How to make extra money with these college-friendly side hustles

With a rising cost of living all over the country, not to mention college education costs that leave many students in debut upon graduation, the side hustle has become more important than ever.

While many young people start their careers, they’re also doing additional work on the side to help them keep their heads above water. It’s side hustles that have been the driving force behind the gig economy, allowing people to do everything from Uber driving to dog walking. 

If you find yourself needing extra money to take care of all your expenses, a side hustle can be an excellent way to pay off your debt faster (and cover all your bills). 

These are just a few side hustles that can add some extra money to your bank account. 

Driving for a rideshare company

Traditional cab companies have large startup fees, but you could start driving for Lyft or Uber for virtually nothing. All you need is a current US driver’s license, car insurance, your own 4-door sedan, and be able to pass a background check.

If you decide to become a driver, you can drive in your free time and create your own schedule. Many students and full-time employees drive for rideshare companies after work and on the weekends to make extra money. It’s popular because it’s easy to fit into any schedule.

Dogwalking

Is doesn’t matter if you’re a cat, dog, or even fish person, people are always looking for someone to watch their pets when they go on vacation. This may include staying at someone’s house for a few days or stopping by a few times a day to check-in on someone’s beloved pet. You can search pet sitting jobs on sites like Care.com or sign-up via other popular startups.

In addition to pet sitting, there is also quite the market for dog walkers with apps like Wag! and Rover. All you have to do is submit to a background check and start a profile.

Tutoring 

Tutoring has always been a popular side hustle for students — even before the phrase was coined. Now, tutoring is easier than putting a sign up in your local library. In fact, you can do it online.

You can sign up to become a tutor, set your own hours, and even decide your own pricing for free on websites like Tutors.com. In some cases, you might have to spend money to make money, and you may be required to obtain a certification before you are able to tutor students.

If that seems like too much work, advertising your services in the library at your college or local community centers can help you find work on your own. Once you build a reputation, you’ll be able to fill your schedule whenever you have the time.

Give your opinion for cash

I know it sounds like a scam, but there are companies out there paying people to take surveys and voice their opinions. While this will most likely not be your primary source of income or a new career, you can find some online sources where you can spend some time and get gift cards, rewards, and even cash for your time!

Some reputable sites worth checking out are Swagbucks, InboxDollars, and Survey Junkie. Don’t forget, if a company asks you for money upfront, it’s probably not legit.

Invest your spare change

Investments can be quite lucrative if you know what you’re doing. With apps like Acorns, Stash, and Robinhood, it’s easier than ever to start investing your money. These “round-up apps” round the cost of your purchases up to the nearest dollar and use that to invest.

Some of these platforms offer low and moderate risk with good returns over time. If you don’t have a lot of money to invest or are wanting to learn, it’s a great way to start. You could have decent investments developed by the time you graduate college.

Or start to invest like an adult

If you’re knowledgeable when it comes to the stock exchange, it’s a good idea to look into E-Trade, Ameritrade, or Fidelity. These are more advanced than the above-mentioned spare change applications and require a deeper understanding of how to invest.

You can make a great return on your investments through day trading, but it can also be VERY risky. So, make sure you know what you are doing before you commit to putting a lot of cash forward.

Sell your second-hand items

There are a ton of online marketplaces where you can make some cash just by cleaning out your closet. We suggest reputable apps and sites like Poshmark, Shopify, and even Facebook Marketplace. You can post photos of your items and easily sell them to interested buyers.

If you’re not interested in selling anything online, look for second-hand stores near you. They’ll buy your items on the spot, and you won’t have to worry about meeting up with anyone or heading to the post office. Everything from clothing to books can find a place at the right second-hand shop.

If you want to take it a step further and have a lot of patience, you can start your own business on eBay by scouring the shelves of your local Goodwill for hidden treasures, cleaning them up, and selling them online for a profit. 

Start your own business

Chances are you have a side hobby that actually takes some hard work and talent. Why not turn that into a business? You can start your own marketplace on websites like Etsy, where you can sell your craft.

Starting your own small business doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you’re not creating kitschy jewelry in your free-time or knitting beautiful blankets, you can still start a business.

If you have a lawnmower, go door-to-door in your neighborhood and offer your services. Do you know how to take care of pools? Or are your exceptional with a paintbrush? The possibilities are endless!

Whether you’re in college or working a full-time job and need a little extra money, a side hustle can be a significant first step towards financial stability. After all, you never know when that side hustle might get big enough to be your career.