Are you a busy student who wants to earn money but can’t commit to a full-time or part-time job? Believe it or not, there are actually a lot of ways to make some quick cash without having to put your academic standing at risk. Don’t worry, we’re not offering anything shady here. What we are about to share with you are five ways to earn some cash you probably haven’t heard of.
Education can be very pricey, as you know. And while taking out a low-interest student loan is a popular solution among a growing number of students across the world, wouldn’t it be nice to earn a little on the side as well?
If you can get good grades while still having a great time, then you might just make a killing doing the following:
1. Take surveys
There are plenty apps, websites and ideas how you can make money online. One of these ideas is participating in online surveys, which might not be the highest-paying option on this list, but it’s by far the easiest. Research companies are constantly on the lookout for new members who can give their views and opinions about all sorts of products, services and important issues in exchange for cash. If you’re lucky, you might even get to be one of the first people to learn about a new product or service. Taking surveys is without a doubt an easy and oftentimes informative way to kill time and make money.
If you have a computer, an internet connection, and a few minutes to spare, you can start filling out surveys today. The number of survey companies out there just keeps on growing, so it’s pretty much impossible to run out of options. Here’s a list of the most trusted survey sites that reveals how much money you can make and has great tips on how to maximize your earnings.
2. Volunteer for research
Researchers often offer a small payment as a way to encourage human subjects to take part in their projects. Your college probably has a long list of focus groups and clinical trials you can sign up for. Focus groups are practically easy money since you’ll be compensated just for your feedback on certain products, services, issues, or a new idea.
Clinical trials, on the other hand, are often intended for subjects with a specific condition. While there are projects that recruit healthy subjects, the constant creation of new medicines and drugs creates a growing demand for human patients that meet certain requirements. Pharmaceutical companies have decent cash incentives for subjects who can help make sure their new products are safe for the market.
Just keep in mind that trials can be quite risky. Some can even last for several weeks. And of course, while trials are regulated, there is always a risk factor. New drugs tend to have side effects, such as headaches and nausea. It’s best not to make decisions based only on the payout. Steer clear of projects that involve too much risk and do your fair share of research before signing up for anything. For more in-depth information on drug trials, check out this guide.
3. Become a mystery shopper
Do you like the idea of earning money and getting freebies simply by shopping? Mystery shopping might just be for you. Mystery shoppers visit businesses to gather information about their products, services, quality of service, and compliance with regulations. They are tasked by market research companies, watchdog organizations and even companies themselves to perform specific actions. These can range from buying a product and starting a conversation with employees, to behaving in a certain way and registering complaints. Once done, they must whip up a detailed report of their experience.
Keep in mind that mystery shopping companies will not ask for a registration fee. To make sure that the company you’re about to work with is legit, verify it with the Better Business Bureau, Mystery Shopping Providers Association and Independent Mystery Shoppers Coalition.
4. Sell your stuff online
This is one of the easiest ways to earn quick money when your funds are running low. You can sell just about anything online. If your room is full of books, gadgets, clothes, trinkets and other stuff you don’t need, maybe someone will pay good money for them. eBay and Amazon are just two of the most reliable websites where you can convert your unwanted clutter into cold cash. Just create an account, study the prices, create a listing that stands out, and you’ll be interacting with potential buyers in no time. You can also try selling some stuff for more money than you bought them for.
There are seasoned eBay sellers who check the trends and try to predict the next big thing before everyone else. If you’re a fan of taking risks, maybe you can give this a try. Buy certain items in bulk and sell them once their prices skyrocket. Eventually, you might even be able to set up an online business of your own.
5. Tap into your creativity
Do you enjoy a certain type of creative outlet? Perhaps you can make money off of that. If you enjoy graphic design and creating all sorts of art, websites like CafePress, Etsy and Zazzle will let you turn your artworks into a source of income. And if you like to write, Upwork always has a wide range of writing projects that will let you polish your skills while making money. The number of freelance gigs out there is practically limitless, and many of them just require an internet connection, simple skills, and an hour of your day. You get to choose your own hours, learn something new each day, and work with people from around the world.
You can focus on your education and still make good money in your free time. Whatever you decide to try, be sure to think it through and see if you can get some insight from people who have some experience with it. And of course, don’t forget these 5 rules for a successful college experience.