How to Earn Pizza Money in College

  Summer is winding down, and you’ve just (hopefully) begun packing your duffel bags in time for your departure. Scenes from movies such as Animal House and American Pie...

Don't let worrying about how to afford life on campus get you down!

Worrying about how to afford life on campus?

Summer is winding down, and you’ve just (hopefully) begun packing your duffel bags in time for your departure.

Scenes from movies such as Animal House and American Pie replay inside your mind as you fantasize about red Solo cups, deafening music and humongous house parties. Maybe you even think about dining at that fancy Italian restaurant with that girl you plan to meet, or buying a ping pong table for tournaments and mischief with your unmet roommate. You’re finally away from your parents. You’re finally free.

But wait a second! How will you pay for the ping pong paddles, or the linguini with clams, or those flowers that you were planning on giving to your future date? And then a question that you’ve been dreading and putting off all summer returns to your mind: How will I earn money?

Peter Parker once said: “With more power comes more responsibility”.  As a new adult, you now are accountable (or at least more than before) for your finances and budgeting. Money and cash flow are necessary resources if you want to make the best out of your college experience. It’s helpful to gain job experience and develop good work ethics before you leave college and truly enter the adult world, too.

Suggestions to help get you started:

1. Become a caretaker for a nearby family. If you’re good with kids, babysitting is a fun and mostly labor-free job. And if you’re not so good with kids, offer to dog-sit or house-sit when your hosts are away. This is an easy way to earn cash on a whim.

2. Apply for a part-time job near/on campus.  Become a waiter or cashier at the local café. Or, if you’re 21 or older, get a job at the local bar. In addition to providing a longer-term source of income, restaurants and stores are great places to socialize and meet new friends. However, make sure that you have enough time in your schedule to devote to your work.

3. Become a private tutor, or apply for a position at a tutoring service. Some high-school parents are willing to pay surprisingly well for tutoring in subjects such as trig, geometry, or English. Provided that you’re not failing the subjects yourself, helping high school (even middle school) students with schoolwork can be a worthwhile endeavor.

4. When the time comes, do seasonal work. Create a lawn-mowing business in the spring/summer, offer to rake leaves in the fall, or shovel snow off of driveways in the winter. This type of work is best suited as a supplement to the previous methods listed above, due to its relatively lower pay and physical labor.

5. Sell, sell, sell! If you’ve run out of options and are desperately in need of quick cash, do a room inventory to see what you really need. Old school textbooks, outdated furniture, and kitchen appliances may attract the attention of someone on your floor. Have a garage sale. Sell shoes on eBay or Craigslist. You need to buy tickets to that big football game more than you need that faulty microwave that occasionally catches fire, don’t you?

Earning financial independence is its own rite of passage. Just like applying and getting into your top schools, it takes effort, persistence, and a little bit of luck.

Today’s question: What was your favorite work experience during college?  Please share in the comment section below…
Post By: Matthew Katz, a summer intern at StratFI.  Contact Matt for work opportunities this fall at