Ways College Students Can Make (and Save) Money This Summer

Congratulations, another semester of higher education is behind you.

But what to do with all of this free time on your hands? If you’re not tied down with summer classes, you might want to checkout the different opportunities in the workforce.

Sure, spending your summer wearing a uniform or a name tag might sound like a bummer, but think of the great potential to earn some much-needed cash in the next three months before you head back to class.

Think Big

Maybe you haven’t seen the statistics yet, but college students these days are graduating with mountains of debt. As a student of higher education, don’t throw away your three-month gift by being lazy and merely hanging out.

Be smart and get to work so you can pad your bank account with cold hard cash.

It’s like my football coach used to preach to us before the summer break: “You can either sit on your couch getting fat on potato chips, or you can spend your summer working out and getting bigger, stronger, and faster than your opponents.”

Instead of just lounging around this summer, get a job and make some money.

Live above the college debt statistics and start living financially smart. Especially if you’re living rent-free with your parents during the summer, spending your 4-6 college summers earning money could put you in a pretty great place by the time graduation rolls around.

Think of it like this; when you graduate, you could have potentially earned 12-18 months worth of pay by cashing in on your summer freedom. And even if you don’t save every penny, at least your job will supply you with cash and keep you from spending money you don’t have.

Work Smart and Hard

Before you head out job hunting, take a moment to think about what pays well, what perks are available, what you would like to do, and what has potential career experience.

  • Gain Experience – It’s always good to get a head start on your career. Whatever you might be studying, check around town to see if there are any part-time job opportunities related to your major. It would be great to get paid for career experience.
  • Tough Work Pays – Whatever you do, don’t overlook the hard stuff. Manual labor might not sound fun, but it can pay pretty well if you find the right situation. Sure, working for a roofing company might be harder than some job in the mall, but double check the pay before you blow off working outdoors.
  • The Perks – Don’t forget about the perks. The free movies you get from working at a movie theater could potentially double your pay, depending on how many blockbusters you plan to watch this summer. And although food service might not be the dream job you’re looking for, free (or discounted) meals could help you keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket.
  • Focus on a Passion – What are you good at? Do you love to study? Do you love photography? Do you love writing? Just because you’re a college student doesn’t mean you can’t start your own business this summer. Tutoring, photography, and freelance writing will always be in demand.

When you start looking for a summer job, it pays to think outside the box.

Work Hard, Save Smart

It’s human nature . . . when you earn money, you want to spend that money. It also appears to be human nature to spend money you don’t have, but that’s another post.

Your college experience is a monumental time in your life. One way that college changes us all is that it transitions us from being coddled babies into well-rounded, productive grown-ups. Or at least that’s the idea.

One way to start your transition into becoming a financially smart adult is to start looking at the bigger picture – financially speaking. Learning discipline and self-control when dealing with your bank account is priceless.

As a college student, you are entering the part of your life where you will begin to pay for your own stuff. It might start small with paying for your own cell phone bill or your own credit card balance. But make no mistake, your parents are ready to stop paying for your stuff.

Saving up your college summer paychecks will give you a sense of the true value of money, it will start you on a financially wise path, and it will give you a financial boost when you graduate.

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