There’s no doubt about it: college can be very expensive. The rising costs of tuition, along with all the extras that come with school—like books, paying rent, travel costs, and a meal plan—can deter some high school students from even considering a college education.

However, with a little determination and a lot of hard work, anyone can overcome the obstacle that is college expenses. Aside from the fact that there are scholarships to be applied for, financial aid to acquire, and the option to attend school via a distance learning program, there are quite a few things you can do to make your day-to-day expenses manageable. The trick is finding jobs that allow you the proper amount of time to still devote yourself to your studies…and maybe even leave you a bit of time to rest and socialize as well.

We’ve put together a list of some clever ideas that will help you stash away some cash for your living expenses, books, and any other extra costs that may come your way.

1. Babysit

It’s safe to say that babysitting can make you a whole lot of money. Depending on the scheduling, the kids might already be asleep when you arrive, and you’ll have the opportunity to simply hang out in the living room and study or earn even more money doing something online, like writing for an online blog or getting paid to browse websites. Many colleges have a babysitting page set up on Facebook where alumni and other families can request babysitters from your university.

If it’s the summertime, you might be able to get a job as a nanny, and with any luck, you could even work full time and save up a whole lot of money. Playing with kids can be really fun, and babysitting gives you the opportunity to really have an impact on someone’s life in a positive way and bless the parents by going the extra mile. Stuff, like doing the dishes or helping with a little extra tidying before they come home, can really make a great impression and also give the family a little extra love.

2. Donate blood plasma

Understandably, this might not be everyone’s first choice when it comes to the various ways you can make a quick buck or two, but donating blood plasma will not only help save lives, but you can rest assured that you’ll bring in about $250 – $350 a month for 2 – 3 hours of your time per week. Donating plasma is similar to donating blood. According to, “A needle is placed into a vein in your arm. Plasma is collected through a process call plasmapheresis and is conducted in cycles that may take up to an hour. Whole blood is drawn. The plasma is separated from the red blood cells and other cellular components. These are returned to your body with sterile saline solution to help the body replace the plasma removed from the whole blood.”

If you have additional questions, click around on and find out more! It’s a great way to make some quick and (fairly) painless money.

3. Flip free and thrifted items

With a little ingenuity and resolution, you can pretty easily pick up free items you find via Craigslist ads or purchase thrifted items and then turn around and sell them for a higher price. There are plenty of things that end up at thrift stores that are actually worth quite a bit of money, and if you take some time to do the research, you’ll be able to pinpoint these stellar finds.

Another option that might guarantee a bit more reliable turnaround is to scour the “want-to-buy” sections of the newspaper or other online venues, go out and find that item for free or a low cost, and then turn right around and sell it to the seeker for more than you paid for it. Instant income!

4. Start an Etsy shop

Are you a crafty cat? Put your creative to some monetary use and open a shop on Etsy!

Whether your crafting your own wares or flipping thrifted items (Etsy is a great place for that as well), there’s sure to be a buyer out there who will be interested in your wares.