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Dec 20 2016
by Elizabeth Robinson

8 Unique Ways to Make Extra Money Over Winter Break

By Elizabeth Robinson - Dec 20 2016

You're in a pickle: you want to make some extra cash over winter break, but you also want time to have fun and relax! But in the age of the Internet, you don't have to spend precious hours trying to hold down a part-time job. Here a just a few of the most promising ways to make money over the break with flexible hours and minimal effort. 

1. Italki

Do you speak English? Are you 18 years or older? Then you can be a Community Tutor for Italki, one of the largest language-learning websites in the world. People trying to learn English from all over the world will pay you just to talk with them over Skype or any other app where you can hear each other's voices. You can plan out lessons of your choosing, or simply offer to converse with someone for an hour. And you don't have to have a teaching certificate — that's what the more expensive "Professional Tutors" are for. I've used Italki many times before, and I can assure you that it's safe as long as you check the profiles of your customers and message with them for a bit before giving them your Skype username. The rates start off pretty low for Community Tutors, but as you gain more positive reviews, you can raise your price. Tutors who can also teach English vocabulary in subjects like math and science can also charge higher prices. 

2. Sell Notes Online

Don't burn last semester's notes just yet. There is high demand for good notes on websites such as Notesale and StudySoup. All you need is a computer, and you could have people buying a product that you already made over the course of the semester! The only catch is that you might have to type up any notes you wrote by hand. 

3. Puppy Therapy

One day during finals week, I came across a line stretching all the way across my campus' South Lawn. It was a line to get into the "puppy pen." A woman had brought two litters of chocolate lab puppies to campus, set up a pen and charged $5 a person for five minutes in the puppy pen! This is an incredibly fun option if you have the right resources. First, you need some cute and friendly doggos, preferably a litter of puppies you need to socialize. Second, you need to be near a university. Take them to a nearby campus during finals week and charge just a little bit for people to pet them. It's a good way to get them socialized, adopted, and exercised for the day. 

4. Pet Boarding

Pet-sitting is a pretty common way to make money, but that often takes commitment, preset hours and transportation. Pet sitting takes place in the owner's home. Pet boarding takes place in YOUR home, and often only for a night or two. Plenty of people will be going on vacation for winter break, so why not invite someone's cute doggo into your home for a little while? 

5. Sell Your Old Stuff on Ebay

You're home now, and you're starting to realize just how many of your old toys you won't be using anymore. Maybe your old clothes don't fit (#Freshman15) or are just no longer your style. Maybe you used to have a collection of Barbie dolls that your college boyfriend should DEFINITELY not see if he comes over. Well, you're in luck, because you can sell that old stuff on the Internet. And your options are flexible: you can sell in bulk, sell at a fixed price, auction, etc. Ebay, Amazon and Craigslist are the most popular and reliable websites for making money off of stuff you already own and don't need. 

6. Surveys

We live in a capitalist society, which means the customer is king. All kinds of companies want to conduct market research to find the best ways to improve their products, which is where you come in. By joining a "survey website" such as Opinion Outpost or Swagbucks (see this article or your friend Google for more options), you can get paid for filling out brief surveys about products aimed to your demographic. Every website differs in payment method, competition from other teens, and reliability of payment, so it can't hurt to do a little research before joining one. 

7. Reviews

Once again, people want to know what products you like. You can get paid in cash or gift cards for writing reviews of books, music, TV shows and other media on websites like the Online Book Club, MusicXRay, Isn't it wonderful that we live in a world where you can be paid for consuming media? 

8. Couponing

Yes, you can actually make money off of couponing. Many people save hundreds of dollars by collecting coupons from many different online sources and then using them all in one shopping trip. My mom teamed up with one of her friends to share coupons between them — now she gets most of our snacks for under 25 cents and often earns money while still hauling home a full car's worth of food. A great place to get started is the "Krazy Coupon Lady" website, which also has tips and tricks of how to save money while shopping online. 

Many of these activities are fun, entertaining or so easy that you could watch TV while doing them. Time is money, as the old saying goes: as long as you have time, whether it's in the middle of the night or while you're waiting for your computer to load, you can always find a way to make a few quick bucks over the holidays while still having fun. 

Lead Image Credit: Pexels

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Elizabeth Robinson - University of Texas at Austin

I'm a sophomore at UT Austin majoring in Dean's Biology. I've loved writing since elementary school and published my first novel in high school. I love reading, writing (obviously), foreign languages, doggos, martial arts, anthropology, theater, and watching far too much YouTube. I dream of being a fiction author and geneticist after graduate school, hopefully combining my two loves to change the world. Follow me on Twitter @MetokaPublishi1, Instagram as BlackPage13, or (best option) visit my website,!

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