Here are 6 ways to earn holiday cash in Chicago

by Jack Silverstein
November 7, 2017

Let’s face it. The holidays are a money suck for even the gainfully employed. This year, consider taking advantage of the gig economy, earning some extra cash on the side. Your schedule is up to you. From ridesharing to dog walking, hundreds of thousands of Americans are taking advantage of the new earning opportunities available today. Here are six companies that are waiting to pay you.


1. Start driving for Lyft

In Chicagoland, where gig employment is up more than 49 percent since 2012, more people than ever are earning with Lyft. Choose to drive full time, between jobs or just on the weekends. Your schedule is up to you. Whether taking art lovers to and from the museums or making airport runs, Chicagoans driving Lyft have plenty of opportunity this season to earn.

EARNING POTENTIAL: Chicago drivers can earn as much as $26/hour.   

TIP SITUATION: At Lyft, you keep 100 percent of your tips.

NOTABLE PERK: New drivers can get a $250 sign-on bonus once they give 100 rides within 30 days of approval.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED: A newish car (2004 or later) with five to eight seats and four doors, plus an iPhone or Android smartphone. See more requirements here.

NO CAR? NO PROBLEM: The Express Drive program makes it easy and affordable to rent a car and earn.

THE APP: Shows how busy your current area is and provides an overview of your earnings in real time.

GET STARTED: To sign up, add your phone number here.


Image via shutterstock

2. Pick up a shift on Shiftgig

Want to capitalize on your server experience without polishing silverware until 3 a.m.? Try Shiftgig. This Chicago-based company lets you pick up shifts at bars, restaurants and other venues right when you want to work. If you’re not into food service, Shiftgig can also hook you up with opportunities in hotels and hospitality, retail, warehouse work and more.

EARNING POTENTIAL: Workers grab up to $12 per hour.

GET STARTED: Sign up here.

NOTABLE PERK: Shiftgig isn’t just about work. It’s a great way to meet people in your city.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED: You must be 18 years or older with an iPhone or Android. Industry experience required. See more requirements here.

THE APP: You handle your payment straight through the app.


Image via Shutterstock

3. Schlep stuff around for your neighbors

Here’s one service people will always need: help moving their stuff. If you have a truck, van or other large vehicle, chances are someone with a heavy couch and a long flight of stairs needs you. Join Schlep to earn cash helping people move.

EARNING POTENTIAL: Pricing is based on the items moved, with couches around $60 apiece and larger items twice that. Schleppers get 80 percent of the moving fee.

TIP SITUATION: You keep 100 percent of your tips.

GET STARTED: Sign up here.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED: A large vehicle and a smartphone.

THE APP: A scheduling feature makes it easy for you to stack up appointments ahead of time, allowing you to bring some structure to your flexibility.


Image via shutterstock

4. Rent out your car with Getaround

Does your car spend idle time parked, potentially on the street where tickets are plentiful? Get that cash moving in the other direction with Getaround. Rent your car to a group of pre-screened drivers, and let Getaround alleviate your worries with its assurance of 24/7 roadside assistance and driver insurance.

EARNING POTENTIAL: You can earn over $800 per month renting your car through Getaround.

NOTABLE PERK: You’ll be set up with a dedicated parking spot for convenient access for renters. More benefits here.

GET STARTED: List your car here.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED: A car, and an iPhone or Android.

THE APP: Rent out your car with no paperwork and no waiting in line.


Image via shutterstock

5. Get cash for selfies with Pay Your Selfie

If you love taking selfies — and making money — consider doing both at once. Pay Your Selfie can turn your love of selfies into cash. The premise is simple: companies create selfie challenges that help promote their brands. Take your photo and get paid.

EARNING POTENTIAL: The lower paying selfies bring in about $.20, while the higher paying branded ones are $1 or sometimes more.

PAYOUT: Once your account reaches $20, you get a check.

GET STARTED: Sign up here.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED: A smartphone and a bank account.



image via shutterstock

6. Offer at-home beauty services with LISA

You love hair and nails but don’t have time to be a full-time beautician. Consider joining LISA. The app lets you bring your talent for hair, skin and nails to people looking for top-notch service. Choose where you want your appointments to be — at your home or your client’s place.

EARNING POTENTIAL: You set your price, so it’s up to you.


WHAT YOU’LL NEED: A phone and your beauty expertise.

THE APP: Take advantage of pre-scheduled appointments to help plan your week.


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