Financial Health

Reeling from Holiday Debt? We’ve Got A Gig for That

It can happen to even the most frugal. In the haze of parties, cheer and sugary treats, best laid plans for careful spending can go sideways. And that can mean waking up to a serious holiday hangover when the January bills roll in.

The good news? A plethora of short-term, part-time or work-at-home jobs are out there to help mitigate the damage.

Do you love pets or like working with kids? Maybe you’re an expert photographer, have lightening-fast typing skills or know how to fix a leaky pipe? No matter your interests or skills, there’s a job out there for everyone.

Here’s a sample of post-holiday job ideas to help get your bank account back into the black:

Dog Walker or Pet Sitter:

Dog walking and pet sitting — for dogs, cats and other animal companions — is one of the easiest ways to earn extra income. Walks are usually 30 minutes to an hour and you can double your money fast if you can handle more than one four-legged friend at a time. Fees paid  by-the-hour or per pet. Pet-sitting can include both daily check-ins and overnight stays.

Become a teacher or tutor:

Turn your education or professional expertise into cash by becoming a teacher or tutor —in person or online. K-12 or college-level students. Tutoring subjects can include English, math, science, foreign languages and test preparation (GED, SAT, GRE, GMAT and more.) Hourly rates can average $20 or more. Some, but not all, tutoring jobs require a bachelor’s degree, certifications or educational experience.

Make money with your car:

Driving services like Lyft and Uber are easy to join and have a track record of providing a reliable stream of income. Schedules are 100 percent flexible and you can drive a little or a lot.

Other car-based income opportunities include renting your car out to others — check out Turo and GetAround and Zipcar —  meal service delivery programs like UberEats or DoorDash or package delivery services.

Website or App tester:

Website and app testers get paid to tell companies how their sites score on the usability, design and clarity scale. Sharing your opinions only requires time, a PC or Mac, strong internet connection, a microphone, maybe a webcam and the ability to download testing software. Most companies require reviewers to be at least 18 and you must be fluent in English with good writing skills. Most tests take 15 to 20 minutes and pay is per-review.

Become a virtual assistant or customer service rep:

Increasingly, when you call a customer service line or click on a live chat link, those who answer are working from home. If you have good communications and organizational skills and some patience, this could be right for you. Companies also hire remote workers with advanced computer skills for technical support jobs. Virtual assistants are specialized customer service agents who help clients with research, email, travel arrangement, appointment scheduling and more.

Freelance writing and transcription services:

Wordsmiths with a flair for marketing and close-to-perfect typings skills can find plenty of extra pay putting their talents to use. Writers can find work drafting cover letters and resumes, website content and blog posts on a range of topics and products. Typists can also put their skills to use transcribing audio recordings into print or electronic text, usually for academic, businesses, legal or health care purposes.

Be a brand ambassador:

Some people say brand ambassador work is the best side-hustle there is. Ambassadors work at events or stores talking about companies and their products. You’ve probably seen them handing out food samples or conducting a product demonstration. Pay averages $20 or more an hour and the assignments are often tied to events like trade shows that run over a few days. It’s a great job for thoses with good communication skills and confident, positive personalities who enjoy meeting new people.