Whether you’re trying to get a big head start on your retirement fund or just want a little extra money to buy those cat-eye sunglasses you’ve been eyeing, saving money can be just plain hard. Even if you have a great job in college, it can be incredibly difficult to pay for everything you need to and still have cash left over. Which means that sometimes, you have to get creative with the ways you make some extra dough.
Since you probably don’t have the time to come up with those ways (we get it), we’ve come up with eight simple but genius ways to make a few extra dollars on the side when you’re strapped for cash. The next time you have a few spare minutes, take a look at this list for some easy tips on how to make some serious dough.
Turn your skills into profits: Are you good at makeup? Do all of your friends have you do their hair before a big event? Is calligraphy your thing? Make some cash off of what you do best. Promote yourself by making a portfolio or a website of your work. Start off by using your friends as your models or by doing small projects for them. Once the word gets out about you, start charging a small amount and go up from there.
Rent out your place with Airbnb: While it’s not right for everyone, this can be a great way to make a lot of money in a short amount of time. So if you’re going out of town for the weekend or just have some extra space for others to stay, consider signing up to be an AirBnB host.
Recycle: Some recycling facilities will offer money for things like soda cans—and if you’re an avid soda drinker, you might as well turn that into a profit. Keep a separate trash can just solely for your aluminum and ask your friends to save theirs up as well. Not only will you be incentivized to recycle more, you’ll be making money off of something that would have just been thrown away.
Sell your items online: Whether it’s clothes, accessories, home goods, or anything else sitting around your dorm, we all have things we just don’t use anymore. So, get rid of them! There are endless websites you can sell your stuff too, so do your research and start making cash for your unused items.
Take your items to a consignment shop or resale store: If you’re not into waiting for your stuff to sell online, stores that buy and then resell gently used clothes and accessories are also a great (and quick) way to make back some cash for your items. These places can be picky, but if you have items that are in good condition and in style, you can still make a solid amount of money.
Join an ambassador program: There are tons of companies that have ambassador programs for college students, so look into the best ones for you. Many of them, like Bumble and Dazey L.A.., pay quite a bit of money to students, and they also serve as a great way to get experience to help you build your résumé during the school year—a win-win in our book.
Become a tutor: Are you a whiz at math or obsessed with grammar? Put those skills to good use and offer to tutor students in your class who may be struggling with their coursework. Not only will they appreciate it, but you’ll make great money on your own schedule, too.
Freelance in any field: Websites like Upwork make it super simple to make money for freelance gigs in photography, writing, and more from the comfort of your dorm. Plus, it’s a great way to build your portfolio and your résumé at the same time.
Still struggling to keep track of your finances? Click here for some advice from college students making it on their own on how to save money successfully.
Opening image by Kacee Dewit.