3 Easy Ways To Make Money Over Winter Break

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Woman dressed as elf, waving.

You can definitely find work this winter that does not involve elf ears.

I have a part-time internship for winter break, but I’m in desperate need for extra cash to buy the new Furby Boom I really want … I mean, to pay off my student loans.

I don’t want the commitment of another part-time job and have struggled to find a temporary job for winter break. Luckily, I found three ways to make some extra money over break—although they do have their pros and cons.

Check them out.

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1. Gigwalk

Gigwalk and similar apps are a great way to earn a few extra dollars if you live in the city or an area with restaurants or retail stores. Download the app and find listings near you. Usually you have to take some pictures of a store or restaurant’s interior and exterior and then submit them. The typical amount you earn per store is $5.

Pros: Doing a task only takes a few minutes. If you happen to pass a gig while walking home from work or wherever, it’s a convenient, hassle-free way to make some extra spending cash.

Cons: The payments only go through PayPal and, in my experience, sometimes take a while. It’s kind of a pain having to log in to your PayPal account and then transfer that to your bank account to use the money. Also, not every shop owner likes strangers to photograph their store. Ask the manager politely or risk being shooed out by a menu-swatting owner-lady.

2. TaskRabbit

TaskRabbit is only for those of us who are 21 or older, but it’s a great way to make money without a long-term commitment. People list odd jobs and errands on the site, and you can apply to the ones you feel best match your skill set and availability.

Pros: Payments are quick and easy, and you can “shop” and then apply for small jobs you want to do. I applied for a job that lasts a couple of days and pays $18 an hour to do inventory at a supermarket. Not exactly riveting, but it’s easy money.

Cons: You’ll have to deal with people—real life people, in person. It may sound silly, but this variable can lead to being asked for additional tasks while you’re there or your employer not wanting to pay for expenses like transportation. Make sure to work out all the details before accepting a task.

3. Focus Groups

Focusgroup.com and findfocusgroups.com help find focus groups near you. Get paid (usually over $100) to do things like take a survey or taste-test soda.

Pros: I’ve never actually been in one of these focus groups (see cons) but have heard positive feedback. It’s a fun day with minimal “work”-type work.

Cons: You have to take a survey to make sure you’re the type of candidate they’re looking for. Often times, people with any background in marketing, public relations, or media are not allowed to participate. I am one of those people. Also, make sure to read the fine print on what the focus group is for. A medical focus group is much riskier than a marketing focus group. If they ask you to take a pill for a month that might turn your hair green or something, you should probably pass.

Other Ideas

I’m also looking for babysitting jobs on babysittingjobs.com and applying for scholarships. I have a goal of applying to $10,000 worth of scholarships by the end of vacation, but if anyone challenged me to compete for more, I would gladly oblige. Any takers?

Anyone want to take Sasha on? Or do you have your own way to make money over break? Let us know!

(Photo: Carlos)

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