Go West this summer and get ahead.

Ways to make some fast cash around town

If you’re in college at a public university in the South, you can probably empathize with being chronically broke. There have definitely been too many nights I’ve eaten celery with ketchup for dinner, especially as a freshman, before I had the regular income of a job coming in. I wish, though, that I had been aware of the ample opportunities near Atlanta to make some extra cash before I was flossing celery strands out of my front teeth.


What: FOCUS GROUPS are 3rd party companies paid to recruit volunteers that provide them with information on what consumers want in a good or a service.

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The work involved: Long surveys (the time commitment varies) or sensory tests (like taste tests).

The payout: Can range from $10/hour to over $50/hour.

Examples near Atlanta: PVR Research in Johns Creek, or Focus Pointe Global in Buckhead.


What: ACADEMIC STUDIES are sponsored by research universities, usually for psychology or biology labs.

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The work involved: Varies between self-reporting your habits to getting drunk and having the experimenter rate your behavior. Studies can also involve more invasive procedures like fMRI scans of your brain.

The payout: from $10/hour to over $500 for more invasive measures.

Examples near Atlanta: The Georgia Tech and Georgia State Dept. of Psychology both frequently host studies open to the public.


What: Putting the wasteland that is the INTERNET to use by selling your used clothes, books, and other goods, to other broke people.

The work involved: Making an account on various websites or downloading apps. From there, you just set and negotiate the prices for whatever you decide to put up for sale.

The payout: Depends on how much junk you have laying around.

Examples near Atlanta: Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and Etsy. If you want to sell your stuff to a physical location, there’s Rag-O-Rama, Plato’s Closet, and Buffalo Exchange, but they tend to be more selective and less generous in what they’ll pay you.


What: ODD JOBS around Metro Atlanta

The work involved: Can be anything from babysitting, nannying, cleaning up, being a personal assistant, and so on.

Examples near Atlanta: The Sitter Tree for babysitting, or oddjobnation.com.

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