How can I make money this summer?

Long story short: I need money, for college. Have no work experience - school and volunteering have taken up all my time in the past. I won’t be 18 until the beginning of August (stupid timing). Not too many places are hiring, especially not seasonal workers.

Any suggestions, in general? Creative ones more than welcome. As are tales of summer work, because tales of anything are cool.

Can you babysit?

Do you live near Six Flags? They are almost always hiring and there would be a variety of jobs to choose from (retail, concessions, rides, entertainment, etc.)

Do you like animals? I spent a summer working as a kennel attendant. Even though it was tough work, I still love cats and dogs.

How do you feel about the phrase, “Would you like fries with that?”?

Kibbutz in Israel?

How did you do on the SATs? Is there a rich, but not old-money rich, area near you? If your scores were good, and there are people nearby with class anxiety and money to burn, you could make some pretty good cash preparing high school students for their SATs. It’s not exactly stress-free work, but sometimes it can be emotionally rewarding. And you can definitely make it financially rewarding, too.

If you didn’t do so hot on the SAT, you can still make pretty good money tutoring. What subjects are you good in? Did you take the AP exam in anything and get a top-notch score? You could post ads in places where the parents of students in summer school will see them. You could get some work that way, especially if you tend to target schools in areas where lots of parents are very anxious to have their kids going to good colleges after they graduate.

Mr. Blue Sky has it. Food service jobs can be gotten by most anyone, and if you’re willing to go fast-food rather than being a waitress or hostess or something, that will make it even easier.
One other idea: at my high school we had a “career center” which was generally the biggest waste of time and space I’ve ever seen, but they did have a list of job opportunities high school students would be well suited for. Or if any of your friends work, ask them if their employers are highering.

<Lewis Black> I would pay her a great salary, and give her the best pension and benefits money could buy. And she would be my personal… ball washer </Lewis Black>

So, ninja, how are those soaping skills? :wink:
The above was a joke. Please don’t kill me.

Collections and telemarketing. They will hire anybody and the pay is decent. There is barely any training required, so you can easily get a job just for the summer.


You could sleep with a bunch of fat chicks for $100 a pop?

Or a bunch of REALLY fat chicks for $1000 each?


Aren’t you the young woman who’s really into martial arts? If you are, can you hire yourself out as a personal trainer/sparring partner for folks who are getting into this sport, and need a little one-on-one tutoring? Or is that sort of thing considered ethical in that field (I have no idea, just throwing it out for consideration). It would be something that you like, and it would keep your skills sharp. Heck, you might be able to even do this part time during college. It would probably pay much better than a job at a fastfood joint and be far more interesting.

Oh, do you have your own transportation? That will determine what sort of job you can take.

One thing, if you do this sort of thing, write out a contract, stating how many hours the client is entitled to and the price, and get at least half the price up front. If you can get ALL of the money up front, so much the better. Some people like to blow off paying youngsters in the belief that a) they don’t REALLY need the money and b) there’s not much they can do about it. Most people are pretty good about paying teens, though, I just remember a few of my babysitting jobs.

And if you are in decent physical shape, you can try what my daughter did last summer. She spent a couple of days going through the phone book and calling every landscaper and outdoor pond builder within driving distance, asking if they needed any help. She got a half-dozen interviews and landed a nice job for the summer.

It wasn’t all mowing lawns either. She drove the truck, did some office paperwork, learned how to drive the Bobcat (I was soooo jealous), built retaining walls, planted trees and shrubs, etc.

Good luck.

It’s a great idea. I wish I’d done it at 17 – I might know a little more about building work as a consequence now. These things don’t seem very useful when you’re a teenager but when you’re all growed up and something is… wrong… with the wall, it suddenly seems pretty bloody vital.


[dirty old man]
Got a webcam, and a fake ID?
[/dirty old man]

You may also see about hooking up with a Temp service. That’s how I got my start when I moved back to California…

lemonade stand!

But seriously I worked at a Subway most summers (hey, it beats a greasy BK) and it was easy.

A friend of mine did construction work every summer and made a bundle. Mostly they just had her stand in the sun and flip the “stop/slow” sign. Easy money if you don’t mind the heat.

I’m liking the landscaping/construction idea.

I’d like to avoid working fast-food if possible (something like Subway would be better), mostly because I’m a vegetarian and just not big on handling meat all day. Places like Subway, I think, might be hesitant to hire me since I’m not 18 and therefore aren’t legally allowed to work the slicers.

On the ‘personal trainer’ approach: Not really considered ethical in the MA community. If I’d been training for a handful more years, definitely. And I’m currently being trained at my TKD school to work as an instructor, but I need the training and the pay will be absolutely minimal.

Also, I got a 700 on the SAT verbals, so SAT tutoring might be looked into. Thanks for the ideas.

You can deliver pizzas (if you have a car).

Work at Baskin Robbins or Star Bucks (no meat products).

Work at a library (knew a girl in high school who did this).

Work at a plant nursery.

You’re going to have a hard time (but not too hard, don’t worry) finding work since many places starting filling their summer positions months before the season starts. Next year, start looking for jobs early. Right now you’re not only competing with high school kids, but also college students.

I’m glad you liked it. I’d like to take credit, but it truly was my daughter’s idea. She too wanted to avoid a fast-food job, but for different reasons than yours.

Actually, her criteria was to find a job that wouldn’t require her to work nights or weekends, and work outside if possible. I was skeptical. Then she came up with the landscaping idea, and was tenacious enough to find the job.

The firm she worked for went out of business so she didn’t have the opportunity to return this summer. She could’ve gone through the search again, but decided to do something different. She got a job at a horse stable, tending to the horses and leading some trail rides. She’s been riding English style since she was six years old and this is Western, but it’s fairly easy and she likes to be around the horses.

Give the landscaping a try. It’s work to make all the phone calls, but worth it.

Most states require that delivery drivers be 18+, so it would be hard to get a pizza job anywhere except a mom n’ pop store that will hire under the table.

Can you fight? I know quite a few college kids who make their money with kickboxing.

Yeah, that’d be cool. You could get into the underground pit-fighting scene, or somesuch.

Or you could try starting up a housecleaning service. A friend of mine in college did something similar to that and made some decent cash.