If one decides to work as a server, busy nights may result in hundreds of dollars in tips.

During the summer, most college students are looking to save as much money as possible to prepare for the expenses that accompany a new school year. Whether it’s hands-on or hands-off, here are a few job options to maximize those savings.

1. Serving in a restaurant

Though it’s one of the more traditional options, restaurant work shouldn’t be overlooked. Customer service can be difficult, but the rewards are well worth the long hours on foot and the occasional rude customer. Schedules are often flexible, and some restaurants don’t require any prior experience. And, busy nights can result in hundreds of dollars in tips that’ll only increase as experience builds skill and efficiency.

2. Selling original designs through online retailers

Selling products such as stickers on Redbubble or hand-crafted items on Etsy can be an easy and fun way to earn spending money this summer. Redbubble handles the entire production process from printing to distribution and crafts stickers, T-shirts and other items, allowing artists to profit simply by supplying an original print design. Etsy allows artists to sell their work at their convenience and eliminates the middleman. With this method of profiting, it’s the perfect side hustle in addition to a part time job.

3. Babysitting or pet-sitting

As any parent or pet owner can attest, moments of peace and quiet are hard to come by. Thus, babysitting or pet-sitting services are always in high demand. For those who spend large amounts of time at home in the summer, these jobs offer an opportunity to make money with little effort. Individuals can choose which jobs they wish to accept and set their own rates, making this summer job perfect for those with little motivation for physical exertion. Plus, spending copious amounts of time with children and pets is bound to provide some easy entertainment. Building a portfolio at or is a great place to get started.

4. Selling plasma

Though it may seem unconventional and a little unsettling, many clinics offer compensation for each donation and allow donors to give twice a week. Plasma sells for anywhere between $20-$50 depending on the volume given, allowing individuals to earn up to $300 a month for a fairly painless procedure. Blood is drawn from the body, separated from its plasma and returned to the body in a process that takes about an hour and a half. The only requirements are good health and no recent tattoos or piercings.

5. Working for various delivery and driving services

Working for services like Postmates or Uber allows drivers to set their own hours and keep a high percentage of the delivery fee along with tips. Drivers may choose which orders or passengers to pick up, giving them the freedom to be their own boss — a privilege employees in other fields may lack. Little to no prior skills are needed, and anyone with a car and a clean driving record can earn money in their downtime. The system is simple: the more one drives, the more they make. Additionally, transporting and delivering to strangers will undoubtedly leave drivers with a few good stories to tell.

Contact Amy Needham at For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.