May 24, 2024
Side Hustles Home Business Ideas

How to Make Money in the Winter

how to make money in the winter (2)

As the holiday decorations come down and the winter doldrums set in, many of us start to feel the financial pinch. Credit card bills from all that seasonal splurging arrive in the mail just as the electric bill skyrockets thanks to the plunging temperatures. 

The motivation to take on extra work fizzles as the short, dark days sap our energy.

But every winter, clever folks across the country find ways to make the long cold months surprisingly lucrative. When ice and snow deter even the heartiest souls from venturing out, these entrepreneurs convert spare bedrooms into craft studios, leverage specialized skills for online tutoring, and invest time in plotting future ecommerce empires. 

Others layer on winter jackets and make quick cash shoveling driveways or stringing up outdoor holiday lights.

This winter, join the ranks of the creatively employed. Whether you want to fund a tropical getaway to escape the cold or pad your savings account in anticipation of next season’s expenses, opportunities abound to fatten your wallet. 

This guide collects income-generating ideas to explore now so that you can profit all winter long. With a little grit and ingenuity, you can offset those annoying bills and maybe even treat yourself to some fun along the way!

Indoor Money-Making Ideas for Winter

When icy winds howl outside, the comfort of home provides an ideal setting for several money-making ventures. These indoor options allow both kids and adults to profit all winter long.

Crafting and Selling

Creating handmade items to sell allows you to turn your artistic talents into cash. Consider producing goods with a seasonal flair that appeal to holiday shoppers.

Handmade Gifts

Baking and Selling Treats

Use sites like Etsy or local craft fairs to sell these homemade items. Price products to earn at least minimum wage accounting for materials and time spent creating.

Home-Based Services

Several services allow you to leverage skills or expertise from home during winter months. These can provide part-time income without braving the cold outdoors.

Tutoring Services

Use sites like Wyzant or Care.com to find clients. Tutors typically earn $15 to $50 per hour.

Freelance Writing and Blogging

  • Write articles or blog posts related to winter activities, family fun, or seasonal cooking
  • Create web content, sales copy, social media posts for clients
  • Author eBooks on niche winter-related topics

New freelance writers can earn around $0.05-0.10 per word, while experienced writers charge $0.10-1 per word.

Virtual Assistant Roles

  • Administrative tasks like scheduling, email management, data entry
  • Social media management for businesses
  • Graphic design for seasonal promotions or blog graphics

Virtual assistants typically charge $15 to $50 per hour for services.

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Outdoor Money-Making Opportunities

Braving the elements allows you to offer specialized cold weather services. These ideas provide exercise and time outdoors during the winter season.

Snow-Related Services

Snowfall produces immediate needs for removal and safety precautions. Offer your shoveling skills to neighbors and community members.

Shoveling and Removal

  • Shovel walkways, driveways, decks, patios
  • Clear roofs and overhangs to reduce risk of collapse
  • Remove piles created by snowplows at end of driveways

Most snow removal services charge a flat rate depending on property size, typically $30 to $75 per service. Some charge hourly rates around $20 to $50 per hour.

Salting Sidewalks and Driveways

  • Apply de-icing salt to improve traction and melt snow
  • Use calcium chloride or magnesium chloride to prevent refreezing overnight
  • Offer eco-friendly alternatives like beet juice blend spray

De-icing service rates range from $20 to $50 per application depending on property size. Bundle with shoveling services for added value.

Holiday Decorating Services

Many households want spectacular outdoor decorations but lack the expertise, equipment, or time to install intricate lighting displays and ornamentation.

Installing Holiday Lights

  • String lights along rooflines, trees, bushes, and fences
  • Wrap light strips around columns, railings, and doorframes
  • Hang custom decor like lit garland, wreaths, snowflakes

Outdoor Decoration Setups

  • Arrange decorative elements like wreaths, garland, ribbon, and bows
  • Place freestanding pieces like wire frame reindeer, nutcracker statues, or toy soldiers
  • Create mini vignettes with themed figurines and decorative mini trees

Holiday lighting installation runs $200 to $750 on average depending on the size and intricacy of the display. Decorating service rates fall within $25 to $50 per hour.

Seasonal Jobs and Gigs

Retail, hospitality, and delivery sectors staff up during November and December to meet increased demand throughout the holidays. These temporary roles provide easy winter income opportunities.

Retail and Customer Service Jobs

Seasonal associates provide support to handle heightened purchasing and celebrations during the winter months.

In-Store and Online Retail Positions

  • Sales associates at department stores, specialty shops, grocers
  • Customer service roles managing purchases and returns
  • Fulfilling online orders at e-commerce warehouses
  • Inventory stocking, organizing backstock areas

Hourly retail associate wages average $13 to $20 per hour depending on experience and responsibilities. Some companies also pay commissions and bonuses.

Event Planning and Assistance

  • Servers, bartenders, hosts at holiday parties and celebrations
  • Ticket takers and event staff at winter festivals or craft fairs
  • Concierge personnel at hotels or vacation rental companies

Event staff and hospitality workers typically earn $12 to $18 per hour including gratuities.

Temporary Employment Opportunities

Many businesses ramp up operations in winter to meet increased demand for certain services.

Working Vacation Rental and Hospitality Markets

  • Ski resorts need lift operators, ski patrol, maintenance crews, and hospitality staff.
  • Holiday markets need vendors, artists, food preparers, and stall operators.
  • Ice rinks need attendants, instructors, concession workers, and Zamboni drivers.

Wages for ski resort positions fall around $12 to $18 per hour. Holiday market vendors can make $100 to $300+ per day.

Delivery Services

Independent contractors for delivery platforms earn between $15 to $30 per hour including tips. Earnings depend on order volume and weather conditions.

