ne of the ways to graduate from college debt free (or at least minimize student loan balances) is to do some type of side hustle during your college years. Side hustles are a bit different than typical jobs in that you’ve got some flexibility in where, when and how you work.
Side hustle jobs can help college students make some serious cash to pay for whichever financial needs they have knocking at their dorm room door.
[See: A Guide to Launching Your Side Business.]
How to Find Your Side Hustle Niche
First, assess your skills, interests and availability. Identify your skills by determining:
- What types of services or skills you’re good at
- What types of services or skills you have experience with
- What types of services or skills you enjoy
From there, list how you can use those skills to help others. Successful side hustling often relies on finding and fulfilling a need for people.
Next, determine which days and hours you are available to complete the work. This is vital. With class and study times to navigate, you want to be sure you can balance both.
[See: How to Live on $13,000 a Year.]
Here’s a roundup of side hustle jobs that may jibe with your skill sets and interests.
Are you a math genius? A science whiz? An English expert? Chances are there are fellow students right on campus who need tutoring help in your area of expertise. Advertise your tutoring help on school and dorm billboards and websites, and help your fellow students get better grades all while earning some serious cash.
That skill you’re good at? You may be able to turn it into an online consulting business. Ideas for consulting businesses might include social media consulting, marketing consulting or consulting with students on how best to utilize study time.
Selling Your Creations Online
If you’re a crafty or artsy person, you may be able to make money by selling your creations online. If art is your thing, sell commissioned work on Twitter or on Etsy. If you’re great at woodworking and have the tools, you can set up shop online. There’s no limit to the possible side hustles for the creative person.
Are you a great support person? Do you follow directions well? Use your skills to become a virtual assistant for a blogger, business owner or entrepreneur. Sites such as Upwork and Indeed have listings for virtual assistant positions that can be performed right from your dorm room or apartment. Among the pros? These positions often offer flexible hours, meaning you can balance them with your school schedule.
If you like cleaning and are good at it, college is the perfect time to start your own housekeeping business. Many college students don’t have the time or the care to keep their dorm or rental rooms clean. Create a housekeeping services brochure (complete with which tasks you will and won’t do) along with your prices and available times, and offer a valuable service for fellow students (or even neighborhood families) who need help keeping things clean and organized.
[See: 10 Oddly Practical Things You Can Rent.]
Work for Agent Anything
Agent Anything is a company committed to helping people get small tasks done while simultaneously offering students employment opportunities. The company takes the information on the task or tasks clients want completed, and then assigns a student to complete them. Some of the available tasks include:
- Assembling things, such as entertainment centers or kids’ toys
- Doing computer-related tasks, such as reformatting documents
- Making delivery runs for local residents
Sites like Agent Anything have a per-job pay rate posted along with the details of the gig. That way, you know exactly what you’re signing up for before accepting the opportunity.
Use Your Car for Side Hustling
Pizza places and other restaurants are always looking for delivery people, and companies like Uber and Lyft are eager to sign people up to taxi others around. There’s also newspaper delivery and task-running jobs available to those with a car that gets decent gas mileage.
Complete Online Surveys
While you won’t get rich doing web searches and taking online surveys, sites such as Opinion Outpost, Harris Poll and Nielson Digital Voice will pay you for taking just a few minutes to complete online surveys. Some companies, like Digital Voice, will pay you simply for doing what you always do online; they’re interested in monitoring peoples’ search habits in order to help businesses maximize their reach.
If you’ve got graphic design expertise, there’s no end to the businesses looking for graphic design help. You can work as a freelance web graphic designer or work creating content for a local company near your school.
Child or Pet Care
Child and pet care needs are likely highly available in the neighborhoods surrounding your school. If you enjoy caring for pets and/or children, create your own business and advertise at local coffee shops and grocery stores or by distributing fliers to houses near your school. Be sure to let potential clients know your availability to ensure your schedule fits their needs before they take time to contact you directly.