Busy Student Guide: How to Make Money in College

how to make money in college

The average college student spends $547 per month on food alone. Add in the costs of study materials, rent and bills, and nights out; being a student isn’t cheap.

But, when classes and study take up most of your time, it can seem impossible to make enough money to afford college. To help with tuition, there are various federal and private loans available, but that’s only the start of your financial concerns. If you’re wondering how to make money in college, you aren’t alone. 

Luckily, there are ways to make money alongside your studies that’ll leave you time-rich and financially stable. The key is to find low-labor, flexible side hustles that’ll generate you small increments of cash and passive income – that way, you’ll still have time for studies and parties! 

Read on for the top ways of making money in college. 

Share Your Phone Information

The average college student spends 8-10 hours per day on their phone. So, isn’t it lucky that you can make money from your scrolling?

Personal data is becoming increasingly valuable in the 21st century, so certain apps will pay you to access your phone activities. The caveat is that you lose access to your privacy as the apps show advertisers your activity – however, if this doesn’t bother you, it is the best form of passive income you could hope for. 

You won’t get rich from these apps alone; you can expect to make $5-$50 per app per month. Although it’s not a salary, it’s enough to cover your Netflix subscription. 

Because these apps pay low, it’s best to sign up for all of them if you want to notice a significant income. Bear in mind that some will pay in cash, others in shopping vouchers. 

Apps that will pay you for your data include DataCoup, Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel, National Consumer Panel, and Paribus. 

A note about sharing your data: many scam companies have popped up in recent years, so make sure to do your research and read online reviews before sharing your data online. 

Delivery Driving 

The main problem with making money while at college is the lack of flexibility most employers offer. Getting a job anywhere can feel like a logistical nightmare, and flexible jobs often come with a lower paycheck. 

However, delivery driving provides a convenient middle ground. You can sign up to drive for Amazon, Uber, GrubHub, Instacart, and many more. 

You won’t have employee rights with these companies, but you can choose to work as often or as little as you like. 

Next time you’re thinking about going out due to boredom, you can earn money doing lifts instead. Not only will you save money from not going out, but you’ll also be earning! 

Capitalize on Your Studies

As a student, you’ve got great opportunities for work-study job options. You can make money through your studies. 

Your first option is selling your college notes. You can either network with peers in the class below you and offer your services, or look up apps that’ll pay for your notes. You’ve made the notes anyway, so why not sell copies to others? 

Next, if you’re academic, offer proof-reading services to your peers. You can read through their assignments, give guidance, and also get inspiration for your own papers. 

Blogging 

Blogging isn’t for everyone, but if you’re a keen writer, it’s essential. There are several perks to blogging. 

First, if you ever want to apply for a job in a writing, digital, or social media field, it’s invaluable if you already have an online portfolio of work. If you can show an employer that you have a blog you created from scratch and manage, it shows your skills and ambition. 

So, even if it doesn’t make you money straight away, it’s sure to help you make money in the future. 

But if you’re in it for the money, you can do that too. As a college student, you know about topics that are very popular in the blogging world. Think lifestyle, study hacks, travel, and college tips. 

Capitalize on your knowledge and share it through your blog. Once you get regular readers, you can begin to monetize your blog. This means you can include clickable ads that’ll get you paid each time a reader clicks on them. 

Furthermore, you can review products or mention them in your blog for cash. 

Blogging takes a while to get off the ground and takes considerable time and effort. But the paycheck can be worth it; if you take it seriously and your blog takes off, you can expect to make

  • Year 1: $25,000-$50,000 
  • Year 2: $100,000 
  • Year 3: $250,000 
  • Year 4: $500,000 

Of course, these stats represent committed, full-time bloggers. But don’t be disheartened; if you can make even 5% of these figures, you’ll be able to afford whatever you need at college. 

Online Surveys 

Do you waste too much time on your phone? Well, time to turn it into income. You can fill out online surveys for cash and shopping vouchers. 

Completing online surveys is one of the easiest, most flexible ways to get extra income. You can expect to be paid anywhere from 15 cents to $5 per survey, and you can choose the length of survey you wish to complete. 

So, set yourself a screen time limit for social media apps each day and once you’ve exceeded it, switch to surveys. 

Apps to get you started include Survey Junkie, Swagbucks Surveys, Pinecone, Opinion Outpost, Fetch Rewards, and Branded Surveys. 

Medical Testing Volunteer 

Medical testing isn’t for everyone, but this is an easy way to make money if you aren’t too squeamish. If you’re looking for jobs on campus, take a walk over to your science block and have a look on the noticeboards – you’ll probably see a range of experiments requiring volunteers. 

