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We would love to go shopping in Columbus every weekend, buy groceries, get coffee from Wiggins, and have unlimited gas money. Unfortunately for many of us, none of that is realistic, as college students are notoriously broke. While getting an on-campus job may be somewhat of a solution, we can only take on so many responsibilities before we lose our minds and collapse trying to make time for our jobs, schoolwork, sports/wellness, and any sort of social life. So I’m here to offer you a few solutions––real solutions––that require little to no time, your own hours, and less effort!

Online Surveys

Taking online surveys is a great way to make money by giving only a few short minutes of your life. The most helpful website I’ve found is Swagbucks. Essentially, you receive a certain amount of points for completing surveys, watching videos, and playing games, which can then be redeemed for cash or gift certificates. Another equally popular website is InboxDollars, which also rewards points for the same tasks as Swagbucks. But with this website, you get a $5 bonus just by confirming your email. Surveys and videos range from five cents to $20 depending on the type, but if you dedicate yourself to filling out five longer (10 minute) surveys that pay $20 a week, that could be a quick $100!

Writing/Blogging/Poetry

While it is nice to make money writing whatever you want, the biggest downside to this money-making method is that it requires more time. You need to be consistent about posting and promoting your writing and you need to create your own website. If you do decide to go down this route, you can also get paid for displaying ads on your site. But if you don’t want to go through the trouble of creating your own blog, you can guest-blog on various other websites. There are also sites like The Sun Magazine, Poetry Foundation, Boulevard Magazine, Crazyhorse, and EPOCH that pay to publish your poems. If your poem is selected for publication, you get a paycheck ranging from $50-$100, depending on the submission and the website. 

Transportation

If you live in the city and see BIRD scooters everywhere, you can make money just by charging them. Typically, you make $5-$20 per charge, and charging several scooters per night isn’t too difficult. You need to buy a specific charging cord and power supply, but those only cost about $15 and you can easily purchase them from Amazon. While on the topic of transportation, you can also rent out your car. This is most helpful for college students whose cars are just sitting in their garage while they’re away at school. I’ve learned that the safest rent platforms are Turo, HyreCar, TravelCar, or Avail. Out of all of them, HyreCar might earn you the most money because not only can you rent out your car to individuals, but you can also rent your car to ride-share drivers like Uber or Lyft. Turo is the most popular app because it is the easiest in terms of transaction; you simply upload pictures of your car with a description and receive offers for it. But all of these websites provide relatively simple and safe ways to make money from your otherwise unused car. 

These opportunities won’t make you rich right away, but as you continue collecting money from various sources, it will eventually add up. And while it does take some work to make money even with these passive methods, the flexibility is a worthy perk. You get to decide your own hours and know how much you will make for the work you put in, which you can change week-to-week or day-to-day.

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Madelyn Son

Kenyon '25

Madelyn is a first year student at Kenyon College and has not yet decided on her major. She is from Southern California so naturally, she loves spending time at the beach! She also enjoys working out, reading, watching hockey games, and hiking. At Kenyon, you'll most likely find her heading to the Lowry Center or on a long walk.
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