10 Ways to Make Money While Everyone Else is Hungover on New Year’s Day

Portrait of a young woman with earphones using laptop at a cafe.
jacoblund/Getty Images
Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. We provide you with accurate, reliable information. Learn more about how we make money and select our advertising partners.

New Year’s Eve is one night a year we all get permission to be ridiculous, stay up too late, drink too much and dance like… everyone’s watching.

The exertion renders a large portion of our workforce ineffective for at least the following day, so it’s nice of our employers to generally shut down every Jan. 1. A national holiday for hangover recovery? Not bad.

If you, however, don’t plan on being hungover for the holiday this year, it’s a great time to make money!

Here are 10 ways for side hustlers and Penny Hoarders to make extra money while everyone sleeps off the celebration this weekend.

1. Get Ahead on Freelance Work

Holidays are great for side hustlers. If you have a paid day off work and use the time to freelance, you can get paid twice!

I’ll take advantage of the day off from my full-time job on Monday to finish a freelance assignment for one of my favorite blogs. I’ll also proofread copy for another client.

Want to do the same? Pitch to these seven sites that pay $100 or more per post. And sign up for this free seven-day mini-course from ProofreadAnywhere.com to learn how to become a professional proofreader.

If you’re just kicking off your side hustle in 2017, read our guide to getting started as a freelancer.

2. Work on Your Passion Project

Schools, government offices and many private companies will be closed on Monday. Even if you work for yourself, you’ll probably find many of your colleagues taking the day off.

When you have no deadlines and your inbox is stagnant, maximize the quiet time.

Pick a project off the back burner. Work on a novel. Put the finishing touches on a painting. Format an ebook. Making progress during days off can help propel you toward a dream job or self-employment.

3. Get the Best Gigs

If you haven’t, sign up for Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and create an account with TaskRabbit.

The work differs quite a bit between these sites, but the strategy for earning money is similar: Find gigs you can complete quickly that pay well for the amount of time you put in.

With a lot of Taskers and Turkers likely taking the day off, this is a great opportunity to get some of the best gigs. You’ll earn at least $14 per task on TaskRabbit and no less than minimum wage per hour.

In addition to your competitors taking the day off, you may see an uptick in posted tasks on TaskRabbit.

Sleepy users will have new technology and furniture that needs your assistance, messes from the night before that need cleaning and kids who’ve been out of school too long that need watching.

4. Deliver Food

Sign up as a food delivery driver with UberEATS to meet the demand of those who don’t want to venture into the light of day on Jan. 1.

The service is still rolling out around the U.S., but it’s available in about 40 cities nationwide.

Similar to other contract services in the sharing economy, how much you can earn depends on how many deliveries you take and how fast you work. The requirements for UberEATS are easier to meet than those for the rideshare service:

  • Be at least 19 years old
  • Have a driver’s license, insurance and vehicle registration
  • Have at least one year of driving experience
  • Be able to lift 30lbs

This can be a great option if your car doesn’t meet the rideshare requirements.

5. Make Money While You Watch TV

Most of you know surveys aren’t our favorite way to make extra money, but if you’re just relaxing on your extra day off, why not click a few buttons and make money while you do it?

Ipsos Panel and VIP Voice are two of our favorite paid survey sites.

They pay in points you can cash in for gift cards. Should you prefer cold, hard cash over the cards, you can turn around and sell any gift cards you earn!

If you actually want to get paid for what you watch, check out Swagbucks.

Swagbucks will pay you to watch movie previews, along with dozens of other videos. Plus, you’ll earn $5 just for signing up and watching your first video.

6. Start Spring Cleaning Early

When I get restless on a day off, I turn to cleaning.

When I get to cleaning, a lot of stuff gets dragged out of my closet.

If you plan to spend your New Year’s Day cleaning, use these apps to earn money from all the stuff you get rid of:

  • Decluttr will pay you for CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and video games, plus hardware like cell phones, tablets, game consoles and iPods. It’s not a marketplace — Decluttr buys it from you and takes care of reselling to the customer. 
  • Bookscouter helps you find the best-paying sites or buyback companies for your old textbooks.
  • CashInMyBag buys your used designer bags, accessories and other items.
  • For virtually everything else, use letgo. This intuitive app lets you snap a photo and upload your item in less than 30 seconds, and it’s 100% free to use.

7. Start Exercising

While everyone else is sleeping, get a head start on your New Year’s resolutions with a walk, run, swim, bike ride or yoga class.

The health app Achievemint lets you earn money for completing these and other healthy activities!

Connect Achievemint to workout apps like Apple’s Healthkit, Fitbit, MyFitnessPal, RunKeeper, Rundouble C25K, Twitter or any other app you already use to track your health and fitness goals. You’ll choose which data to securely share with Achievemint to earn cash for your activities.

For example, you can earn points for logging your weight with MyFitnessPal or hitting step goals with Fitbit. You can use your points towards cash (10,000 points = $10) or Amazon gift cards, and there’s no limit on how many points you can earn.

Plus, you’ll earn 10 points just for signing up with Achievemint and connecting an app.

8. Write Letters or Make Phone Calls as a Political Advocate

If you’re a good writer or editor, you can make $12 to $15 an hour writing letters to representatives or making phone calls to constituents about legislation and political issues.

NextWave is a bipartisan firm located near Washington, D.C., that works with companies, trade associations and advocacy groups to educate and mobilize citizens throughout the policymaking process.

Specific legislation is confidential, but a representative from the recruitment team told TPH, “We have worked on projects such as transportation and energy, education, and pharmaceutical work.”

You’ll have the flexibility to select which projects you work on, set your schedule and work from home.

9. Get Paid to Test Websites

Sign up to use your free time helping companies determine how customers use their websites.

You can sign up  for UserTesting and submit your trial right away, then start taking assignments as soon as you’re ready.

You’ll make about $10 for spending 20 minutes evaluating websites or testing apps, and you get paid via PayPal within seven days.

The best part? This gig isn’t restricted to the U.S.! It’s recruiting testers from all over the world.

10. Create an Online Course

Do you have a skill or expertise you don’t know how to monetize? Try teaching it to others.

Use your free time this weekend to create an online course through Skillshare or Udemy. These sites let users create courses that include written, visual, audio and video content to teach students everything from graphic design to how to start a blog to how to use Excel.

On Udemy, you’ll set your own price. You keep 100% when you promote it yourself, 50% when students sign up through Udemy.

Skillshare operates on a subscription model, so students pay a flat fee for access to all classes.

Once you enroll 25 students in a single class, you’ll join its partner program and start earning a share of revenue, plus royalties per enrollment in your classes and $10 per student you refer who subscribes.


Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s written for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Writer’s Digest and more, attempting humor wherever it’s allowed (and sometimes where it’s not).

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.