Broke college students love making extra money like a fat kid loves cake. I speak from personal experience, and, by the way, skinny kids love cake too. Like many other college students, my bank account ran closer to empty than full throughout my college and grad school years, but I still wanted to have fun without digging myself into a bigger hole.
There are tons of ways to make extra money, but most college students are simply too lazy to take advantage of them. Fortunately, I’ve put together this list of 5 easy ways for college students to make extra money during the school year. There should be something for every type of college student, from lazy to ambitious, on this list.
1. Open a high-yield savings account
This is by far the easiest (and laziest) way to make extra money. All you have to do is open a high-yield savings account, put your money in it, and wait. Each month you’ll earn some extra cash based on your balance. The catch is that you need some money to put into the account in the first place.
If you get a student loan refund, a high-yield savings account is a great place to put that cash. Why let it sit dormant in a checking account when it can be earning you some extra money in a high-yield savings account? You can also get a $25 bonus from ING Direct when you open an account with at least a $250 initial deposit.
2. Get a part-time job
Enough of the laziness, most college students have lots of free time (even more if you skip class). Whether you want to admit it or not, there’s no excuse for not getting a part-time job while you’re in school. Get an on-campus job at a computer lab if you want a low-key, low stress job where you’ll get paid to do your homework … I mean, supervise the computer lab.
During my last two years of undergrad, I had a part-time job, took a full course load, was in a serious relationship, and still managed to graduate with honors. Of course, even though that worked for me, it may not work for you. The key is find a part-time job that allows you to balance school with work and still leaves you with enough time to hang out with your friends.
3. Sell something you don’t need
Used textbooks, CDs, DVDs, video games, iPods, and anything else you might find on eBay. Chances are every college student has at least one thing they don’t need anymore, so sell it for some extra cash. If you want to avoid the hassle of shipping your items, then sell locally by posting your items on the Facebook Marketplace.
4. Make money online
Everyone has probably seen one of those cheesy infomercials about how easy it is to make money online these days. Well, they’re partially true. You can make some extra money online, and it’s pretty easy. However, it’s not going to turn you into a millionaire overnight (or in a week or in a month). If you put enough effort into it though, you may be able to pay back your student loans with the money you make online. Here is a small sample of the many opportunities out there:
- Complete offers at CashCrate. I’ve made over $4000 through CashCrate since joining.
- Write articles for Associated Content and earn money based on the performance of your articles.
- Make videos, post them on Revver, and get a cut of the ad revenue.
5. Do freelance work
House sitting, pet sitting, tennis lessons, commissioned art works, tutoring, web design, knitting, computer repair, or whatever else you’re good at doing. The beauty of freelance work is that you have the opportunity to do something that you really enjoy, and you get paid for it. The biggest challenge is finding these opportunities (a.k.a. tricking people into paying you to do stuff that’s actually fun).
Networking is your best friend when it comes to freelance work. One of your professors may need someone to house/pet sit while they’re out of town. A friend of a friend may know someone that wants a website. That’s exactly how I ended up getting paid to put together a wedding website for a grad student during my undergrad years.