It’s mid-semester, spring break either just passed or is around the corner, and you might be running a bit low on funds for groceries, gas, your next housing payment, summer-term tuition, or study abroad fees. Luckily, there are a few relatively easy ways to gather some money to cover these costs.
1. Scholarships. Even if it’s mid-semester, scholarships are available year-round. Odds are, at any given point in the school year, you can find a scholarship that you can apply for. As little as it may be, $100, $500, or $1000 can really come in handy. From paying health fees at school to helping with study abroad expenses. Some great sites to look for scholarships year-round are Chegg, Fiu Scholarships Site.
2. Sell some closet items. Poshmark, Depop, and Instagram are easy and accessible ways to sell any closet items you haven’t used in a while- sneakers, tops, sweaters, jeans, even jewelry, and unused makeup. Simply snap pics and post the item. Poshmark, for example, covers the shipping costs and you can pick up some priority mail envelopes at the post office for free. Tip: It can be fun and useful to do a closet-clean out each semester.
3. Babysit. If you have younger siblings, cousins, nieces, or nephews, this one might come easy to you. For example, when you go back home during break, offer to take care of the youngest members of your family while their parents go on a date, or even on a getaway themselves. You could also offer to take the kids out for a playdate, have your family members tell their parent-friends that you’re in town and available to babysit, or make flyers to post on socials about your babysitting services (both at home and wherever your school’s area).
4. Freelance. (i.e. makeup, hair) If you know a big social event is coming up (like a music festival, homecoming, or banquet), it could be the perfect opportunity to showcase your makeup, DIY (i.e. floral/crochet tops/bras), or hairstyling (i.e. braiding, curling, dying) skills. If a big event isn’t coming up, you could look into offering your services in your free time. Some ways to get the word out include making an Instagram page for your services, turning your own personal Instagram into a business profile so that those interested can email, call, and/or text you, and making an account on https://www.freelance.com/.
5. Thrift and sell. This one requires a bit of time and monetary investment, but it has the potential to return a decent profit. Lots of people would like to have a vintage, classic, or even just thrifted items in their wardrobe but don’t have the time to go on the hunt for them or the knowledge to know the best places to go. If you’re a thrifting enthusiast, this might be the perfect side hustle for you. Selling pieces you found for $5 at $15, for example, wouldn’t be inappropriate. You’d be charging for your time and expertise. If the piece is very rare or a classic, an even higher price that is still less than retail would be profitable and adequate. Similar to freelancing, you could sell items through your socials, or even set up a Poshmark or Depop.
6. Dog walking. If you consider yourself a dog whisperer, this one’s perfect for you. Doggies are great therapy during a stressful semester and usually easier to take care of than a baby. You could make flyers and post them around campus, promote your services on socials, or walk your family members’ dogs back home during break. Depending on how many you can handle, you could walk multiple dogs at once, making the most of your time.
7. Tutoring. This one might come easiest, as a college student, if you have the time. Whether it’s helping a student study for midterms or finals, tutoring grade school students in simple arithmetic, or working at your university’s foreign language center, tutoring can be quite profitable and convenient. Whether you can devote three hours or thirty hours, tutoring is a good way to get involved in your community, beef up your resume, and practice your own knowledge on a topic. Not to mention how lucrative it can be- tutors can charge anywhere from $15 to $60 an hour, depending on the expertise and difficulty level. if you have enough time to commit to a tutoring agency, you could even do it part/full-time.
Gathering up enough cash to fund the cost of living as a college student can be difficult- with little free time and lots of assignments- but knowing you do have options that you can make work around your own schedule is definitely a step in the right direction.