10 Ways You Can Make Money This New Year’s Eve (And Still Have Fun!)

champagne bottles in a bucket
Alex Holyoake/Unsplash

We’re all excited to bid good riddance to 2017 and embrace 2018 — for better or worse.

But maybe we don’t all want to do it with champagne, a fancy dinner, a new dress and a ton of people covered in glitter. Or maybe you do, but you don’t want to forfeit a whole paycheck just to enjoy the night?

To help you get 2018 started on the right foot, we came up with 10 ways you can use New Year’s Eve to make money — and still have fun, whatever that means to you.

1. Drive With Lyft

If you haven’t already signed up as a driver with Lyft, now’s the time to do it.

New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest nights of the year for ride-sharing companies all over the country. People want to have fun — and they want to be safe.

As a driver with Lyft, you can help partygoers in your city get where they’re going — and where they’re coming from — safely. No driving drunk or walking in the cold!

Plus, the high demand could mean a busy night and big bucks for you.

2. Get Paid to Stand in Line

Do you live in a town with hot nightclubs… or those that want to appear hot?

You may be able to cash in on those long lines. We talked to some professional line sitters who earn up to $25 an hour holding a spot in line for those who prefer spending money to time.

If you just want to make a few quick bucks on New Year’s Eve, mosey past the popular spots. Keep your ear open for groups complaining about the wait, how hungry they are or trying to find friends.

Offer to hold their spot for $20 while they grab some food or meet their friends. It’s a pretty attractive proposition for folks planning to spend hundreds of dollars on the evening.

Make sure to get a phone number or connect via Facebook or other messaging app, so you can let them know when you’re close to the door.

3. Snap Some Stock Photos

People dressed to the nines and in big, happy groups of friends make for great photographs. Just check Instagram on January 2…

Take advantage of the glittering crowds in your town to get some candid shots you can sell to stock photo sites.

You don’t even have to give up your fun night to fill your stock photo arsenal. You can sell your smartphone photos via Foap, so don’t worry about keeping track of expensive equipment all night. (Just keep your phone out of the toilet.)

If you do want to go for higher quality, here are five sites that pay $100 or more for photos.

Note: Building owners or managers reserve the right to ask you not to take photos on their property. Otherwise, snap away, and make sure you understand whether your intended use of the photograph will require a model or property release.

4. Get Paid for Your Alcohol Purchases

You read that right: There’s an app that will actually pay you money for your alcohol purchases.

Ibotta is a fun cash-back app that grants you money back on your alcohol purchases — whether you’re going out or staying in. And it’s available all over the country.

Here’s how it works:

  • Download the app, and start a free account to browse drink deals from your favorite grocery store or bar/restaurant.
  • Choose the deals you want, and buy the items.
  • Click “Redeem,” and take a picture of your receipt.

Hit $15 and cash out.

Plus: You’ll get a $10 bonus when you make your first purchase!

5. Babysit

Feel like an early night on New Year’s Eve? Stay in, enjoy it with the kids and get paid.

Make the holiday easier for family and friends by offering to watch the little ones while they go out. You’ll get to make $20 to $40, skip the crowded bars and help usher a family into the new year.

This job doesn’t even mean you have to skip the festivities. Come with treats, hats and noisemakers to celebrate with the kids. Watch the ball drop on TV, or make your own, so you can all get to bed early.

6. Get Paid to Be Someone’s Friend

Get paid to be someone’s buddy! I’m not kidding.

You can register to become a Friend at RentAFriend.com, where paying users can contact you to attend concerts, sporting events, family functions, VIP events and more.

There may be users in your area who want to enjoy a night out for the holiday, but don’t know anyone in town yet. Sign up now, so you’re ready to help them ring in 2018!

Midnight kiss not required, by the way. This site only for platonic friendships.

7. Take Care of Pets

Pick up pet-sitting or dog-walking work to relieve partygoers from the need to stop home between parties.

Just stopping by to feed or walk a dog could earn you $40 an hour.

If you can’t find pet-sitting gigs in your network, hop on DogVacay to connect with pet owners in your area.

8. Rent Out Baby Stuff to Families Traveling (New York Only)

If you live in New York, you’re about to see tons of people flooding your city to watch the ball drop in Times Square at midnight.

For families traveling with kids, that could mean major headaches, packing and hauling baby stuff across airports, planes, trains and automobiles.

The goBaby app aims to make it easier on parents — while giving you the chance to make some extra cash.

The app is a parent-to-parent marketplace where traveling parents could rent baby gear like strollers, car seats and other items from local parents with the same to spare. Use it to monetize your extra baby gear!

Here’s how it works:

  • Download the app for free here.
  • Take a photo of the item you want to rent out. Add a brief description, and set your price.
  • Choose whether you’ll deliver the item or have the renter pick it up.
  • Give the item to the renter, and get it back within the scheduled dates.
  • Get paid!

9. Take Polaroid Photos

You might not be into it, but you could earn extra money helping festive groups or happy couples capture the magic of New Year’s Eve.

Buy a Polaroid camera, and offer to take their picture outside bars, restaurants and clubs. At $5 to $10 per picture, it’s a cheap memento for them and an easy income source for you.

10. Make Bar Bets

Team up with a friend who’s willing to stay relatively sober for at least part of the night, and you could earn a few bucks or free drinks.

These six foolproof bar bets are guaranteed to work, if you can find patrons willing to honor them.

You might not be everyone’s best friend if you try too many in one place or get too serious about demanding your money. Make sure everyone’s having fun, and offer to buy the next round if you end up winning big!

Dana Sitar ([email protected]) is a senior writer/newsletter editor at The Penny Hoarder. Say hi and tell her a good joke on Twitter @danasitar.

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