Making Money Over the Summer: As Easy as 1, 2, 3

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Money makes the world go ‘round. It gives people pleasure, sustenance, and comfort – it is one of the ruling factors of our lives. Unfortunately, college students may be the group of people who have the most trouble finding paying jobs. We don’t have a degree yet and most of us are inexperienced compared to other applicants. So, what’s a poor college student in desperate need of money to do? Wander around the great outdoors in the hope that we could either stumble on one of these elusive trees that money grows on? As it turns out, there is a wealth of information about how to make some money, even if you’re not working or working unpaid.

The first and easiest way to make some quick money is to look in your own closet. Go through your room and clean it out. Find all those old books, games, and clothes you haven’t touched since your sophomore year of high school. Most likely, you have a healthy little mountain of forgotten childhood memorabilia piled up that could be worth millions a few bucks to someone else.

Now what do you do with it? Sell, of course! Have a yard sale when it's gorgeous out or log onto eBay to get rid of a lot of those old board games and Gameboy games. Pawnshops are also a quick way to exchange old electronics – including CDs, DVDs, video games, or tools – for cold, hard cash. You know what they say: something about trash being treasure to another squirrel or human being or something.

And what about those old clothes crowding your closet? You know, the ones you haven’t worn in three years. Here’s what you can do to recoup some of those precious dollars now lost: find a second-hand clothing store that will pay you for the clothes you give them if a yard sale yields unfavorable. Stores like Plato’s Closet and Buffalo Exchange are nationwide businesses that will pay in cash for gently used name brand items. There was never an easier way to make money, aside from living to see birthday cards from grandma.

Book exchanges are great places that tend to fly under the radar in an era dominated by Barnes and Noble and Books-a-Million. Most places will pay you for your unwanted books – some with money, some with a credit in the store to buy more books. In addition to making a little money, though, you’re helping keep local businesses afloat. Independent bookshops are hard businesses in today’s world with Twitter enabled Kindles everywhere and chain bookstores in every city. So sell your English books and textbooks to a local book trader and make a little money while helping your neighbors in the process.

You never knew your closet held such riches, right? Unless you're a pirate who just pillaged an entire village, probably not. These are only a few ways to take what you already have and turn it into a bit of spending money for yourself over the summer. What are some other small jobs to earn some money? Lawn mowing can be lucrative, as well as babysitting and handyman jobs around the neighborhood. That's not even including applying to every store in the vecinity of your house or dressing up as a homeless person and hitting the streets of the nearby major city. You could even start a band and hope it kicks off fast, at least on the interweb.

But about that job thing; if you really want a steady job for the summer, the important thing is to apply early and often. Start your job hunt before you are done with classes – start calling and emailing in resumes to shops and restaurants in town and beat the crowd of students showing up after classes are finished. If you don’t find a job by the time you’re home, keep your eye on the classifieds section of the paper and keep sending in resumes. You never know when it’ll fall into the hands of an employer looking for the next great ice cream scooper or check-out clerk. 

Until we live in an age where money is primarily done via electronic transactions and hologram dollars, getting paper is still as easy as it ever was.

Sophomore > English Literature > Spring Hill College

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