So, now you’re in college and your life is buzzing with obligations. You didn’t expect to be this busy, and you’re probably on a budget. You don’t want to live off of the classic college diet of pasta and cereal forever, so it’s time to start making a little extra cash. Finance can be a stressful thing to keep track of when you’re in college, but it’s important to budget and plan ahead. If you find yourself running low on funds, there’s a variety of things you can do to help yourself save or make a little extra money in your free time.
Buy, Sell, Trade
When it came to finding more affordable alternatives, social media was the jackpot I’d never considered. I joined a Facebook page for students in my first year at my university, which segued into a web of university-related Facebook pages. From there, I found a student buy, sell, and trade page. It was brimming with posts where students were selling football tickets, used clothes, and a variety of other things.
This resource works in terms of making and saving money, as you can buy gently used goods for much cheaper than market value, while also selling your own old or unused items. If your university doesn’t already have a student buy, sell, and trade Facebook page, you can easily make one or even use the Facebook marketplace feature to find sellers in your local area.
Utilize Your Skills
Many students don’t consider their own skills when looking for ways to make extra cash. Chances are, you have a versatile set of skills that you don’t realize can help you make and save money. College was my era of DIY projects and I tried to make everything I wanted but couldn’t afford. You can repurpose old clothing or furniture and create new décor or living-hacks for your space.
Maybe you’ve always been in the era of DIY projects, and you’re already crafting recycled dream-catchers or making mason-jar string lights. Have you ever considered selling your craft? Freelancing is an expanding world, blooming with opportunities. Other students might not have your crafting skills yet, but could be looking for décor on a budget. Reach out to other students, find out if they’d be interested in one of your projects rather than buying those expensive online products.
I’m not here to tell you about all the local part-time pizza jobs or retail opportunities. Chances are, you’ve already looked into those and decided they won’t fit into your schedule. Thankfully, there are other opportunities that may just be a little harder to find.
Check the local libraries and universities-affiliated buildings for opportunities. These part-time jobs tend to be very flexible for student schedules, and they can relate back to your studies. My sister worked in the printing center while she was a graphic design student. It helped her better learn the programs and printing processes related to her studies and give her the opportunity to meet other people in her major.
Look for opportunities with low time commitments, like walking dogs or babysitting. There are a number of part-time jobs, like Shipt-Shopping and Uber driving, that can help you make a little extra money on your own time. Don’t forget about tutoring and peer-advisor jobs, either!
Handling finance doesn’t have to be a constant stressor in college, just make sure to keep track of your spending habits and keep your eyes open for any extra money-making opportunities. Don’t be afraid to offer your skills and put yourself out there. Job opportunities aren’t just about the money, either. They’re a great way to network, make new friends, and refine your skills!
WRITTEN BY Sydney Bagnall University of Michigan
Sydney graduated in May 2019 with a major in English Literature and a minor in Graphic design. She has a knack for all things creative. Originally from Pennsylvania, she enjoys biking on rolling hills and never misses an opportunity to stop and observe the sky. If you don’t find her vigorously typing, you can find her outside.