1) Become a tutor
Chances are you’re good with at least one main subject, such as math or music. Chances are there’s someone in your area who isn’t but wants to be, and who will pay you quite well to share your skills. If you’re really good, word-of-mouth might be enough, but even so, placing an ad in college and local newspapers or on public bulletin boards with your desired pay and contact info will net you some clients. If you satisfy their needs they’ll likely recommend you to their friends and family, which will increase your earnings exponentially.
2) Take on odd jobs
There are always plenty of people who need someone to walk their dog while they’re working, have yard work to be done or need a babysitter for a night out. By playing to your own skills you can make some pretty good money advertising yourself as a jack-of-many-trades and just doing whatever someone needs done. Online sites like barefootstudent.com can help you find available positions and also advertise your own skills and preferred employment requirements.
3) Get a part-time job
Waitressing, bartending and retail sales are all popular choices when you want a job that offers flexible hours and somewhat good pay. If you have a pretty flexible schedule you can look for employment with electricians or plumbers, which often offer exceptionally good wages for the time involved. Keep an eye out for help wanted signs and scan the employment section of your local newspapers.
4) Have a bake sale
If you have some entrepreneurial spirit, money for baking supplies, and live in a suitable state, you’d do well to check into the Cottage Law which allows you to legally sell certain foods you make from your primary residence. Currently the states which have a Cottage Law in effect include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Several other states have legislation pending.
Each state has varying rules and restrictions such as labeling and types of food that can be sold, while some don’t allow the commercial sale of homemade goods at all. Check your state’s statutes before starting up business.
5) Recycle, recycle, recycle
Walking around wherever you might happen to be, you’ll probably notice soda cans and beer bottles littering the streets, peeking out of garbage bins, abandoned on picnic tables. Talk about free money! Many of them can be turned in for cash at redemption centers. As an example, Vermont pays 5 cents each for certain types and some net 10 cents each in Michigan. Look on the side or top of the beverage container for a list of states which offer individual redemption. If you can‘t get to a participating state you can also turn cans in to a recycling center for around a cent each, though you’ll have to amass quite an amount to make it worthwhile. Still, if you happen to know several soda fiends and can get them to save their cans for you, perhaps making it easier by offering to place a tall trash can in a convenient area, you may be able to make good money.
Also, keep an eye out for any scrap metal being given away for free. Aluminum siding and doors, copper pipes from renovations and stainless steel sinks can all be sold to recycling centers for pretty good cash. Many people post ads in newspapers and websites like Craigslist.com looking for someone to dispose of their junk metal piles and some will even pay you to do it. Be aware that most recycling centers now require some proof of ownership or permission as well as a copy of your state-issued ID to recycle large amounts. As long as your acquisitions are legitimate, this shouldn’t be much of an issue. It’s wise to shop around at a few local centers beforehand for the best pricing per metal variety as it changes daily according to the market value.
6) Donate blood
Not only can you help save your budget by doing this, you can help save a life. While it is an FDA regulation that blood from paid donors cannot be used for transfusions, the plasma in your blood can be extracted, treated and later used in valuable pharmaceutical drugs. Plasma donation takes approximately 40-45 minutes and is a relatively simple process. It includes a brief physical and urine sample, after which you lay down on a relatively comfortable bed while your blood is drawn. The straw-colored plasma is separated from your red blood cells and the red blood cells are then returned to your body.
After donating, you should take especially good care of yourself by staying well hydrated, not drinking alcohol and taking it easy. Plasma donation can earn you from $20 to $30 per donation and with some centers allowing you to donate up to twice a week, this may net you some good cash. Check out www.bloodbanker.com to find a paid plasma donation center near you, always clarifying what their payments and procedures are before signing up.
7) Utilize online auction houses
There’s a huge market in online auction sites such as Ebay and Amazon.com and it’s pretty easy to set up an account, get verified and start making money. You can put practically anything up for auction and choose your own starting and minimum bids. The auction sites do take a cut of the final selling price, however, and there’s no guarantee your item will sell. Items in good condition that you might consider selling are used music cds, dvds, Ipods, cellphones, class textbooks and clothes.
One popular strategy often employed is to research current bids on popular items, see if you can’t find those items cheaper somewhere locally, then post them with a low enough starting price to underbid the other sellers while still covering your own expenses. Be aware that selling anything on an online auction site will require you to ship sold items, though adding the shipping and handling into the auction price will make ensure the customer pays for it, not you.
8) Deliver newspapers
While the hours are a little funky and it does require reliable transportation, delivering newspapers can actually be quite lucrative for a night-owl college student looking for a part-time job. The job will usually start daily around midnight when you’ll meet someone at a pre-specified location and pick up the newspapers, which are organized in stacks of individual sections. You’ll usually be responsible for assembling each newspaper from those stacks, rolling and rubber-banding each one, and placing them in small plastic bags if the weather is wet or the mailbox is exposed. You’ll then deliver the newspapers to a set list of subscribers using a list with addresses and instructions.
Contrary to popular belief that newspapers are just haphazardly tossed onto lawns while driving by, many customers actually have specific instructions as to where they want their newspaper placed, if not simply in the mailbox. When you deliver newspapers to businesses, you’ll also be responsible for going back at the end of each week to pick up unsold newspapers and collect money from the ones that did sell, keeping track with paperwork that you’ll turn in to your route manager. Depending on the size of the route and number of customers, it can reasonably be expected that you’ll be out and about until around 6am. A word of warning, though… fresh ink stains. Wear clothes you don’t love that much.
9) Put your body to work
Psychiatric, medical, science and art classes are always looking for a few good people willing to submit themselves to tests, examinations and modelings. You can find these opportunities by keeping an eye on the local college newspapers or by speaking with professors who may then keep you in mind for current or upcoming projects. Outside of college, you can inquire at hospitals to see if they are looking for paid test subjects for clinical trials. Many times you can get paid substantial amounts to participate in studies for new medical drugs or the testing of new treatments. However, you must always balance risk with gain with these opportunities, making sure you don’t make choices you may later come to regret.
10) Give your opinion
Online survey sites are gaining popularity as a fun way to earn small amounts of cash for small amounts of effort. There are a variety of ways to participate such as filling out surveys, taking part in consumer product trials and completing advertisement offers. However, you never truly know how your information is being used by the companies you are submitting it to, so a moderate amount of caution should be exercised. Also, always read the fine print carefully and monitor your phone bills and credit cards to ensure that you aren’t being charged for something you weren’t expecting.
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