Sure, the holidays are a great time to make merry, but if you aren’t careful, you could spend months paying for it, literally. Hey, all those parties, presents, and feasts don’t come cheap, so much so that many people end up spending their Christmas bonuses long before they actually get it.
Apart from being careful about your spending, you can also do your bank account a favor by seeking out ways to make extra money during the holidays. Thanks to the generous spirit of the season (people are generally keen to treat themselves and their loved ones during this time of year) and the increased amount of spending money (thank you, Ninang and Ninong, or Boss, if you’ve gotten your 13th month pay already), there’s lots of profit to be had right now and you’d want to be in on it, for sure. Let us show you how:
1. Put your artistic skills to good use.
Hallmark has great writers and all, but their Christmas cards can sometimes feel impersonal. If you’re good at graphic design, why not offer to make personalized gift tag or card layouts for people? You could post your sample layouts from the past or perhaps come up with some Yuletide-themed ones on your social media profiles and charge customers for customized designs.
Those who are good at calligraphy can also write out place cards, menus, and other kinds of paraphernalia for Christmas parties. Those who are having a December wedding would perhaps be on the lookout for a similar service, so try to ask around.
2. Good at cooking?
Why not try part-time catering or making baked goods for sale? It’s inevitable that we’ll forget to get presents for a few people during the mad holiday rush. When that happens, food-based gifts are a no-brainer since anyone who needs to eat will appreciate them.
You can take advantage of that by whipping up goodies like Food for the Gods, brownies, and the ever-dependable crinkles (!). Add a few nice gift boxes from Divisoria to put them in and voila! You’ve got your own little bake sale, and you can bet that your officemates will be more than glad to buy them up as last-minute gifts or as snacks on the road should they get caught in rush-hour traffic.
If you’ve got a bit more skill in the kitchen, you can try to start a small catering outfit. The number of Christmas parties being thrown in offices and homes all over the city alone should give you a reasonable demand for that kick-ass leche flan or embutido you’ve been making for family get-togethers.
3. Wrap it up.
Speaking of last-minute gifts, wrapping them can be quite a chore. Those who have mad gift-wrapping skills (I know someone who can even incorporate an origami fan into their wrapping paper. #Goals.) or even those who simply know which wrapping paper goes with which ribbon can thus offer their services for a fee.
You can also make your own gift baskets by purchasing groceries in bulk and wrapping up different combinations in brightly-colored cellophane. If you can sell them cheaper than for how much the supermarkets are asking, they will certainly sell like hotcakes.
4. Deck the halls.
If interior decorating is more your thing, you can offer to do the holiday decorations for the homes of your friends or family members.
Most Filipinos like to make their living spaces look all dolled up for the season, but a lot of them don’t have the time or the patience for it. To wow perspective clients, assemble a portfolio of your design skills (you can take nice photos of how you’ve decorated your own home) and come up with decorating packages. You can, for example, offer to decorate only the living room, the outside of the house, or the entire living space, all at different price points.
Provided that you price your services competitively enough, you may find this to be a fairly profitable side gig.
5. Organize parties and events.
Social butterflies and perennial partygoers who know where to get the best booze, food, and musical performers can make money out of that skill by becoming part-time event organizers.
Check your Facebook feed for anyone who might be having a major party or event in December, and offer to help out with the logistics. Event organizers charge either a fixed price or a percentage of the total costs. Figure out which arrangement would work best for you and your client, and then take it from there.
6. Ham it up.
Another way to make money off the sheer number of parties during the holidays is to be an event host. All it takes is a well-modulated, pleasing voice, a repertoire of witty jokes, and the ability to put a crowd at ease.
7. Rent out your stuff.
Don’t know anyone in the party circuit and got terrible stage fright? Fear not, you can still make bank by renting out any sound equipment like speakers or microphones (from the karaoke machine you bought many years ago) you may have lying around the house.
It isn’t just sound equipment that’s in demand during holiday celebrations too. Tables, chairs, and even dishes or cutlery can be rented out to both caterers and clients for their party needs.
8. Take photographs.
Christmas is a time for many families to come together, especially if they’ve been apart for some time due to parents working abroad or children studying elsewhere. It’s pretty much guaranteed that they will want to commemorate the occasion with a nice family photograph.
Amateur photographers who have their own DSLR’s can cash in on this by offering to be the person behind the camera. Not only will it be good for your portfolio, but it could be great for your wallet too, so long as you produce photos that are worthy of being turned into Christmas cards.
9. Go caroling.
Okay, so this isn’t the most profitable gig on this list, but every little bit helps, right?
Besides, if you go caroling in one of those exclusive villages where rich people live, you might even get the opportunity to offer your other, more profitable services (i.e., the other side hustles mentioned here).
10. Do someone else’s hair and make-up.
For all you kikay ladies (and guys) out there who can actually follow a Youtube make-up video (I, for one, can’t), why not try being a part-time HMUA (hair and make-up artist)?
With lots of people wanting to look their best during the holidays but in no mood to venture out to the salons and beauty parlors, you can offer to beautify them at home for a good price. Just make sure you schedule your appointments properly so your clients can get to their events on time. As a rule, it takes about two hours to do one person’s hair and make-up and about an hour to travel between appointments in the city. Don’t forget to use a planner too, so you don’t accidentally skip out on a booking.
It’s been said that Christmas is for children, but there’s no reason why it can’t be for grown-ups too. (I know I love Christmas, even if I behave like an adult most of the time.) And not having to worry about where to get the cash for gifts, whether for others or ourselves, will certainly make it easier for all of us to enjoy the delights of the season, right?