Frugal Lessons From The Past: College During the Depression

History can provide some of the best lessons to help us figure out solutions to today’s problems.

Concerning finances, thrift, frugality and simple living there are tried and true bedrock principals that we should never forget.

This post is part of a series that focuses on some of those principals by going to source materials for inspiration.

The following is taken from the book The Great Depression by David A. Shannon and is a list of some of the ways college students made and saved money during the 1930’s.

Running a “dog laundry”

Serving as a campus guide

Working side jobs including gas station attendant, undertakers helper, railroad fireman, in a steel mill, cutting tombstones, selling newspapers, first aid instructor, washing dishes, moving furniture, painting, tutoring, washing cars, night watchman, janitor, secretary, mail carrier, clerk, usher and switchboard operator.

Cooking their own meals

Working on campus or trading items for tuition

Taking in boarders

Reselling textbooks

Remodeling and mending clothes




Tinting photographs (there might not be as much of a market for this one today)

Related Reading:

Frugal Lessons From The Past: Economy in the Home

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