Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also one of the most expensive. There are extra costs coming at you left, right and centre, not helped, of course, by the increased cost of living.
If you’re looking for extra funds to support your seasonal spending this year, you might consider setting up a freelance side hustle to help you generate some additional income.
Ways to make cash for Christmas as a freelancer
If you have some spare time outside of paid employment and would like to make some extra spends in time for the festive period, here are some cool ways you could go about it.
Sell seasonal products on Etsy
If you got a penchant for arts and crafts or a creative skill left untapped, now is the perfect time to let it shine by making seasonal products to sell online, such as:
- Greetings cards
- Thank you cards
- Scented candles and wax melters
- Hand-decorated baubles
- Handmade wreathes and garlands
- Personalised decorations
- Personalised Christmas Eve boxes for children
- Plates to leave snacks for Santa and Rudolph on
- Knitted hats, scarves, and gloves
- Handmade crockery
- Balloon arrangements
These are just some common examples of what people create and sell around Christmas time to make some extra money. However, get your creative juices flowing because the more unique your seasonal product, the more likely you are to stand out in the market and sell.
Top tip: don’t forget to factor seller fees into your budget and expenses if you are going to use ecommerce marketplaces like Etsy, Amazon, or eBay.
Sell edible festive treats
Two hot commodities you know are sure to sell, especially during the festive season when people are drinking and being merry, are food and drink. People are more liberal around Christmas time with their calories and their cash, which is a lucrative opportunity for you.
Examples of edible treats you could make and sell include:
- Christmas cookies or cupcakes
- Festive flavoured fudge
- Homemade Panettone
- DIY cookie or cupcake jars
- DIY hot chocolate sets with all the trimmings
- Edible wreaths made from sweets
- Food and drink hampers
Get creative with it – just make sure you comply with all the necessary health and safety regulations if you are going to go down the food or drink route.
Be sure to check out the legalities before you stock your pantry, so you don’t end up in a sticky spot of trouble with lots of costly ingredients left on your hands.
Turn the jobs nobody wants into extra cash
Christmas is a time when many people want to kick back, relax, and forgot about their to-do lists until the new year. This is the perfect opportunity for somebody looking to earn extra money to strike by offering to do the tasks nobody wants to do in exchange for payment.
This includes things like:
- Picking up and dropping off Christmas trees
- Putting decorations up and taking them down
- Present wrapping
- Trips to the tip to get rid of cardboard boxes and other junk
- Housesitting while people are visiting family and friends elsewhere
- Dog-sitting while people head off on last-minute holidays
It goes without saying that, in order to offer any ad hoc services like these, you need to make sure you’re able to do so safely and legally.
Do some research to make sure there aren’t any qualifications or safety checks you need to have passed before starting anything as a freelance side hustle.
Turn your skill into seasonal spends
The world of business doesn’t stop just because Santa is coming to town, which means your Christmas side hustle doesn’t necessarily have to be Christmas-related at all.
If you have a skill that you could be putting to use to generate an additional income stream in time for the festive period, there’s no time like the present. If it goes well and you see success, you could even continue your side hustle once Christmas has passed.
That said, even if you have a non-festive skill up your sleeve, there are ways you can capitalise on the season to upsell or attract new customers.
If you’re a freelance photographer, for example, you could pull together a limited-time service where you offer families Christmas-themed photoshoots for things like greetings cards and calendars.
It doesn’t have to be creative either. If you’re a plumber, for instance, you could offer a discounted service to check pipes and plumbing during the cold season when people often experience issues with freezing and water pressure.
Or maybe you’re a freelance wedding planner wondering how to make some money during the quieter wedding season. You could transfer your organisational skills and contacts list to Christmas or New Year party planning instead temporarily.
Don’t let taxes tarnish your festive spirit
No matter what your side hustle is, you’ll need to let HMRC know about it if your total self-employed income is more than £1,000 in a tax year. Anything below that threshold is covered by the trading allowance, which enables you to earn up to £1,000 through miscellaneous means (e.g., Christmas side hustles) without having to declare it or pay tax on it.
If your earnings go above the threshold, you’ll need to register for Self Assessment and submit a tax return. Fortunately, you can still offset the allowance against your earnings and only pay tax on anything above the threshold, or you can claim tax relief on your expenses instead.
How much tax you pay will depend on your overall income for the tax year, including what you earn from your main income source (i.e., employment), although you won’t need to pay tax on the same income twice. And no, your employer won’t find out unless you tell them!
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