5 Ways to Make Extra Money for College

make extra money

Whether you are a parent saving for college, or a student struggling to pay for college, we can all use a few ideas on ways to make some extra money. Many of you reading this blog, moonlight as something other than your normal 9-5. This means that you have already taken a strong step towards earning extra money. In my experience, once you have taken this initial step, the rest are much easier to come by.

So you have the ambition, you know there is a need, but where do you start?

If you are a current college student is it in your best interest to sign on as a pizza delivery boy, or go try your bartending skills at the local pub?

If you are a parent saving money for college, is it in your best interest to find a local part-time job paying minimum wage?

I would say an emphatic NO, to both suggestions. I want to lay out 5 concrete ways that you can begin to make extra money without the hassle of interviewing and working the graveyard shift for $7.25 per hour (or less…).


I have written before about my experiences with using Textbroker. I was able to earn over $5000 in 2011 (I know because I just got the 1099) using their online article writing service.

Creating an account is simple and straightforward. you signup, and then write a sample 400 word article. Textbroker then rates this first article from 1 – 5. Based on this rating, you can begin to claim and write articles. The articles you write are graded 1 – 5, with 1 being the easiest and therefore the least profitable, and 5 being professional and the most profitable.

My rating was routinely a 3, but I found that this allowed me to be the most profitable with my time. I was eventually able to write a 400 word article in about 7 minutes, which at 1 cent per word, left me with about $32 per hour. Not bad for part-time work.


CashCrate is an online service that allows you to earn money by completing offers, surveys, and the infrequent game. I experimented with this service over a year ago, and quickly realized that I hated completing surveys and offers, and that my time was much more valuable.

However, I then found out about CashCrate’s referral program. Here is a quick explanation:

[box] The referral program has two levels. You get paid 20% of what your referrals make and 10% of what THEIR referrals make. As you refer more users to CashCrate, these levels increase until you’re earning as much as 30% of your referral’s earnings and 20% of their referral’s earnings. Plus, get extra cash bonuses along the way! [/box]

This is my kind of passive income! yes, it could be viewed as a multi-level marketing program, but it’s better because you don’t have to host scammy sounding product parties!

You could email all of your friends with your referral link, and sit back and watch the cash roll in from their activities online and their referrals!


I’m new to SwagBucks, but I know that it has been around for a long time and many people use it to successfully score giftcards and other big discounts.

Swagbucks is basically a search engine. The easiest way to earn point is to install the swagbucks search engine and to use that for your normal online activities. This will earn you Swagbucks virtually everytime you sit down at your computer to complete a task. You won’t earn a great per hour rate, but it’s basically free money that you can earn for doing something that the majority of us do everyday anyway.

Sell on Ebay

I’ve been selling on Ebay for years, and it has always been a great side gig that I could do from the comfort of my own home. Ebay experts estimate that every one of us has between $500 – $1000 of sellable items within our homes that we can easily part with. All you have to do is find these items, list them on Ebay, enjoy the auction process, and then package them up and deliver to the Post Office.

Some items that I have sold on Ebay in the past are vintage castle legos, bullova swiss watch, rare las vegas coins, playstation games, used books, model ship clock, Boyd bears, and even baseball cards.

I could almost guarantee that you can think of 10 items that can easily be placed on sale through Ebay. * My best piece of advice?  Take professional pictures and give a detailed description and you will notice a much better result for your efforts.


My final idea is one of my favorite. I am a bibliophile. I love books. It’s an obsession. It’s almost sad.

However, I have been able to turn my passion for books into a profitable hobby. I enjoy going to yard sales and to auctions and buying old cases of books. What I have then been able to do is turn these old books into a profit through Cash4Books.net.

The one thing that allowed me to be profitable at this was when they introduced the mobile app. Now I can scan any book I see at a yard sale with my iPhone, and instantly know what I can sell it for on cash4books.net. If I can make a profit of at least $1, it is worth my time.

The key here is to work in quantity. $1 profit per book might not sound like a lot but if you can get 100 or more every week, or increase your profit margins, then you can turn this into a serious side gig.

What side gig ideas do you have to make extra money for college?

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