Make cash quick (and legally) for spring break

Kelli Fitzpatrick

With that beach destination just within your reach, you’ll need to ensure you don’t go in to debt escaping the Ohio drizzle. Here are five simple ways to line your wallet with some green and keep your vacation dreams afloat.


Find short-term jobs that pay well and look good on your resume by signing up for a free membership with Choose a category of jobs — including multimedia, computer programming, marketing and writing — and access opportunities through your membership. Create a spiffy online profile, use Elance’s Facebook app and list your skills and experiences for businesses to view.

Think of it as LinkedIn with active job offerings: More than 66,000 jobs have been posted on Elance, according to the site.

David Racusin, Elance public relations team member, said skills in demand for 2012 include software developer, web researcher, accountant and technical writer.

Setting up a profile and choosing your words professionally may take some time, but with any luck, you’ll have an odd job or two offered, with secured money wired to you within weeks.

2. Plato’s Closet

Haul yourself off that futon and do some spring cleaning! It will be worth it when you make money on those shorts you know your butt isn’t fitting into anymore. Sift through your drawers and head to Plato’s Closet, which purchases gently used brand name clothing and accessories.

Dominique McClinton, shift leader at Plato’s Closet in Cuyahoga Falls, said the store is purchasing spring and summer items. Bring in freshly laundered old shorts, tank tops, sandals, dresses and t-shirts that have minimal wear and tear. The store also buys clothing suitable for year-round wear.

“Hoodies and jeans also sell well because you never know if it’s going to be hot or cold,” McClinton said. The price Plato’s will pay for an item depends on its condition and brand. McClinton said an American Eagle t-shirt could earn you $2 to $3.

Cross three tasks off your list: Clean your closet of old summer clothes, sell them for cash and have some extra padding for spring break—and buy some new clothing for your trip!


Are you a fan of sharing your opinion, giving personal details and receiving rewards for doing so? Sure you are — you probably have a Facebook! Sign up for a free Cash Crate account to make money by taking surveys, downloading apps, checking your credit score or even watching videos. Refer a friend to the site and earn 20 percent of what he or she makes on Cash Crate. You can also get .5 to 26 percent cash back for your regular shopping on sites like iTunes, Champs Sports and Foot Locker.

Watch your rewards accumulate on Cash Crate and receive a check for every $20 you make. Not bad for blabbing about your opinions, right?


If you have a way with words and some pre-break time to burn, consider cashing in your talent with Text Broker. By signing up and submitting a short writing example, you will have access to clients looking for authors.

Browse open orders for articles on beauty products, jobs, media, sports and more. Complete a client’s order — write an article about the topic needed — and receive payment.

The site rates your example on a scale from two to five stars, which determines your pay rate. The better your article, the more you will get paid, starting at $3.50 per 500 words of a “legible” article to $25 for professional quality, according to Textbroker’s rates.

Funds are deposited in a PayPal account and once you make $10, you can cash in. Sign up if you have a love for writing and making bank.

5. Discover card

If you’d rather use credit than cash, consider opening a Discover student card. The card helps you build credit while paying for spring break expenses — and get cash back on purchases. Earn 5 percent cash back on gas and entertainment (movies and museums) and 1 percent on everything else. With gas prices rising, charge those tanks of fuel at a discount and pay it off later. As long as you’re responsible with your finances, consider this a viable option for paying for your vacation.

Not going anywhere for break?

Consider yourself blessed with extra time to make money with these options. You’ll have a week of no classes and plenty of time to take surveys, write articles, hunt down jobs or visit Plato’s. Or stick to what you know and pick up more hours at your regular job. Offer to spring clean your parents’ or neighbors’ closets or other odd jobs for a set payment. If all else fails, escape with a tropical drink and a stack of vacation movies and laugh at your friends who are wasting their money on a weeklong trip.

Netflix it: “Jaws,” “Blue Crush,” “Soul Surfer” and “National Lampoon’s Vacation”

Mix it: Check out inexpensive drink recipes at, and

Contact Kelli Fitzpatrick at [email protected].