Amid rising tuition costs and sky-high textbook prices, most college students don’t have much money to spare. However, you can pad out your income with a few side gigs and a little ingenuity. Here are a few strategies to earn extra money in college.
Surveys and online work
Companies want to know what you’re thinking — and they’ll pay to find out. While you won’t be able to live off your earnings, you can score gift cards to popular stores with very little effort. Popular finance blog The Penny Hoarder recommends Swagbucks and MyPoints as easy ways for you to earn a little extra cash between classes. You can also earn income with Amazon’s Mechanical Turk program, which allows you to earn money by taking surveys and moderating content.
Use apps to find odd jobs
If you prefer hands-on work, try finding flexible opportunities with apps like Rover, TaskRabbit, Instacart and Postmates. The contributors at The Penny Hoarder recommend these platforms for earning money by completing simple tasks like delivering takeout, pet sitting and assembling furniture.
Sell excess stuff
Most of us have a little too much stuff lying around. Whether it’s last season’s clothes, textbooks from classes you’ve already completed, or video games that just didn’t captivate you, you can turn your unwanted items into cash. Resell your old textbooks at the campus bookstore or Amazon, swap your old clothes for money at a local consignment shop, and sell your media on a platform like Decluttr. The Penny Hoarder recommends this app for turning games, DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, CDs and electronics into quick cash.
Tutor your classmates
If you’ve got a knack for communication and a passion for the subject you’re teaching, you might enjoy tutoring. Lucky for you, there’s no shortage of students who need a little help with their studies, in every subject. You can find tutoring opportunities through a specialized department at your university, or through an online learning platform. The Penny Hoarder recommends Wyzant, which allows you to browse opportunities and set your own rates.
Try freelance work
While it’s easy to see how graphic design and photography students can profit from freelance work, other majors aren’t left out. Whether you’re studying science, engineering, business, the liberal arts, or something else entirely, odds are you already spend a lot of time writing papers for your classes. According to Forbes contributor Jordan Gonan, you can put those writing skills to work. Better yet, many freelance writing jobs offer a flexible schedule and the ability to work remotely, making them ideal for college students.
Get a work-study job
Your own campus is loaded with employment opportunities. Since these jobs are designed for college students, they offer flexible scheduling around your classes. Plus, you can choose from a huge variety of options, ranging from library and recreation jobs to laboratory setup and tech support.
Whether you’re trying to pay down your student loans, bolster your savings or simply want a little more money to spend, these strategies can help you earn extra cash. If you’re concerned about fitting job opportunities around your schedule, speak with your adviser. To learn more about your finances, contact your financial institution.