If you are a college student or a parent of a college student, you need this information. Most students have a few bucks saved up but are secretly worried about having enough money for college. If you are concerned, it’s a good thing. That means you are at least thinking about the future. Hopefully you have a rough idea of your monthly budget. It is very important that you look at each month separately, since every month is going to be different. Your budget does not need to be complicated, you just need to have a plan for each month and have a good idea of your expenses and income needs. You can check out some other posts that will help with the expense side of college. This post will focus on the income side. Here are some ideas from my perspective that I know can help your situation:
1. Plan to Work – This may seem like an obvious or even a lame suggestion, but you would be surprised at the number of college students that choose NOT to work while going to school. This could be a combination of focusing on studies, relying on savings, relying on loans, relying on parents or, like in my case, a total lack of planning. Eventually you will have to face the financial music, so it makes sense to plan on working right away. Why? Your savings won’t last forever. Your loans may take the pressure off now, but, believe me, they will add pressure later! You have more energy now than you will ever have. Put it to good use! The extra focus may actually help you to do better in school.
2. Ask for Work – Here is what I mean by asking for work. Most students will check job boards, classifieds, local listings, career builder or other sites, and they will just look for jobs that are being advertised. What I am suggesting is that you go looking for work where it is not being advertised. If you have an interest or experience in a certain field, then go get in touch with those kinds of businesses in your area. Have stack of resumes ready and go call on 10 to 20 possible employers whether they are advertising or not. Most companies are looking for good help even if they are not advertising. Go, be impressive, always follow up with a phone call and you may be surprised at the results!
3. Your Experience has Value – We often underestimate our own value and experience. The other day, my son took over driving the company truck from a co-worker that couldn’t seem to back a trailer very well. It seemed like a small skill to my son, but it made him a more valuable employee at that very moment. If you have been taught to work in your home, you have skills that are valuable to employers. If you are easy to get along with, are respectful, good natured, a good communicator, friendly, and presentable, you have a good chance of getting hired over people who don’t have those things. Trust me, as an employer; those qualities are often in short supply!
4. Be Creative – Look for work that will allow you to multi-task. This is what I mean. A classmate of mine in college worked a security job that allowed him to do his studies while on the job. He had to be a night watchman and make his rounds, but he was able to complete papers, read and get his class assignments done while getting paid to be on location. Another job that can allow this to be done is babysitting. Children are often in bed by 9pm which would allow you to do school work while getting paid. You just need to get enough clients to fill your schedule. With a little effort you could make that happen. In my e-book, “Top 10 Low Cost Business Ideas” I tell a little of my daughter’s story and how she got connected with a couple of high paying clients.
5. Create Your Own Income – Sometimes it’s tough to find a job that will pay enough or that is flexible enough to meet your needs in college. I encourage you to consider starting your own business. There are several great ideas in my Free Low Cost Business Ideas e-book. If you are creative you have the potential to earn more than you ever would with a job, and it could be much more flexible as well. When I was in college, I mowed lawns and shoveled snow for a local handyman business. If I would have put in the effort, I could have gotten my own clients and earned even more money. Even so, I was able to do some of this work between classes. Here are some specific ideas to do your own lawn care business in college:
• Buy a used lawn mower and offer to mow a homeowner’s lawn for free in exchange for storage room in their garage. You don’t need much room, but you need to store a mower, gas, oil and some miscellaneous lawn care tools.
• Research pricing. You need to be competitive, but more importantly, you need to get paid what the service is worth.
• Create a small flyer to hand out to homeowners near college. Offer to mow for free the first time to see if they like you and your work
• Don’t overlook businesses, especially small ones. Lawn care is likely an extra chore that they would like to eliminate, but you could even get larger businesses and possibly get paid even more.
• Identify related services that you could offer for an additional fee. These could be hedge trimming, driveway edging, weed control or even pet cleanup. (poop scooping)
• Research creative ways to get paid. Rather than waiting for a check in the mail, you could use your PayPal account to accept a credit or debit card payment. Get more info right here.
I hope you use these ideas to generate money for college. You really can pay your way if you have a plan. Don’t forget to sign up for regular blog posts in your email. As a free gift, you will be able to download a copy of my business ideas e-book! I appreciate your support!