Finals week is usually a hectic time in any college student’s life. Among other things, students contend with cramming for tests, pulling all-nighters and even scrounging for food. But amidst these sacrifices, there are ways for college students to make money and help to put a dent in those student loans, too.
Study diligently throughout the semester so you won’t need to cram, and come finals week, you’ll have time on your hands, unlike the rest of your peers. “Time is money” might be the most important thing you learn this semester.
1. Sell Textbooks
After you complete each final, list that class’s textbook for resale on the internet. Set up an account on eBay or Amazon prior to finals week to streamline the process. The faster you list the books, the faster you’ll be able to sell used college textbooks for cash.
However, don’t be content with just selling textbooks. You probably have a range of other items that will get you cash. An old GPS, cell phone or digital camera are all prime candidates. Just make sure to package items securely, and ship all orders as quickly as possible.
If you excel in any particular area, use your extra time to tutor other students. This can be a great way to double up your own studying efforts as well. Post fliers around campus, and advertise on your Facebook or Twitter account. Chances are that you’ll be booked solid, and will be able to charge a premium for your services during the madness of finals.
3. Donate Blood
If you have no fear of needles, consider donating plasma, which is one of several medical ways to make money. You can earn up to $30 the first time you do it, and contrary to popular belief, the adverse effects are minor. In fact, most dissipate shortly after donation. To donate, you must weigh at least 110 pounds, be healthy, and that’s really about it.
4. Sell Food
Whip up a monstrous batch of spaghetti — the pasta and sauce are cheap. Divide the recipe into portions, and go door-to-door selling hot, fresh, ready-to-eat meals. Since most other students will also be cramming, they’ll be more likely to shell out a few bucks to save time on cooking or going to the cafeteria.
5. Complete Online Surveys
Earn money on the internet by signing up for paid survey websites and giving your opinion. Just make sure the site is 100 percent free, and never disclose sensitive information like credit card or social security numbers. The average payout is around $3 per survey, and each survey takes about 30 minutes to complete.
Being an entrepreneur is great, but keep your priorities in order: Your studies and finals come first. If you haven’t studied sufficiently, then forget about extra money and get to cramming.
You surely won’t make up the cost of a class or even textbooks with these ideas. However, if you’ve prepared ahead of time, light studying may be all you need to breeze through your finals — which leaves you plenty of time to pad your pockets for summer and help pay for and afford college.
What other ways can you think of to make money during finals week?
David Bakke is a personal finance blogger for Money Crashers, an online resource that shares tips for careers, money management, small business, investing, and more.