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*Updated for 2018!

Christmas is the most magical time of the year, but it’s also the most expensive. Traveling to visit family, buying gifts, buying ingredients for all of those delicious Christmas recipes – it adds up very fast.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can make money for Christmas and soften the financial blow.

make money for christmas

Get the Ibotta App ($10 Signup Bonus)

Just by downloading the free Ibotta app onto your phone and redeeming your first cashback offer, you’ll get a bonus $10 so I recommend doing this first in your quest to make money for Christmas.

Ibotta is an awesome app that gives you cashback for a huge variety of grocery and personal care items. You simply choose the items you want to purchase, go to your grocery store and buy them, then snap a pic of your receipt, upload it from your phone onto the app and your cashback will appear within 24 hours.

I’ve made over $2200 using Ibotta, and two of the things I love the most about the app are that the cashback offers are not always brand specific (meaning you can get cashback for buying a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk) and that there is often fresh produce cashback offers (which are very rare with paper coupons.) Click here to download Ibotta and get a $10 bonus

Get Paid to Search the Web ($5 Signup Bonus)

Getting paid to do things you already do is one of the best ways to make money for Christmas. Swagbucks is a company that will pay you to complete various tasks online including searching the web, completing surveys, answering polls, watching videos and more.

It’s fairly easy to make enough money throughout the year using Swagbucks to pay for Christmas presents every year, and if you’re willing to dedicate more time, you can make even more money. Click here to join Swagbucks here and get a bonus $5.

Make Money Giving Your Opinion Online

Taking online surveys is probably one of the easiest ways to make money for Christmas. Unfortunately, there are tons of scammy survey sites out there. I’ve tried a lot of them and there are a few I recommend. Two of my top recommendations are:

Top Survey Site Recommendation #1

Vindale Research is a survey company that has been around for a very long time. They always have lots of surveys available. One of my favorite features of Vindale Research is their Daily Studies.

Daily Studies are surveys that change throughout the day. You can participate in the daily studies 10 times per day, and Vindale Research will pay you every time you complete the daily study.

Right now in my dashboard, there are 3 daily studies – one paying $1.25 per study, the other two paying $0.75. If I take each of the studies the maximum 10 times, I’ll make $27.50.

Do this every day and it adds up pretty fast! Vindale Research pays out via Paypal or check. Right now I have $120 in my account, which is pretty good! Click here to join Vindale Research and get a bonus $2

Apps that pay you real money

Top Survey Site Recommendation #2

The second survey site I recommend joining to make money for Christmas is Survey Junkie.

Survey Junkie has a TrustPilot rating of 8.7/10 which is the highest out of any survey site, along with thousands of positive reviews.

One of the most common complaints of survey site users is that if you don’t qualify for the survey, you don’t get paid. Of course, that makes sense because you only get paid for surveys you complete.

However, on Survey Junkie you are still awarded 2-3 points even if you don’t qualify for a survey, which is a big added bonus.

Click here to start making quick money with Survey Junkie 

Join Ebates and Get $10

If you plan to do any online shopping in the leadup to Christmas, then you need to make sure you’re a member of Ebates.

Ebates is the largest cashback site on the web, and the first place you should be going before you start any online shopping.

Whenever you make a purchase through one of Ebates 1000’s of partner sites, Ebates tracks your purchase and gives you a percentage cash back. They have partnered with all of the major retailers (think Target, Walmart, Amazon, JC Penney, etc.,) and thousands of smaller retailers so you’re sure to find some of your favorite stores on the list.

I currently have $225 I’m going to receive soon in my Ebates account. Join Ebates here and get a bonus $10 after you redeem your first rebate.

Ebates - Apps that pay you real money

Make Money Scanning Barcodes

Shopkick is a free app that pays you for doing things like entering a store and scanning barcodes.

Shopkick is sort of like a treasure hunt – you just enter the store (which you can earn up to 350 “kicks” for doing) then you find the products that are listed on the app and scan the barcode. You’ll be rewarded with “kicks” for both entering the store and scanning barcodes, which you can then exchange for gift cards to places like Amazon, Walmart and Target.

Click here to download the free Shopkick app and get a bonus 250 kicks.

See If Stores Owe You Money With Paribus

Paribus is a free app that works on your behalf to see if any stores owe you money.

A lot of people aren’t aware that many stores do price-matching, and they will actually refund you the difference if the price drops even after you purchased an item.

However, nobody has time to constantly check prices online, which is why Paribus was created.

You simply link Paribus up to your email account and they’ll scan all of the receipts for your online purchases. If they find a price lower elsewhere or notice that the price has dropped, Paribus will act on your behalf to get a refund of the difference.

