This is a thought that’s on a lot of minds when starting college. I know it was on mine. How can you make any money while you’re in college? You’re sinking thousands and thousands of dollars into an education, with the hope that at the end of it, you’ll have a degree, and some marketable skills that will help you get a job.
The scary thing is, the 2, or 4, or 6, or 10+ years that you’re in college, it seems impossible to make any significant money while you’re doing it. All you’re racking up is debt. And lots of it.
Most of us end up washing dishes in our college cafeterias, vacuuming dorm hallways, waiting tables at local restaurants, or… if you’re lucky… getting a job as a desk proctor in a gym. All while making minimum wage. No amount of saving or penny-pinching will help you get ahead, make you free, or help you to retire young, on that kind of income.
Soon after college I discovered that there are many ways of making HUGE amounts of money, without even having a job. It irks me every day that I didn’t know about these lucrative things when I was IN college, but I’m sharing them now as an opportunity for many of you starting college to try.
For most of them, you need nothing more than access to a computer, the internet, a little creativity, and the motivation to set goals and achieve them.
There’s a chance you’ve heard of affiliate marketing before. It’s an industry that’s been steadily growing in leaps and bounds. Here’s the thing…
It also happens to be the easiest way that you can start and own your own business. An entrepreneurial spirit is extremely valuable, but I know that not everyone has this kind of mentality. You don’t necessarily even need it.
When I say affiliate marketing is the easiest way to start your own business, I don’t mean it will be easy, especially when balanced with college. It is only easiest for its affordability and accessibility. It will take time and patience. It also takes knowing what to do, and how to do it.
The truth is, I had to sift through a lot of risky scams before I finally found the right thing. I randomly came across an education program called Wealthy Affiliate, which actually built my website for FREE, and taught me how to install important things I never would have known how to install. Building a website and doing encoding is the most daunting part of starting an online business for most people, and they literally did it all for me.
From there on I was able to buy an entire course, that fully prepared me to start the business and taught me how to make money with it, and it cost less than my BOOKS for most college courses, let alone the cost of most courses themselves.
Wealthy Affiliate essentially taught me this. You can take whatever interests you have. Whatever it is you get stoked about. Lacrosse, cars, hip hop dance, sound mixing, gardening, gymnastics, card games, ANYTHING, and you can make significant money just by talking about it online.
That doesn’t mean you can just start a blog, put some advertisements on it, and begin making money. There’s an incredibly deep strategy, and a lot of nuances, that Wealthy Affiliate walked me through. But there are people now using that system that are our age, and making more money than our parents working 40 hour weeks. People making $5,000/month. $10,000/month. I have even connected with people making over $150,000/month (though it took them a couple years beyond college to reach these figures).
If you can write about what you love, you can make money. It beats washing dishes.
Yup. Although, the more proper term may be “flipping” stuff. You may be surprised how much money you can make doing this.
If you have used items lying around, not being used, there could actually be a lot of value in them. If you haven’t gotten rid of your old phones, you can start there.
You can even post an ad on Craigslist, or in college you could put some on the bulletin boards around campus, offering to buy people’s old and used phones. Many people will gladly get rid of them for a few bucks, while you may be able to make hundreds, or even thousands with enough volume, by flipping them on Amazon, Ebay, or Bonanza.
Especially in wealthy metropolitan areas, a local ad offering to buy cracked or broken iPhone 7’s, or other expensive phones, could be EXTREMELY lucrative. More affluent communities are often quicker to just buy new phones when the old ones are cracked or fell into water and stopped working. You could still sell many of those for over $300 a piece online!
Amazon and Ebay are good options because they have an enormous reach, and a lot of uses all over the world. The downside is they also take commissions or fees out of what you make on your sales. If you want to keep your operation more local, worry less about shipping your inventory, and not have to pay any fees or commissions on your sales, apps like LetGo and OfferUp are perfect!
Who knows, maybe some of your friends and roommates will even be willing to dust off their old phones and donate them to the cause.
Driving for Lyft or Uber
While you can rent cars in some situations, ideally this option will require you to have your own car. With many colleges not allowing freshman to have their cars on campus, this may also be one for the upperclassman.
But a college student, especially one at a city college, could make a lot of money doing this.
Lyft and Uber, for those who don’t know, are apps that you can join, and become a private driver to take riders around the city. It’s not an official job, but an opportunity to be self-employed, and make your own hours. Compared to putting in 10-20 hours a week mopping bathroom floors, putting on some music and cruising around town with some passengers is a good gig.
If you’re willing to work at night, you can make some especially good money doing this. I have lived with some nocturnal young people that actually worked it as a night shift. If you’re cramming for a test, and don’t have the time to go to a regular work shift, it’s also valuable to have the freedom to choose when and if you work.
Work for Your Professors
This may sound odd, but hear me out.
One of the most lucrative side gigs that I found when I was in college was to partner up with a buddy of mine, and offer our services to a professor we had a good relationship with to maintain the grounds of his property.
If you develop good relationships with some of your professors, and they live locally, you may find that this presents you with some opportunities to help them out. One friend and I, who had a good relationship with our business professor, got a gig removing the leaves from his property.
We threw on jackets, brought along a wireless speaker for our music, and spent a nice November morning raking his property. He appreciated our entrepreneurial mindsets, paid us double what we would have made from campus jobs, and offered us some fresh muffins to top it off.
You may not have a plethora of professors that are quite as nice, or willing to hire a student to help around their house, but it’s definitely a good opportunity that you can take advantage of.
Note: Be a lot more careful about signing up for snow removal. You can’t do that on your own time, and usually have to wake up at the crack of doom if it snows overnight, because it’s more urgent. If you have a professor who will pay you well to shovel for them, do it. But NEVER (and I speak from experience) shovel for your college. I had to wake up in the dark, bundle up, and trudge out in the freezing cold for an hour of minimum wage work… Not worth it.
What Ideas Have You Come Up With?
With some innovation, you can come up with some incredible ways to not work for a boss, make your own hours, and make 10 times what most of your friends and peers are making in college.
Are they easy to get established in? Not so much. You need to actively pursue, and engage in these things to be successful, but the rewards are great.
What about you? Have you found some money making ideas that have worked out for you? Please share in the comments below!
2 People reacted on this
oh boy, I wish I had read this list when I was in college.
Because to be honest, almost 10 years after graduating from college I’m now going back to this list. because at the end of the day, the 9-5 just doesn’t cut the mustard.
The rigid schedule and average pay just isn’t worth your time. Its best to seek out passive income sources and build them from day 1!
Thanks for the comment!
I totally agree, I wish had known most of these things while I was still in college. I could have made so much better use out of the time I put into minimum wage jobs, like the dishroom.
At least we can make the best use of the education we have available now :)!