Sick of always being skint as a student? We get it – sometimes that student loan just doesn’t cut it.
There are a few ways you can make money alongside your studies, most of them involving a part-time job. But who wants to spend their precious evenings pulling pints when they could be drinking them?
Luckily, there are other ways to make a bit of cash, and many of them don’t even involve leaving your couch. Whether you just need a few last minute pennies for that night out or are looking to increase your income over a longer period…we’re here to tell you how.
We’ve split our tips into two categories – those that’ll make you money fast and others for more slow-growing income. Be aware that the more long-term methods may require more work, but they also have the most earning potential.
Make Money Fast
1. Sell stuff on eBay
Selling stuff on eBay may seem like child’s play, but when done right, it actually has the potential to bring in a good chunk of money, particularly when you sell items that are of good quality.
Good items to sell include clothing (clean and not too worn); old textbooks; shoes; vinyls; comics; figurines (particularly if they are unopened or rare), and any old cameras, TVs or computer monitors you no longer use (though this might be a push).
How to successfully sell your stuff on eBay:
1. Think first about what you will sell. Use the ideas just mentioned, but the best place to look is eBay’s top seller list where you can see what stuff is selling well.. Make sure the items are in good condition. If they are broken or worn they will usually be no good – though you can probably still sell electronic items for parts at a cheap price.
2. If you already have an eBay buyer’s account, use the same one for selling. It always helps to have an already established account as it will help buyers have more trust in you. If you don’t have an account already, don’t worry –you just need to be more open to pricing (see step 3).
3. If you’re starting a new account or your reputation isn’t super high, don’t set prices too extravagant. This can put buyers off if you’re not an experienced seller.
4. Do some research on the price of your product before listing. Most bids for a specific item end around the same price.
5. Write a full description of your product and a clear, detailed title if possible. It may be helpful to see what other people search for when looking for that product and get those extra keywords in.
6. Always, always add a photo! Nobody wants to buy a used item when they can’t see what it looks like. Take your photo on a clean, white background if possible, with minimum distractions, and from different angles.
7. You don’t need to pay an insertion fee when listing an item with one photo. But, an insertion fee will apply for adding more photos, having a ‘Buy it Now’ or reserve price; scheduling a listing or getting your listing featured.
If you do want to show more pictures, free graphic-creating apps like Canva will allow you to make a montage of four pics for the price of one!
Remember that there’s always a selling fee of 10%.
8. Try to post your listing on a Sunday afternoon, which is said to be the best time for eBayers.
9. If you have the original packaging or label of the item, be sure to scan the barcode and add it to your listing using eBay’s EAN lookup feature. This gives added credibility to your listing.
10. Always offer the option to pay by PayPal, as this can be really important for many buyers. If you don’t have a PayPal account, consider getting one, as it will definitely make your online buying and selling efforts easier.
11. After you’ve sold an item, follow up with your buyer via eBay message a few days later to check that they’re happy with their purchase. Give them a rating and ask if they wouldn’t mind rating you in return. Consistently good ratings will improve your reputation as a seller and further improve your chances of a sale.
2. Get paid for doing tasks via Field Agent
Field Agent is a money-making mobile app that pays its users for carrying out small, data-collecting tasks. For example, it may be taking a picture of a product in your local supermarket, visiting the local pub or completing a short survey. Jobs pay between £3 and £10, and it’s possible to complete several tasks in a day.
Often, surveys will enter you into a prize draw with the potential to win £100.
How to make money with Field Agent:
1. Download the Field Agent app to your Android or iOS phone.
2. Complete your profile by answering the first few questions presented on-screen.
3. Browse the map or view the job listings to see what tasks are available near you.
4. Once you find one, you can select the task to ‘reserve’ it later. Tasks are given on a first-come, first-served basis, so get in there quick!
5. Once you’ve reserved a task, you can select it again to complete it straight away, or save it for later (within the stated time frame).
6. Once completed, submit your response for verification and get paid securely.
7. If you have a car, use it! There may not always be tasks immediately nearby but you can often pick up a few more whilst driving around.
8. If you don’t have a car, don’t worry – you can still bag a few quid just by a trip to your local Asda. And this could knock a bit off your food shop!
9. Sign up to a few other similar apps and the pounds will soon start to add up. Try Roamler and Task360.
3. Offer your services on Fiverr
If you need a few quid in a short space of time, you can consider offering your services on Fiverr. Jobs on fiver usually start at $5 but many sellers offer extras with their services that can bring the cost up.
