Depending on your school’s calendar, you may have from two to four weeks away from school with little or no academic commitments, which leaves you plenty of time to earn extra cash which could be used to reduce your need for student loans or allow you to pay interest on current student loans to reduce your balance.
Here are 15 ways you can make money over your break.
- Find a paid internship. Make money and gain valuable experience at the same time. Check with your campus career services office for available opportunities near campus, or contact companies in your field close to home.
- Apply for scholarships. Spend several hours researching and applying for the scholarships you were too busy to look at during the academic session.
- Work retail. Many retailers take on seasonal staff to help with the preholiday rush, post-holiday sales and gift returns.
- Turn your existing part-time job or internship into a full-time position. Your employer may jump at the chance to give you more hours to offset other employees’ vacation time or to help handle year-end projects.
- Babysit for busy parents. Besides the extra commitment of holiday parties and travel, many parents also seek temporary, full-time sitters for school-age children at home during winter break.
- Take care of Fido (and Bessie). Pet owners who will be away for an extended period of time may prefer to have a responsible person come in to feed, exercise and clean up after their furry friends. If you live in or near a rural area, don’t forget that farmers often need someone to take care of their stock every day. Advertise early to line up several commitments over break.
- Be a house-sitter. Homeowners will often pay a responsible person to stay in their home, water plants, set out garbage and take care of other tasks while they are away for a long trip.
- Sell your stuff. While you’re at home over break, take the opportunity to go through clothes, electronics, books and other belongings you no longer need. You can take them to consignment shops or sell them yourself online.
- Be the designated driver. With holiday parties in full swing, more and more people turn to Uber and other driving services.
- Promotional campaigns. Offer your tech and social media savvy to businesses who want to promote products or holiday sales. A few hours of your time can be worth a lot of money to business owners who don’t have the time or knowledge to set up their own campaigns.
- Put your creations up for sale. If you’re artistic or crafty, a little time designing holiday cards, decorations or gifts can pay off when you sell them online or at flea markets.
- Fill in on or near campus. It may sound strange to spend your break on campus, but if you have a place to stay, you may be able to find a temporary position taking shifts for other students who’ve gone home. The bookstore, area shops and campus offices may need help preparing for the spring semester while some of their regular staff is out.
- Teach a class. Work with local gyms, libraries and shops to set up special classes in something you know well and can teach others — a great workout for sedentary office workers, a how-to for smartphones or apps, creative cooking for the budget-conscious.
- Do the legwork. Do any local businesses need help distributing fliers or making holiday deliveries? While you’re doing your own holiday shopping, keep an eye out for an opportunity to offer your services.
- Take care of not-so-odd jobs. Advertise your availability to run errands, wrap gifts, hang holiday lights and shovel snow.