Freshman 15: Unique Ways to Make Money This Summer

For an overwhelming majority of high school graduates and college students, money is a little tight. Though some may have had steady part time jobs since they were around 16, they certainly wouldn’t be considered well-off. So, one very important thing to do during the summer before you head off to college for the first time is to work on building up your bank account.

If the idea of slaving away at a 9-5 job in your local mini-mart or fast food joint just doesn’t suit you, or if you’d like to beef up your income on the side of a part time job, there are many often unexplored avenues for making a little extra money.

If you’ve got stuff to sell…

One of the best ways to make some quick bucks is to sell items you don’t want or need anymore. There are tons of different options when it comes to finding a new home for your old things. There’s always a good old fashioned yard or garage sale. If you go in with a couple friends, all clean out your closets and under your beds, and then pick a weekend, you’ll make some cash really quickly. A good tip is to advertise on Craigslist for your surrounding areas, and even in the local newspaper or Highlights. That way more people will know about your fabulous sale and be apt to stop by.

If you have one or two bigger items you’d like to sell, like electronics you don’t use anymore, old video games, cell phones, or designer clothing items, there are many places to sell them online. Ebay is the biggest and most well known platform for selling anything and everything under the sun. Take some great pictures, write a little blurb about your item, and you’re all set. There are other ways to sell things like clothing or accessories for you fashionistas out there. Poshmark is an app that allows people worldwide to shop other users’ “closets” and purchase new or gently used items right from their phones or tablets. There’s always Craigslist for bigger items that you’d like to sell locally as well, such as cars, ATVs, or any other sort of equipment.

If you’re an enterprising individual…

Start your own business! Well, in a manner of speaking. The market is wide open for individuals who have talent in computer and internet related things. Are you a great graphic designer? Can you effortlessly switch from one social media network to the next? Advertise your skills on Craigslist, Linkedin, and Monster. Business, websites, and blogs are constantly looking for people to help manage their social media footprint, design a great new logo, or come up with fresh content.

Is there a blog or website you read every day? Shoot them an email with some ideas for posts, and maybe you’ll find yourself as their next editorial contributor. You can even try cold calling some smaller business in your area to see if they need any of your services. And you can always set up your own website to highlight and sell your skills. Freelancing is a huge business for creative types. Sites like Upwork can help connect you to writing, editing, graphic design, marketing, or SEO jobs that can translate into money in your pocket.

If you’re a DIY-er…

Sell your handmade creations online. In the past few years, sites like Etsy, which allows you to set up your own storefront and sell your own handmade, virtual, or vintage items in a few easy steps, have completely exploded. Another alternative is Storenvy, which is much like Etsy, except they don’t charge you any fees, and are much more lax about what you can sell on their site. It doesn’t have as much publicity as Etsy, but setting up a Facebook page for your shop, and sharing with friends and family on other social media sites could help jump start your store and get the word out.

Another alternative is to sell vintage and thrifted designer finds too. Modcloth, one of the biggest purveyors of modern, retro, and vintage clothing, accessories, and decor in this day and age started out with a college student selling vintage items she found in thrift shops and antique stores out of her dorm room! Head on down to your local thrift or antique store, Goodwill, or Salvation Army and spend an afternoon digging through the racks to see what great finds you can score. Of course, this requires a bit of knowledge about brands, designers, and vintage clothing, but if you’ve got it, put it to good use!