Leveraging Skills and Hobbies

Turning activities you love into paid services allows you to make money doing what you enjoy. Consider offering your creative, technical, or professional expertise.

Creative and Artistic Skills

Are you skilled with a camera or crafting winter wear? Transform these talents into profits.

Selling Winter Photography

Photographers earn $50 to $250 per photo depending on image quality and usage rights. Many photographers earn extra through photo products like calendars, cards, prints, and digital downloads.

Crafting and Selling Winter Apparel

Quality handmade winter accessories sell from $20 to $100+ on sites like Etsy and at local craft fairs.

Technical and Professional Skills

Offer your expertise in technology, finance, marketing, or other sectors as on-demand services.

Freelance Technology Work

Experienced IT professionals charge $50 to $150 per hour. Novice freelancers earn closer to $20 to $40 per hour.

Offering Online Courses or Webinars

  • Host virtual workshops related to professional skills like marketing, business strategy, leadership development, etc.
  • Record online courses on winter-related topics like ice fishing, snowshoeing, cold weather survival skills
  • Teach enrichment topics like art, music, cooking, crafting through Outschool

Online instructors set pricing based on course length and demand. Rates range from $20 per student for short webinars up to $300+ for multi-month courses.

Special Services for the Season

The winter season brings unique needs that present money-making openings if you can meet them. Consider leveraging your availability and willingness to take on less desirable tasks.

Pet and House Sitting

As travelers head off on winter vacations, they need trusted individuals to care for homes and furry friends.

Tending Pets While Owners Are Away

  • Feed pets, walk dogs, clean litter boxes, provide companionship
  • Send owners photo and text updates for peace of mind
  • Notice signs of illness and respond appropriately
  • Follow detailed instructions for administering medications

Caring For Houseplants and Gardens

  • Water plants, pull weeds, harvest winter vegetables
  • Adjust automated lighting and heating systems
  • Take in mail, alternate curtains, manage security
  • Add chemical treatments to pools, hot tubs, ponds

Pet sitters typically charge $15 to $50 per day depending on the level of responsibility. House sitters earn $50 to $100 per day. Join platforms like Rover or Care.com to connect with clients.

Elderly Assistance and Companionship

The graying population needs extra support to comfortably navigate the winter season. Offer assistance with errands, transportation, and social interaction.

Shopping Assistance

  • Drive older neighbors to stock up on essentials at the grocery store
  • Help carry purchases and load items into vehicles
  • Assist with placing online delivery orders

House Maintenance and Safety Checks

  • Confirm homes are properly sealed against drafts
  • Clear debris from gutters and check for leaks
  • Ensure walkways and driveways remain salted and shoveled
  • Check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors

Social Visits and Companionship

  • Play board games, complete puzzles, reminisce over photo albums
  • Prepare meals and enjoy them together
  • Schedule video calls with faraway family and friends

Companion care workers charge $12 to $30 per hour depending on services provided. Handyman rates fall between $35 to $100 per hour.

Long-Term Passive Income Strategies

The winter season also offers a chance to establish revenue streams that earn year-round. Use extra time indoors to create intellectual property or build an online business.

Developing Evergreen Content

Creating online content related to winter sports, activities, cooking, and crafts allows you to attract organic traffic over time. Monetize sites through ads, affiliate links, digital products, and memberships.

Blogging

  • Share family traditions like baking holiday treats
  • Review seasonal products like ice fishing gear
  • Create tutorials for winter-themed craft projects
  • Document outdoor adventures like snowshoeing or sledding

Top-earning bloggers make over $50k per month. However, most bloggers earn closer to $500 per month from new sites.

Downloadable Products

  • Sell printable seasonal decorating ideas and organizational tools on Etsy
  • Offer knitting patterns for winter accessories
  • Record online music lesson courses on playing holiday songs

Creators can sell digital downloads for $5 to $50+ depending on uniqueness, production quality, and market demand.

Investments and Online Ventures

Use spare time this season to establish income streams that require upfront effort but earn long-term dividends.

Launching an E-Commerce Store

  • Sell cold weather gear like hats, gloves, boots
  • Offer specialty treats like hot chocolate bombs, gingerbread kits
  • Curate care packages with seasonal books, movies and crafts

Online stores can generate over six figures in annual sales once established. However, most new sites earn a few hundred dollars per month on average.

Investing in Assets

  • Put savings into stocks, bonds, mutual funds
  • Purchase rental real estate to earn monthly income
  • Invest in cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and Ethereum

Stocks yield average annual returns around 7-10% while rental properties typically earn over $10k per year. Cryptocurrency returns are highly variable, with top assets gaining over 5,000% in the last decade.

Comparison Table

IdeaEase of StartupEarning PotentialLow Cost to StartOther Factors
Shoveling SnowHighMediumYesPhysically demanding, low barriers to entry
Selling Handmade CraftsMediumMediumYesCreative, flexible hours
Virtual TutoringMediumMediumYesLeverages existing skills, indoor
Retail Seasonal WorkHighLowYesPre-set hours, employee benefits
House SittingMediumLowYesExtra responsibility, good for animal lovers
Starting a BlogHighHighYesPassive income potential, long ramp up
Flipping Items OnlineMediumHighYesRequires product research skills
Rental Property InvestingLowHighNoMore complex, high upside
Driving for Delivery AppsHighMediumYesFlexible, uses your car

Wrapping Up: Making Money This Winter

The winter months present unique opportunities to supplement income in both conventional and creative ways. From shoveling snow to selling knitwear online, options exist to profit all season long both indoors and out.

With preparation and dedication, these winter side hustles can become lucrative enterprises that evolve into full-time ventures. The new year brings a chance to start fresh. Why not resolve to turn your skills, hobbies and expertise into sustainable income streams?

Bundle up, and go make that money!

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