How to Make Money Over Spring Break

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While most of us would love to spend spring break partying on a tropical island, surrounded by a thousand or so of our very best friends, a vacation isn't going to pay for next semester's text books. Spring break is a good time to make some extra money to help pay those hefty tuition bills.

  • Drive your classmates home for cash. If you've got wheels and need to travel a great distance to get back to your hometown, you're in luck if you pass through cities where other students want to visit, but don't have a ride. Post on your college's ride-sharing board and score some cash for the chauffeur service.

  • Babysit. Have your parents put out the word that you're available to watch the neighbors' children over spring break. If your school's spring break coincides with the public school spring break, chances are parents will be eager for childcare. You can even set up a "camp" at your parents' house with a few friends and watch several groups of children at once.

  • Work odd jobs. Offer a handyman an extra set of hands and earn money painting, hanging curtains, re-grouting showers and doing other household tasks. A working knowledge of these skills will, of course, be necessary.

  • Check with local stores and restaurants to see if they need temporary help while you're in town. If you used to work at a retail establishment over the summer or when you were in high school, this is a good place to start looking.

  • Detail cars in your neighborhood. For a few hours of scrubbing down cars and cleaning out their interiors, you'll earn a handful of tens, at least. Experience with this type of work is a plus, but if you've always cared for your own car like it was a baby, you'll probably be a natural.

  • Sign up for temp work. Contact a temp agency like Office Team or Kelly and take a skills test. Soon you'll find yourself answering phones, typing and filing your way to next semester's room and board.

  • Take surveys. Signs up with research firms to give opinions on new soft drinks, deodorants and other in-development products. The 18 to 24 year old market is in high demand, so you'll be a hot commodity.

  • Work for your parents. Tell them you need to make money and ask them if they have any odd jobs for you. Perhaps the receptionist has gone on vacation at your mother's office or your dad's willing to pay you to help him repair the roof or alphabetize all of the books in his study.

  • Sell your stuff on Ebay.com. If you've got designer clothes and accessories that you don't wear anymore, or a PlayStation you no longer have time for now that you're in college, make some money by hawking it online.

  • Sell your genes. Donate sperm or eggs. Baby-making is serious business, even if you'll never meet the baby personally, but it can earn you lots of money for very little effort.

Tips & Warnings

  • Start your job search a month before spring break begins to make sure you have a gig set up.
  • Look for odd jobs at Craigslist.com.
  • Beware of "get rich during spring break" schemes requiring you to ask other students for their money to coordinate a vacation to Mexico. These are often scams.

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