When you head off to college each fall, the biggest drag of all is trying to figure out how to get some extra money for the school-year. Maybe you've already secured your school loans, but you still want to have some money to enjoy yourself. And after you've bought all of your school supplies and textbooks, your "fun" fund is looking ever bleaker. Don't get too down on yourself for having limited funds for school. There are ways to make some extra cash on the side in between classes and exams. Here are a few that may interest you:
1. Dog sitting
Are you an animal lover? Or even better getting a degree in pre-veterinary medicine? If you look around, I'm sure that there are quite a few people living around campus that have pets. Maybe you know a prof that has a few cuddly furballs. And eventually they will have a trip to go on where they can't bring their pets. That's where you come in. Get the word out that you will pet-sit for people when they are not home. The going rate is about $10/visit, and you'll probably have to stay for about 45 minutes, but it's something that you can do in between classes. The more experience you get, the more money you'll make.
OK, maybe dogs and cats aren't for you, or you're allergic to anything with four legs, so pet-sitting isn't for you. If you're good with kids, and have some experience working with the young-uns, you might want look into babysitting. Parents are always looking for a responsible babysitter to watch their kids when they go out. And it's usually in the evening, so your classes will probably be over by then. Make some babysitting business cards, and hand them out to people you meet that have kids. You can get free babysitting business cards at vistaprint. Pretty soon the word will get out among the local moms that you're a great babysitting, and you'll have to turn down business.
3. Hang Flyers Around Campus
There's a great referral program for college students that is run by the textbook buyback website MyBookCart.com. They will pay you a commission to hang flyers around campus! They'll even mail you the flyers for free. In order to join the program, you need to establish a user account with their website. When you register, you will receive a referral code. You can then e-mail them to ask for free flyers, and they'll mail you some with your referral code. Hang them around campus, and for each book buyback they receive with your code, they'll pay you a 10% commission. They even allow you to track referrals orders and payments through their website. This is great if you're limited on time, as you can hang flyers on the way to classes. Check them out at MyBookCart.com
4. Paint Houses
If you like to work outside, then painting houses may be your thing. There's a company called College Pro who connects student painters with customers who are looking to have their house painted. You have to be a fan of hard work to paint a house, but if you have the stamina, this may be a good idea. You'll also get some management experience and leadership skills as you may lead a painting team. You'll also gain some customer service skills, but beware if the customer isn't happy with the paint job. You may get more customer service skills than you bargained for.
5. Wait tables
When you go to get something to eat, you'll probably see some students waiting tables. Being a waiter or waitress can help ease your money woes as the tips can be up to half of what you earn at a restaurant. It can even be more than the going hourly rate. If you have a knack at charming people, then you could make out pretty good. Even if you're only good at keeping glasses filled, you could still make some decent side money. Drive around to the local restaurants in your area and see if they are hiring. They will probably work around your class schedule if they are interested in hiring you. Just keep in mind that the nicer the restaurant, the more tips you'll make.
So, as you can see, you don't have to be a poor college student. OK, just maybe slightly poor. There are ways to make some extra cash on the side without running to the parents. And it could potentially help in getting a job after college. Eventually you could have enough money for those late night parties you've been wanting to throw.