Every year, college students across the country look for ways to make money over winter break. And if you’re one of them, you’ve come to the right place.
Fortunately, the holiday season brings lots of opportunities to earn a little extra cash. And while many students opt to spend their winter break avoiding work, you can use the 25 ideas below, to kick off the new year with a nice financial cushion.
So, are you ready to make some money over winter break?
Let’s get started!
Freelancing is a great way to make money over winter break. Come to think of it, it’s one of the best ways to make money at any point throughout the year.
In other words, your money-making potential isn’t limited to winter break.
If you have a unique/marketable skill or talent, you can offer those services to other people or companies.
Freelancing opportunities come in a wide variety of specializations including writing, graphic design, web development, social media management, bookkeeping, voice over, video editing, photography, and so much more.
And the best part about freelancing is that you get to set your own hours and pricing.
Just remember that it will take some time to get traction on your orders, so you should start at least a month or two before you officially go on break. When you go back to school, you can simply set your account as inactive to stop the orders until your next break.
Or, if you have the time, you can just keep freelancing (and cashing those checks)!
Interested in freelancing? Check out a few of our other posts on freelancing:
- 9 Lucrative Freelance Skills You Can ACTUALLY Learn Online
- 17 Proven Ways To Make Money As A Freelance Writer
- 15 Proven Ways To Get Freelance Clients
- How To Make Money Editing Photos (The Ultimate Guide)
- 10 Ways To Make Money Editing Videos
- How Much To Charge For Graphic Design (Pricing Guide)
2. Find A Seasonal Job
Running your own freelance business can be a lot of work and isn’t for everyone.
So, if you aren’t interested in starting your own business, you can always go to work for someone else.
During the holiday season, commercial sales pick up significantly and businesses are always in need of additional help.
Think about businesses that ramp up during this time such as retail, customer service, specialty gift shops, Christmas tree farms, and bakeries.
Many employees take time off during the holidays, so businesses may need help to cover for them.
This is also a great opportunity to find paid internships.
Reach out to some local businesses and let them know that you are looking for an internship and are happy to help over the Christmas break.
Don’t forget to also check with temp agencies.
When hiring temporary help, many companies go to these agencies for their staffing needs.
Therefore, building a strong reputation with a temp agency can eventually lead to a more permanent placement when you graduate.
3. Start A Blog
Blogging is a great way to share your knowledge, skills, and/or interests with other people while building a side hustle.
And the best part is, blogging allows you to create income from advertising, affiliate marketing, and even selling your own products.
Your success will depend on your traffic and will take some time to build. This will require patience and dedication.
However, if you stick with it, you can actually generate a full-time income as a blogger. Seriously, there are tons of bloggers making multiple six-figures per year.
Creating a blog takes a lot of work, but your free time over the holiday is the perfect time to get started.
Start by creating your site and writing and publishing as many posts as you possibly can.
Over time, your blogging dreams might just become your full-time reality!
If you want to start a blog, we recommend setting up a self-hosted WordPress blog through Bluehost. They make the process of setting up a WordPress blog incredibly simple, and they even offer free domain name registration for a year with the purchase of any of their hosting plans.
Important: We are a proud affiliate for Bluehost, meaning we will make a small commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase a hosting plan through one of our links. However, we would recommend them regardless, because their WordPress setup process is so simple, and their customer support is out of this world!
Seriously, if you’ve been dreaming about starting a blog, Bluehost will be your new best friend!
Oh, and if you really want to start a blog, check out a few of our other posts on blogging:
- Blog On A Budget: 10 Low-Cost Essentials For New Bloggers
- 10 Blog Writing Tips To Get More Traffic And Subscribers
- 21 Legit Ways To Grow Your Blog Traffic
- How To Make Money As A Fashion Blogger
- 5 Blogging Secrets Every Beginner Needs To Know
- How Much Does It Cost To Start (And Run) A Blog?
- How Do Blogs Make Money (10 Proven Ways)
4. Sell Your Stuff
Your winter break is the perfect opportunity to do some early spring cleaning.
And after doing so, you could sell some of your unwanted items on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace to earn some extra cash.
Whether you discover some old items laying around your house, or you just choose to sell some of the things you don’t really use, this is a great way to pad your savings account.
5. Become A Virtual Assistant
Many businesses need administrative help but don’t have the budget to hire a full-time assistant.
For this reason, the demand for virtual assistants is rising.
A virtual assistant is someone who works on tasks that can be done from anywhere with a phone or internet connection.
