Ideas for Generating (Side) Income with Limited Start-up Investment

While this list is tailored for helping students find ideas for generating income, I suspect it might come in handy for others with limited start-up money, looking to generate some side income. Please let me know of any additional ideas I have missed (I am sure there are many). Here we go-

  1. Pizza delivery

  2. Tutoring

  3. Waiting on tables

  4. Bar tend

  5. Buying and selling on Ebay

  6. Start a blog/website and sell ads, affiliate programs etc.

  7. Lawn mowing

  8. Computer tune-ups

  9. Baby sitting

  10. Create and sell e-books

  11. Monetize your hobby (E.g., photography, woodwork, crafts etc.)

  12. Walking dogs

  13. Participate in paid surveys (online, on-campus, etc)

  14. Garage sale

  15. Donate plasma (if you are not squeamish)

  16. If you have a truck, offer to move stuff for some nominal fee

  17. If you have a car, offer trips to Walmart for a nominal fee (newly arriving international students don’t own a car for at least a couple of semesters, many times more!)

  18. 0% APR credit card arbitrage (More info here)

  19. Mystery shopping (Lot of scams, very few legitimate offers. So, do your research first)

  20. Web designing

  21. Free lance jobs (I used to think this is limited to writers and other fine arts majors. But these days you can also find freelance work in coding too!)

  22. Coffee club: Buy a decent coffee machine and some good coffee beans, and offer to save your lab-mates a trip to the coffee shop for fixed weekly/monthly fee

  23. If you are a good cook: Offer lunch boxes!

  24. Teach (swimming, driving, dancing, language, tennis etc.)

  25. If your apartment/university has large movie screens you can rent out, offer movie nights for a nominal fee (UPDATE: Please see comment by "anonymous" below). You can do this at home also if you can find a good large screen second hand TV.

  26. Become a movie extra

  27. Part-time Customer Service Rep

  28. Part-time Receptionist

  29. Sales Clerk/Cashier

  30. Lab/Teaching/Research Assistant

  31. Amazon mechanical turk (More info here)

  32. Teach at local community college

  33. Journalist for local newspaper

  34. Modelling

  35. Become a consultant (More infohere)

  36. Work at the university library – librarian, shelving, proctoring, database maintenance etc.

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Lauren said...

Nice list. As a college student, I've found mystery shopping to be the best flexible money maker, especially since half the time I get free food as well. Check out for a list of legit mystery shopping companies.

Anonymous said...

Sign up with all the local temp agencies.

ispf said...

Lauren, anonymous: Thanks for the tips! I dont believe I forgot to mention signing up with temp agencies!

Brett McKay said...

ISPF- Great list. I need to incoporate more of these. I'm looking to start tutoring spanish again over the summer. It's so easy, but brings in good money.
Take care.

ispf said...

Brett: Good Luck! I am a bit jealous though - I wish there was a market for Indian languages too :)

Anonymous said...

It is a copyright violation to rent a movie and then charge people to watch it - that is what that whole FBI warning at the begining is about. Charge for the snacks and let people watch the movie for free...

ispf said...

Anonymous: Good catch, Thanks! I have updated the text to reflect this.