Make Some Extra Cash in College without a Work-Study (or Real) Job
Work-study jobs are nice: you’re paid to study for a few hours while doing a task every once in awhile. Unfortunately for some, not every student always gets work-study money or the work-study dollars may just not be paying the bills.
Stock photography has recently moved out of the hands of professionals and into amateurs, largely due to the advent of “prosumer” cameras like the Canon Rebel. But with most newer digital cameras today, you shouldn’t need a bag full of lenses to take your own stock photography.
How do you make money with some pictures of relatively boring subjects? Take a look at iStockPhoto.com. The site has single-handedly driven professional stock photographers out of business. They pay each amateur (now considered professional?) photographer each time a magazine, newspaper, what-have-you downloads the file for a nominal fee (anywhere between $1 and $25).
If you create your own iStockPhoto account and submit several stock photos, you could potentially have a steady stream of income flowing into your bank account for some initial work and periodic maintenance. Score.
“Gigs” on Craigslist
While it’s easy to find free couches on the other side of town on Craigslist, finding a suitable “gig” may be tougher.
“Gigs” are more-or-less one-time jobs or tasks that someone needs done, not British rock shows. It’s a good way to make quick cash if you’ve got the time. There are gigs for just about any talent and they are always numerous.
Word to the wise: Craiglist is unmoderated, so you potentially dealing with “shady” or “sketchy” folks. Make sure your terms of service are clearly worked out before doing any work. Make sure their checks don’t bounce when you cash them and make sure you have their real name/organization.
A friend of mine was describing a sleep deprivation experiment he participated in once. He had to stay up for 36 hours straight while being monitored and made out with $550. That’s not too bad.
Well, they did take nine blood samples over the course of the 36 hours. And he wasn’t allowed caffeine.
So, if you’re willing to be a lab rat for a little while and want to meet some “interesting” people who also need money, see if local universities (or your own) are putting on any experiments in the near future.
Hope you live to tell about it.
Start tinkering around in the stock market.
If you’ve already got some money in savings, this could be a way for you to spend money to make money.
Start an account at an online trading site (I use Charles Schwab) and do some research. When you think you’ve found a good stock, jump in and buy it. See what it does.
I used $1000 I made over the summer to buy some shares of Apple Computer. I bought the stock at $68, and now it’s somewhere around $80.
If I sold today, that’d be another $200 in my pocket (minus commission and trade costs). Not too shabby.
If you have the skills, freelance
There are many businesses and individuals that turn to freelancers to get the job done for them. Whether it’s editing a wedding video or designing a logo, freelancing is any easy way to make a significant amount of cash. The same warning goes for Craigslist though: make sure you’ve got your terms worked out before you start working, no matter what.
A good place to get started is freelance.com or a site like it.
Auction off anything you don’t need
I remember first arriving at school my freshman year, and I brought twice as much stuff as I needed. Even now I still have more clutter in my dorm room than I need.
It can be difficult to part with your possessions though. For me, I’m considering selling off my laptop and Mac Mini in hopes of getting a MacBook or something. But parting with two computers might be too much for me.
You have two main routes for efficiently unloading your belongings: eBay and Craigslist. eBay will probably land you more for your money, but you’ll have to bother with shipping and setting up an account (if you don’t already have one). For Craigslist, you’ll probably get less for your item, but you won’t have to hassle with shipping it.
Create your own website
It’s what I’m doing at least. It’s probably the hardest way to make money. After three months of dedicated posting and revising and publicizing, I’ve made less than $5 from adveritising. It’s a tough road, but maybe traffic will pick up.
If you take this route, I highly recommend GoDaddy. I’ve had no trouble with them and they are very competitively priced.