These tasks include everything from scheduling appointments to managing email accounts, and even making phone calls.
Most virtual assistants offer their services at an hourly rate and work with multiple clients. So, depending on what you charge, or how many clients you have, you can make quite a bit of money as a virtual assistant.
During the Christmas season, a lot of schools and daycare centers close or reduce their hours.
However, working parents may not be able to take the time off and need help.
And that’s why babysitting is a great way to make money over winter break!
Even a few hours in the afternoon to finish up some last-minute Christmas shopping can be a life-changer for some parents.
So, reach out to some families that you know and offer to help with childcare (for a fee, of course).
7. Pet Sitting
People tend to travel more around the holidays.
And whether they’re taking a Christmas vacation, or visiting friends and family across the country, their pets still need to be fed, walked, and cared for.
Therefore, if you’re a student looking to make money over winter break, pet sitting is a great opportunity.
Depending on the client, you could potentially earn a few hundred dollars, or even upwards of $1,000 per week pet sitting.
Seriously, pet owners are willing to spend good money to make sure their pets are being well taken care of.
8. Become A Delivery Driver
Delivery and courier services spike during the holiday season as businesses send packages, gift baskets, and other important year-end documents.
Businesses working in foodservice and catering also need help as they provide meals for company Christmas luncheons or parties.
If you own a car and are looking to make some money over winter break, check out job postings for this type of work or reach out to some businesses to offer to help.
9. Shovel Snow
If you live in an area that is known for having a white Christmas (residents of Hawaii, keep scrolling), you might consider offering snow removal services.
There are lots of people who are physically unable or don’t have the time to do this work.
This may require a bit of flexibility since the weather is often unpredictable.
All you need to get started is a good-quality snow shovel and a can-do attitude.
Not only will you make money, but you can save on your expensive gym membership.
10. Make Gift Baskets
Gift baskets are a hot item during the Christmas season.
Not only are they popular, but they can be expensive.
Unfortunately, many gift baskets are generic and leave a lot to be desired.
But therein lies your opportunity!
If you want to make money over winter break, you could create, sell, and deliver unique gift baskets.
If you choose this route, just make sure to price your gift baskets properly. Since beautiful gift baskets take time and money to create, it’s important for you to price them high enough to generate a solid profit.
11. Help Address Christmas Cards
Holiday cards are a huge business in the United States. According to Hallmark, each year, approximately 1.3 billion Christmas cards are sent to friends, family, and clients across the country.
But let’s be honest, it’s easy to let Christmas cards fall down your to-do list.
There is a lot of work that goes into getting them ready to send. Between writing a personalized message, addressing the envelopes, adding postage, and sending them out, the whole process can be pretty time-consuming.
The good news is that you can charge a pretty nice fee to help people (or businesses) with their Christmas cards.
12. Wrap Gifts
Millions of Christmas gifts are wrapped each year. And this is a tedious and time-consuming task that many people (myself included) would gladly pay someone else to do.
Not only is this a great way to make money, but it’s also extremely cheap to start and requires very little skill.
As with any business, do your best to find ways to maximize your profits. For example, you could offer pick-up and delivery services, provide the wrapping paper, or even write personalized messages on each gift.
Don’t forget to also check in with businesses. They usually have hundreds of gifts that need to be wrapped for clients or employees.
13. Hang Christmas Lights
There is nothing better than strolling around your neighborhood checking out the holiday light displays. The problem is, for homeowners, it can hours to make everything look perfect.
Therefore, if you’re looking for a great way to make money over winter break, you could offer to hang Christmas lights and decorations in your neighborhood for a “hefty” fee.
You could even offer your services as a “second set of hands”.
Oh, and to add to your services, you could handle the removal and/or disposal of trees and other decorations at the end of the season.
14. Sell Your Textbooks
The best time to sell your textbooks is immediately after the semester ends.
Since publishers frequently update their books, you want to sell them before the new edition comes out and your current textbooks lose value.
Take advantage of the downtime over the Christmas break to list your books for sale.
15. Apply For Scholarships
With the amount of time that you spend in classes during the school year, it’s difficult to find time to apply for scholarships.
So, use the Christmas break to apply for as many scholarships as possible.
Set a goal for the number of scholarships you want to apply for each day.
Scholarships range in amount, but according to myscholly.com, the average scholarship awarded in the United States is around $3,800.
So, I imagine this goes without saying, but securing just one scholarship can make a huge difference in your financial future!
