Paying the rent and still having money to go out with friends can be tough, especially if you’re one of the millions of college graduates struggling to find suitable employment. But fear not, because with a little willpower and elbow grease, making a little bit extra on the side is not only feasible, it can be downright easy. As your dad would say, all you have to do is apply yourself and get out there! In fact, you might just find that side jobs complement your income quite nicely. Here are five solid recommendations to help you pay off that college debt and afford your new apartment:
1. Uber and Lyft
If you own a relatively new car, aren’t afraid to talk to strangers, and keep your car in good overall condition, earning money on the side is as easy as downloading Uber or Lyft on your phone and signing up for their driver service. The great thing with these on-demand driver services is that as a driver, you can work as little or as often as you want. If you work Monday through Friday, from 9AM to 5PM, you can limit your hours to weekends or Friday and Saturday evenings. If you work part time, you can easily pick up fares before or after your shifts. It’s as simple as turning the app on and picking up riders!
2. Etsy, Ebay and Amazon
Sell, sell, sell! If you’re crafty, have a lot of old “junk” lying around, or are looking to get rid of old CDs and movies, you can sell these wares online. Three of the best outlets are Etsy, Ebay, and Amazon. Though you likely can’t continuously make money in this manner, unless you happen to own a lot of old clothes, or are in the business of manufacturing your own goods, it’s not a bad way to make some extra money for a vacation – or to pay that overdue rent bill. Here’s what’s what.
For the artistic and talented among you, Etsy is a good place to sell hand-made goods. There’s also quite a large Etsy community for vintage apparel, typewriters, cooking ware, and more. Amazon is a terrific outlet for old DVDs, Blu-Rays, and CDs – but first you have to sign up for an account. And then there’s Ebay, which is a dumping ground for anything you might imagine. Do you have some old baseball cards lying around? Do you have an old pair of shoes that you wore once and then never touched again? If so, you may want to give Ebay a try; you’d be amazed at what you can sell online.
3. Freelance Writing and Design
Put that college degree of yours to good use! If you’re a creative type, you can look for freelance gigs on sites like Fiverr and Craigslist. The truth of the matter is, hiring a freelancer in most cases is cheaper, more convenient, and more efficient than hiring someone full-time. A small-to-medium sized business likely has neither the resources nor the need for a full-time copywriter or graphic designer, but that doesn’t mean they don’t require these services every once in a while. This is where you come in! People often ask, “How do I pick up freelance work?” Well, the truth is, by asking people and seeking it out. Eventually, you’ll build up a reputation and become someone’s go-to source for X, Y, or Z.
Starting a new business from scratch is not without risk. And if you intend to live exclusively on your small business income, it’s best that you have a healthy savings put away for a rainy day. But there are alternatives to putting both feet in and hoping that you float. Multi-level marketing businesses like Amway allow you to dedicate as much time and energy to your business as you want. If you maintain a regular job, companies like this make it possible to work extra hours – but most importantly, on your own time, at your own pace. These organizations also have robust training programs in place to help new business owners make the most of their initial investments, which are often small to begin with.
5. Teach, Tutor or Babysit
Finally, if you find your pockets are a bit thin at the end of the month, you can tutor or babysit on the side. For college graduates, this can be a particularly healthy outlet for additional income, as the demand for tutors and reputable babysitters is never ending. A professional degree can give you a leg up on the competition, especially if you majored in a niche field or industry. Better yet, there are a number of online resources and websites that make the job of finding paying gigs a cinch. These can include WyzAnt, Sittercity, and Urban Sitter. And unlike Lyft and Uber, some of these jobs can even help punch up your resume, which is never a bad thing.
Samantha Rivers short bio:
Samantha Rivers is a freelance writer who lives in Chicago (Go Cubs!) and loves writing anything in the lifestyle, travel, and career realm both online and print. When she’s not running the Upward Onward blog, she enjoys reading, finding new restaurants, being active outside, and indulging in a glass of wine or two.
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