If you’re a full-time student, a busy young adult, or even just a bored teenager looking for ways to make money, you’ve come to the right place!
I love the feeling of having enough money to do whatever I want, and I’m sure you do, too. Buying new clothes, watching movies, going to concerts… they all need money! But how do you afford those on your own without having a full-time job and as a minor?
In this post, I’m going to show you 21 legit ways to make money as a student; half are methods to make quick and easy money, while the rest are ways to potentially make big money in the long-run.
If you’re ready to make some cash, let’s hop right into the post.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more here.
Ways to make quick money
The following 10 ways to make money are (mostly) quick and easy, and things you can start right now and make money from in less than a week. If you’re looking for some quick cash, try out some of these ideas!
Sell old clothes
Many thrift shops are always looking for secondhand clothing to buy and sell to people who need them for low prices. You can bring in your old clothes or send them to the shop, and make some money off of them!
Here are some of my favorite thrift shops you can sell your clothes to:
Yes, there are actually legitimate companies from which you can earn money just by completing surveys. The process is extremely simple and the work is easy, so there’s nothing to lose when it comes to surveys.
Some survey programs are more intuitive and trustworthy than others; below, I’ve listed some of the best ones you could try as soon as possible:
Babysitting and pet sitting are “jobs” many teens have experience with; it can be tiring but enjoyable and is usually a good way to make new friends and earn money at the same time.
If you’d like to look for a babysitting/pet sitting job, simply ask around your neighborhood. Ask your friends and neighbors if they need some help; you could also visit websites like Indeed, Nextdoor, and Glassdoor to find jobs near you.
Like babysitting, tutoring is something many students have done as a side hustle. If you’re strong in a certain area of academics– like geometry, chemistry, or writing essays– you could offer your tutoring services to other students or younger kids.
Many parents look for tutors for their children around the neighborhood or school, so if you’d like to tutor for some extra money, ask around! You could even advertise yourself and create a poster, asking parents to come to you.
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Do others’ homework
As a quick disclaimer, I do not encourage cheating or dishonest behaviors. By “doing others’ homework”, I do mean a form of tutoring.
If a fellow student needs help with a certain assignment or subject, you could ask them for a little money in exchange for your help. Actually try to teach them how to do the homework so that they’re learning, as well.
Freelancing is a popular choice among younger adults, as it guarantees much more freedom and flexibility than the regular 9-5 desk job. As a full-time student, it’s definitely appealing.
There are many freelance jobs out there, but writing is one of the quickest and easiest. You can write blog posts for others, copywrite for advertisers, create news articles, and just about any other writing job you can think of.
Here are some websites you can hop on to advertise your writing skills and land your first freelancing job:
Flipping clothes is when you resell second-hand clothing for a higher price, sometimes after customizing them to make them a little nicer.
Shoes are extremely popular among the “flipping” market, as consumers love shoes and they’re always sold out extremely quickly. If you’re able to get your hands on a popular pair of new sneakers, you’ll likely be able to resell it for a higher price.
You can sell your flipped products on many online services, like:
Get a retail/restaurant job
Many retail shops and restaurants love hiring teens and young adults for many reasons, so you shouldn’t have much trouble finding a similar job in your area.
Often, you can find many businesses with a “hiring” poster on their door; if that job seems like something you’re interested in and might be good at, go ahead and ask to apply or for an interview!
Similarly, you can also visit Indeed and Nextdoor to find local jobs around your home.
Social media management
As technology advances, most modern students now have become masters of social media and the digital world. If you know how to manage social media (especially Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok) to expand a business’s reach, you could use this knowledge to help out others.
Many business owners struggle to use social media to their advantage, and this is where the younger generation comes in. You can apply and land a job as a social media manager for your local business and help them expand their reach, earning some extra money in the process!
If you’d like a job like this, I suggest searching around Instagram for local businesses and checking if any accounts look like they could use some “touching up”. If so, reach out to the team and ask if they’re looking for a social media manager, letting them know the benefits of your service.
Lastly, you can try to find any odd jobs around your neighborhood or city. These vary in difficulty and in remuneration, but you can generally find an abundance of them if you look hard enough.
Below are some examples of odd jobs you can take up; but really, if you think something you’re doing for someone else deserves some recognition or reward, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask for a little money.
- Mowing lawns
- Delivery driving
- Doing makeup/nails for events
- Participate in (safe) research
- Taking photos for others
- Become a brand ambassador for a small business
- Managing a website
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Ways to make money in the long run
The following 10 methods of making money will not guarantee quick money. None of these are “get rich quick” schemes, and you’ll have to put in lots of time and energy for them to work. But in the long run, these could turn out very successful– much more than the ones above.
Start a blog
Starting a blog is simple and quick, but maintaining it and building it to be profitable is a long process. Unfortunately, bloggers don’t usually earn money just by writing posts; instead, they use the traffic they get to these posts to earn money through ads, affiliate marketing, and selling products.
If there’s something you’re passionate about and believe that you could create content based on it, blogging is a great choice. You can start a blog for less than $5 a month, and it could grow to make you over thousands of dollars a month.
I have a complete, step-by-step guide here: How To Start A Successful Blog; I recommend you to check it out and read it carefully if you’d like to learn how to start a profitable blog. I’ve included everything you need to know and do in the first 6 months of starting a blog to help you maximize success.
Start a shop
Nowadays, anyone can start their own shop online. You can set up a store on Etsy, or create your own platform completely. Shopify is a popular service, where you can set up an online store super quickly and sell items, track analytics, and more.
