Paying off College debt is a hot topic, and rightfully so. According to the annual Student Loan Debt Report by Lendedu.com, 57% of the 2018 graduates left with debt of $16.7k, on average. That’s pretty hefty, which leaves the question of even going to college up for discussion. For some, it seems insurmountable and almost depressing to think about finishing two to four years of school with the setback of being thousands of dollars in the ‘red’. Why bother? It’s tough to start out in the “real world” with debt, and that’s why students need to start thinking about PROSPERITY even before they enroll. The best side hustles for 2020 have growing potential!
Contrary to mainstream belief, it is possible to graduate from college debt-free. The top 13 best side hustles for college students and millennials may provide you with that “light bulb” moment about graduating without a mountain of debt. Trouble is, most college students have not learned the basic principles of money management.
Parents should also get on board. There are a lot of programs in which lenders offer “matches” to contributions for college, but they vary state by state. It’s best to look up opportunities right from the beginning – within the first year that a baby is born – if parents wish to ensure their child’s success and give them a head start on the expense of college.
For example, in the State of Maine, the NextGen 529 offers every infant born in Maine a $500 Alfond Grant, with zero cost to the parents. That’s $500 of FREE money towards college, and then if the family adds just a few hundred dollars each year, the NextGen 529 matches the contribution. It can quickly add up to thousands of dollars by the time the child graduates from high school and prepares to enter the college of their choice. More states offer programs like these, so it is up to the head of household of your family to do their due diligence and find opportunities like these.
In case there isn’t such a program in one’s state or country, parents can still be smart about saving money for college. CDs, Money Market accounts and other savings programs can yield interest that accumulate over time.
If it is already “too late” to enroll, college students should have a plan of finishing college without debt. We live in a world full of opportunity and prosperity, yet many millennials lack the knowledge and/or mindset to pursue them. Kids are being taught backwards work ethics and dependence on the government, rather than independence and self-sufficiency. This is a travesty, but it can be turned around.
We’ve all heard stories about people who started businesses in their “garage” or bedroom while as young, struggling, college students. Jeff Bezos from Amazon and Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook are just a couple of well-known examples, however, there are so many more.
Even if you just want to make extra money in between studying for tests or participating in social events and/or sports, it is possible to do as little work as possible and make a maximum profit with the best side hustles. Find something that interests you and is within your skillset. If you are passionate about it, you will naturally become prosperous by doing it. Passion = focus = power = prosperity.
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Here are the 13 Best Side Hustles for College Students and Millennials in 2020:
- Reselling: College students with a knack for reselling can explore the opportunities of buying items at yard sales or through wholesalers and then flip it for a profit on the most well-known marketplace in the world. This is one of the longest-running best side hustles in the USA. For those with little time, Amazon offers FBA (fulfillment by Amazon) in which you send the box of items and Amazon delivers the order to the customer. This is also a good option for students who have space restrictions, such as dorm rooms or shared apartments with roommates. eBay will also be launching a similar fulfillment service in 2020. There are many other avenues, such as Poshmark, Bonanza, Mercari, Etsy, and more.
2. Gigs: Do you have a skill? Chances are, someone on this planet needs your expertise. Fiverr has built an entire marketplace of “Gigs” that are perfect for college students or anyone that wants to make extra money with short, one-time tasks. From getting a logo designed, or making a jingle for a podcast, or singing, doing social media tasks for business owners, and more, Fiverr is a great place to market your skillset and make beaucoup bucks!
3. Freelance Writing: Ever since the rise of blogging, content is continually necessary for business owners to have a presence online. That puts the need for good writers at an all-time high! According to HostingTribunal.com, there are now over 500 million blogs coming from 1.7 million websites around the world. This accounts for approx. 2 million daily blog posts. Writing pays well, so you can stand to make between $15-$50/hr as a writer, depending on your niche. There are many different types of writers, such as grant writers, content writers, ghostwriters and more. If you want to start working as a writer, simply register and set up a profile at wework.com and then you can bid on assignments and start establishing yourself to do as much freelance work as you like. What makes this one of the best side hustles right now is the growth potential; everyone needs a writer! There are many other web writing job sites as well, so do some exploring and find the one that resonates with you.
4. Affiliate Marketing: Do you love recommending products and services to your friends and family? Now, think about it on a larger scale. What if you could get paid to do it, day after day, even while you sleep? Affiliate marketing is just that. You get a commission for suggesting other people’s things, which is great because:
- there is little to no overhead or investment
- you can scale it as small or large as you are able to handle, and
- it can pay very well and offers frequent cash flow.
There are numbers of well-known networks, including Share-a-Sale, ClickBank, CJ Affiliate, Amazon Affiliates, and many more. It does help to get a blog or website started prior to enrolling. If you post content frequently and study other successful methods of getting traffic, you can literally make thousands of dollars consistently every month.
- YouTuber: Becoming a YouTuber might sound glamorous, but how many people really make a significant amount of money, and how fast? You’d be surprised. Finding the right niche can put you on the map. There’s still a lot of openings for sub-niches, as well. For example, beauty tips are a hot topic, but you could take it a step further and focus on makeup techniques, organic products, etc. to set yourself apart. After you get 1,000 subscribers, which can be done quickly if one of your videos goes viral, then you can monetize your website.
