Going to college is a bunch of fun, a lot of hard work and it’s also one of the most expensive periods of your life, which means figuring out some simple ways to earn money in college is one of the biggest challenges you may face. You’re going to want money to cover your living expenses, your academic expenses, and extra money to have with new friends and to enjoy your college life. I spent four years at college so understand what an adventure it can be, and how challenging it can be to get on top of your finances. As such, I wanted to make a post about the simple ways to earn money in college:
1. Get a Job
This is the standard route: get a traditional job, working around your college hours. I worked in a restaurant and in retail during the years I was studying at university. This is a great option because it will involve regular hours and regular pay, making it easy to predict how much money you’ll have. If you can, I highly suggest getting a job for the year or at least the summer before you start college. This way you can save money, while living at home and with relatively low living expenses. You won’t have the pressure of college exams so you can perhaps work more hours too. The more savings you can have before you even apply to college, the better and easier things will be. But if you’re like me and left everything to the last minute, don’t stress, just be sure to maximise the hours you can work now.
2. Odd Jobs
If your workload is too demanding at your college for a traditional job, then you may want to look into odd jobs. These are simple things like helping families by picking up their kids and taking them home after school while the parents are at work, gardening, running errands and so on. While I was at university there was a specific job search area that had a bunch of odd jobs available that you could apply to. It would be good to see what kind of jobs are available near you. Often colleges have a support person who works full time to help you find employment to help with your college expenses. This is an excellent resource and usually free too, so make the most of it.
3. Become a Brand Ambassador
Many of us think that jobs have to be boring, but that simply isn’t true. There are some fun jobs you can land with enough foresight and hard work. One of the most fun college jobs I’ve ever heard of is becoming a sorority brand ambassador, for brands such as Greek U. If you’re a part of a sorority, love meeting people and sharing cool things with the, then consider what a fun job sorority influencers have! Chances are you’ll also find yourself being gifted tons of cool gear and you basically get paid to meet people and show off the cool product. You’ll get to choose your own schedule and your income will be directly related to how much effort you put in, which I enjoy a lot more than a traditional job.
4. Baby Sitting
If you’re staying in your home city to study, then chances are your parents probably have some friends with young kids. Babysitting is a great way to make some easy money, and when I was at college I would take my books along to study while the kids watched TV or slept. The hourly rate for baby sitting will vary greatly depending on what state you’re in and how much the family can afford, but I would say $10-15 per hour is quite normal, with extra fees if they want you to stay overnight. The only downside with baby sitting is it’s unlikely to be a regular thing, but it’s a great way to get an extra cash injection when funds are low. If you don’t know anyone who needs baby sitting services, you can put up flyers in supermarkets or check out online board forums for your local area.
5. Working Online
I personally think working online is a great option for college students because you can choose your own hours, how many hours you work per week and also be flexible around your study schedule. More and more companies are moving online, requiring an online presence and help creating that! If you’re interested in things like social media, advertising, content creation or even becoming a virtual assistant, then there’s a wide host of opportunities for you. I would suggest starting by reading the book The 4 Hour Work Week and also browsing Upwork.com to see what kind of opportunities spark your interest. Bare in mind you’re competing with an international market place, so you may begin on rates that are lower than ideal.
Do you have any tips for finding work and making money in college? Share them below.