We’ve all heard the phrase “broke college student,” but for many of us it’s a day-to-day state of being. When you’re a student, it’s easy to feel like you have an ultimatum between school and work. Should I pick up this extra shift before this exam? I can work if I push off finishing this assignment. There’s no easy path to strengthening your financial position while trying to maintain a strong GPA – especially when there are various barriers like access to jobs near home or school or crazy academic schedules and extracurriculars.
But, from one forever-student to another, here’s a few tips to consider when trying to build up some extra cash while you’re in school.
Apply for a flexible desk-job.
As we know, most jobs in retail and the restaurant industry are like the holy grail for college students. They’re usually relatively flexible in scheduling during the school year and may be able to offer extra hours during non-semester seasons. Don’t overlook front-desk jobs, though! They are often able to accommodate changing semester schedules and may come with the perk of occasional lulls that will allow you to do some schoolwork. Plus, you may be able to pick up these shifts on weekends or mid-day shifts, which will allow you to still earn some cash while having time to chip away at your to-do list.
Pro tip: work your way up! Starting off in a role, such as a front desk greeter, is great for getting comfortable in a flexible role and having some time to get work done. However, for many it’s a great opportunity to earn a raise by taking on a few extra responsibilities while still maintaining the perk of flexibility.
You are not too good for any job – especially not when you are working hard to better yourself and are at a point where you’re strapped for cash. Whether it’s a fast food restaurant or working as part of a cleaning crew for retailers, offices, or anything you think you’re above, just remember one thing: money is money.
Use your skills wisely.
Half of us spend our free time mindlessly scrolling through social media – so why not put a little mind into it and make some money? This can be done a few ways without actually having to build yourself a following. In all fairness, though, that is always an option, too.
Do you know anyone who has their own small business or brand? Reach out to them and ask if they would be willing to delegate some of their social media marketing work to you. Take a few hours each week to whip up and schedule some posts that reflect their content and reach their target audience. With a little thought and effort, those few hours may earn you a few extra dollars.
Smart business owners know that marketing is key. So, those that have a steady footing but little time on their hands may be willing to spare some money to ensure that their name is getting out there.
If you don’t know anyone with their own business, why not take to the internet to find someone who needs your particular set of skills? Offer up some free time to do some freelancing for extra cash – whether it’s writing, designing, marketing, etc. Keep it specific to your strong-suits and make sure you actually enjoy doing it, or else it’s just another pressing task to add to your workload.
Capitalize on holiday rates.
I get it, no one actually wants to work on a holiday. But what if your coworker needs Thanksgiving covered because they’re hosting and need to cook? Taking time to enjoy the day out of class may seem like the best idea, and sometimes it is for sanity’s sake, but it’s also a great way to miss out on extra money. So, take advantage of having the spare time on a day you may not usually be available. Plus, in most states many holidays (and Sundays) are time and a half!
Open up a High-Yield Savings Account.
So, now what are you going to do with all of the extra money you’ve made from following these tips? You’re going to put it in a High-Yield Savings Account, that’s what! Don’t let it lay around in a bank account that will make you $0.10 of interest in each month when you could be making multiple dollars. It doesn’t seem like much, but earning higher interest accumulates over time. The more you add, the more you make. So, start saving up for a rainy day and let your money do some of the extra work for you.