So, you’re in college – congrats! By investing in yourself, you’re taking a great step forward in securing your financial future. Trouble is, though, until that point when you’re out in the real world launching that lucrative career…. you’re flat broke.
Don’t lose any sleep over your current money probs. There are plenty of ways to bridge the gap between where you are, and where you want to be.
Here are 21 suggestions for rolling in the dough – ok, at least fattening your wallet – while you’re in college.
1. Drive for Uber or Lyft.
This wildly popular avenue to potentially high earnings is sweeping the nation, putting people in the driver’s seat of setting their own sked and working independently.
Sure, there are requirements, such as a vehicle that’s not a clunker, but once you jump through a few hoops, you will be up and running.
Driving for Uber or Lyft lets you work when you want. You simply turn off your availability through the networks and get back to your studies on business administration, art history, or what have you.
With would-be customers clamoring for rides day and night, you can pick up fares around the clock.
2. Sell unwanted and unused items online.
It’s an old adage that still holds water: One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. That guitar you haven’t picked up since your high school days, the perfectly good laptop that’s accumulating dust, or the tux you bought for prom because it was just as cheap as renting could be gold for someone else. Go on Craig’s or eBay and list your junk, er, items, alongside stellar photographs and watch the deals roll in.
Want to take this a step further? Ask a few of your friends, particularly the lazy ones, if they want you to sell some stuff for them online. Sell items for your friend online and keep a cut for yourself!
3. Design websites for small businesses.
Admit it, you have a flair for design and secretly love playing on the computer with color, fonts and logos. There are zillions of small businesses out there that don’t have the budget to have a web expert on staff, and some of them don’t even realize the potential for growth leveraged by a solid site and memorable logo and branding.
Finding these hidden gems is simple enough: Google businesses near you in an area of interest, say, dog groomers, or chiropractors or clowns who do birthday balloon sculptures. Compose a generic pitch outlining your skills, then personalize it to their niche and get that message out there. You can crank out a dozen emails in less than 10 minutes while your college student staple dinner – boxed mac and cheese – is boiling.
Create some sample logos for anywhere – doesn’t matter if you’ve been paid to craft them or not – and ask every new client for testimonials. Also ask for recommendations, and watch business grow through word-of-mouth.
4. Tutor other students over Skype.
You can tutor a ton of kids of all ages without ever leaving campus. Put your natural acuity for algebra, or that high school Spanish you mastered to work and you will find lots of struggling students looking for help.
Nailed your college essay? Critiqued the works of Shakespeare? Find your strong points and make the most of them! You can also offer tutoring to international students of all levels in math, history or English.
5. Take care of pets for others.
Sure, there are dog walkers out there, but how many are willing to roll up their sleeves and give Fido a bath? Hand out business cards and stuff flyers in neighborhood mail boxes offering a full range of services. Some work-obsessed people have even been known to look for others to play with their dogs (they call it “socialization”) during busy weekdays.
If you can manage more than one leash, walk several at a time! Throw a galvanized tub in the back of your car with some dog shampoo and offer on-site scrubbing for dogs of all sizes and breeds. Or invest in a brush and offer to comb out snarls. Or clippers to trim nails. You get the idea.
If you’re a true pet enthusiast, people will pay big bucks for your care and attention to their pups.
6. Plan parties and events for others.
Speaking of work-obsessed people, many parents today lack the time and patience to plan a children’s birthday party at the local bowling alley, play place or even their own backyard.
Suggest a theme, shop for paper goods, hire that clown, order the cake. Extras could include personally designed invitations, tracking RSVPs, and taking photos/videos of the event itself.
7. Become a personal shopper or assistant.
No, we are not talking about someone who buys clothes for a wealthier person. Amazon has cornered that market. We mean everything from a trip to the grocery store to a run to the dry cleaner to delivering outgoing mail to the post office.
Perhaps a better title would be “errand assistant.” Grocery stores charge high premiums for assembling items off a list and getting them bagged and ready. You can do this for people, and add the service of convenient home delivery. Along with a standard charge, you may even get tips.
Try apartment complexes near campus for starters and watch business take off.
8. General car service and maintenance.
Think hard about things required by car owners who have no time or inclination to do them.
Start a part-time business installing new windshield wipers, helping out with flat tires or even changing oil at customers’ homes.
9. Driving instructor or tutor.
Speaking of cars, this is one of those required parenting tasks that many people do not look forward to at all.
Make sure your parallel parking skills are up to snuff, then advertise driving lessons to teens. Check with your insurance carrier first, of course, but this is a niche side hustle that isn’t as well known yet but would be very sought after and propel your earnings into high speed.
10. Create and sell an online course.
Ready to demonstrate how to write the perfect resume? Knit a sweater? Read tarot cards? Buy a car? Balance a checkbook?
If you’re an expert (or willing to do the footwork and become an expert) on any topic, you can create an online course to teach others your skills.
Setting up the curriculum requires a time commitment, as does marketing your course, but once it’s up and running, you’ll earn passive income based on the number of students.
Ryan Scribner, one of the site authors, offers a free course all about building a successful online course or membership site. You can enroll here!
This is one of the best ways to make passive income. Once the course is completed, you just collect the payments! Hosting sites like Teachable will handle the rest. There are countless examples of people who are making $100,000 or more with an online course.
Take Tai Lopez for example. In this video, Tanner J. Fox estimates that he does close to $90,000,000 a year in revenue from his online courses and coaching!
11. Manage social media accounts for small businesses.
Investing Simple is affiliated with Kevin David.
