A coupe of years ago, I had just moved to a new city and wasn't able to go home for the holidays. As a way to keep busy and not get depressed, I decided to get a seasonal job during the holidays working retail at a popular home goods store. I also spent a lot of my free time making money from home since I had so much free time. If your goal is to make extra money during the holidays, here are some tips to help you get started.
Should you get a seasonal job or work from home during the holidays?
If you have the time and want to earn a little extra money, a seasonal job might be perfect for you. Seasonal jobs can last for a few weeks to a few months or longer. This is a great way to earn extra money in a short period.
Who is hiring during the holiday season and do you need experience?
Pretty much every retail store you shop at will be hiring during the holiday period.
If you have a hard time standing all day, you might also consider a customer service position where you can sit at a desk – or telecommute from home- and work with a computer and phone.
You do not need to have experience for most seasonal jobs.
Most employers require you submit a resume or apply online through their website, so make sure your resume is up to date.
Be prepared to answer simple questions during an interview.
Employers typically want people who can work nights and weekends, so make sure you have great availability.
Employers hire all kinds of individuals- students, retirees, stay at home parents, people who already have a part time or full time job, etc.
Do not be afraid to apply for a seasonal job because you don't have any experience. Most places provide paid training.
Criteria when looking for a seasonal job
When I was searching for a seasonal job, I first decided what kind of place I would like to work. As I love home decor stores, I sought out these companies by visiting their websites and checking Craigslist to see who was hiring.
Do you like shopping somewhere? Don't forget you can call a potential store as well and ask if they are hiring for the holidays.
The next criteria I looked at was the typical store hours and if their holidays hours were listed. I knew with a full time job I needed a seasonal job that wasn't open too late; a 10pm closing time was the cutoff time for me.
Finally, I looked at where the job was located and what my commute would be in terms of time and gas. I needed to be able to get to my seasonal job in a short amount of time and did not want to spend too much money on gas (public transportation was not an option).
Seasonal job perks
The great thing with a seasonal job is there tends to be a bit of flexibility when it comes to your schedule. Managers understand many seasonal workers already work full time or have other commitments.
I already had a full time job, so my availability was weekday evenings and one weekend day, usually a Sunday. I asked for 12-20 hours a week, which amounted to two 4 hour shifts on weeknights and one 4 or 8 hour shift on the weekend.
Seasonal job could become a part time job
When I accepted my seasonal job, I actually was hired and started training in October. After the holiday season, I was asked if I would like to stay on as a part time employee. So instead of wrapping up my seasonal job in after the holidays, I stayed on with the company until the spring.
This is a great way to get your foot in the door if you are looking for a part time job!
Depending on where you work, you may be entitled to an employee discount. As a seasonal employee, I was eligible to receive 30% off anything in the store. Once I was hired on as a part timer, my employee discount became 40%.
Potential downsides for seasonal jobs
The biggest downside for many is working on or around the actual holiday itself.
Be prepared that you might have to work really early or really late hours. You also might not be able to spend as much time with your family as you would like to. You need to decide if the pro's outweigh the con's.
How to side hustle from home during the holidays
If you don't have enough time to get a seasonal job, consider trying to make extra money from home. You
can try different side hustles to make money.
Side hustling isn't really a part time job, as it's much more flexible around your schedule. You work when you want. Here's a few ideas to get started with working from home.
These are the best side hustle surveys
Aside from being able to shop online, Swagbucks lets you watch videos that earn you points! These points can then be exchanged for gift cards and cash back. You can earn gift cards to places like Amazon, Target, Starbucks, Walmart – basically places you normally already shop at. You also get a $5 bonus when you sign up here!
This is one of my favorite survey companies. You answer really current questions related to the economy and you also get to see the results. You can cash out for a ton of different gift cards, like Visa, Walmart and more. Sign up here and receive 2,000 bonus points!
I've been using Harris Poll for over 5 years! You simply take surveys and get rewarded. It's one of the very first survey companies I started working with when I started side hustling! Click here to get started with Harris Poll!
VIP Voice lets you earn rewards for completing surveys as well as writing in an online, virtual journal, which makes it different from other survey companies. Sign up here to get started with VIP Voice.
These surveys are on current events, products, food, medicine, etc., and you can earn cash back or gift cards, like Amazon, PayPal and more. Sign up here to get started with Opinion Outpost.
MyPoints is a long time favorite. Aside from using their website to shop online, you can earn a ton of reward points doing their surveys. I have been with MyPoints for ten years, that's crazy.
I've earned a lot of points over the years, simply from taking surveys. I've been all about this side hustle for a long time, ha! If you want to sign up for MyPoints, you can even a cash bonus. Join MyPoints and earn a $10 cash reward!
Cash back websites
When you are shopping during the holidays, you definitely should be taking advantage of earning cash back. There are two ways to do this.
Ibotta is a cell phone app that lets you earn cash back rebates from your purchases. This is by far one of my favorite ways to earn cash back. The money can quickly be transferred into your PayPal account.
I also love this app because you can use it every single time you go to the grocery store or places like Target or Walmart. You just scan your receipt, see what items you purchased have a rebate, and then redeem the rebate. Then you just transfer the cash into your PayPal account.
You can really make a decent amount of cash back during the holidays because so many grocery items you would use during the holidays offer rebates!
What I like best about this app is that many of the rebates aren't brand specific. This means you can typically find a rebate that is for something like “$0.50 off any brand of milk” or “$0.75 off any brand of bread”. The savings add up fast! Join Ibotta and earn a $10 cash bonus!
If you are shopping online during the holidays, you can make mad cash back every time you shop online with Ebates. During the holiday season, they offer extra bonuses too, like double or triple cash back. Your cash back is real money too! It gets deposited into your PayPal account as well.
Ebates will even give you a $10 cash bonus when you sign up. I've earned hundreds of dollars back since I signed up with them a few years ago. The cash back adds up really fast. Join Ebates here!
Start saving, even if it’s only a few dollars a week
Whether you want to start an emergency fund or a vacation fund, you have to start setting some money aside. If you’re like most people and struggle with saving, you should consider using Digit.
I’ve just started using this free program and love it. Digit lets you save money each week from your checking account. What I really like about Digit is that it analyzes my bank account and determines how much I can really save per week. Some weeks it might be $5 and other times it might be $20. You don’t have to worry about overdraft and can contribute less or more if you need to.
As of now, I don’t know an easier way to save money! You can learn more about Digit here.