The holidays are just three months away. It’s a time of year that’s filled with joy, but it can also put a major strain on your bank account. Household savings expert, Jeanette Pavini, went on Hallmark’s Home & Family Show this week to discuss ways you can earn extra cash around the holidays. What’s great about these moonlighting jobs is they are possible even if you don’t have time to take on a second job. They are simply fun ways to pick up some extra cash and take a little pressure off your budget during the busy holiday season.
1. Focus Groups
Get paid for your opinion. Oftentimes companies want to test out products before they hit the market. That means you can get paid to taste foods, rate product packaging, try new clothes and more. Sometimes you will get paid even more if there is a homework assignment. For example, keeping a food diary or making a collage before you come on site for the focus group.
Pay: It varies. It can be as little as $30 for 15 minutes and as much as $300 for longer, take-home studies.
Get Started: Search for market research companies in your area. Sign up for their database and they will contact you when they have a survey that looks like a good fit. You can also find a directory at quirks.com/tv.
2. Mystery Shopper
Businesses hire mystery shoppers so they can get a handle on customer experience. Sometimes mystery shoppers will be asked to do certain things like make a return. Afterward, you fill out a report. Often it consists of simple yes or no questions. You typically get paid more if the study requires a niche type of shopper.
Pay: In my area, I found assignments for $15-$105.
Get Started: Try Mystery Shopping Providers Association for a list of mystery shopping jobs and information on how to apply.
3. Poll Worker
Every election, thousands of people are recruited to serve as poll workers. Some counties even have programs for high school students, which is a great way to get your kids involved in the voting process and make a little cash in the process.
Pay: Amount varies by county. In San Francisco, poll workers are paid between $142 and $195 for working on Election Day.
Get Started: Visit your county’s website or contact their Department of Elections to find out more information about applying in your area.
4. Online Tutor
If you’re knowledgeable on a specific subject and are looking for an extra job with very flexible hours, then online tutoring may be for you. Some websites require you work a certain number of hours per week but it can be as little as five. Course topics range from basic math and English to calculus and economics. Tutor requirements vary by site, but most require a bachelor’s degree or current enrollment in college.
Pay: Around $10-$20 per hour depending on the course. You can get paid more for higher level, niche courses.
Get Started: To get started on a site like Tutor.com, you will need to fill out an application, take subject exams, do a mock tutoring session and then pass a background check.
5. Dog Boarding
Pet lovers can make some extra money and give dog owners an alternative to the kennel. You set your own rate, choose when you can board, and which dogs you’ll accept. It’s free to sign up and create a profile, but sites will typically take out a 15% fee every time you get paid for hosting.
Pay: Starts at $10-$15/night, but charging $30-$50/night is common.
Get Started: Sign up at DogVacay.com or Rover.com. Add plenty of pictures to your profile. Hosts with at least three photos of their home get 95% of the business on DogVacay.
Around the holidays, we tend to spend a lot of time surfing the web for that perfect gift or eggnog recipe. Might as well get rewarded for all of those searches. Search through Bing Rewards, get credits and redeem them for gift cards to places like Amazon.com, Starbucks or Fandango. You can also donate them to the charity of your choice in the spirit of giving back.