If you’re a full-time college student, a part-time job during the school year is all you can handle. Schoolwork and grades are your primary focus, as they should be, which means little money coming in for food, entertainment, or paying down college debt. You eat more ramen noodles than you ever thought a human should consume in a lifetime, and you dream of the day when you can eat real food, buy new clothes, and have a housing situation that doesn’t include a roommate who leaves his dirty socks in the shower.
Summertime is your ray of hope. You can work a full-time job, even if it’s only for a few months, and fill your coffers before going to back to your role as a poor college student again in the fall. However, before you’ve taken your last final of the year and closed that book for the last time, you should start planning how you’re going to make money during summer break. Even if you have a full-time gig set up, consider supplementing it with another job to earn as much as possible. More money in your bank account can reduce the need for student loans. When you graduate and enter the workforce, you’ll have less student debt hanging over your head and maybe, just maybe, you’ll be able to eat some actual food during the school year.
1. Walk dogs
People love their dogs and hate the thought of leaving their furry friends cooped up all day while they’re at work. The bonus for you: you get some exercise.
2. Sell those books
Are you ever going to need your copy of The Impressionist and Realism Movements during the Franco-Prussian War? Books are a major college expense; unless you need them as reference material for future classes, sell them!
3. Become a virtual assistant
A lot of businesses and people will farm out their more tedious tasks such as answering emails and doing research, which you can do from your own computer.
4. Do ‘hits’ on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk)
From your computer, you can earn money by doing such things as identifying certain images, filling out product descriptions, and completing surveys. Many are quick and only pay a few cents, but there are a lot that pay more, and they’ll add up quickly.
You get to make your own schedule so you can work your hours around another part-time or full-time job.
6. If you like kids, be a babysitter!
7. Be a landscaper
You can work for a landscaping company or offer to mow your neighbors’ lawns.
8. Become a pet sitter
Rover.com works the same way as the babysitting services do, matching people who need someone to care for their furry friends with people who love pets. Bonus for you: you get to play with dogs and cats for money!
9. Work for a temp agency
Temp agencies offer a variety of jobs and may be a great way to get your foot in the door at a company related to your field of study, or maybe help you qualify for an internship for school credit.
10. Wash and detail cars
Car washes are not the only places in need of washers and detailers. Any car dealership that accepts trade-ins employs these folks as well.
11. Deliver newspapers
Delivering newspapers isn’t just for kids. It needs to be done early in the morning, so it’s ideal as “pre-work” work.
12. Work at an amusement park or other local attraction
Summertime is vacation time and the busiest time of the year for attractions, so they’re always in need of reliable help.
13. Paint houses
Spring and summer are the busy seasons for house painting, so that’s when painting services beef up their staff.
14. Work at a resort
If you’re lucky enough to live near a resort destination, try looking there. These positions are often difficult to fill locally so resort owners must look to foreign help.
College is a time to learn and grow, make lifelong friends, and experience new things. It’s not easy, but there’ll never be a time in your life quite like it. However, it can also leave you saddled with debt, which may take years to pay off, affecting your finances and perhaps even influencing your employment decisions. The more you can contribute to your college education while you’re still attending it, the less you’ll have to borrow, which will save you a great deal in the long run and give you a better start when you join “the real world.” Of course, it also doesn’t hurt to start learning about budgeting and saving now, so that when you do join “the real world” you’ll be able to take it in a stride.