Six new ways to increase your income this summer

Note: This guest post was written by Jesse Campbell, MMI counselor and Cookie Monster enthusiast.


As a kid, there was nothing more disorienting to me than seeing a teacher of mine out and about in the “real world.” However, living in a town as small as mine, it was inevitable that I’d eventually cross paths with one of my former teachers. But still, it always felt odd to me — kind of like waking up one morning to find Cookie Monster rummaging through our kitchen cabinets. As much as I loved Cookie Monster, he belonged inside the TV, not in my kitchen; and as much as I enjoyed and respected my teachers they belonged in the classroom and presumably nowhere else.

I’m not sure what I thought happened to them at the end of the day when I boarded the bus and went home – I think I basically assumed they returned to their cryogenic sleep pods and were placed in stasis until humanity had need of their knowledge of cursive and state capitals once more – but whatever they did I didn’t want to know about it.

Of course summer is now upon us, which means school is out, and both students and teachers alike will are free until the fall. For students, summer activities can be as diverse as attending space camp, working a part-time job or staring blankly at the wall for three months. For teachers – depending on how they’ve budgeted – it can be a stressful time.

Teachers, by and large, are not paid for time they aren’t contracted to work, and though many districts offer the option of a prorated year-round pay schedule, these teachers are still budgeting based on 10 months of income versus 12 months. Often, to cover the shortfall, teachers take summer jobs.

The following is a list of conventional — and unconventional — money-making tips that, while they were inspired by all of the educators out there, can be applied to anyone who wants to earn some extra cash during the summer months.

  • Conventional: Teaching summer school – this is basically what teachers do the other 10 months of the year, except the students are somehow even more lethargic and resentful. Bring a fan.
  • Unconventional: Internet start-up – there’s a lot of money to be made on the Internet, some of it legitimate. The key is to identify a market, address a need and formulate a sound business plan. Also, people really like pictures of cats with funny captions. Feel free to use that.

  • Conventional: Tutoring students. Students at all stages of development can benefit from one-on-one tutoring. Plus, the parents of students who are falling behind in classes or preparing tp take placement tests are often willing to pay for that service. Bonus: snacks may be provided.
  • Unconventional: Ghost hunter. After Pacman retired in the late '80s, it seems that the ghost population in North America has grown exponentially. I have no idea what skills are required to hunt ghosts. I do believe you need to provide your own flashlight.

  • Conventional: Working at a summer camp or daycare. Depending on the nature of the camp you may need special certifications in order to work for a summer camp or a daycare, but if you have the requirements and the stamina to watch after other people’s children for 12 consecutive months, the scheduling works out nicely.
  • Unconventional: Human plank. According to the Internet, people do this all the time. I presume you get paid some sort of toll every time someone walks across you, but you’ll want to check with your local zoning board to see what permits are required.

  • Conventional: Retail and hospitality services. You may have to elbow your way past all the students you just flunked out of trigonometry (who will most likely have a head-start on you, as teachers often have continued responsibilities at school after students are released back into the wild), but seasonal work in the services industry — especially in areas with high vacation traffic — can be a good way to make extra money during the summer months.
  • Unconventional: Carny. Do you love to travel, meet interesting people and smell like funnel cake at the end of the day? I just may have the job for you.

Jesse Campbell is the Content Manager at MMI, focused on creating and delivering valuable educational materials that help families through everyday and extraordinary financial challenges.

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