Attending college costs a lot of money. Tuition, room and board, living expenses, books and miscellaneous costs add up. Even the cost of your cell phone data plan can seem high when you’re living on a student’s budget. For many, grants, scholarships and even student loans don’t cover all these costs. Some students decide to get a job, either because they need to or because they don’t want to rely on student loans entirely for the four years it takes to get a degree.
The challenge with working during college is that your time is limited — you need to put in the effort needed for your schoolwork first. In addition, you may not have a ton of work experience yet, which can limit where you work. Luckily, there are lots of ways you can make money while you hit the books:
- Social Media: If you have lots of followers on YouTube, Instagram or another social media account, you may be able to monetize your accounts, get sponsors and earn money. You can even set up a Patreon account to get a regular monthly income from subscribers.
- Uber Driver: If you own your own car and drive frequently, becoming a driver for others can help you earn money. As an added benefit, this job is highly flexible, and you’ll only work when you’re available.
- Fiverr: This is another highly flexible work option. You can sign up to complete simple tasks for small amounts of money. They can quickly add up, and you can work as little or as much as you want, allowing you lots of control over your income. During exams, you can choose to work less so you can focus on your schoolwork and you can choose to work more during holidays. The work is often online, so it can be completed anywhere.
- Old-Fashioned Tasks: Ads in the newspaper or even around campus can help you land small jobs for people who may not be online on sites such as Fiverr. Agreeing to help locals with moving, driving, yard work and other chores can be lucrative, and you won’t be competing with everyone who’s already looking for work online.
- On-Campus Work and Work Study Programs: Be sure to visit your school’s student counseling and career center. These resources can help you learn about grants and other forms of financial aid you don’t have to pay back. Apply for every form of financial aid you qualify for. In addition, schools often hire quite a few students for tutoring, cafeteria duty, library work and other jobs. Since these jobs are designed for students, they work around your schedule easily. Some of them even allow you to earn school credit. Since on-campus jobs don’t require a commute, you also have more time to spend at work or studying.
Once you have a source of income or even a few streams of income, make sure you manage the money coming in effectively so it lasts as long as possible. Money Help Center has resources to help you, including unbiased calculators that help you figure out how to create a budget and answer questions like, “How can I pay my debts off quickly?”