For example, let’s say that your washing machine at home broke down and you need to fix it. Instead of calling the handyman to come, your husband decides he’s going to fix the machine. He ends up spending half a day figuring out the machine, and does eventually fix it. He did however have to make a trip to the tool shop to buy some extra tools and parts for the machine. Now, if you had called the handy man, it would probably have taken the handyman much less time, and he would have all the necessary tools and parts already, because that is his job. So in this instance, was your husband’s time and effort worth it? Oh, and because he took half the day fixing the machine, you now had to take over his duties of dropping the kids off at soccer and swim practice.
The No. 3 job: nanny, with a median hourly salary of $12.80. I agree that babysitting can be a lucrative, flexible job for a student, but to work as a full-fledged nanny is much more demanding, and also potentially more lucrative, than this ranking suggests. For instance a listing on job site Indeed.com offers a full-time New York City position caring for one four-year-old boy that pays $30-$35 an hour plus benefits. That job requires a Monday through Friday commitment from 8am to 6pm and five years of experience plus references. Obviously a student’s schedule matters here. But in New York a sitter with an upscale clientele can make at least $25 an hour.
A report in The New York Times today underlines college students’ increasing flexibility: Arizona State University, one of the nation’s largest schools with more than 40,000 students, is joining with edX, the massive open online course provider founded by M.I.T. and Harvard, to offer a freshman year curriculum that offers full university credit for a mere $200 a credit. Students only pay if they pass the courses and there is no admissions process, making college accessible to students with all sorts of jobs.
What It Is: Do people ask you your secret to perfect pie crust or how you made that wreath? "Everyone knows how to do something, or has a hobby they enjoy," says Kimberly Lawson, owner of OohLaLuxe.net, who has created fashion and beauty tutorial videos. "These can easily be turned into profits." Simply sign up for a free YouTube account. Then use a smartphone or digital camera to record yourself explaining and demonstrating how you work your magic. (If you're more tech-savvy or have a burgeoning teenage filmmaker in your house, you can use desktop software, such as Windows Movie Maker, to create a slicker video.) "Once you upload the video to YouTube, enroll in its partner program," Lawson says. YouTube will then place ads inside or near your video, and you will earn money from the ads themselves, video views and click-throughs. "The key is to put a unique spin on your video," says Lawson, especially if there are lots of others on the same subject.
These little jobs are done by people who log on to a company’s site and choose tasks, which could be as simple as clicking a link. Amazon's Mechanical Turk is one of the most well-known sites of this type. Also, there are crowdsourcing projects, which are similar to data entry, where companies engage an army of virtual workers to each do one small part of a larger project.