Well the holiday season is pretty much upon us. We all know what that means. It's about spending quality time with loved ones, reflecting on all your blessings, eating home cooked meals and just spreading good will to men, right?. Not quite! That's what holidays were suppose to be about. But now it's more about what folks are getting each other, drinking too much, "transgressions" at holiday parties, trying to stop your drunk uncle from embarrassing himself and a whole bunch of other stuff.
I don't know exactly when the holidays became a hot mess but sadly it has. Holidays seem to be relegated to buying stuff instead of the warm feelings of being with loved ones (yea, including that drunk uncle). Look, I'm not casting blame on anyone. Ultimately we're all accomplices to this phenomenon, your friendly neighborhood blogger included. Honestly I'm not that deep. This sudden realization came to me as I was watching the history of Christmas on TLC. This is what happens when my wife & daughter leave me home all day & head to one of their women only family bonding sessions. But I digress.
It's just amazing how much the holidays have all changed from it's true purpose and origins. So I just wanted to throw it out there because I'm sure some of you feel the same way. In any event, this is the holiday beast we created and must be fed. So I decided to create this little article to help you stack them Benjamins. This way we can demonstrate our love to our close ones by buying them "stuff". Lol So here are 7 ways to money with the holidays. Enjoy!
1. Sell Holiday Photos!
I'm going to be real. I hate going through long ass online photo albums. I don't even care if I'm in most of the pictures, what the event is, etc. When my wife and I send pictures I have a limit of about 10-20. Some times less is more. Yeah i know that sounds hypocritical coming from some one that babbles on in his blog. But I draw the line when it comes to pictures and you should too. So this holiday season, instead of torturing people like me with a link to your photo album that takes away an hour of my life that I'll never get back, consider selling your darling pictures online. Some of the most popular websites are www.istockphoto.com and www.shutterstock.com. There are a whole mess of other sites out there that will pay you for your photos. Just do a Google search for the keywords "stock photography" and should find a few sites to choose from.
2. Shovel Snow
This is my least favorite because of my ongoing lower back issues and I'm lazy. But it's definitely a no brainer if you live in an area with a lot of snow. When I was a younger lad and lived in the Bronx I had an elderly neighbor that would pay me about $20 to shovel his drive way. It was guaranteed money all winter long. That was in the good old days when NY actually had consistent winters. For instance, prior to this past weekend, we were still getting weather in the 60's. Go figure! But if global warming hasn't affected your neck of the woods, definitely get into the snow removal business. It may pay for a few holiday gifts this season.
3. Gift Wrapper
I'm probably one of the worst gift wrappers in the world. I don't have the patience to measure how much paper I need. I either cut too much or cut too little. And Lord don't let me wrap a gift that's not a rectangle or a square. Until gift bags became in vogue, I actually would wrap these weird shaped gifts as is. Trust me when I say it wasn't a pretty sight under the tree. That being said there are probably a lot of other dudes in the same boat. Their pain is your cash cow. Advertise your gift wrapping service by setting up some fliers in your neighborhood supermarket, video shop or anywhere that allows it. You may also want to post some local free ads in Craigslist. Why not give some family members or friends a phone call or email. They will probably be an easy sell and can refer you to their friends. By the way, If any of you offer this service in White Plains, NY, holler at your boy. I have a stack of gifts that are waiting for your services.
4. Write about the holidays.
I've been on this earth for many moons and I've picked up a few tricks along the way, especially when it comes to shopping. For instance, any time I shop online on a site like Amazon.com or Overstock.com there is usually an option for coupons or promotion code at the end of the check out process. Most people ignore this. But not me. I head straight to Google.com and do a search for "Amazon.com coupons" or whatever the store name happens to be. Then I look at the search results, visit the sites and find some codes to use. Once I find a few, I head back to Amazon.com or the store I'm shopping at and enter the code or codes I find to see what type of discount I get. Most of the time I do and save myself some cash or get free shipping. That's a little secret my wife takes to the bank regularly. So what does this have to do with holiday money making? Well one it saves you some money. (You're welcome.) But more importantly you could also head to a site like Examiner.com, AssociatedContent.com or any writing site that pays and write an article about your holiday tips, recipes, secrets, traditions or whatever related to the holidays. Depending on the site you choose, you can make some decent pocket change by doing this. So give that a shot. I'm pretty sure you all have some holiday tips you can share with the world.
