How college students can earn cash over winter break

Dec 4, 2022, 5:45 AM

(Pexels Photo)...

(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

’Tis the season to earn money!

That’s right, college students: One thing that helps big time with paying for college (or covering those extra expenses along the way) is making the most of your long holiday breaks.

Yes, it’s important to rest and recharge during winter break, but it’s also the perfect time to pick up a side hustle. I’ve put together a list of a few things you can do to make money during your holiday break, including what I did myself. (If you’re not familiar with my story, I earned over $500,000 in scholarships and graduated with multiple degrees debt-free. Now, I’m determined to help you graduate without debt too. I promise it’s possible!)

Why not go back to campus with a little more cash in your backpack than you had before? Here are some simple ways to get started.

Sell your time

Your first option is to sell what you’ve already got—your time! Think of your friends, neighbors and extended family back home who have events to attend and out-of-town relatives to visit over the holidays. Send a quick text and offer to watch their pets or house-sit for them. As a mom of littles, I’d jump at the chance to knock out some last-minute shopping while a responsible college student babysat my kids. People will pay a lot of money to have things taken care of by someone they trust, and you could be the perfect person for the job.

Grab a short-term gig

Did you know that some companies hire seasonal employees for just a few weeks during Christmastime? Some businesses will even pay extra for employees who are willing to work on national holidays when most people take time off. Maybe your family celebrates on Christmas Eve but lays low on Christmas Day — if you can work for even a part of certain holidays, do it! Adjusting your plans doesn’t have to be a forever decision, but small sacrifices like this will really pay off in the future.

Drive for Uber or Lyft

Speaking of easy income, apply to be a rideshare driver. Without roommates, friends, professors and assignments to keep you busy around the clock, you’ll have more margin than you realize for making extra income. Even just driving a few hours in between your holiday plans can make a big difference. So, if you have access to a car, take advantage of it.

Have a closet cleanout

Selling items in your closet is a great way to create space for things on your wish list and make a little extra cash. If you’re like me, there are pieces in your wardrobe that you wear more often than others anyway, so put on your headphones, grab a snack and start sorting. Shoes, purses, hats, hoodies — anything you’d rather get money for than use closet space for can be listed on sites like Poshmark and Facebook Marketplace.

Apply for scholarships

I had a lot of different jobs throughout high school and college, but the one thing that paid off most by far was applying for scholarships. Believe it or not, I actually treated this like a part-time job. And even if you’re already enrolled at a university, you can do the same! There are thousands of scholarships available for upperclassmen and students with specific majors. Set aside an hour each day to research and register for scholarship opportunities. A little bit of time could add up to a ton of money!

Okay, hopefully at this point you have an idea or two that you’re considering—maybe you’ve even thought of a few more money-making strategies of your own. There are so many things that make college fun, and in my opinion, one of the biggest perks is having long breaks each semester. So, start thinking now about how you can spend your break wisely. Spend some time with friends and family, then try out a few of these ideas to get the most bang for your Christmas break and start next semester off right.

You can do this!


Dave Ramsey

Couple sits at table, seemingly planning out life....

Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey says: My wife thinks she owes me money

Struggling with financial tensions in marriage? Dave Ramsey offers insights on overcoming guilt and building a united front in managing debt.

19 hours ago

Woman seeks financial support from father...

Dave Ramsey

Dave says: Work together, and increase expectations gradually

There are ways we can support our children financially without completely pulling the rug out from under them. Here are tips from Dave Ramsey.

3 days ago

(Pexels Photo)...

Dave Ramsey

Dave says: If you’re not going all in, stay out

Think twice before diving into that new business venture! Success requires a hefty 40-50 hours a week commitment.

8 days ago

(Pexels Photo)...

Dave Ramsey

Dave says: Seeking mediation with a neutral third-party advisor”

If someone close to you is having financial problems with their spouse, it might be best to refer them to a marriage counselor rather than insert your own advice.

10 days ago

In this week's article, Dave Ramsey talks about when to buckle down and climb out of that financial...

Dave Ramsey

Dave says: Getting out of a big mess doesn’t always feel good, but it’s necessary

Getting yourself out of a financial big mess doesn't always feel good, but sometimes, it's necessary to get back on track.

15 days ago

People sitting at a table, looking upset about bills....

George Kamel

The normalization of debt: How it happened and why it’s keeping you broke

The financial systems we trust benefit from our struggles. Break free from the cycle and rethink your financial game plan.

17 days ago

Sponsored Articles


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.


Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

How college students can earn cash over winter break