8 Clever Ways College Students Can Make Extra Cash This Winter

Written by Beth Hering
Published on December 4, 2022 · Updated on May 13, 2023

8 Clever Ways College Students Can Make Extra Cash This Winter

Written by Beth Hering
Published on December 4, 2022 · Updated on May 13, 2023

Between holiday expenses and winter semester tuition, who couldn’t use a little extra dough this time of year? Get 2023 off to a prosperous start with these effective ways of generating additional income:

1. Sell unused items

Back home for winter break? Not only will cleaning your room please your parents, but it could also fatten your wallet. With the nation experiencing toy shortages, your old dolls, action figures, board games, and the like could fetch a pretty penny on eBay. Likewise, trading cards skyrocketed in popularity during the pandemic — Mike Trout or Pikachu could be earning you money rather than gathering dust. Do a bit of online research to help determine reasonable prices.

Prefer to avoid the hassle of boxing and shipping? Look for stores in your area that buy specific merchandise. GameStop, for instance, pays for used electronics and video games, and Play It Again Sports purchases pre-owned sports equipment and fitness gear. Local consignment shops may be interested in your clothes or outgrown furniture.

And, of course, if you still have textbooks from last year sitting around, sell them back to the campus bookstore or to an online buy-back service. Just be certain they aren’t ones you might want to refer back to in the future.

2. Utilize your student union bulletin board

Student centers often contain a bulletin board where people can post services offered or desired. You might find a foreign exchange student looking to hire someone to help proofread papers, a professor seeking someone to water her plants while she’s on sabbatical next month, or the theater department paying cash to ushers for a weekend performance. Similarly, you can advertise your own skills to potential customers, from running errands to creating websites.

You also might want to check for postings at the financial aid office. Local businesses sometimes contact the department when they could use temporary help for an event or project. A weekend spent doing inventory or setting up chairs might end up covering your credit card balance.

3. Take on gig work

A variety of platforms exist for finding short-term money-making opportunities that align with your abilities and schedule. A few to consider include:

  • Care.com (baby-sitting and elder care)
  • Uber (rideshare driving)
  • DoorDash (food delivery)
  • Instacart (grocery shopping for others)
  • TaskRabbit (running errands, home repairs, helping with moves, and other local projects)

4. Get a job

The current labor shortage has resulted in more places than ever looking for help and willing to create a schedule that jives with your other obligations. Check around town for “Help Wanted” signs, or even inquire at establishments you frequent. (Potential bonus: You may score an employee discount, too.)

Also, don’t assume that campus jobs are only for federal work-study students. While many positions are reserved for those whose financial aid package qualifies them for a federal work-study position, other roles are open to any student in good standing. These jobs are often listed as “institutional work-study” and may occur at any place on campus needing help – the computer lab, childcare center, library, student services, individual departmental offices, etc. Consult your financial aid office for further info.

5. Take part in psychology studies

If you took Intro to Psychology, chances are the course required you to participate in a few research studies as part of class requirements. Psych experiments often need more subjects, however, and pay students not receiving course credit to enroll. Contact the psychology department or peruse its website to discover studies for which you might qualify. 

6. Complete surveys.

Do you like to give your opinion? While you’re unlikely to make a fortune, joining an online platform such as KashKickSurvey Junkie, or Swagbucks provides the opportunity to earn a bit of extra moola simply by doing surveys. Some sites even offer extra opportunities for cash by watching videos or playing games.

7. Join a shopping panel.

Various organizations are interested in consumer purchasing patterns and preferences. The National Consumer Panel, for instance, invites people to access their mobile app, scan barcodes of items they buy, share shopping data, and earn points that can be redeemed for rewards. Fetch Rewards operates in a similar manner, except you snap pix of receipts to share.

8. Examine your lifestyle

Finally, remember that a penny saved is a penny earned. You’ll accumulate extra cash when you don’t spend as much. Skip your morning Starbucks run once a week and you’ll likely pocket more than $50 by Spring Break. Evaluate whether you actually still use all the streaming services you signed up for during the pandemic and cancel unnecessary subscriptions. Every little bit counts!