music. It’s easy, but take care to make sure your reviews are very detailed and well-written. You can redeem as long as you have $10 earned, and pay outs are made on Tuesdays and Fridays with Paypal.
#4 – Install Qmee On Your Browser
Install Qmee in your Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, or Opera browser, and then just sit back and use the internet as you normally would. When you search for things on Google, Bing, Amazon, Qmee will occasionally pop up in your sidebar with some sponsored links. And every time you visit a sponsor, you’ll earn anywhere from two to fifteen cents (most seem to pay around eight cents).
Qmee pays instantly when you cash out with no minimum required for redeeming.
#5 – Start Doing Usability Tests
You can get paid quickly for doing short, 15-minute usability tests for companies that need their websites evaluated. This involves speaking into a microphone from your computer and navigating around the websites you’re assigned, stating what you like/don’t like about the usability of the sites you test. Most of these tests pay you around $10 to $12 each, and you’ll have to watch your email for invites to do them.
#6 – Get Cash Back On Your Grocery Shopping
If you have a smartphone, you can download the Ibotta app and begin earning cash back on many grocery purchases. Simply check to see what the featured products for the week are and how much they pay if you buy them. You’ll probably also have to answer a short survey or watch a video about the product.
Then, scan your grocery store receipt proving that you bought the item(s) and Ibotta will pay you cash. You can redeem your earnings at just $5, and the money goes instantly into Paypal. Trust me that this adds up if you use it every time you shop.
#7 – Start Turking
Use Amazon mTurk to get paid for doing short tasks. They have all kinds of little odd jobs posted, including data entry, surveys, transcription, and more. You only need $1 to request payment to your bank account or you can just use the money to shop at Amazon. Another good site for short tasks is CrowdSource.
#8 – Complete Tasks With Your Smartphone
There are some easy to use apps out now that you can download and get paid for doing little odd jobs around your town. Example – taking pics of displays in stores, answering surveys, evaluating your experience at various businesses. Kind of like mystery shopping. Also, many of these apps will pay within just a day or two after your tasks have been approved.
#9 – Trade Stuff In at Amazon
Did you know that you can trade in your electronics, books, movies, video games, music, and iPhones to Amazon? And you don’t have to have purchased the item from Amazon originally to trade it in. Amazon will tell you the amount they’ll give for your stuff after you submit it. Then, once you’ve shipped it to them (free), they will send you an Amazon gift card for that amount. Go here to submit your items or here to read our review on how it works.
#10 – Sell Your Crafts & Handmade Items
If you are crafty and you can make stuff that will sell, you can easily sell it online at Etsy. The great thing about Etsy is that, as soon as your item sells, you get paid to Paypal. There is no waiting on your money. Etsy does charge a very small listing fee per item. Go here to visit Etsy and get an idea of what you could sell. I also have a list of other places to sell your crafts if you want other options.
#11 – Sell Your Smartphone Photos
Smartphones are getting so advanced that many of them are actually capable of taking decent quality photos. So good in fact, that there are sites that will buy them from you! If you’re a good smartphone photographer, you can post some of your pics up for sale at Foap, Scoopshot, and Clashot to name a few.
#12 – Have a Virtual Yard Sale on Facebook
Most cities have a virtual yard sale group or page on Facebook where you can buy, trade, and sell items with people in your local area. This can definitely be lucrative if you have a lot of stuff you want to unload quickly. Just do a search on Facebook for “(name of your town) online yard sale.” If nothing comes up, try the name of neighboring town or even the name of your county.
This goes without saying — but be safe with these transactions! Any time you’re meeting up with someone you don’t know, you need to do so in a public place.
#13 – Help Others Learn English
If you know English, you can earn money chatting online with others who are trying to learn it through a site called Cambly. You don’t need any teaching experience, and you can work whenever you want. You will need either a computer with a webcam or a smartphone with recording capabilities to do this. They pay .17 per minute of talk time, and you can get paid twice a month with Paypal. You can learn more about how the site works here.
#14 – Do Some Ghostwriting
If you have at least average writing skills, there are a few sites you can apply with online and get paid to do ghostwriting. If you’re not familiar with what ghostwriting is, it’s basically getting paid to write content for people who need it. You get paid, but you don’t get credit for writing. Two popular sites like that that tend to have lots of work and pay weekly are Textbroker and Domainite.
#15 – Use the Swagbucks TV app
Swagbucks (mentioned above under rewards sites) happens to have a very lucrative little app called Swagbucks TV that you can download and watch videos on. It’s possible to earn up to 50 Swagbucks a day watching videos via their app, and then you can earn an additional 150 Swagbucks per day watching videos via Swagbucks on your desktop. That’s 200 Swagbucks per day just for watching videos, and it only takes 450 to get a $5 Amazon card — so do the math. It should be possible to get at least $20 in Amazon codes per month just watching videos.
