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Making Money As a Student Without Having a Job

It’s tough managing money as a college student. All of a sudden, you’re on your own with no mom and dad to bail you out (at least not as easily as they did before). And if you’ve never had to plan or manage to a budget before, it could be an eye-opening experience. So, what to do? Get a part-time job and deal with someone else’s schedule and requirements and cross your fingers that you don’t get scheduled on top of a major exam? Sure, you can roll the dice, but what if you could make money without taking a part-time job?

You’re not the boss of me…

These days, it is actually easier than ever to find ways to make money without signing on for an official job. Let’s look at a few examples:

1.      Uber and Lyft driving – Granted, this does mean you have to have a good driver’s license, and access to a motor vehicle. So, if mom and dad won’t let you have your car on campus (or won’t let you use it for this purpose, skip on over this one). But, if you can… then this is definitely something to research further. With Uber and Lyft, you have the flexibility of working when you want, and you become your own boss.

2.      House-sitting – Put your name on the job board on campus or in the local grocery store. This could be a great opportunity to escape the dorm for a few days. There are plenty of folks out there looking for responsible college-aged students that can keep an eye on their homes (and maybe even their pets too) when they are out of town.

3.      Run errands for people – Like with house-sitting, there are always people looking for help. Many senior citizens don’t have the mobility or freedom that they once had, and could use a responsible student to run some basic errands for them – grabbing a few groceries, picking up a prescription, or bringing them to church and back on Sunday morning.

4.      Online surveys – Yes, you really can make money (often accrued via a point-type system) through surveys. The key is knowing which surveys are real, and which to avoid.

5.      Looking for more ideas? Check out some of these recent online resources.

Those ideas don’t float your boat? 

Don’t like those ideas? Why not build your marketing skills and develop experiences that you can add to that future resume/CV? One of the newest crazes is affiliate marketing. And what is affiliate marketing, you might ask? By its easiest definition, this is the process when an online retailer pays a commission to an external website for traffic or referral-generated sales.
 
The next obvious question is how to set up an affiliate marketing site, and it is important to know that there are scams out there to beware of. HustleLife has put together a list of reputable courses that students can take for a reasonable cost, to learn the ins and outs of setting up their very own affiliate marketing site. There is a lot of money to be made in affiliate marketing, but in this case, you need to spend some money to make it. Therefore, it is imperative that you are wise with your investment in getting your site set up to ensure you are not ripped off or caught unaware.

Adulting is hard work!

Let’s face it… your world is different now that you are in college. You have that independence that you’ve always wanted, but no mom or dad to hand you $10 whenever you come calling. And now is the time to start making wise financial decisions that can carry you for the decades to come. Check out this article from the Balance that shares some key points that every college student should understand about debt and how to set a budget.
 
These additional tips from a 2017 article on The Studential still hold true as well. As the article states, even third-year students can inadvertently get caught off guard by unexpected bills and over-spending in the first few weeks of the term. So, make those good habits now, because good habits are hard to break.

Getting started… ask a trusted adult (yes, really)

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you don’t just jump in without doing your homework. Whether you decide to look for non-traditional ways of earning money as outlined earlier, or you decide to follow the recommendations from HustleLife to set up an affiliate marketing space, or maybe you decide to take on a part-time job after all, it is always wise to bounce your thoughts off someone who has been in your shoes. Taking time to educate yourself and make a plan will pay dividends in the future (no pun intended)