6 Ways Students Can Make Some Extra Cash

Tips for students on how to make some extra money

There are lots of ways students can earn a little extra money. It can make a big difference in your budget!

Living on a student budget isn’t always easy. Students are often cash-strapped and a little extra money here and there can be a big help. Whether you’re trying to maximize your cash flow throughout the year when you’re hitting the books, or in the summer when you don’t have to focus on professors and syllabi, making more money is possible. Check out these six flexible side hustles that can help boost your bottom line and beat your student loans as well!

1) Freelancing

Everyone needs help with something – you just have to figure out what!  Are you great at helping younger students write post-secondary application essays and résumés?  Perhaps freelance writing or graphic design is more your style. There are a growing number of freelance websites out there, just do your research. There is no limit to what people will pay you to help them with online, you just have to find your niche and get to work.

2) Sell your old stuff!

Spring cleaning came and went, and now you have a pile of stuff that isn’t really garbage, but you don’t know what to do with it.  Sell it using online sites or go to your local buy and sell. Take some pictures, write about how “gently used” it is, and turn that clutter into cold hard cash instead of letting it sit in storage or fill up your closet.

3) Craft yourself some coin

I was always that kid that relied on charm to get a passing grade in arts and crafts, but if you were the student at the front of the room whose project always got held up as the standard to imitate, then chances are there is someone somewhere willing to pay you to rediscover your childhood.  You can open up your own small scale craft store via an online marketplace, and then it’s up to you to use social media and other creative outlets to advertise your new business.

4) Stock savings

There are roughly 1,567,833 pictures of sunsets on most of the major stock photo websites.  Likewise for random guitar riffs on stock music sites.  But if you’re talented and have an eye for what’s missing in the market, you can produce reoccurring sales just by sharing the hobbies you’ve always enjoyed doing in your leisure time.  I’ve personally paid for hundreds of stock photos  and a pieces of music over the years, so I know that there is a substantial demand for this stuff from us non-creatives.  Take ten great pictures, or record three awesome tracks, and you might be able to earn small chunks of cash repeatedly for the rest of your life as folks purchase the rights to your creation over and over again!

*Veteran Tip*: Look for niches that appear to be underserved!

5) Online Survey

Filling out a dozen surveys as you watch the ball game isn’t most people’s idea of a party, but every dollar you can earn while chilling in your house is a dollar you don’t have to sweat too hard for, especially in the summer.  There are several sites that will pay you in either cash or credit toward everyday items simply for telling marketing gurus how to sell you stuff more efficiently.

6) House-sitting

The greatest side hustle of all might just be getting paid to live rent free! This works especially well in the summers months. Now, you might be thinking that unless you have family friends that like to go away to their cabin for the summer, it might be difficult to snag one of these sweet deals.  While personal connections are a great first option, I recommend checking online for special sites just for home sitting or classifieds, be sure to check reviews and do your own in-depth research to make sure it’s credible and legit. When you’re ready, learn how to really market yourself as the perfect candidate. Perhaps you’re an obsessively clean, non-smoking, university-educated, and pet-friendly individual?  If you aren’t yet, you should be by the time you start looking!

No matter the season, with some research, an entrepreneurial spirit and hard work, students can make a little extra money, which help with school expenses in a big way.


Kyle Prevost

Kyle is a teacher by day and personal finance blogger by night. When he isn't limping up and down a basketball court, you can catch him on his soapbox at Birtle Collegiate or providing the answers to Gen Y’s questions over at YoungandThrifty.ca and MyUniversityMoney.com. He is also the co-author of a critically-acclaimed book for Canadian students: More Money for Beer and Textbooks and has written for several of Canada's premier publications including the National Post, Globe and Mail, and Metro News.

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