Even though most college students find ways to pay for tuition and books, from parents or financial aid, most are short of spending money. Eligible students can apply for work study jobs through the school, but many times these are not available to all the students who need them. However, with a little imagination and determination, anyone can use their talents to make extra income.
Are you good with animals? If you enjoy working with pets, jobs are available for people to sit with pets when the owner is away. Busy pet owners also are usually more than willing to pay a dog walker, or someone to bathe their pet. You can also design and sell your own custom pet collars, by taking inexpensive collars and decorating them yourself.
Do you have talents with sewing or design? Many people have made money from sewing for others, doing alterations, or making their own designs of purses, pillows, decorated jeans, or t-shirts. If you have a sewing machine that can sew designs, you can offer a monogramming service for a local department store or boutique. If you feel creative, you can make extra money drawing buttons with popular sayings or sports teams to laminate and sell. Or perhaps you have had some experience with beads making your own jewelry. Many women enjoy having something original and handmade jewelry usually sells well. Make bookmarks or keychains.
If the businesses in the area have already hired all the regular help they need, offer to help on an as needed basis for deliveries or taking inventory. Or accept an on-call position when others are out of work and the owner needs a replacement quickly.
If you are strong academically, put up a notice on the school bulletin board to tutor other students who may be struggling. Offer your services to help others do research for special projects, or to edit papers before submission. Students also can help with speech-writing. Some students also offer their services to local newspapers to do movie or book reviews payable per article submitted. You may be able to help others by offering to balance checkbooks, plan budgets, or bill paying.
If you like working with senior citizens, offer a sitting service for those elderly who can’t be left alone. These types of jobs can range from just sitting to helping with personal care, so decide what types of things you are able to do. You can also shop for groceries for shut-ins and deliver them.
If you are good with a computer, you can offer a service to help others load software, or do troubleshooting. If graphics or desktop publishing are more suitable, offer to make and distribute flyers for businesses. Design banners or posters for clubs on campus for a fee. Make labels for book owners to label personal library collections. Many families will pay to have family pictures scanned onto a disk for longer storage. Design stationary, notecards, invitations, or business cards. Can you design web pages? Most students are proficient enough with computers to offer beginner classes in using a personal computer.
Is photography something you’re interested in? Offer to take photos for local events, birthday parties, or award banquets. Offer to take photos of couples at sporting events or sitting on campus and then sell them the finished pictures when they are developed.
Take advantage of the holiday times. Offer a service to put up Christmas decorations, to wrap gifts, to be a personal shopper. Busy people will pay to have someone address their Christmas cards and get them ready to mail. Design your own handmade wrapping paper. At Halloween, some students have carved pumpkins and then sold them, or made children’s costumes. You can also offer to decorate store windows for holidays.
If you are musical talented, offer lessons on the instrument you are proficient with. Sing for parties or special events. If you are artistic, offer your drawings or paintings for sale. Do face painting for children’s parties. Paint murals for home decorating projects.
If you like the outdoors, offer private coaching lessons for little leaguers, or be a lifeguard at a local swimming pool. Do a local newspaper route. Paint houses, pressure wash driveways, or offer to clean out garages. Some students have made successful businesses out of painting house numbers on mailboxes or front curbs. Do swimming pool maintenance. Shovel snow in bad weather. Offer to help with a garden, mow lawns or rake leaves. Clean out gutters. Do carpet cleaning with rented equipment from your local grocery store.
Students who enjoy working with children can be a helper at a birthday party, do story hours at local bookstores, or babysit.
If you like cleaning, offer to clean dorm rooms or student apartments. Do laundry for those who are busy with work or school. If you don’t like cleaning, you can still do house sitting or offer to water a family’s garden or plants while they are away.
Are you interested in carpentry projects? Many families hire help to build bookcases, assemble furniture kits, or other small projects.
If none of these speak to your talent, how about shining shoes, washing windows, being a party planner, a security guard for special events, wash cars, or do oil changes?
Your ability to make extra cash is only limited by your imagination. Be creative. Everyone is good at something. Find your talent and make the most of it. Most people are willing to help a college student trying to earn extra cash, if you are determined and a hard worker. The sky’s the limit!