University is expensive: tuition, room and board, meal plans, books, supplies, the list goes on. Add in “fun money” and you can expect your bank account to dwindle down, and fast. Many don’t realize just how much cash you need to get through schooling, especially when you want to, I don’t know, LIVE. Let’s face it. When you go to school you are going to want to treat yourself to meals out with your friends, you’re going to want to get decorations for your dorm room, you’re going to want to want to go to that party down the street that has a cover charge to get in, and you’re going to want to do things other than your homework. You are NOT going to want to have to say no to an opportunity just because you don’t have enough money to say yes. You need to have a bit of a slush fund. You need to earn some extra cash.
Some students fear that getting a job will take time away from their studies. This may be true, if their employer isn’t flexible. There are many ways to earn extra cash as a student without having to commit to a grueling work schedule that interferes with the most important part of university: your grades.
Here are 10 flexible sources of income for any university student:
1 Become a tutor
Is there a class or subject that you are particularly strong in? Offer tutoring services, whether to your peers, to underclassmen or even at a local middle or high school. Chances are that your university offers programs that will help pair you with students in need. You get to trade your knowledge for money!
2 Share your opinion
Who doesn’t like giving their opinion, especially when you can get some money for it? Online survey and opinion companies are constantly looking for participants to answer their questions, watch their videos and even do online shopping! Yes, you read that right. You can get paid to shop online. The more information you give, the easier it is for them to determine your demographic – which helps them know which surveys are best suited for you. The best part is that you can take these surveys from the comfort of your dorm room!
3 Become an Uber driver
With Uber, you get to create your own schedule, so you can work a lot or you can work a little, depending on your availability. When midterms roll around, you may decide to take an entire week off to focus on your studies. When school isn’t very busy, you may choose to work after class each night for a few hours. The beauty is that you don’t report to anyone but yourself; your schedule is 100% in your control. The only caveat is that you need to be at least 21 years old with 3+ years of driving experience to be an Uber driver, so this money-making opportunity may be more geared toward upperclassmen.
4 Sell your textbooks
University books are so expensive. Those books that you spent $100, $200, even $300 on are going to sit on your bookshelf untouched for years to come once your classes end, especially the ones that were for general electives that had nothing to do with your major. Hundreds of students will be in need of those very books next semester, so why not unload them? Sell them for less than they are worth at the bookstore and you can guarantee that you will get some happy buyers. You may even find that some local bookstores buy and resell textbooks.
Babysitting is one of the first jobs that young money makers ever have. Search local listings for openings and have a chat with your professors to see if they know of anyone looking for some extra help with their kids. Your best bet may be working for someone who works at your school; college towns are filled with families because the professors need to live close by in order to work at the school each day. If you’ve already got experience babysitting, you’ll likely stand a greater chance of getting hired! The best part? You can work on your homework while the kids sleep!
6 Be a campus rep
Have you ever noticed students hanging out in the university commons handing out free samples of energy drinks or selling products for cheap? These students are brand ambassadors and they are getting paid to promote products to their peers! Search your favorite brands and find out how you can be a campus representative in your spare time.
7 Sell your notes
If you’re an excellent note-taker, consider typing out study guides to sell to students who have either missed classes or who simply didn’t follow the lesson. Just be sure to keep it on the down-low if your university isn’t crazy about this type of activity.
8 Be a virtual assistant
If you are having an easy semester and find yourself with more time on your hands, apply to be a virtual assistant through outsourcing websites like Upwork or Freelancer. Most students have the skill set needed to be a virtual assistant, given that they are forced to become organized, deadline driven and communicative at university. You may have a slight learning curb, as you would with any new job, but these types of roles typically require that someone do website maintenance, field emails, data entry, social media management and more computer-based tasks.
9 Join a Focus/Research group
Focus and research groups are pretty regular on university campuses, as students tend to be preferable for companies looking to get opinions about their products or services. You can usually find opportunities for these groups on bulletin boards around campus. The nice part about this type of work is that they are often one-off tests requiring that you be available for one day or just a few hours.
10 Walk dogs
This is another odd-job that doesn’t require a lot of time and can be quite entertaining, especially if you are a dog lover. Browse local listings to find dog walking opportunities in your area. Like babysitting, it should be fairly easy to find a job since many families tend to live around universities for the professors’ sake.