Summertime and the living is expensive. From gas to groceries, it can feel like your paycheck isn’t going far enough to cover basics, never mind giving you the flexibility to spend on a getaway or save for the future. And if you’re still in school, balancing classes and studying with a job with rigid hourly requirements can be tough.
The good news: With some creativity and research, there’s a way to make money no matter your schedule for the next few months. Here are ideas to help you make money, no matter how little free time you may have in your schedule.
1. Play to Your Strengths
Work may never feel like a vacation, but it’s always great when the things you get paid for are things you’re good at, that you naturally enjoy doing. So think about what makes you happy. It could be things you already do in your primary job. Maybe you’re a spreadsheet whiz or have found yourself the go-to person teaching your boss how to get the company up to speed on social media. Perhaps you wrote your best friend’s wedding speech or are really good at finding the best, most under-the-radar restaurants for celebrating birthdays. Make a list of some of the things you enjoy doing. From there, you can see if you can connect those strengths to a paid skill.
You can use online platforms, too. For example, TaskRabbit can be a resource to highlight your skills in building furniture or planning kids’ parties. You can also use your social media profile to highlight some things you want to get paid to do. When advertising your skills, your friends and family can be the best way to share the news that you’re available to work. Let everyone know what you’re doing, and consider creating a social media account or website for inquiries as well. As you earn money, keeping track of what you’ve earned with a basic invoicing system can be a good idea since you will need to pay taxes on your income.
2. Sell Unused Items
One person’s trash is another person’s one-of-a-kind find. Doing a cleanout can help you find things you’re no longer using or wearing and sell them to someone else. Setting up a system of contactless pickup where people send you money through a payment app, and you have them pick things up in your building lobby, or your porch can be seamless. You can also use platforms devoted to secondhand sales, like Poshmark or eBay.
Another way to sell is to pool resources with your friends and set up a yard sale in real life or virtual.
3. Sublet your stuff
If you’re going out of town, consider subletting your apartment or room. You can do this through a platform like Airbnb or informally, through word of mouth, or online. Of course, it’s a good idea to do a background check of anyone who stays at your place and know if any rules apply to subletting. For example, if you rent your apartment, you must ensure it’s okay with your landlord.
You can also rent other things, like your car, a bike, or anything else that people might not want to buy but might need in the short term. Platforms exist for renting out your car; you’ll want to do due diligence and ensure that your insurance will cover you if, say, you let a friend use your car for the two weeks you’re out of town. You also may be able to sell or sublet memberships as well. For example, if you have gym passes you never use, see if you can put your unused passes up for sale. Even if you get less than you paid, every little bit can count as you’re building up money.
4. Donate your eggs
Donating your eggs doesn’t just help you earn money; it can help a couple build a family. Donating eggs can be a serious decision that may impact your summer plans a bit, so it’s a good idea to understand the egg donation process before you sign up. Egg donation may take several weeks or even months.
Becoming an egg donor can take time and patience. You’ll generally have a few introductory appointments, including an appointment with a social worker, to assess whether egg donation is the right choice for you. Once you’re accepted as an egg donor, and your egg donation cycle begins, you’ll need to take injectable medications every day for about ten days. You’ll also need to visit the clinic for monitoring.
The procedure is a short 10 to 15 minutes under anesthesia, and many donors can go back to their routine the next day.
Egg donation can be a meaningful decision to help you make money and make a difference in someone else’s life. It can be helpful to talk through your decision with friends and family and potentially talk with people or read stories from people who have also completed the process of egg donation. You can donate eggs more than once and begin another cycle as soon as you’ve had a period post-donation.
Babysitting, pet sitting, house sitting — there are plenty of opportunities to make money by caring for people’s kids, pets, or homes.
These gigs can be flexible and give you the time you need to get your job or school responsibilities done, too. Babysitting as an adult can be very different than what you remember as a teen. Some parents may simply need an extra pair of hands to shuttle their kids between activities, giving you plenty of time off. Other parents may need a responsible sitter to watch their children overnight while on a work trip — something that they wouldn’t feel comfortable hiring a teenager to do. Some people also may need to hire someone to take care of their elderly relatives. For example, maybe an elderly adult who is prone to falls needs someone to stay in their house when their spouse is out of town, or perhaps an adult child will hire someone who lives near their elderly parents to do grocery runs, lawn care, or even just keep them company.
With sitting, you can set your own hours. You can also find clients in various different ways. Word of mouth is always easy, but there are specific platforms, like Care.com for babysitting and Rover.com for dog walking, where you may expand your client base. You can also figure out where you excel: Maybe you don’t love the idea of watching babies or toddlers but are happy to drive a teen to the pool or keep them company when their parents are on a date night. Maybe you aren’t in love with dogs but are happy to take care of a neighbor’s cats or ensure the house is taken care of when they are on vacation.
Choose what makes the most sense for you.
Finding ways to make more money can require some time and research. But having additional funds available can help you plan for the next phase of your life, help save you money, and relieve financial pressure. Finding opportunities that can be done on your time can be a great way to make money, even while juggling school or a job.