#16 – Use the Perk TV app
Another app that gets high praise for being lucrative is Perk TV. This is another one you can use for watching videos kind of like Swagbucks TV (above), only with Perk you can set the app to run the videos in a continuous loop — kind of a “set it and forget it” type of thing. There are many people who let Perk run almost non-stop on either their mobile device or an older device they’re not using and are able to earn enough points for $5 – $10 to Amazon per week. Go here to read more about how Perk works.
#17 – Sell Your Textbooks
If you have any used textbooks laying around that you don’t need, there are several sites that will pay you pretty quickly if they can use them. The books will need to be in excellent or good/gently used condition to be accepted. Some good options for this include Sell Back Your Book, Cash4Books, and eCampus. Note that Cash4Books may also accept other types of books — not just textbooks.
#18 – Sell Your Old Phones
You can sell your old iPhone — or any phone — and earn some money whether it’s in working condition or not! There are many sites that will pay you for your outdated phones and they don’t all pay the same. I recommend using Gazelle.
#19 – Take Video Surveys
Mindswarms is a reputable site that pays $50 if you qualify for and complete their mobile video surveys. I believe that most of the time they send payment via Paypal within 24 hours after you’ve done a survey for them. I have not used this site myself, but many of my readers have and claim to have been paid. There’s no guarantee how often you’d get in on a study, but it’s a quick and easy $50 if you do get in on any between now and Christmas.
#20 – Do Some Phone Mystery Shopping
CallCenterQA has telephone mystery shops you can do that pay $5. Most people report being paid within just a day or two of completing calls. They pay via Paypal and are open to US only at this time. Note that there is no guarantee of how many calls you’ll get invited to do, some people have said they stopped getting invites after just a few calls while others may have more steady work. I have list of other sites you can do phone mystery shopping for here.
#21 – Do Some In-Person Mystery Shopping
If you don’t mind leaving your house, you can also earn some extra money doing some in-person mystery shopping. You’ll most likely get invited to do more shops if you live in an area where there are lots of stores, so if you live in a very rural area, making money with this will require some travel that may or may not be worth it depending on the price of gas. There are lots of mystery shopping scams out there, but some reputable mystery shopping companies you can feel safe applying to include Market Force, A Closer Look, MSI Services/Trendsource, and BestMark.
#22 – Sell Your Computing Power and Earn Money
SpotCloud is something you can sign up for where you make your computer power available for sale when your computer is idle. You can read more about SpotCloud and how it works here.
#23 – Do Some Forum Posting
Most of us don’t associate forum posting with something you can be paid for, but you can. I’ve personally used Postloop to earn extra money posting on various forums. It’s not great pay, but you only need $5 to request your earnings and they almost always pay with Paypal on the same day you cash out. Go here to learn more about how Postloop works and read my about my personal experience with the site.
#24 – Clean Out Your Kid’s Closet
If you’re like me, most of your kid’s outgrown clothes go into a bag and then get sent straight to the goodwill store. However, if you have any that are in good or very gently used condition, you could send them to ThredUp and get paid for them instead. The way it works is you have to order a bag from them, stuff it with the clothes you want to sell, ship it to ThredUp (the shipping is pre-paid) and then wait for them to appraise your items. Once they have, you can get in cash the amount they think your clothes are worth.
#25 – Share Your Expertise and Get Paid For It
You don’t have to have a teaching degree to get paid for sharing your skills with others, and the internet is filled with ways to do this. You could do it live via a Google Helpouts session, or you could spend time creating an online course that you can sell over and over again at Udemy. My guest post at The Penny Hoarder has a little more information on how both of those sites work.
More “Extra Money” Resources
First off, my sister has a blog called Extra Cash & Rewards where there are weekly reviews posted for things like survey panels, smartphone apps that pay, product testing sites, and more. That site has been around since 2011 and there are a lot of posts so you may find some more ideas there.
Second, I have found a little gem in the “Beer Money” sub-Reddit on Reddit. This is a very active community filled with people who are looking for extra money, and they have not only great ideas for getting it, but also strategies for making those great ideas work. Several of the apps and sites I listed above are mentioned there along with commentary and tips for making the most of them. Definitely check it out!
I genuinely hope this post has given you some ideas for earning a little extra before the end of the year whether you choose to try them all or just a few. Every little bit you can earn will help!
I would love it if you would share any other ideas you might have in the comments below. Good luck!This post may contain affiliate links. Please see the disclosure for more information.
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