16. Become A Personal Holiday Shopper
The holidays are always busy. People rush around buying gifts, preparing to host family, or planning a holiday party with friends.
And for many of them, there simply isn’t enough time to get everything done.
To make matters worse, stores are full of people and long lines.
Luckily, you can offer to brave the crowds for a delivery charge.
Just have your clients send you their list of gifts, and let them know that you’ll take care of everything!
Oh, and if you really want to bring home some dough, you could pair your holiday shopping service with gift wrapping!
Talk about a holiday time-saver!
17. Sell Baked Goods
Baked goods and desserts are great items to sell during Christmas.
So, if you have baking skills, you can create a line of cookies, pies, and other baked goods that people can purchase for their family gatherings or parties.
If you want to step up your game, you could even sell cookie decorating kits for families looking for a fun Christmas activity.
18. House Cleaning
People typically host lots of guests during the holiday season. And while holiday get-togethers are fun, it can be stressful preparing for them.
Luckily, if you don’t mind cleaning a few messes, you can offer to help with house cleaning ahead of the visit so your customers can focus on other details or preparations.
Of course, the biggest task is cleaning up after a visit or a holiday party, so don’t forget to offer this service as well.
19. Holiday Party Planner
Planning a party takes a lot of time and effort.
So, if you are organized and enjoy planning events, offer your services to families or companies that are planning to host a party.
Party planners are responsible for sending out invitations, ordering food, hiring entertainment, and decorating. And while that might sound a little overwhelming, you can make bank as a party planner.
And the more experience you have, the more you can charge.
20. Offer Holiday Travel Planning Services
Christmas is one of the hottest times of year to travel as people head out of town to visit family or schedule a much-needed beach vacation to escape the winter weather.
So, if you’re looking for a great way to make money over winter break, you can offer to take on the stress of booking flights, hotels, or other accommodations for a nice fee.
Just make sure to charge a premium for mid-trip services such as rescheduling flights or assisting with restaurant reservations.
Winter break is a great time for tutors, as many parents want their kids to stay fresh on their schoolwork.
For struggling students, this is the perfect opportunity to work on weak subjects and catch up with the rest of the class.
For those reasons, tutoring is a great way to make some extra money.
If you like the idea of becoming a tutor, there are plenty of options available, including in-person tutoring, group tutoring, and online tutoring.
You just need to pick the method that suits you best, and let your friends and family know about your services.
22. Teach Music Lessons
For many people, Christmas break is an ideal time to pick up a new skill or hobby. Therefore, if you can play a musical instrument, you might offer to give lessons to people in your community.
Start with friends and family to find a few clients.
You can also post a listing on Craigslist or local community message boards.
Depending on the instrument you teach, and your skill-level, you can make upwards of $75 per hour teaching music lessons.
23. Drive for Lyft or Uber
Don’t let your car sit over the winter break.
Put it to work for you by becoming an Uber or Lyft driver.
This is a great way to make extra money and set your own schedule.
This can be especially lucrative if you live near a major airport as thousands of travelers will need a ride to and from the airport.
Just make sure you keep your car clean and provide your riders with an exceptional experience.
After all, the more enjoyable of a ride you provide, the more likely they will be to tip you!
24. Resell Hot Christmas Toys and Gadgets
Every year, there is a limited number of toys and gadgets that hit the top seller list.
And these in-demand items can sell for significant amounts over their normal retail price.
If you are lucky enough to get your hands on the latest game console or this year’s Tickle-me-Elmo, post it on eBay and let the highest bidder win.
Don’t forget to keep your receipt in case the item doesn’t sell, and you need to make a return.
25. Assemble Gifts
After all the excitement of opening gifts has subsided, the real work begins.
In other words, many parents end up spending hours assembling the gifts they bought for their kids.
And after all the stress of gift shopping, gift wrapping, Christmas parties, and travel, it’s no wonder that many of them are willing to pay somebody to assemble gifts for them.
So, whether it be a princess castle or a new bike, you could offer to assemble those gifts for a fee.
As you approach the holiday season, start thinking about the ways that you can use the time to make a little money.
Whether you decide to freelance, start a blog, help people wrap gifts, or anything else, we hope this list has sparked a little inspiration for you.
Just make sure that you start early, as it may take you a couple of weeks to get some traction or secure a few paying customers.
In fact, if you start planning a few weeks before winter break, you can hit the ground running and maximize your earning potential.
Now get out there and use your winter break to make some bank!