As another semester draws to a close the inevitable is bound to happen – those financial resources are getting low. And as you watch the numbers in your bank account gradually approaching the number that we all dread – $0 – panic kicks in wondering where you’re going to find enough money for those bills that keep coming.
You might be thinking that selling all your possessions or surviving on only canned foods might be the best way out but there are lots of other options that you can consider before resorting to these drastic alternatives.
In fact there are so many other ways that we’ve decided it’s best to just pick out the top 10 to help keep you out of “the red” and on the way up.
1. Become a Lab Rat
At first glance it might not sound like the most appealing option but, trust me, it’s not as bad as it sounds. While images of Frankenstein and other mad scientists might start popping into your head – there is nothing to fear because human subjects of the 20th century are only likely to see this sort of thing on TV. Run through most college or university psychology departments because there is always a new study calling out for participants and the best part is there is always some sort of monetary reward. The payment of each study will vary depending on what you have to do or the time that it will involve but any money is good money and it’s often a fun experience. Keep an eye on bulletin boards around campus or pop by your school’s psychology department to find out more details.
2. Reduce, Reuse, RECYCLE
We are constantly bombarded with information telling us how good recycling is for the environment but if you weren’t aware that it could put some extra money in your wallet, you’ve been missing out. Did you ever wonder why people are always completely okay with all the junk (cans, bottles etc.) that are left scattered all over their house after a party? Well it’s probably because they know that when they bring all the remains of the night before to the bottle depot, they’re in for a pleasant treat. Each bottle can earn you anything from 5¢ to 25¢ and while this might not sound like much now, you’d be surprised how quickly it can add up! Plus – the biggest benefit of this is that it won’t even take up much of your time, it’s just a nice, simple trick to make a little extra cash each month.
3. Get Creative
In a world where everything is merely commercial, people will give anything to covet something that has actually been made with time and care. So once you throw the word handmade in front of something it almost automatically doubles in price. So why not use this to your advantage? You can make almost anything if you put your mind to it — from clothes to bags or jewellery to some old fashioned paintings, so find what it is you’re good at and jump on the creative arts bandwagon. All you have to do is find what you’re good at and stick with it. The best thing about this money technique is that you can do as much or as little as you like depending on how much money you need and how much time you have to invest but either way, once you put your new product onto Ebay or Etsy you can be sure to see a payoff.
4. Turn Into a Tutor
While some of the above options might take some time to see a pay off this technique is a much simpler to way to make money fast. Along with the end of semester come finals and papers and that means that people who are struggling are only too glad for help or advice. If there’s a subject that you always excel at or you simply are a research paper prodigy why not offer your services and give some counsel to your poor classmates. Talk to your friends or put up some posters around campus, you might be surprised at the number of replies you’ll get.
5. Write For Your Campus Paper
Campus papers are always crying out for contributors to write stories for them and while it might not return money in the millions, every little helps. Find out where their office is and stop by some day. Find out what sort of stories they want or go out on a limb and pitch one to them – you never know, you might just end writing about something you love, and when there’s passion behind it everything else just falls into place. Depending on your campus some will rely on voluntary contributions but a lot of university/college papers will pay around $10 per article.
6. Back to Babysitting
It might bring back memories of days gone and high school evenings spent watching Dora the Explorer or Scooby-Doo with a handful of small children but while you might have thought that your babysitting days were behind you, don’t speak too soon. It’s one of those jobs that never goes out of style because as long as there are children, there will always be a need for babysitters. So if you’ve got a basic first aid course, you’re well on your way to being the newest babysitter to be always in demand. It’s a lot of fun and pays reasonably well so why not take a break from your textbooks and unleash your inner child. Try putting an ad in your local paper, scattering some flyers around campus or asking around your friends or family to get started.
If you prefer fluffy four-legged friends to their two-legged counterparts this could be the job for you. Not only does it mean that you get to spend time bonding and playing with all sorts of dogs without having to deal with all the messy or expensive jobs associated with having a pet, but it’s also one of the more stable money-making options that is likely to give you a weekly pay-off. Start by spreading the word around campus or your local community and soon you’ll be your very own entrepreneur.
8. Blog It!
It’s become one of the most common pastimes and is a great way to relax or get things off your chest but if you pick the right site to host and end up becoming a blogging superstar it can also be a great additional income for you. However, it’s not just as easy as it sounds and building a following takes time so you may have to start a little smaller. Google AdSense is a program that automatically selects text, image, video or rich-media ads to appear on your blog that are specifically targeted to your audience and pays per click on ads posted on your site. There are a lot of different factors to consider when using AdSense including keywords and the amount of traffic you receive but while your first check is unlikely to be anymore than $20, over time this will increase and you never know — you might just be starting out on the road to superstar blogging success.
9. Have a Garage Sale
Have you ever heard that saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure?” Well it’s true! Whether it’s that old scarf that you can’t stand the sight of anymore, a pack of old VHS tapes, your vintage Backstreet Boys CD collection or a dusty cookbook that you never ended up using, I can almost guarantee you that there’s someone out there who will love it and pay good money for it. With the beginnings of better weather upon us, and the longer days in full swing, it is prime garage sale weather. So spend some time going through your clutter, decide what is to stay and what is to go, set up a table outside your dorm, flat or post your items on Kijiji, Craigslist or eBay and get selling.
10. Become a Note-Taker
It might sound silly but you’d be surprised how practical this option can be. If you’ve noticed that getting up in the mornings to go to class is becoming increasingly difficult, you can be sure that you’re not alone – this is the sentiment of us all. However, if you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of extra sleep for a few extra dollars, becoming a personal note-taker is the way to go. Hired note takers are becoming an increasingly popular trend for those who are overwhelmed with end of semester projects or papers and while it doesn’t involve too much extra work on your part, it will be invaluable to someone else. Try offering your services on Facebook or Twitter or send out a mass email to each of your classes offering your services.
TIP: Just make sure that your notes are clean, well-organized and full bodied so that even someone who wasn’t there can understand what the teacher was saying.