Facing Holiday Debt? 5 Ways to Earn Extra Cash

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This post comes from Kimberly Winkowitsch.

Who has not experienced that heavy feeling that comes after Christmas when the bills start coming in?

For that matter, any time of year can bring times of need for extra income. A job layoff, extra medical bills or extra debt can leave us feeling crushed if we don’t have a plan to regain control of a budget.

Finding some financial solutions is often just a matter of being creative. These ideas can help you to jump right in and get control of your finances.

1. Substitute teacher

Do you have a good rapport with children and basic educational competence? Teachers need fill-ins whenever they are sick or take vacation days.

The flexibility to choose the days that you work makes this an excellent choice for a job that can be used to fill in around another work schedule or other responsibilities. You can even choose the classes that you want to teach and the age levels that you enjoy working with.

If the competition is stiff for substitute teachers, though, you may be putting yourself at a disadvantage if you say no too many times. Being accessible and someone the faculty can depend on gives you a leg up on the competition. Teachers can request certain subs, so trying to please them is in your best interest.

On the other hand, most teachers don’t expect their subs to have the level of expertise in their field that they do. They do expect a sub to keep control of the classroom, keep the students working, and communicate any problems to them.

Different school districts have different requirements for substitute teachers. Some require basic responsibility and trustworthiness, while others require complete teaching credentials. All school districts will require background checks and fingerprinting for the safety of the children. Check with your local school district to find out the local opportunities and requirements.

2. Temporary janitor or kitchen sub

It takes more than just teachers to keep a school in operation. Janitors and lunch crew workers need fill-ins when they miss work, too. The hours for the lunch crew are usually shorter than a teacher’s workday, but if your available work hours are limited, it just might suit you. Janitors work year-round, so a substitute job can extend into the summer when many schools are on summer break.

Background checks and fingerprinting are usually required for these jobs, as well. The local school district office can steer you in the right direction for these positions.

3. Snow removal

Do you own a broom, snow shovel and some warm winter clothing? Those are all that you really need to remove snow from the porches and sidewalks of your neighbors. Busy parents and elderly people are likely to appreciate someone who will help them keep their walkways safe. If it’s snowing and you have some free time on your hands, hit up those neighbors and earn some cash.

Those same customers might just transition with you into summer yardwork like mowing lawns and trimming hedges.

4. Handyman work

If you have basic handyman skills, you have opportunities. You might be surprised to learn how many people have almost no proficiency for fixing things around their homes. Also, those who work long hours would rather pay you to complete their fix-it chores than do it themselves.

All you need are some basic tools, an advertisement in the newspaper, or even just word of mouth, and you can boost your income with a very flexible job. This job is a winner because the need for basic repairs around the home isn’t going anywhere. Put those skills to use and make a homeowner happy.

Note: If your work expands into a full-blown small business, you will need to consider things like liability insurance and workers’ compensation. The Small Business Administration website has a wealth of information about all things business-related, including insurance responsibilities.

5. Seasonal package delivery

Keep this one in mind for next year: Some delivery companies hire temporary help during busy seasons to keep things moving.

UPS hires people to ride along in the trucks to assist the drivers during their busy seasons. Not all locations hire these extras, so check locally to see if this is a possibility for you. This website will steer you in the right direction. According to the UPS website, job opportunities can change quickly, so check back frequently if you don’t find what you want immediately.

The U.S. Postal Service hires temporary help during busy holiday times, so check in your area next year to see if there are openings. This link will help you get started.

FedEx offers temporary seasonal work and also has opportunities for independent contractors. Check this site out for availability in your area.

Financial difficulties happen to the best of us, but there are temporary jobs out there that can help to relieve some of the pressure. These jobs can offer the flexibility that you just might need to add to an already full schedule or a full-time job. Start with some of the ideas above and jump right in.