If you are a college student, chances are you need a decent income stream to live comfortably. After all, you have to put gas in your car, pay for entertainment and eat a decent meal every once in a while. A part-time job isn’t always enough.
In addition to that, getting a regular gig in a fast food restaurant or grocery store can eat up valuable hours every week and may pay next to nothing. As a former college student, I know this from experience. Several of my friends and I tried working part-time jobs and found we were overworked, that our grades suffered and that we really didn’t make that much money. Most of my friends stuck with part-time jobs, but two of my sorority housemates and I tried a few other options. These worked out very well for us, as each of us made plenty of money and worked fewer hours than our friends. Below are some of the things we did to make money.
3 Ways to Make Money in College: Thinking Beyond Part-Time Jobs …
1. Offer Your Services as a Tutor
One of my friends had an amazing academic record. Not just straight A’s, but National Honor Society, a full-ride academic scholarship and she entered college as a sophomore because of all of her AP credits. She was advised by one of her professors to put some ads online and on grocery store bulletin boards offering tutoring services to high school and elementary school students. According to the professor, parents often go to a professional tutoring service, but when they find out how expensive that is, they look to college students for tutoring.
In addition to being absolutely brilliant, my friend also happens to be the oldest of six children. Tutoring was absolutely perfect for her. It did take her a while to get going, though. She had to get a background check at the local police station and that cost her about ten dollars. However, once she landed a couple of tutoring jobs, she was able to get more work through word-of-mouth advertising. According to her, the best thing about tutoring was she always was finished working before 8 p.m.
2. Sell Your Stuff and Other People’s Too!
I would like to say I was smart enough to tutor other people’s kids. Unfortunately, I wasn’t. So, I had to find a different way to make money. My money-making epiphany came to me when I was at the counter of a locally owned “Buy, Sell, And Trade” video game and electronics store. I was trading in several games to get store credit toward an upcoming release. Of course, I got only a fraction of what I had paid and I left the store a bit irritated. This is when I decided the next time I had anything to sell, I would put it on Craigslist or post an ad on the student bulletin board in the commons area.
Sure enough, a few weeks later my roommate came home with a 50-inch flat screen television. So, I put my little 19-inch on the Internet for 45 dollars. I sold it within a day. Soon I was buying used games and electronics and then reselling them for profit. My thing was electronics, but somebody else easily could do the same thing with clothing. After all, college students tend to go through a lot of clothes, especially if they gain or lose the freshman 15.
When I lived on campus, I even saw people who would drive around at the beginning and end of the semester, when people were moving in and out, and pick up discarded furniture, lamps, and other items. I don’t know if they were taking these items to use or to sell. However, I can imagine you could make a fairly decent profit from picking up discarded items, cleaning them up and then selling them again.
3. Get Paid for Going to School
I didn’t get to know her very well until we were juniors, but Carolyn and I eventually grew so close we both ended up in one another’s wedding. The reason I’m including Carolyn in this article is she never worked. In spite of this, Carolyn always had spending money and lived very comfortably for a college student. To be honest, most of us thought she just had a rich family. I got to know Carolyn better when we worked together organizing a charity event for our sorority. I learned Carolyn wasn’t rich and neither was her family. What Carolyn had done, starting in her senior year of high school, was seek out and apply for any and every scholarship she might have the chance at getting. She didn’t get them all, but she got enough that she didn’t have to work at all during the school year. In addition, she saved herself a lot of money on student loan debt.
I really believe if you want to make money in college, you can do that without wearing yourself out. The examples given above are just three ways that worked for me and two of my friends. Do some research and use your imagination and soon you could be earning more money than you thought possible.
What about you? Did you have any creative ways of making money while in college?
Daniela McVicker has a master’s degree in psychological science and just graduated from Durham University in England. After returning to the United States, she discovered writing is her passion. She lives in San Francisco and works as a freelance blogger for a number of educational websites.
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