You don’t have to do anything, Paribus does this all for you and the money will be refunded back into the same payment method you originally used.

You can read my full Paribus review here.

Make Money Petsitting

If you love animals and have some extra space in your house, then you can make some extra money for Christmas by becoming a petsitter with Rover.

Rover is the pet equivalent of It’s free to create a profile with Rover. You keep 80% of your fee while the remaining 20% goes to Rover for things like advertising, administration, etc. Click here to become a Rover petsitter.

Make Money as a Tasker

TaskRabbit is a website that matches people who are looking for small tasks to be done around their house with a “tasker” who completes the job for them.

Examples of things that people might be looking for include:

  • Furniture assembly
  • Cleaning
  • Small home improvements
  • Help moving house
  • Yard work

Once you’ve submitted your profile on TaskRabbit, you’ll be able to see all of the requests for help in your area.

Once you’ve completed the task you’ll submit your invoice to TaskRabbit and they collect payment from the customer. TaskRabbit will pay you once per week, and any tips your receive, you get to keep.

Submit your application to TaskRabbit here.

Drive for Lyft and Earn a $300 Bonus

If you are over 21 years of age, own a smartphone, have your own car, a drivers license and a clean background, then it’s possible to make some good extra money driving with the ridesharing company, Lyft.

One of the great benefits of Lyft is that in addition to your hourly rate, you get to keep 100% of the tips you make. Some people make as much as $800/week just driving Friday nights and weekends.

For a limited time, Lyft is paying drivers a $300 bonus if you complete 100 drives in 30 days.

Apply to become a Lyft driver here.

Make Money Donating Your Plasma

Did you know that there are medical research companies that will pay you as much as $60 for your plasma? You can usually donate a maximum of two times per week with at least two days in between donations.

If you’re not queasy at the thought, then this can be a relatively easy way to make some extra cash. One of the biggest plasma donation centers is called Grifols, and they have locations all over the United States.

Have a Yard Sale (Virtual or In-Person)

Yard sales are a great way to declutter and make some extra cash. At my last yard sale, we made almost $400 for just a few hours work. We had an in-person yard sale in our actual yard, but you could also hold a virtual yard sale on Facebook or even Instagram.

If you decide to hold an Instagram yard sale, make sure you research relevant hashtags and make it very what the “rules” are.

It’s a good idea to put the rules in your bio, on each listing, and to create an image with the text “LISTING RULES” and then list the rules of your sale in the description.

Most people will get buyers to comment “SOLD” and then their Paypal email address. And make sure you make it very clear whether the buyer is responsible for shipping costs or not.

If a traditional yard sale is more your style (honestly, I think they’re kind of fun!) then make sure you read my top tips for having your most profitable yard sale ever.

Make Money Mystery Shopping

Mystery shopping has been around for decades, and Bestmark is one of the most well-respected companies that hires mystery shoppers. Since it’s Christmas, you’ll likely be spending quite a bit of time out shopping anyway, so adding in a mystery shop here and there is a good way to make some extra money.

This is how mystery shopping with Bestmark works – you simply go to your assigned establishment and act as if you’re a normal shopper. For example, if it’s a restaurant, you’ll simply sit down, order your meal, pay and leave. The only difference is, you’re taking note of certain things, like how attentive the waitperson was, whether you received a receipt, how clean the floor was, etc.

Then you come, log into your Bestmark account, answer the required questions and you’re done.

The payment rate varies depending on location and assignment, but you’re looking at around $20-$25 on average. Click here to apply to be a Bestmark mystery shopper.

Clean Out Your Closet

Selling your pre-loved clothes and shoes is a great way to make some extra cash, declutter for the New Year and free up some closet space.

I go through my closet at the start of every season and list everything that I don’t love on Mercari or ThredUp (my favorite clothes selling apps.) You can either use the credit from your sales to purchase items or just cash it out.

Here’s the link to Mercari. (use the code GGXFQB and you’ll get $2 off your first purchase.)

And you can join ThredUp here to get a bonus $10.

Sell books on Amazon

If you have any books laying around the house that you don’t read anymore, sell them on Amazon.

Amazon is the go-to place for buying books for millions of people, so if you list your books for a fair price, you shouldn’t have any trouble selling them and making some extra cash for Christmas.

Amazon will deposit your earnings every week directly into your checking account. Go here to sign up for a seller account and start making extra money.

The expenses associated with Christmas can definitely add up fast, but hopefully these 10 ways to make extra cash for Christmas will help lighten the load this year!