If your college is small, it may just be little experiments (e.g., have a caffeinated drink and then complete a brain-training task). These will probably be reimbursed with a free coffee or voucher for the student bar. 

But that’s still one less coffee you have to buy. 

If your college is linked to a research facility, you’ll have the opportunity to partake in more extensive experiments such as donating blood plasma, hair, feces, sperm/eggs, and more! You will receive much higher compensation for these types of trials. 

Because it’s done in a research capacity, you can rest assured that these experiments have gone through safety and ethics approvals – the only question is whether you’re comfortable with it. 

If so, a weekly trip down to the science lab could make you a healthy income. 

House Sitting 

House sitting is a great side hustle if you’re after a bit of extra cash (and snacks). You probably won’t get rich from house sitting, but you’ll make some pocket money. 

When people go away, they often need someone to look after plants and pets and keep the house secure. They’ll pay you a wage, and any decent family will leave you the Wi-Fi password and plenty of snacks. 

If you need some time away from the college atmosphere, this is a perfect opportunity to rest up and get some studies in. And, not forgetting the $25-$30 per day you’ll be paid to stay there. 

For the ultimate side hustle, you can consider renting out your room to someone else on the nights you’re looking after someone else’s home. That’ll make you some extra cash, even if it’s just charging someone $10 for a bed for the night. 

Freelancing 

One of the best part-time jobs for students is freelance work because of the flexibility and potential for high earnings. Whatever skills you have, you can use them to make money while you’re at college. 

If you’re organized, sell virtual assistant services. If you’re arty, sell postcards, prints, or T-shirts. If you’re academic, sell proof-reading services.

The list goes on and on…The one thing that’s for sure is that if you’re good at something, there’s someone out there who isn’t, and they’d appreciate your help. 

Freelancing websites can act as the middle man rather than finding your clients through word of mouth and advertising. Although they’ll take a cut of your earnings, you’ll find clients quickly. 

Popular freelancing apps include Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr, InstaJobs, and Wage. Have a look at each of these and see which one seems most appropriate for your skillset. 

Depending on how much effort you put into freelancing, you can make any salary you want. Expect to set your starting rates at around $15 per hour and increase them once you have enough clients to sustain an income. 

Sell Second Hand Goods 

If you’ve accumulated goods that you don’t need anymore, college is the perfect time to sell them. As Marie Kondo would say, Audit your things and get rid of anything that doesn’t make you happy or isn’t practical. 

You can use a variety of platforms to sell your old goods. First is good old word-of-mouth – let people know you’re having a clear-out and invite them to have a browse. 

Next, Facebook Marketplace is a reliable tool to sell old goods. The best thing about Facebook is that it doesn’t charge any sellers fees and will only display your listing to people nearby. 

Finally, you can make use of other sites like eBay – however, they will take a percentage cut of your earnings. 

Couponing

Before you have flashbacks to TLC’s Extreme Couponing show, the digital era has revolutionized what you know as couponing.  

Couponing refers to any form of discount you can claim in-person or online. If you’re on a tight budget, couponing is an easy way to save money. 

First, you should look into paper coupons. Websites like Betty Crocker, Coupons.com, and Coupon Sherpa will all let you search for coupons and print them off for use in-store. 

Next, look for online coupons. You can download apps like RetailMeNot and Valpak that let you save digital coupons to your mobile to present at a cash register. 

Finally, start using coupons for all your online shopping. Most websites have a ‘sign up and save 10% deal’ – use this. If you don’t want to be signed up, you can unsubscribe straight after. 

Cashback websites are also an excellent tool for online shopping discounts. All you need to do is follow the links from these websites and make a purchase, then a percentage of the fee will land straight back in your account. 

Couponing is a great way to save money on purchases small and large. However, don’t fall into the trap of buying unnecessary items just because they’re on sale. 

Remember, companies have sales for a reason; it encourages you to buy more. So, think strategically: would you be making this purchase regardless of a coupon or deal? If your answer is no, don’t make the purchase regardless of how good the coupon is! 

How to Make Money In College: Tips to Make You Rich 

If you were wondering how to make money in college, take your pick from these methods. The more you choose, the more money you’ll make. 

There’s something out there for every college student, from passive income such as sharing your phone info to employment as a delivery driver. So, time to get started because being financially stable while you’re at college will make your studies infinitely easier! 

Did you find this article helpful? At College Budget, we aim to educate about college life, so check out our other posts and services for more student life and money hacks!  

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