Think about something you’re really, really good at. Create a YouTube Channel and start uploading content! Aside from being really, really fun and creative, YouTube videos are becoming one of the best side hustles of the last decade. You can even make your own videos and do the video editing with an easy program called Movavi. Start a free trial and make a video of your own. Think of offbeat topics like survival techniques, crafts, how-to’s, top 10’s, planting a garden, etc., or anything your heart desires.
- Virtual Assistant: You’re only one person. If you’re a full-time college student or have a job already, it can be worthwhile to hire a virtual assistant, which is someone that does odds and end tasks. It could be marketing, bookkeeping, organizing or cold calling; or a host of many other odd jobs. Not only can you find people to outsource for you, if you want to do this type of work as a side hustle, it can be very beneficial. You can work around your school schedule and make anywhere between $20-$40/hr for your time to help a budding entrepreneur, author, or corporation. TIME ETC is a good place to start.
7. Create a Course That Sells on Autopilot: Teaching others is rewarding and can be very lucrative. You may be wondering if you have the credibility to do it? Yes. Become an expert in your genre. Then, create a course using Thinkrific, which is an all-inclusive platform to share your expertise, grow an audience and market your course to share your knowledge. You can sell these courses as webinars, videos and set them up to be released automatically, after a client pays for your course. This gives you a flexible lifestyle that will keep the money rolling in, as well as possibly attracting other opportunities, such as speaking or consulting gigs.
- Stock Photography & Videography: This is too much to put in one paragraph. If you’re a shutterbug, the opportunities are endless. You can shoot stock photography and post it for sale on websites that sell photo to companies around the globe, or you can shoot your own images and sell merchandise. You can also take on freelance assignments, which is a fun way to put yourself through college (and beyond). It is a market that never ends, especially as demands for high quality images to accompany the ever-growing need for content continues to rise. Perhaps that makes photography one of the best side hustles ever, for those with an artistic eye combined with technical prowess. Here is a place to get started > Photography Jobs Online
9. Dropshipping: If you’re not familiar with dropshipping, it takes a bit to set up, but after it’s done, this is an easy system to make money. Similar to affiliate marketing, dropshipping allows you to sell other people’s stuff, except this is for tangible merchandise. To illustrate this, you would set up a website on a popular ecommerce platform (like GoDaddy, shopify, weebly, etc.) then post products that you can get for cheap. You should work out a partnership with favorite vendors/wholesalers to give you greater buying leverage. Then, take product photos and post them in your “store”. When people buy them, you turn around and order the products from the vendor, but the purchase is sent directly to the customer. You’re basically like the “middleman” in this scenario. To get a better understanding of it, check out SALEHOO, the #1 online community for dropshippers and wholesalers.
10. Design an App: and/or offer an app-building service for local business owners. Everything is on an “app” these days – from buying groceries to playing games – but did you know that YOU CAN make your own app? Think of a hot idea on any topic and then create, publish and grow by marketing your app. Or, you could also start a service in which you are the app developer for local business owners. Swiftic is the perfect place to start building your first app and making money.
11. Become an artist: For the creative individual, it might seem like a dream come true to get paid for being an artist. This includes street artists who do murals, window art, or musicians and artisans who make jewelry, soap and more. The term “starving artist” does not have to be your reality, as the internet of course opens the possibility of presenting your art to a global audience. However, there is plenty of opportunity within your own region or state. List on places like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to attract local business owners and to find opportunities to work for them. This is a dream job for any college student and can more than pay for your education.
12. Start a service: By now you may be thinking of all the skills and knowledge that you have, and asking, “How can I use that to make money on a grand scale?” No matter the talents and acumen you possess, there is ample need for service businesses. Freelancing your services has been a best side hustle for decades. It is trading time for money, which typically means lower startup costs. For example, cleaning pools, walking dogs, caring for kids, tutoring, driving for Uber, and much more. There are many websites you can promote your service business, such as Care.com, Rover.com, AngiesList.com, and more. It all depends on which niche you’d like to be doing. Work locally or globally, the choice is up to you!
13. Domain flipping: Just like house flipping in the real estate business, the game of domain and website flipping is even better if you have less start-up cash and comes with lower risk. Buy a cool domain name (or a few), and then build up the website for resale. The challenge is to get maximum traffic to boost the value of the website. GoDaddy and Flippa are good places to list starter sites, established websites and stores, as well as domains. Domain flipping is a really great niche! Follow this link to get started. If you can prove the value of your website(s) is high, then you can get top dollar. Some have made hundreds of dollars – to thousands – even into the six figures.
YOU at this moment, have a choice to achieve your dreams without debt. Listen to some of Dave Ramsey’s podcasts, especially “Borrowed Future”. This eye-opening podcast reveals the truth about the student loan crisis, as well as solutions about how to fix it. Applying one of these 13 best side hustles in your pre-college years can save you from graduating with massive debt.
Prosperity is all around you. Opportunity has never been more within your grasp.