How to make extra cash without taking on a part-time job
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With the cost of tuition skyrocketing at all schools, more than ever, students need to get their hands on as much money as possible. Unfortunately, not all of us have the time (isn’t being a student enough of a full time job?) to pickup a part-time or work-study job that can take 15-20 hours out of your week. If that’s the case (or even if you do have a job already and want more ideas to make cash), you’ve got a boatload of options to make some pocket money on the side. Also, remember that you can use a lot of these side projects to gain experience you can put on your resume.
Psychology/Social Science Experiments: If your campus is like mine, I’m sure there are tons of researchers who want human guinea pigs! In exchange for your time and cooperation, they’ll usually pay you about $10-20/hour. I love doing these because they’re usually scheduled when I have open blocks in my schedule, so I’ll do an experiment for an hour and make $15 instead of surfing Facebook. Most experiments take no more than an hour, and new experiments are posted all the time. And don’t worry – you’ll be completely safe and you can always stop the experiment if you feel uncomfortable. If you’re interested, be on the lookout for fliers advertising for students to come participate in these experiments. If you don’t see any, try emailing or asking your psychology or economics departments if any researchers need students.
Freelance Gigs: Craigslist gigs can be a great resource to make some extra dough. Whenever you have a spare moment, check your city’s gigs page. You can find it by appending “/ggg” without the quotes to the URL for your city’s craigslist page. There will be a big mess of stuff, most of which won’t apply to students, but you can often find things like babysitting or data entry that you can easily do in your spare time. Your mileage may vary, but expect an hourly wage a few bucks more than minimum wage.
Focus Groups and Surveys: Check out the surveys forum on Slickdeals. Slickdeals is a great deals forum that features a community of bargain hunters on the lookout for great deals on basically anything, from TV’s to baby food. In one subsection of the forums, slickdealers post links to survey sites they’ve found. The marketers running these sites want your feedback and opinions in exchange for money! Surveys vary in length and payment amount, but I’ve found sites where you can get paid $50 in as little as 30 minutes (MindSwarms.com). Meanwhile, focus groups are in-person interviews that usually take much longer, often 2-3 hours. However, you can expect to be paid a lot more for these, sometimes even $200 for just 2 hours. Regardless of the method, the important thing to remember is that these marketers are almost always screening for certain types of people – so you will probably be denied more than once. But don’t be discouraged! Explore the forums, find survey sites you like, and get started making extra money!
Monetize Your Social Media: Whatever your interests may be, have you ever thought about communicating and sharing your expertise with others on the Internet? If not, you should. You can reap so many benefits from starting a YouTube channel, Tumblr, or blog, some of which include: 1) connecting with others who share your interest, 2) getting great experience writing and managing a website, and 3) making money! Once you have enough content and get enough traffic coming to your site, you can put up ads from a wide variety of ad networks. Here are just a few: Google AdSense, Adbrite, and Amazon.
Outside of all the tips I mentioned, there are a ton of blog posts out there with all sorts of ways to make extra cash without taking on a job. Check out 102 Ways To Generate Extra Cash, More Money: 5 Ways to Earn Extra Cash in Your Spare Time, and 10 New Ways to Make Money Online, just to name a few. There are literally hundreds more if you do a simple Google search. I hope these ideas have inspired you to get out, do something, and start recouping all that money you spend on Starbucks!
What are your favorite ways to make extra money on the side? Let us know in the comments!