5. Holiday Shopper
In my inner circle I'm known for a lot of things, work at home, sarcasm, being anti-social, tech savvy, wittiness, good humor, husband extraordinaire, super dad, amazing humility and the list goes on and on. lol But seriously one of my best assets is my internet research skill. I can pretty much find anything I want on the internet if I work hard enough at it. But one of my best skills is finding online shopping deals. My family and friends know they shouldn't buy anything substantial related to technology without consulting me. If they fail to heed this warning, they will have to suffer my sarcastic wrath all day long. This usually consists of a barrage of "I could have found that for you a lot cheaper had you emailed a brother". "Wow, I didn't know you liked flushing money down the toilet, maybe next time you can throw it my way". Needless to say you get the point and so do they. So If you're pretty savvy at finding deals online, you may want to offer your services to family, friends, co-workers, or strangers. You could charge a flat rate such as a percentage of the total amount spent as you shop for your client. Or if you're smart, you don't charge them a dime. Instead head to a site like BigCrumbs.com that pays you a percentage of money for shopping online at brand name online stores. This way you can shop for your clients and get paid to shop by BigCrumbs.com instead of charging your client. Who wouldn't accept that offer? Or just shop for yourself. Either way you make money holiday shopping. It's not a lot but its something. I've made some money doing it and it definitely works.
6. Holiday Babysitter
I've learned a few things as a parent. One, taking my daughter to dinner in public is an exercise in patience. I've managed to fail that class a few times and don't plan on doing it over. Two, shopping with your kids during the holiday is as fun as prostate exam performed by a doctor with the hand steadiness of a wash machine on it's last leg of life. It's something else I think most people should pass on. That being said it's an opportunity for you to make some money. Why not give your family members, friends a call or email? Let them know you'll be happy to babysit at a reasonable rate as they go shopping. Everyone wins in this situation. The mystery of Santa is preserved for the kiddies and your pockets gain a little weight for the holidays. Isn't that better than on your tummy or butt?
7. Surf the Web!
Recently I've been using this search engine called Swagbucks.com for all my web surfing needs. Imagine if Google paid you every once in a while when searching their site. After all they make a gazillion dollars a year. Why couldn't they throw a few stacks your way? Unfortunately they don't but Swagbucks.com does. It's not rocket science. You basically just visit SwagBucks.com. Sign up for a free account. Then start using their search engine instead of Google or whatever one you currently use. (Honestly, why would you be using any other engine besides Google? They're the best for a reason.) Every once in a while as you search on Swagbucks.com you win some swag bucks. It's basically some reward system that can be redeemed for prizes or more importantly cash! I've been using them for a month now and have made some easy money! You already know I rarely use those words in a given sentence. I have a review coming up about this company. But knowing my habits on the holidays, I figured i should mention it now. Chances are you're going to be doing a lot more surfing in the last couple of weeks for gifts, recipes, holiday events, and your usual surfing habits. You might as well get paid while you're doing that stuff. After all you've been doing it for free all this time. Why not make some money with it? By the way, did I mention Swagbucks.com is partially powered by Google's search results so you wouldn't be missing out on relevant websites by replacing Google with it. So what are you waiting for? Get your swag on!
That's all folks! I hope you enjoy my tips on how to make money this holiday season. My bad about the rant earlier. But I do want you to give this holiday season a little more consideration for its true meaning. It's been a rough year for everyone. So this year I really want you to focus on all your blessings and NOT the stuff you don't have or can't buy your loved ones. If you're here to celebrate another holiday with them, then you've already given them the best gift they'll ever have. So let that marinate in your mind and rid yourself of any negative feelings for not being able to buy your family as much "stuff" this year! If you can't do that, then at least I've given you the gift of some ways to help you through that.
P.S. If you're looking for more traditional work at home jobs, you can always visit my work at home companies page or my weekly work from home job leads. I know someone is bound to ask the question so I might as well beat you to the punch.
Let me know what you guys think about this little list of mine. Find any of these particularly useful? Have you tried any of these and made money? Chime in below.