I know how hard it is trying to balance being a full-time student with a job. And as much as most of us would prefer not to have to work during this time in our lives, the reality is bills still need to get paid, food needs to get put on the table and you also have to consider how you’re going to eventually pay off your student loans.
This list will show you how you can make money in college without a job, at least in the traditional sense.
These are things that anyone can do while they’re in college to earn extra cash. It’s also completely relevant for those post grad students who haven’t yet found their first job after college. The job market can be tough and recent grads, and if it takes you months to find a good job at least you have some extra revenue sources to fall back on.
The great part about each one of these is that they allow you to create your own schedule and work as much or as little as you want!
Download phone apps that pay
These days there are so many different apps that actually pay or reward you to do different things! Typically these apps will pay out in gift cards to places like Amazon, Target or Walmart. But also many offer direct payments or PayPal cash.
These definitely aren’t a way to earn much extra money, but the plus side is they’re pretty easy and mindless.
Here are some examples:
Sell your stuff on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or other local buy and sell sites
This is a great way to earn fast cash, especially if you have a lot of extra clutter around your house or dorm that you don’t really need anymore. If it’s an electronic like an old phone, smart watch or laptop that is even better because those sell fast and you can make some decent spending cash this way.
Tip: Certain things are going to sell faster than others though, and things like clothes and “junk” don’t necessarily sell well. Electronics, baby stuff, furniture, appliances all sell well on these buy and sell sites and apps.
Sell on Ebay
Pretty much everyone knows about Ebay these days, but most people don’t think to try and make extra money by selling stuff there. It actually isn’t all that difficult, and you can sell as much or little as you want.
It can be an additional way to get rid of stuff you no longer want, or it can be a full time income if you can find stuff to sell on a regular basis.
Tip: Ebay is where all your “junk” might be a better bet to try and sell. Since your potential buyers aren’t just limited to your immediate geographical area you will be more likely to reach the people who are into really specific things.
Related: Check out this guide to getting started selling on Ebay
Open a shop on Etsy
Etsy is the go to place for unique and handmade items, so if you’re crafty or an artist you can sell all sorts of things – jewelry, custom t-shirts, purses, art prints, baby toys even party supplies. (And much more)
Become a personal shopper
You can get paid to shop and deliver groceries with a company called Shipt. They work with select participating grocery chains and so aren’t available everywhere, but you can check their location map with your zip code to see if anywhere near you offers this service and is hiring.
Shipt claims most of their drivers get paid $15 – $25 per hour, but it will vary depending on a lot of factors. You are paid a base $5 per delivery, a % of the grocery bill plus tips.
It’s also an independent contractor position, so you aren’t an actual employee. This means no benefits or guaranteed pay – but you can make your own schedule so that is a huge plus, especially if you are trying to work around being a full time college student!
Biggest complaints of Shipt shoppers are dealing with rude/unsatisfied customers and getting fired for low star ratings, even if it wasn’t justified.
Start driving with Uber or Lyft
If you like to drive, you can turn your car into a personal taxi with companies like Uber and Lyft. These are independent contractor positions so while you can create your own schedule, you aren’t guaranteed a certain pay, there’s no benefits and you are responsible for your own taxes.
Neither Uber or Lyft have official claims of how much their drivers make – they just state the more you drive, the more you can earn.
Additional expenses to consider are the increased wear and tear on your car and gas as these can deduct a considerable amount from your paycheck.
Nevertheless, it’s still something to consider if you just need some extra cash.
Become an Amazon Affiliate
Did you know that you can get paid to promote products from Amazon? You get a commission percentage of each sale made through your unique link if you sign up for their affiliate program.
You’ll need to have a well put together website for them to accept you, and you need to make at least 1 sale in 90 days or you can get kicked out of the program (but can always re-apply).
Of course it’s not as easy as it sounds, but if you know the proper way to implement an Amazon niche site you can make a lot of money doing it!
Start a YouTube Channel
Whether you want to start a makeup channel or review snack food (and everything in between) you can actually start regularly uploading videos, build up your subscriber base and earn money with YouTube’s Partner program.
There’s even people who have created full channels all about showing people how to make unique mixed alcoholic drinks!
Tip: Recent changes to their partner program have made it increasingly difficult for up and coming channels to be able to monetize directly within YouTube. However if you create your own website, you can learn how to monetize that and link your subscribers back to your site. This is an excellent way to make money with your traffic without being subject to YouTube’s rules.
Become a Freelancer
Freelancing can be a decent way to make some money whether you’re currently a college student or even post grad – you can use it for extra side cash or create a full time income.
If you have any skills or experience with things like writing, graphic design, website building, (or many more) you can get paid to do independent projects through Freelance sites such as Upwork or Freelancer.
Sell your unique talent on Fiverr
Think of any talents you may have and try to earn some extra cash by selling them with Fiverr! The whole idea behind the site is for people to be able to purchase cheap outsourced tasks for $5 – but you can create higher priced services, and it’s easy to get paid much more per gig if you offer upsells.
If you’re good at photography, photoshop, writing, or even gaming you might have a money making opportunity within Fiverr! It might be hard to establish yourself, so you’ll have to work hard and stand out from the rest of the services being offered within the platform.
Start a blog
This is a really great way to start a sustainable business online. If you have a hobby or passion, you can create a blog within a particular niche and get paid to do what you love.
Of course many people who attempt to blog make next to nothing, but if you follow proper training methods you can learn how to actually gain a following and monetize your site.
Note: This is not a great way to earn extra cash right now, but rather a long term strategy that can earn you a full-time income down the line. You can start learning how to do this in conjunction with some of the other suggestions offered on this page to supplement your living in the meantime. It can be a great additional income stream down the line, even after you have graduated and have a job!
While some of these are great ways to earn some quick extra cash, others are more long term options that can continue making you money long after college. With this economy and the ever increasing tution cost, it can be helpful to have additional income streams even when you do land your first job after graduation!
Do you have any additional ways to make money in college, or while looking for a job after graduation? Do you have any experiences with the companies or gigs on this list? Your thoughts are always appreciated!