Shopify is not free (the basic plan is $29 a month), but it’s one of the most powerful and intuitive platforms out there. You can also create your own website (on Squarespace, WordPress, etc) and turn it into an online store, but it will take more effort and energy to make it perfect.
Once you start your shop and drive enough traffic and customers, you’ll be able to sell your own products (physical or digital) and start making money. Driving traffic is much too complicated to explain in this section, but you can visit this post to learn how I drive traffic to my blog– the process is similar!
Invest in stocks
The stock market is complicated, and many will say that it’s based on luck and chance. But if you’ve got some money on hand that you’re willing to try in the stock market, start doing your research!
I am not a professional by any means, so I cannot give many tips. However, I suggest that beginners start with a platform like Robinhood; it’s easy to understand and lets you invest small amounts, which is great for part-time investors like students.
Over time, if you’ve chosen some good stocks, you might make a pretty penny from investing! At the same time, you might lose some. If you’re not a big risk-taker, check out these next methods.
If you have an area of expertise– such as writing, art, video editing, music production, photography, etc– try entering a competition! Many competitions host competitions with cash prizes, and you could use your skill and hobbies to win them!
There are many competitions out there with varying amounts of prizes; you could search around your local library for smaller competitions, or find national/regional ones with a Google search.
Here are a few well-known and trustworthy competitions with cash prizes that you can try your hand on:
- Bennington Young Writers Awards
- We The Students Essay Contest
- World Illustration Awards
- Sony World Photography Awards
Similar to competitions, scholarships will need your hard work and effort (and some research the find the perfect scholarship to enter!). But there are many scholarships out there for all kinds of students; whether you’re a high schooler or a college student, whether you’re STEM-inclined or artistic, there’s a scholarship for you.
You can search for scholarships at the following resources:
- Your school’s counselor or your own counselor
- This Scholarship Finder
- The reference section at your library
- Local businesses, organizations, and foundations
- Your employers
- Other schools and universities
And just like competitions, scholarships are not guaranteed. But it never hurts to try, as they serve as a recognition of your abilities and efforts and, of course, gets you some money!
Stream on Twitch
If you love to play video games, are relatively good at the games, and have a decent gaming and streaming setup, try becoming a Twitch streamer! Becoming popular on Twitch is difficult, but if you genuinely enjoy playing games, it can be a fun experience for you.
Twitch streamers make money not through the number of viewers (though a larger number helps), but rather through ads, paid subscriptions, donations, sponsorships, and affiliate marketing.
It can be a long time before you get a few viewers on your stream, much less income. So if you’d like to become a Twitch streamer, be super patient and persistent!
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Sell online courses
If you have a skill that you believe you can teach to others, try selling an online course! One of the most popular platforms (and the one I recommend) is Teachable.
Becoming a “teacher” on Teachable costs $29 a month or higher, and it gives you the freedom to create your own platform, track your students and income, and create lessons easily.
Whether you’re recording lectures or creating PDFs, you can put those on Teachable and create lessons from them. Here are just a few things you could teach via Teachable:
- Starting a profitable blog
- Training adult dogs
- Knitting for beginners
- Sketching for students with experience
- Music theory for young adults
- Writing argumentative essays
- Starting a successful nonprofit
- Anything you can think of!
Sell stock photos
If you’re a good photographer with a passion for taking photos of anything and everything, you could sell the photos you take! This income cannot be guaranteed to be large or consistent, but it’s a fun and easy way to make extra money.
Before you try to sell your photos, make sure to check the requirements of your market. Some have very strict guidelines for the quality of your photo, while others don’t. Here are some places you can sell your photos online:
Publish a book
If you’re an avid writer, you can write a novel, novella, handbook, or whatever else you want to write, and publish it for free on Kindle Direct Publishing (powered by Amazon).
The process is completely free, and your book gets marketed across Amazon Kindle users (millions of readers might see your book).
However, just like any other market, customers want to see an original, creative, interesting, and well-written book. So if you’re interested in becoming a self-published author, start taking the time and effort to create a high-quality book!
Start a YouTube channel
The YouTube market is extremely competitive, but nothing’s stopping you from trying. There are so many options for you on YouTube, and you can start a channel about anything you want.
If you feel very knowledgeable in one area, you can create a YouTube channel dedicated to teaching others about it. Or you can be more personal on your channel and create videos that show all about your life.
YouTubers, like Twitch streamers and bloggers, earn money through ads, sponsorships, affiliate marketing, and selling products. And the more subscribers you have, the easier it will be to earn money through these methods.
Here’s an important reminder: you do not need expensive equipment and perfect editing to become a successful YouTuber. You need creativity, honesty, passion, and effort. If you’re willing to put in the time to learn and produce good content, you’re already halfway there.
Become an influencer
The last money-making idea for students and young adults is to become an influencer. You could become an influencer on Instagram, on a YouTube channel, on a blog, through a small business… there are many options.
Being an influencer is just like starting your own business, except that you are your product. You have to choose the right niche, attract the right audience, and give the right content.
If you’d like to try your hand at becoming an influencer, start on Instagram. Choose your niche (popular ones include fashion, food, and lifestyle), post consistently, and be sure to give what your audience wants (whether it be advice or entertaining content).
As an influencer, you’ll need a strong mindset and a positive attitude, as well as the willingness to work hard and long without rewards. Like all the methods mentioned above, this will take time and effort, but can help you make money in the long-run.
I hope this post was able to give you a new idea on how to make money as a student! Leave a comment below with your favorite way, or which method you’re going to try!
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