Summer is a great time to head to the beach, fire up the grill or go camping. But it’s also a terrific time to earn a little extra cash.
You can make money year round, of course. But the long days, warm weather and (for some) flexible schedules of summer offer some unique opportunities to cash in.
Despite recent ominous job numbers, prospects for summer employment remain pretty good.
Daniel Culbertson, U.S. economist for the online job board Indeed.com, recently told Forbes that retailers lead the way when it comes to summer employment:
“But they’re not the only ones hiring, as we see an increase in summer job postings overall in May as compared to last year, matching strong job demand throughout the start of 2016.”
Here are seven great ways to pad your bank account as the temperature rises.
You probably won’t get rich doing this job. The average pay for a lifeguard is $8.92 an hour, according to PayScale. However, you will soak up the rays and have fun, and you may even save somebody’s life.
And on second thought, maybe you will get rich after all. A few years ago, CNBC reported that some California lifeguards make six figures.
The Red Cross offers training and certification courses.
2. House Painter
Summer’s great weather makes the season prime time for house painting. If you can paint like Picasso, get to work! If not, try a volunteer stint at Habitat for Humanity to bring your skills up to speed.
You can expect to earn around $17.50 an hour for your efforts, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Not a bad gig if you can get it.
3. Ice Cream Truck Driver
Who doesn’t have fond childhood memories of hearing the familiar chimes of the ice cream truck on a summer day? Now, you can create those idyllic moments for the next generation of kiddos.
JobMonkey notes that ice cream truck drivers almost always earn their money on a commission basis and can expect to bring in between $300 and $600 weekly during the summer:
If it’s rainy and nasty out, you may not make much money, but if the sun is blazing and it’s the Fourth of July you may pull in big bucks.
And added bonus? You’ll never run out of sweet treats during the workday!
4. Lawn & Yard Care Servicer
During the dead of winter, people don’t typically worry much about their yards aside from the occasional need to shovel. But by summer, lawns, weeds and bushes are growing every day.
Some folks are simply too busy to keep up with the trimming. Others may be too old or ill. Regardless of the reason, you can help out and pad your pockets at the same time.
According to Angie’s List, the professionals charge between $35 and $50 just to mow the lawn. Plus, it can be a great — and free — workout.
5. House & Pet Sitter
People often travel throughout the summer, and many need someone to look after their homes and pets. The work is relatively easy and can be fun, especially if you love animals.
Kimbirly Orr of Denver is a house sitter who told U.S. News and World Report that she charges $50 a night for up to two small pets.
If you land a longer-term project, house sitting can be a bigger boon for those trying to save money rather than earn it.
For example, agree to house sit for someone who will be gone all summer long and you may get free lodging. House-Sitters America says gigs as long as six months are not unusual.
Kids who struggled during the school year often use the summer to sharpen their skills in time for the coming fall. That means a plethora of parents may be searching for a private tutor.
If tutoring sounds interesting, you can find clients by posting fliers or advertising on online classifieds sites. Or, you could work for a local tutoring agency for a year or more to build your credentials before moving out on your own.
Care.com says high school students who tutor during the summer can expect to earn $10 to $15 an hour. Certified teachers can earn as much as $75 an hour — that’s big bank during their off-season.
7. Bottled Water Seller
When investing legend Warren Buffett was a kid, he would buy chewing gum from his grandfather’s store, then turn around and sell it door-to-door at a markup.
You can follow in the footsteps of the Oracle of Omaha by selling bottled water (buy it in bulk at a warehouse club) on hot summer days at parks and outdoor events.
Just check with local ordinances to make sure you are not running afoul of the law.
[Editor’s Note: Whatever summer income you pull in, it’s a good idea to try to save it or use it to strategically pay off your debts. Paying down debt can also boost your credit scores. You can get your credit scores for free on Credit.com to track your progress.]
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Image: Roy Pedersen