In today's post, I'm going to explain how to earn money in college. And these are realistic ideas that many people are actually doing now. The truth is, a lot of college students are very strapped for extra cash. And not only that, they need something flexible they can do here and there around hectic class schedules.
If the description above sounds a lot like you, keep reading! No matter what your personality type or skillset, you should find something below that you may work for you, at least in the short term.
How To Earn Money In College
#1 – Pet Sitting – Earn up to $1,000 a month!
Are you an animal lover? If so, you can make extra money on your own time with pet-sitting. This is something that could be fun (depending on the temperament of the pet) and very rewarding. Plus, it can pay well.
You may be thinking finding clients is difficult, but signing up as a pet sitter on Rover will make that part of it much easier. You can create your profile and then wait for clients to come to you!
According to Rover, some of their pet sitters earn up to $1,000 per month in extra cash. This could definitely help you out while you're in college!
#2 – Personal Shopping – Earn up to $22 hourly!
A lot of people are now getting their groceries delivered directly to their homes by personal shoppers — saving them time. And yes, you could be one of those personal shoppers who visits stores, gets the items needed, and deliver them to the homes of the people who have requested it.
One really popular app/site people are signing up with to become personal shoppers is Shipt. To qualify to shop for Shipt, you need to be at least 18 with a license, insurance, a reliable car, and a smartphone.
According to Shipt, some of their shoppers earn as much as $22 an hour.
#3 – Online Academic Tutoring
There are many people who work at home tutoring others. And this doesn't have to be your classmates — you could paid to do academic tutoring for people all over the country, of all ages.
One option to consider for this is Studypool. They are always on the lookout for new tutors to provide online homework help to their users. To qualify, you need to either already have your degree or be enrolled in college currently.
#4 – Online ESL Tutoring – Earn up to $20 hourly!
Another option, if online academic tutoring isn't your thing, is ESL (English Second Language) tutoring. This is something else you can do in your spare time and earn good money. Some ESL tutors are able to earn as much as $20 hourly.
If you are working toward your degree, another option is Tutlo. They will accept people who don't have a degree yet.
#5 – Design T-Shirts & Other Merchandise To Sell
If you're the creative type, Spreadshop offers a super easy way to get your designs on merchandise like T-shirts, hoodies, tank tops, tote bags, and mugs. Then, you can open a shop online and begin selling them to the masses.
The shop is free to open, and they have tons of neat features so you can set it up exactly the way you want it.
Go here to learn more about show Spreadshop works and/or open up your own shop today.
#6 – Mystery Shopping
If you like getting out and visiting stores, you could earn extra money as a mystery shopper. And no, this isn't a scam at all even though there are some “fake” mystery shopping companies out there.
Pro tip — if you're doing actual mystery shopping, the company you sign up with will never, ever ask you to pay a fee to join as a shopper.
#7 – Drive People Around
If you're over 18 and you have a reliable car, you could earn extra cash on your own time driving people around. I'm sure you've heard of ridesharing apps — and probably used a few — in recent years.
#8 – Become a Caregiver
There are so many different ways you can offer caregiving services on your own time and earn extra money. You could babysit, care for the elderly, or even take care of other people's homes or pets when they aren't able to.
If you want to be a caregiver and have an easier time connecting with potential clients, consider creating a profile on Sittercity so people needing caregiving services can find you.
#9 – Get Paid To Write
When you think “freelance writer,” you probably think of someone with a degree and/or tons of professional experience. But this isn't always the case. Pretty much anyone with good writing skills — trained or not — can earn money writing online.
One site that I've used for this is Textbroker. They accept people with no experience, and you can work whenever you want.
Go here to sign up to write for Textbroker.
#10 – Test Out Websites
Something you can do to earn a quick $10 or so dollars in 20-30 minutes of time is website usability testing. There are lots of new start-up companies that are desperate for user feedback on their sites and how user-friendly they are. And they are willing to pay pretty much anyone to get this feedback.
If you're interested in doing some usability testing, consider signing up with sites like UserTesting and What Users Do as a tester. When there are open tests, these sites will email you, and you can earn some quick cash provided you're fast enough to grab the open tests before others do.
#11 – Sell Textbooks You Don't Need
As a college student, odds are you may be hanging on to some old textbooks that are no longer of any use to you. But, they may be of use to someone else.
You probably also know that buying these textbooks brand new isn't exactly cheap. So, it goes without saying that there are people out there who would love to buy your textbooks used from to save themselves some money.
SellBackBooks.com makes selling your textbooks pretty easy. They act as the middleman, finding students all over the country who could use your books. You just find out what they'd give you for your books and then ship them over (shipping is paid by then).
Once SellBackBooks.com has your books, they will pay you what they promised via direct deposit.
Go here to start pricing your used textbooks on SellBackBooks.com.
#12 – Flip Thrift Store Finds
A fun and profitable thing to do in your spare time is thrift store flipping. Basically, you just visit thrift stores in your area, find things that you know you could earn money for, and then re-sell them on sites like Amazon or Ebay.
Note that it may take some time to get good at this. You'd need to do some research to find out what sorts of things are usually underpriced at thrift stores and check online to see what most are selling them for.
Some people have even managed to build full-time businesses with thrift store flipping, so it's definitely something you could earn extra cash with.
#13 – Become a Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants are sort of like “cyber secretaries.” You are basically acting as a go-to for someone who doesn't have time to complete online tasks on their own. You may be doing everything from data entry to booking appointments.
A really flexible site you can join to work as a virtual assistant is Fancy Hands. With this site, you don't work for any one specific person. You just log on and grab tasks out of a huge pool of them, doing what you can when you can. This makes it ideal if you're a college student with an already hectic schedule.
Go here to sign up for Fancy Hands.
#14 – Transcribe Audio
Transcribing audio involves listening to audio and then accurately typing out what you hear. It is actually a lot harder than it sounds. You need a good ear, great typing skills, and patience.
One of the best things about transcription is that you can do it from anywhere, and most companies you work for do not demand you stick to a specific schedule.
#15 – Dog Walking
If you're a dog lover, you could earn some extra cash here and there walking dogs for people who don't have time to walk their own dogs.
One site you can sign up with to find people in need of your dog walking services is Wag. They require that you're at least 18 years old, residing in the United States, and physically able to walk for at least 20 minutes.
I hope this gives you some great ideas for how to earn money in college. If you've done something that has paid off for you to earn a little extra while also juggling a busy class schedule, please let us know in the comments below.