Similar to investing, peer-to-peer lending is where you loan money to someone else, and they pay you back with interest. The great thing about peer-to-peer lending is that you can lend as little as $25, and your loan will get bundled into a bigger loan for the borrower. Each month, they'll pay you back principal and interest. You can snowball this initial investment into many investments because you get your principal back as well each month. Many lenders earn over 5%-7% on their investments. Check out Lending Club to get started.
Do you have stuff in your garage that you don't use anymore? Maybe a bicycle or camping gear? Maybe it's something that you do use, but not very often. If you want to put your stuff to work for you, consider using a service like Rentything, which allows you to rent almost anything you own. You just create your own rental shop and list items to rent. People contact you and pay you online through the platform. A simple and easy way to boost your income! A similar site is Zilok.
Direct sales — Last but not least, direct sales can be a great way to make some extra money as a college student. These companies often have minimum sales goals, but a lot of them are very doable minimums every three or six months, so the burden isn’t too heavy even when you’ve got a busy semester. The key is to find a direct sales company selling something you absolutely love, can afford, and want to share. The good news is that there are tons and tons of direct sales companies, so you can go into it selling just about anything. Stella & Dot is one of my favorites.
Online “gigging” — Like freelancing but for one-off tasks as opposed to ongoing work, these sites let you offer individual “gigs” for people looking for a particular task. You won’t make as much money as you would with freelancing, but using these gig sites also gives you some work without requiring the commitment of running a freelance business. Check out sites like Fiverr, Upwork, and People Per Hour for ideas of what you could do.
As for other tips, all I can say is “a penny saved is a penny earned”. If you are running out of ideas to make money, start saving. Some quick “low hanging fruit” tips to save some quick cash include – switch to MetroPCS or Boost for cellphone (I only pay $20/month), switch auto insurance to Insurance Panda ($25/month), and start using GasBuddy (saves me like $100/month at least. I drive a lot).
For the gamers out there, this money making gig is for you. Let's face it, as you go through college, you find yourself spending less and less time playing your favorite video games. Why let your awesome characters and game assets go to waste? Why not sell them online to other players? That's exactly what PlayerAuctions.com allows you to do. You can buy and sell old video game accounts, characters, and even in-game assets. Depending on what you sell, this could earn you several hundred dollars.
If you own a home and have extra space you're not using in your garage, or maybe a side driveway, you could rent that space to people that need to store their boat or RV. The website JustPark.com allows you to rent out your driveway or garage to others and collect payment online. It's very easy to use and a great way to make some extra money on a space you don't use.
Barter your services with friends. Do you spend more than you'd like getting your hair and nails done each month? Do you have a friend who can't resist the pastries at the coffee shop or who pays for a personal trainer? Think about what both you and your friends spend money on, and then see if there's a way for you to barter and trade services with each other in order to save money.