13 Ways to Make Money From Valentine's Day
While Valentine's Day is traditionally for lovers, it's also for savvy entrepreneurs. Instead of emptying your wallet to buy your special someone something special (aka "expensive"), you can actually turn a profit by setting up a side gig. Take advantage of the Hallmark holiday by raking in cold, hard cash with these 13 ways to earn extra money from Valentine's Day.
1. Create Handmade Valentine's Cards
If you're crafty or have decent graphic design skills, create your own line of heartfelt or funny Valentine's greeting cards. They're relatively easy to make — keeping them clever will probably be the hardest part — and you can sell them on Etsy, Bonanza, and a host of other sites that cater to handmade items. You'll can find colored envelopes at your local office-supply or craft store, and be sure to account for the cost of materials and shipping when pricing so you can make a decent profit.
2. Deliver Stuff
Not all local companies have the resources to offer delivery services, and that's where you come in. Identify some of the businesses that are particularly relevant around Valentine's Day and contact them to see what their delivery needs are. Places like florists, gift shops, and bakeries may be able to use an extra hand.
Bear in mind that this gig will likely be under-the-table because of insurance restrictions, so consider that before deciding if this is right for you. Even better, you may be able to score private gigs from, say, a guy who wants to send his girlfriend flowers last minute so he can save on the high shipping and delivery costs. One man's procrastination is your extra cash.
3. Play Chef for a Couple's Romantic Dinner
Are you a whiz in the kitchen? Offer to cook a multi-course meal for family, friends, co-workers, or even strangers who want to enjoy a relaxing Valentine's Day at home without all the hassle of cooking a romantic dinner. Plan a special menu of the couple's favorite dishes — complete with candles, ambient lighting, and mood-setting music — and set your fee to accommodate for the ingredients, travel, and time spent setting up, cooking, and cleaning after the meal.
4. Write Love Letters for Would-Be Casanovas
Most people aren't very slick when it comes to writing poetry or love letters, but if you're a gifted writer who can make people swoon in just a few sentences, putting sweet nothings on paper might be your money maker. (See also: 11 Life Skills That Are Now Completely Obsolete)
5. Plan Exciting Date Experiences
Everybody has their strengths, but men aren't always the best at planning special, exciting, or romantic dates. There are some creative dudes out there, for sure, but for the most part, the male of the species needs help in this area. If you happen to excel in this department, put together a few itineraries that are too good to pass up, and then do the due diligence so you can get paid by setting up the date to ensure that it goes off without a hitch.
6. Babysit or Pet Sit
All those parents you know — both of human and fur babies — deserve a break, too. And you can cash in big if you have the skills, certifications, and patience to babysit or pet sit while Mom and Dad enjoy a night out on the town.
According to UrbanSitter's 2015 Babysitting and Nanny Rates Survey, you're looking at about $15 per hour for one child and upwards of $20 per hour for three children. Add in a 15%-20% tip plus pizza money and you could take home a legit payday, albeit with a few more gray hairs. For pet sitting, you can expect between $10 and $15 per hour, as estimated by Care.com's pet care rate calculator.
7. Bake Valentine-Themed Goodies
What's Valentine's Day without dessert? That's the best part! Whip up your famous cookies, cakes, and pastries, and shop them around to local eateries (you'll fare better if you establish yourself as a small business with well-packaged goods and a business card; both of which are easy to do), or offer them up to your private network of friends, family, and co-workers.
8. Unload Unwanted Jewelry
If you have a collection of jewelry with which you're willing to part, you may be able to find interested buyers in your area. Instant-list apps like Wallapop, VarageSale, and OfferUp have made it simpler than ever to unload your items by snapping a photo, writing a short description, and naming a price.
9. Promote Your Party-Planning Skills
There may not be a huge market for amateur party planners, but it's worth a shot. If you're known for throwing memorable shindigs, you might be able to drum up some business. Shop the dollar stores for decorations to keep costs down.
10. Busk, or Serenade Couples
Throw a hat or instrument case on the ground in a well-traveled area and belt out love songs all day. If you want to be more proactive about it, take your show on the road and wander up to lovey-dovey couples for a serenading session. That dude would be a dummy if he didn't at least reach in his pocket for a dollar.
11. Photograph Couples' Special Moments
Valentine's Day, with all the sentiment that surrounds it, is prime time for weddings, engagements, and other relationship-specific photo ops. If you're handy with a camera, offer to snap shots of the special moments that the happy couple will cherish forever.
12. Draw or Paint Couples' Portraits
You don't have to be a well-established or recognized artist to sell your work. Some couples may enjoy the prospect of being drawn or painted, not only as a Valentine's Day activity, but also a gift to themselves that they can hang in the home as a reminder of their love.
13. Host a Singles Party for All Your Lonely Friends
Planning on spending Valentine's Day alone? Not anymore. Host a party at home for singles, if you have a large and diverse network of friends. Charge a few bucks admission to cover the cost of food, décor, drinks, and so you can walk away with a reasonable wage.
Do you have other ways to make extra cash on Valentine's Day? I'd love to hear some of your ideas in the comments below.
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