With the winter holidays just around the corner, think-ahead consumers are probably wondering how they’re going to make it through 2018’s festivities without suffering a debt hangover in January.

Here’s one solution: Earn holiday money before the season starts and then don’t spend more than you set aside.

Thanks to the rapidly growing freelance economy, almost anyone could earn $1,000—more than the average holiday budget—before Christmas by simply taking gigs in their free time. Need the money before Hanukkah? You’d better get started.

What can you do, where can you work and how much are you likely to earn? Here are five good options from the editors at SideHusl.com:

Stock shelves

As the holiday season ramps up, retailers boost their orders and bring in seasonal supplies. That creates demand for laborers to unload boxes and stock the shelves.

A website called Wonolo  helps connect willing workers with the retailers and warehouses that need extra hands. Pay is usually near minimum wage, but jobs are plentiful.

Walk and watch pets or houses

Plenty of people with pets will be looking for pet- and house-sitters during the holiday travel season. Two websites—Rover and Wag—allow potential dog walkers, house and dog sitters, to create profiles and advertise their services.

You set your rates on Rover; Wag has fixed pricing, which varies by city but averages $20 per walk. But, before you jump to the conclusion that you’ll earn $40 an hour with Wag, realize that Wag takes a whopping 40% commission.

Still, $12 per half-hour ($15, if you’re walking two dogs at the same time) works out to a decent hourly rate. Rover, by the way, takes just 20% of your pay.


With the holiday party season in full swing, plenty of parents will be looking for babysitting help. You can find these jobs in two ways—posing a profile on any one of a dozen child care sites, such as Bambino or Urban Sitter, or running a free advertisement on a neighborhood site such as Nextdoor. Naturally, you can also do both.

Drive people

People who drive for Uber and Lyft lodge plenty of complaints about the platforms. Uber, for instance, is constantly changing its driver terms to raise the platform’s fees and pass on less to the actual driver. However, drivers can still make considerably more than minimum wage—even after vehicle expenses—if they’re willing to drive during high-demand periods, such as weekend nights and holidays.

With online shopping all the rage, the demand for delivery drivers exceeds supply.

If those hours, or the prospect of carting around potentially inebriated party-goers, doesn’t appeal to you, there are also driving opportunities for people during the day. Several platforms, including  RideZum and HopSkipDrive, connect background-screened drivers with parents looking for people able to cart their kids from school to activities to home. Pay ranges from $10 to $30 per hour.

Deliver stuff

With online shopping all the rage, the demand for delivery drivers exceeds supply. That means you can earn nice hourly rates by signing up to deliver packages with your personal car or truck for a wide array of companies.

Some of the better options include Amazon Flex and Roadie, which arranges on-the-way deliveries. Amazon Flex pays upwards of $18 an hour; Roadie pay varies based on the job, rather than the hour.

Another delivery option that’s likely to see strong seasonal demand: Saucey, a site that hires couriers to deliver booze.

This story originally appeared on © SideHusl.com