It's generally accepted and probably even assumed that as a college student, you were more often than not going to be short of cash on a regular basis. With all of the expenses that go along with a college education, it is understandable that you ended up counting your spare change to pay for a meal or two. Unfortunately, once you graduate from college and leave the realms of the safe campus atmosphere, being penniless and frugal is no longer such an endearing quality. You are not able to defer your monthly rent or pay for your groceries with a meal plan. The bills are coming in fast and need to be paid immediately.
After I graduated from college, I decided that I had put so much effort into learning my trade that I was determined to work within my profession - regardless of the wait. As a communications major, the first jobs that I was able to land were freelance positions. While I am entirely grateful to work in my field of choice, I also know that my income is not as stable as it would be if I had a full-time staff position. As a result, I developed a number of innovative ways to earn some extra cash so I could make ends meet during my transition period into the workforce.
1. Sell Your Old Textbooks
After each semester, I always ended up with a pile of textbooks that my school wouldn't exchange for even a third of their original price, as it did with my other books. So, I gathered all of my leftover books, which were collecting dust on my bookshelf, and sold them for a fairly reasonable price. There are a number of websites like abebooks.com that will give you cash for your old books. I have sold my books back a number of times and was always pleased with the outcome.
2. Sell Your Musical Talent
I personally have never been musically incline, however, I have had many friends with exceptional musical talents who have used their skills to teach others. If you are an experienced piano player, singer, or can play any other instrument with precision, you can post your services in a community newsletter or on a website like craigslist and make money doing what you love to do.
3. Tutor a Subject of Expertise
You could either tutor local neighborhood kids or ask local schools if they need tutors. Your chances of landing a tutoring position will be even higher if you can offer a unique skill. For example, the university that I attended was in need of Japanese tutors and offered the position to outsiders if they were qualified for the job.
Since I graduated from college, babysitting has been a surprisingly great resource for extra cash. It is convenient and can make a real difference if you are lucky enough to land a few shifts every month. Some parents may even need you on a weekly basis and give you permanent shifts. If you have the time available, it is an honest and fairly easy way to make some extra money.
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5. Freelance Writing
This is key for anyone who majored in English, creative writing, or any other form of communication. You may have a knack for writing even if you had an unrelated major, although the likelihood of landing a freelance writing job is greater with more relevant experience. You can write on your own time and can usually choose your own topic. It is also a good way to build up your résumé.
It's important not to be discouraged by a limited income as a new college graduate. Most of us are in the same boat and struggle before finally finding the right job.