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Following the rush of activity at the end of the semester, winter break may seem like a great time to kick back and relax. It can be, but it’s also a prime opportunity to earn some money before the spring semester starts. Retailers and other companies that employ seasonal help for the holidays typically hire well in advance, but if you haven’t lined up a job, don’t lose hope. These ideas can help you boost your cash reserves.

  1. Pet-sit. Many people travel over the holidays and would prefer not to board Fido or Fluffy—or they waited too long to make a reservation at the kennel. Check in with neighbors, friends and family to find someone who needs a pet sitter. You can also sign up with an online pet-sitting service that matches pet owners with sitters in your area.
  2. Baby-sit. With children on break from school, many parents need a responsible person to keep their children safe and happy while they’re at work. Holiday parties also increase the need for someone to watch the kids. Put the word out to everyone you know that you’re available.
  3. Tutor. Parents of elementary, middle or high school students may see winter break as an opportune time for their kids to benefit from some remedial tutoring. If you’re good with kids, you can help someone else succeed while earning money. Bonus: If you plan to become a teacher, this experience looks great on a resume!
  4. Take down holiday lights. Although decorating the house for the holidays often seems like fun, taking the lights and decorations down afterward and storing them away feels more like a chore. Neighbors and family members may be willing to pay you to do it for them.
  5. Do yard work. From raking leaves and pruning branches to shoveling snow, many people could use a hand with their outdoor chores. Check with neighbors or sign up with an online task service if one operates in your area to find jobs.
  6. Contact a temp agency. Temp agencies are companies that specialize in helping applicants find short-term employment opportunities that last anywhere from one day to several months. You just provide information about your skills, background and availability, and the agency will contact you with positions that match. You may also be able to snag an internship at a local company, which can bolster your resume by providing valuable work experience. Websites such as and specialize in helping college students find work and intern opportunities.
  7. Participate in research studies. Check with your college about any on-campus studies seeking participants. Or, sign up online with an organization that matches studies in your area with participants who qualify.
  8. Help with the holiday rush. Some seasonal positions may still be open. In addition to retailers, check with ski resorts, garden centers, banquet halls, caterers and delivery services. They all see increased business for the holidays and may need extra help during your winter break.

Create a Spending Plan

Once the cash starts rolling in, don’t blow it! If you’re like most college students, finances are tight. Be sure your earnings are put to good use by creating and sticking to a budget. Navy Federal Credit Union is here to help you set up a budget in just a few easy steps.



This article is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.