It’s never too early to start saving for college. But as a high school student, there’s one big challenge: what can you do to make money and grow your own college savings?
Luckily, because of how connected and mobile we are these days, there’s a nearly endless list of ways to earn money for tuition and living expenses. It just takes a little thought. Be sure to consider your talents, passions, and resources when figuring out how to earn money for college. Depending on these factors, making money might be easier and more enjoyable than you thought.
- If you like creating things, try selling your crafts at a local store, on Etsy or ArtFire. Great with photography? Sell your work on Instagram! It’s as easy as downloading an app (check out Foap), posting your picture, and cashing in.
- If you’re always on your phone, explore money-earning opportunities that you can take advantage of while scrolling through your phone. Apps like appKarma let you earn cash and gift cards just by trying out certain gaming apps or watching videos online.
- If you’re a good student, offer tutoring services to students who need a little help by taking to Twitter, putting out flyers, or working with teachers.
- If you’re an animal lover and need a job with a more flexible schedule, a dog-walking service might be the perfect gig for you. Online networking apps like Rover and Wag! can pay dog sitters and dog walkers up to $1,000 a month, and — huge plus — you get to play with puppies!
- If you want to get a leg up on your studies and make a little extra cash, taking on a research-participant position at a nearby university might be the right fit for you. Taking part in a paid study is a great way to get some firsthand experience while earning money. (Just know you may need parental permission if you’re under 18.)
- If you’re a pack rat, why not clean out your closet and cash in while you’re doing it? Trade in your old clothes at stores like Plato’s Closet or through the online marketplace letgo. Looking to purge items other than clothes? Use Amazon Trade-In to exchange old books and electronics for cash or an Amazon gift card (which can be used for your college textbooks, when the time comes).
- If you prefer to keep a consistent schedule, get a part-time job at a local shop or restaurant. Having steady gig is a great way to consistently earn money, and if you make a good impression, you may be able to pick up a few hours when you’re home for winter or summer breaks.
- If you’re good with kids, use your connections to secure a babysitting job. Websites like Care.com can also be a great resource for you to advertise your skillset and connect with parents.
- If you want to work on your karma, consider giving back. Not all side hustles have to be about money. Volunteering at a soup kitchen or donating your time at a nonprofit organization can be just as rewarding. Volunteering regularly could even help you get a job in college — you’ll not only have experience that can help you stand out when you apply, but also potentially a source for references.
Once you’ve started pulling in an income, resist the urge to use your hard-earned money on day-to-day spending. If you’re saving for college or another big goal, such as a car, try setting up a savings account, which can help you accumulate savings and earn interest over time.
With a little ingenuity and hard work, you can earn money from these side gigs. Good luck!