It’s official: college has sucked every dime out of my bank account (I don’t know what I even spent it on!!! Food!?) I have NEVER been so broke in my entire life – I had more money as a 16 year-old working part-time at a local ice cream shop. Even my part-time job at school doesn’t help much, so I had to start seeking out ways to make extra money in college (that didn’t take up a lot of my time).
After lots of trial and error, I found quite a few resources to help broke college students make extra cash. I have used every single one of these apps and can confirm that they will help you make extra money in college! Some I use every day, whereas some I use less frequently. Will you get rich using these apps? Probably not. But when you’re as broke as I am, every extra dollar counts!
Keep reading to discover my favorite 5 money-making apps for college students!
Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links
1. Opinion Outpost
Opinion Outpost is a website that pays you to take online surveys, and is by far my favorite way to make extra money in college. There’s a ton of survey websites out there, but I’ve have the most success with Opinion Outpost.
Here’s how it works: Opinion Outpost will direct you to various online surveys. Each survey takes about 5-30 minutes to complete. Once completed, you are rewarded a certain amount of points, depending on the survey (typically 5-20 points per survey). Once you have enough points, you can redeem them for cash via PayPal, Amazon/iTunes gift cards, travel miles, and more. I normally pick Amazon gift cards because I order literally everything from there.
Taking surveys online is in no way a get-rich-fast scheme, but it is great for a little extra pocket money. I’ve made over $100 in the past two months using Opinion Outpost. Trust me – when you’re in college, every little bit of extra cash helps.
2. Acorns App
This app is actually genius. Acorns is an easy way for college students to invest spare change and passively make an income. I’ve only just started using it, but so far it’s great.
Here’s how it works: you connect your credit/debit card to the app, and every time you make a purchase using that card, Acorns automatically rounds up to the nearest dollar and invests the spare change. Let’s say you’re at Starbucks and you buy a coffee for $4.45. Acorns will round that up to $5, and invest the extra 55 cents. I also have Acorns set up to take $5 from my account once a month. By using Acorns, you’re easily making a passive income without making a huge dent in your bank account.
Acorns is a great way to make extra money in college because there are no fees for students. Just sign up with a valid .edu email!
This one’s for my online shoppers. Swagbucks is a very popular cash back website. Basically, you can visit any online retailer through Swagbucks and receive a set amount of “swagbucks” (SB) for each dollar you spend. For example, I just ordered a pair of Steve Madden booties from Lord & Taylor for $22 (such a steal!!!!). Swagbucks offers 2% cash back for Lord & Taylor, so I will receive about 44 SB. Once you gather enough SB, you can redeem them for giftcards and other prizes!
What makes Swagbucks cool is that there’s so many different ways to earn SB – watching videos, taking surveys, and even just searching the web. This site is so ridiculously convenient that it’s just silly not to use it.
Freelancing can be incredibly profitable. HelpWith is a great website if you have any kind of marketable skill – artwork, building websites, tutoring, playing guitar, etc. For example, my profile lists “editing” and “writing” as my skills. You can set up a profile that lists your skills, set a price, and start marketing to potential clients. Using HelpWith, you can connect to clients in person or online.
Of course, freelancing isn’t always easy and it isn’t for everybody. But HelpWith is such a great resource for those of you with highly-sought-after skills like graphic design and coding, so I wanted to include it. Plus, it works the other way around too! If you need somebody to help you with Photoshop, for example, you can search the database to find someone with that skill.
5. Facebook Marketplace
I don’t know about you, but I spend more time than I’d like to admit on social media. Particularly on Facebook. Luckily, Facebook has added a new feature to help you make a little extra cash: Facebook Marketplace. It’s like Craiglist, but not as creepy.
You know all of that junk sitting in your closet that you don’t use? Clothes, shoes, accessories, furniture, textbooks, you name it. Why not make some extra cash off of it? Take a photo, make a listing, and upload it to Facebook Marketplace. If you don’t get any offers, try listing on Craiglist as well (you can literally sell anything on Craiglist… just be wary of scammers!) You know what they say: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
What do you think of these ways to make extra money in college? Will you be trying any of these apps? Let me know in the comments!