Many people don’t know the difference between a Tweet and a Facebook post, or what Instagram even involves. Whether they want to learn these skills for a small business or for keeping in touch with family and friends, you can use your knowledge and experience with social media to teach others lacking understanding and practice. There are plenty of technology shy people out there too embarrassed to ask for help but willing to work privately with someone who knows their stuff. Leverage the social media know how you already have into a great consulting gig!
Check out this video to learn more about how you can make money through social media marketing. Here is the free training link.
12. Babysit or become a part time nanny.
Gone are the days when an evening of watching kids sent you home with a $20 bill.
These days, parents will pay a premium for a trusted, responsible person to babysit. Ditto for a part-time nanny, which usually includes your meals. You might want to register with a reputable child care company online that pre-screens everyone and will help get your foot in the door.
13. Launch your own blog. (Like we did!)
This will require some initial time invested, but hey, if you love to write it won’t be difficult to churn out blogs about anything and everything.
Get blogs up and running, then pitch your services to small local businesses who aren’t yet up to speed with social media and the attention it can command. Find a niche market, thoroughly research your subject matter, then spend a few hours a night at your keyboard. Always ask everyone on your client list to refer you to other business owners.
You may even want to attach a perk to referrals, such as 5 free blog articles if a referral proves fruitful. Now get typing!
14. Write an eBook and sell it on Amazon.
While you’re polishing your writing skills and becoming an expert on a niche topic, expand on your word count and create an eBook.
Selling books via Amazon is a stellar start to earning passive income. That means you’re making money without active work on your part once the initial time investment is made. Your eBook could be selling while you sleep!
The eBooks cost nothing to produce since they sidestep the traditional publishing process, and makes you money based on sales. Talk it up among family, friends, your parent’s neighbors, distant cousins, anyone you can think of who will support your work. Ask for testimonials touting the eBook as clearly the next best seller. Who knows, a publisher may get wind of your book and pick it up for paperback publication.
One caveat: always have your manuscript professionally edited and proofread, because you’re only as good as your work is concise, accurate and grammatically on point.
15. Become a personal chef or baker.
Love to cook? Have a ton of recipes from your Grandma? Able to bake (and decorate!) fancy cakes? This could be the money-maker for you. Get word out about your small business, then whip up samples for hungry prospective clients.
It would be wise to stick to your strong points rather than taking on something new, but that gives you the opportunity to market yourself as The Pasta King, or The Cupcake Lady. Once you’ve gained confidence and compliments, set up cooking classes for small groups of novices. Most high schools and veteran’s organizations have commercial sized kitchens where you can teach people everything from omelets to chicken marsala to red velvet cake (hungry yet?) It’s amazing how much people will pay to watch other people cook for them, so give this side hustle a try, from soup to nuts.
16. Wash and detail cars.
Taking a vehicle through a commercial car wash comes at a high cost for a little soap and water and some turbo brushes. You can pay an average of $15 for a simple, no frills wash and dry. But nothing beats a good old hand wash and buffing to dry. Get your name out there, then make a small investment of gas for your own car and go wash vehicles on-site. Add waxing services, then take pics of your finished work for advertising purposes. Bonus: you’ll be working outside, which is a great contrast to the college dorm or library or lab.
17. Become a mystery shopper.
This income option isn’t well known, but many mid to large size companies offer mystery shopping gigs. Mystery shoppers blend in with customers and make transactions, including buying and return, then provide feedback about the retailer. This can be done at a physical store, or if you’re lucky and look hard enough, you can get shopping jobs at an online store. Google “Mystery shopping” to start, or if you really want to put yourself out there, contact companies and pitch your mystery shopping services. Restaurants also use this service, and many offer free meals!
18. Clean homes and offices.
Another ideal side hustle because this can be done at night. Cleaning offices can be as simple as vacuuming and taking out trash! Pop in earbuds and zone out; the work will be done before you know it. There’s a huge demand for house cleaners, and this can be done around your class schedule. Most people have cleaning products at their houses, so all you need is energy and motivation, and maybe a couple friends to get the jobs done quickly. Most cleaning services come with a hefty price tag. Find out what the going rate is in your area, then go 10% lower to reel in more customers.
19. Write cover letters and resumes.
You will be doing your own resume soon when looking for a job post-graduation, so why not hone your skills while helping others? Many people freeze up and get writer’s block when it comes to composing cover letters and resumes. You can start with a template then work in the details for each client. Take the time to consult with clients first (electronically) so you have a good working knowledge of their strengths, accomplishments and career goals. This will also help you organize your own resume that will stand out from the sea of applicants.
20. Flip cars on Craigslist or other marketplaces.
One of the best ways to make some extra side money is flipping cars. If you know what you are looking for, you can find great deals on used cars online. This is usually a result of a seller needing to get rid of a car that day for some reason. While you should be mechanically inclined, this can be a great way to make some extra side income!
Check out this video here. These guys flipped a 2007 Toyota Camry for a hefty profit of $1,000! You can too.
21. Build a following on Instagram and make money.
Investing Simple is affiliated with Online CEOs by Josue Pena.
Use what you do every day to your advantage. There are so many businesses getting left behind because they don’t know how to use social media. If you are able to help businesses with their social media and get them more customers, they will pay you massive sums of money.
Take Josue Pena for example, he has a social media marketing agency that does close to $100,000 per month in revenue. It took Josue months to learn the ins and outs of social media, but now clients all over the world pay him for his expertise.
Here is a video that talks about his social media marketing agency.
Become an expert on Instagram and other social media platforms, then go look around where you live for local businesses you think could use some help. Take over their social media, and get them more customers while earning a monthly retainer in return.
Once you become too busy, hire an employee or outsource the work to someone overseas! This business is very easy to scale.
Got a money making idea for college students? Comment below!