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Five ways to make money during the holidays

We’ve all been there. It’s New Year’s Eve, and your options for the overrated but seemingly mandatory night out appear unreachable after you check your diminished bank account.

The holidays are a financial struggle for most students since they’re often a break from part-time jobs at school. There are also the added costs of gift shopping, dinners out with old friends, and obligatory family outings.

Here are some ways to earn a little cash to ease the burden during the holiday break.

This option might seem like an eye-roller, but babysitting is a great way to make some quick cash without having to apply for a job or reformat your résumé. Many parents are in desperate need of babysitters during the holidays since their social calendar fills up quicker than usual. Make sure to ask around—there’s no harm in a phone call or text to a distant relative asking if your supervising skills are needed.
Part-time work

This isn’t anyone’s ideal way of passing the hours during the break, but part-time work can be an invaluable way of keeping your bank account afloat. Besides the obvious benefits of a few pay cheques, part-time work can refresh and clear your mind. It gets you out of the house to meet new people, and after the stress of exams it might be a nice break to let your mind wander, perhaps while stocking shelves or preparing coffee.

Sell stuff
Take a look around your house. You never know what forgotten toys, books, and knickknacks will be someone else’s treasure. With the popularity of Craigslist and Kijiji, there is a market for almost anything online. Don’t believe me? Just check out how much people are willing to pay for old Nintendo 64 games and collectors’ edition DVDs. If you’re unwilling to part with childhood relics, you can always get a head start selling off last semester’s textbooks.

Remember high school—that glorious, awful, repressive time of your life when people actually cared when you skipped class? Well, the high school semester ends in January, so take advantage of overbearing parents and demanding teachers who refuse to give teenagers two weeks off school. Make some dough, reflect on how far you’ve come, and maybe even brush up on your trigonometry.

Prioritize your dollars
I know the pressures to spend cash on presents, ski trips, pints, and movies might be overwhelming during the holidays, but don’t try to do it all. Simply being smart about your money—choosing gifts that cost more time than money, a house party for New Year’s rather than a club, or combining catch-up coffees and drinks into one night out—can save you more money than many jobs could give you. Sometimes a night spent reading Lord of the Rings while sipping cocoa by the fire can be more financially and mentally rewarding than going out—or at least that’s what I tell myself.