"I'm a broke college student and I need extra money!"
If you have ever said the above statement, you have come to the right place.
As a current college student in her fourth year, I completely understand. I have experienced both living on campus and living at home. Part-time paychecks aren't merely enough if you are paying tuition, bills, food, etc. To help you out, I have curated a list of 5 Side Hustles every college student should know.
5.) "I do hair!" Start a college hairstylist or barber business
Use your gift to make a quick buck! If you can braid, do press and curls, sew-ins, singles, retwists, locs, cut hair, or give shape ups this is the tip for you. For many college students having access to a mobile and trustworthy hairdresser is not an option. Sometimes, a student is out-of-state and has traveled away from home. For many that attend predominantly white institutions (PWIs), finding an individual that can effectively cater to textured hair is an act of wishful thinking. I see you! If you can, fill the need, bridge the gap and build community.
Please note, only offer services that you are comfortable providing.
4.) Tutoring! Start a college tutoring business
Although many universities offer free tutoring services, there is still room for you. If you are a wiz at typing and editing essays charge for it. If you are an amazing mathematician and science genius, charge for it. College is a space filled with struggling students and if providing academic support is something that you are good at then this is the tip for you.
3.) Start a college cleaning service (If you steal, this isn't the tip for you!)
Many students barely have enough time to breathe, let alone clean their room. However, a clear space inspires a clear mind. Start a room cleaning service! Why not? If you are living on campus you have easy access to your clients. Offer services such as general cleaning, sweeping, mopping, dusting, making beds, and organizing.
Letting a stranger into your space requires trust and if you intend to keep this side hustle, do not give anyone a reason to accuse you of stealing or vandalism. To protect yourself, take the necessary steps of possibly:
- cleaning with the door open
- allowing the owner to stay in the room
- establishing a client contract
Not only is it important to protect yourself, but it's important to stand out. Try leaving a mint on their pillow or after every service leave a special note on their door. This tip is another way to not only make extra money but to build possible friendships.
There is a negative stigma concerning domestic work. Many may feel an element of shame or fear but don't be ashamed. "Scared money don't make money!" Both men and women can participate. Cleaning is not bound by gender constraints!
2.) So Fresh! So Clean! Start a college laundry service
Similar to cleaning dorm rooms, a laundry service is a lucrative side hustle for college students. If you have classes in the morning, this is the tip for you! When I lived on campus I had only morning classes and I would spend the rest of the day cleaning or relaxing. During the morning the laundry room is practically empty, take advantage of that. Not only can you charge for washing and drying, but you can charge an extra fee for folding.
Pro tip: Wear gloves for #3 and #2!
1.) Kiss the college cook! Start a college catering/meal prep service
"I can't cook" is not an excuse, but a fact. I try and try, but the food tastes unloved. I can read, but I can't cook. If this sounds like you, this is not your tip. However, if you can throw down in the kitchen, you're headed in the right direction. Contrary to popular belief, meal prepping is not only for those interested in gains. While living on campus, I was desperate for a home-cooked meal. I would have paid for a nice warm, WELL SEASONED meal, but I didn't have many friends, especially those that could cook. As classes begin to come to a close, the meal swipes and dining dollars begin to deplete and students are subjected to eating ramen and sleep! Here's where you can thrive: if you can cook or bake you can start a meal prep/food service business. Again, trust is important. This is not going to serve as a potluck situation with corn in the actual cornbread or cat hair in the casserole. Take this serious, food is sacred and should be made sanitarily. Sell mason jar meals or cake jars. If you can make banana pudding, give me a call!
With the tips provided, make sure that you factor in a service fee and a feasible charge that will allow you to gain a profit, while also having the ability to repurchase the necessary materials to keep the side hustle going. If you don't want to hassle strangers, start with your friends and don't be afraid to charge. If you are apart of an organization let them know as well.
Don't overcharge and don't undercharge.
Eventually, I can create a blog post about social media marketing and creative ways to stand out within your side hustle. You have the ideas, now you just need to take some time out and plan!
Good luck! May your coin purse see some coinage!