Thursday, April 14, 2011

Great Side Income for College Students

Photo credit: mmagallan
"Broke College Student" isn't just a's usually fact. Sometimes it is due to lack of income. Sometimes it is due to overspending. Always there is need for more money though (either to pay rent or to buy another pizza). Here are some gigs that can get you a little more jingle in your pocket while training for your career.

  1. Tutoring - That's right. It's obvious but such a great option it cannot go by without mentioning it. You can either get paid by the school to do it through them or you can advertise personally and set your own rates (be cautious though and don't find yourself alone with someone you don't know).
  2. Musician - That's right...there are plenty of restaurants and such looking for talented musicians. Just make sure these late nights don't get in the way of your studies so you can one day make more than what that night-time gig will bring in. Nighttime not your thing? I got paid $100/week over 10 years ago to play the organ for a church. It required me to be there 2 hours on Sunday morning and 2 hours on Wednesday night. Yep...$25 an hour to be somewhere I would have been anyway. WIN! You can also get gigs doing weddings and parties as well.
  3. Jailbreaking an iPhone - completely legal and if you know how, you can really make a lot of money at this. If you don't know how to do it, you know there are plenty of tutorials online!
  4. Babysitting - Sure a lot of people consider it a school-girl job, but as a parent, I know it can be quite lucrative. Parents are certain to pay a college student more than a high schooler and you can probably get some work done after the kids are in bed! You can extend this into petsitting and housesitting as well!
  5. Graphic design - If this is your specialty, whip up some website graphics or banners and market them. Something that might take you a short while to create could pay your rent for the month.
  6. Turn your hobby into income - If you love to dance, play piano, play tennis, or any number of other things, you can likely make money teaching other people (or their children) how to do the same. And since you aren't a professional, if you can do it independently, you can reach out to clients by charging less than pros.
  7. Become a mystery shopper - I have done this a few times and it is actually kinda' fun. You get to do a task to check out a business and get fully reimbursed for the entire thing, and usually get a little extra in addition. This way you could not only make money, but get a free meal or two also! Win-win.
  8. Car Washing/Detailing - Great for getting some fresh air and using up some daytime hours that you aren't in class. You could really get this to take off during the spring while everyone is fighting pollen on their cars. If you have an eye for detail you can really make good money this way.
  9. DJing - If you have an iPod full of great music and access to a decent sound system, you could use those two items to really thicken your wallet. Look for parties, weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvah's, birthdays, or even picnics and such for businesses. The good news? You just set up, take any requests you can, and tear down. Otherwise you get to sit and enjoy the music.

Best of luck and remember, don't get too caught up in making side money that you forget why you're paying to be at school in the first place!

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