Finances run dry as the year dies down, and cash-strapped students seek desperate means to make money. Outside of work-study, pulling together enough money for laundry, food and the occasional entertainment opportunity can seem futile.
“I’m always broke, and I don’t know how to escape it,” said Jen Goldberg, a Communication freshman.
But before you resort to prostitution, money laundering, selling your prescription drugs for money or other potentially illegal alternatives, remember that Northwestern offers a number of opportunities for the cash-starved to increase their bank balances.
- Sign up for Kellogg studies. Kellogg studies are a goldmine of money for starving college students. After filling out a demographic survey, students are offered a selection of studies that pay anywhere from about $8 for 30 minutes to $15 for an hour. An enterprising student could theoretically do two to three studies a week, netting about $30.
“I’ve heard of people getting $65 a week through Kellogg studies,” Goldberg said.
Be warned, though: Kellogg studies are not always a sure bet for laundry money. Since each participant is assigned studies based on demographics, there are times when no studies that fit you are available.
- Become a secret shopper. While becoming a secret shopper can bring in steady money, from $5 to more than $20 for one job, there are dangers. Scammers offer jobs to prospective secret shoppers, but request they spend around $40 to receive offers. No legitimate organization will make you pay to join. Secret shoppers need free time and a good memory, because they are often required to ask questions of employees, spend time in the store and, afterwards, fill out detailed questionnaires. It’s not for everyone, but if it sounds like your cup of tea, then jobs are plentiful. You can find a list of certified agencies at the Mystery Shopping Providers Association website.
- Babysit. We know you stopped putting flyers in your neighbor’s mailboxes for your cheap knock-off of The Baby-sitters Club once you entered high school. But since that allowance disappeared and your income sank back to a pre-waiting-tables level, keeping an eye on some terrible tykes for a few hours is tempting. You won’t be forced to return to multi-colored flyers, however: Sitter City can help you find needy couples near Evanston. Plus, babysitting pays notoriously well – you could net between $20 and $100 in a night, and still have time to go out afterwards.
- Sacrifice your mind to the psychology department. Psychology studies can be more lucrative and entertaining than Kellogg studies, although sometimes more scary, too. Instead of debating economics or crunching numbers, psych studies can leave you sleep-deprived or a mess with goop in your hair after having electrodes attached to your head. Look for psychology experiments on bulletin boards across campus. Although many of these pay similarly to Kellogg studies, some studies have been spotted that could net participants up to $1000 dollars. Keep your eyes open, but don’t forget that the high-paying studies often require hours of effort on your part.
- Sell your clothes at Crossroads. Medill freshman Lynnanne Nguyen recommends selling your clothes at Crossroads Trading Company, next to Cosí on Sherman. Crossroads accepts clean, stylish clothes for cash. While they typically offer 35 percent of resell value for used clothing, you can net up to 50 percent if you’re willing to forfeit instant cash and trade your clothes for other items in the store instead. Don’t just drag in whatever clothes you can find on the floor of your closet, though: Crossroads only accepts brand-name clothing, so leave your carefully hand-stitched skirts at home. Follow Crossroads’ tips for selling to net about $30 dollars.
- Skip the Norris bookstore and sell your old books on Amazon. Norris may rip you off when it buys back books, but it’s certainly convenient. Thor Rudebeck, a Communication junior, remembers the time he sold a book to Norris — receiving only 25 cents back from the $5 cover price. The greater profit margins online justify any extra work involved in dragging your books to the FedEx store. While Norris usually only pays back 25 to 50 percent, you can net a 75 percent profit – and sometimes more – selling your books on Amazon, Half.com or other online retailers. If you’re anything like me, with a pile of old textbooks in your room three feet high and growing, take an hour to list all your books online. Every book may not sell instantly, but the profits should provide you with steady laundry and liquor money.
- Have your own bake sale. While this approach takes start-up money (and a working kitchen), it can reap you profits and friends. Can you bake delicious cookies or cake? Take a seat by the Rock, Tech or the Arch with a bag of delicious delicacies and wait for people to flock to you. Assuming you didn’t spend too much on supplies, you should be able to make a healthy profit, or at least enough to feed yourself a tasty BK dinner for the next few days.
Check this link out for more information: http://www.northbynorthwestern.com/2008/04/9413/how-to-make-money-without-doing-anything/