12 ways to make *major* money right now
Summer's almost over, which means you've probably already kicked back, relaxed and had fun. But we bet movies with bae, brunches with your besties and weekly water park visits have left your piggy bank feeling the pinch. Good thing we've got cinchy ways for you to rake in the dough before fall creeps up.
Check for change
Dig under your sofa cushions, rummage through old purses and empty your pockets. You're bound to find a little something here and there—and that change adds up.
Voice your opinion
Websites and apps like SurveySavvy, Swagbucks and BrandedSurveys will pay you for your thoughts. Ask your parents' permission to sign up, then start surveying. Once you accumulate enough points to cash out, the site will send you a check. Love music and fashion? Check out Slicethepie, an app that awards cash for writing reviews on songs and clothes.
Play with pups
If you're dreaming of becoming a vet or are just wild about animals, dog-walking is the perfect job for you. Anyone with a canine—and a busy schedule—needs someone to walk their precious Fido. For more moolah: Ask your neighbors and family friends if they need a pet sitter during vacay. You can post your availability on a localized social network like Nextdoor (a great and safe tool to tap into your neighborhood network—just ask your parents' permission first). Or, go old school and post flyers with the same info in your local shop. You'll have a new, uh, leash on your summer in no time.
Clean out your closet
A little late on the whole spring-cleaning thing? Now that you've finally got the time, tidy up your closet, then prepare to part with that cashmere cardi you never wear and those trendy jeans that never really fit. To offload items for income, post them on Nextdoor (again, with your parents' approval) or download Poshmark, an Instagram-esque app that lets you post and sell your unwanted clothes, shoes and accessories (just beware that you'll have to ship items to your customers).
If you're school savvy, ask your teacher or guidance counselor to get you in touch with kids ISO a tutor. You'll get to make your own rates and schedule—meaning you can choose the type of commitment you want. The best part? You'll keep your mind moving in the summer and help out a student in need.
Say bye to your books
Take the time to hunt down that geometry textbook you no longer need or last summer's beach read, then sell your stash to BookScouter, a website that pays you money for your books (so you can make room on your shelf for new reads!). Psst: Amazon also has a program where you can sell your books in exchange for Amazon gift cards. Score.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
Did you know that most grocery stores have machines where you can turn your recyclables into cash? That's right: Taking in the contents of your blue bin once a week can add up to some serious change (and environmental *change*, too). Go a step further and ask your neighbors if you can take their recyclables when you go, and you'll rake in even more dough.
Finally start babysitting
The only thing that rivals playing with puppies? Kickin' it with cute kiddos. Ask your parents to tell their friends that you're available for babysitting gigs, then post it on Facebook, too. You also can check out Bambino, an app that connects you to families looking for sitters and matches you up with kids who are right for you. Whether you're babysitting regularly or stepping in as needed, you get to control your schedule and wages.
Feeling creative? Summer sunset got you inspired? There are tons of writing contest opportunities with big payouts ranging from $500 to $5,000. Whether you like fiction, non-fiction or poetry, there's a contest—free of charge—out there for you. Check out the Poets & Writers website's contest section for tons more opportunities.
Take your camp crafting skills and crank things up a notch by selling your amazing artwork, homemade jewelry and unique creations on outlets like Etsy and Redbubble. The key to cashing in? Snap high-quality photos of your masterpieces, then check out the site's seller handbook on how to create a successful shop.
A version of this story originally appeared in the June/July 2018 issue of Girls' Life magazine.