The good thing with Fiverr is that there is a market for almost anything – so you don’t need to have a specialist skill. If you’re good at something niche like coding, design, photo-editing or creating music, then definitely go for those. However, the ‘Fun & Lifestyle’ category has lots of other ways you can make money, such as giving advice, health/fitness coaching, celebrity impersonations, writing greetings card messages, pulling pranks or stunts and even gaming.
How to maximise income from Fiverr:
1. Think about a service you can offer that not many other people do. If there are already lots of people offering a similar thing, think about how you can make it different or unique. What can you offer than nobody else can?
2. Think about a product or service you can create once and sell to multiple clients. For example it could be a book, report, meal or workout plan. Although a customised service may warrant a higher price, selling a proven resource to different clients can maximise sales for less work.
3. When setting up your Fiverr account, be sure to add as much detail as you can, such as relevant expertise or experience. What makes you good at the service you’re offering?
4. Add an attractive thumbnail to your job listing. A professional looking photo or graphic will always help to sway people over an amateur-looking one. Grab a photography friend or do it yourself. Try creating a title picture using Canva.
5. $5 will usually be your basic starting price; however you also have the option to add standard and premium pricing for additional services, and this is where you can really cash in.
6. Try to offer your buyers an attractive turnaround time – people on Fiverr usually want things quick. Feel free to add an extra charge for delivering things faster than the norm; e.g. in one day.
7. Social media shout-outs are always popular, so if you have a large following on Instagram, Twitter or SnapChat, consider offering this option.
8. Other easy money-makers include editing photos, taking pictures with signs and being somebody’s Virtual Assistant for a couple of hours.
4. Volunteer for research
Volunteering for research might sound scary, but in uni, it’s often very low-risk. Just a couple of hours of your time could get you £20. That’s practically a night out!
As voluntary guinea pig you may be able to do what’s required all in one sitting, or you may have to go back a few times. However, most university studies will be happy to pay expenses as well as the going rate for taking part.
1. Check your internal uni emails for mentions about students needing volunteers. Most often these go unread but they harbour essential money-making opportunities!
2. Get in touch with your Psychology department to see how you can find out about regular studies. Alternatively if you have a friend who’s a psychology student, you can ask them!
3. Apply to any jobs you’re suitable for. Some may have certain criteria for the study to work effectively. You may also be able to choose the time at which you take part, but other studies may require you to attend at a specific time and place.
5. Write reviews
Finally, there’s a way to make some money back from all those gigs tickets you buy. Sites like slicethepie.com enable consumers to get paid for writing reviews of things they buy – whether that’s clothing; movies or music.
How to make money through slicethepie:
1. Simply sign up through the site’s homepage and confirm your account through the confirmation email.
2. Select the types of products you’d like to review. This can be music, fashion, groceries, or you can do a ‘lucky dip’ to get a mix of all three
3. Answer a quick few questions to give a better overview of your situation as a consumer.
4. You’ll immediately be presented with your first item to review. Remember that you can still review products even if you haven’t bought them, simply by offering your ‘first impressions’ of the item and how likely you’d be to buy it. Reviews are quick and easy, meaning you can easily complete a few in a day. Sometimes, there will be bonus cash to earn under a given category.
5. Remember that you’ll be paid in dollars – so your earnings may be slightly less when you withdraw them.
Earn Cash Over Time
These money-making ideas are ideal if you’re looking to really boost your income as a student for the foreseeable future. They require more work than the previous ideas mentioned above, but the eventual payoff will be worth it if you do them right.
6. Become a tutor
Tutoring is a great option if you’re patient and have a knack for teaching a skill. It may require more time and dedication, but alongside your studies it can be extremely manageable, bring you decent income and even help towards getting employment in the future.
You can tutor a subject you study, another skill or even just help an international student with their written English. There are a few ways you can find tutoring work – through your uni, through a private tutoring centre or online. Bear in mind that if you opt for the private route, you’ll need lots of expertise in your chosen field and competition can be tough.
How to become a tutor:
1. Inquire at your university’s career or learning centre, or even your head of department. They will be able to point you in the right direction as every uni will have its own system.
2. If your uni doesn’t have its own tutoring centre, they may refer you to a local centre or an outreach programme that they run.
3. You may need to complete an application process before you can tutor anyone or indeed be accepted onto a tutoring centre’s list. This will include your skills, any previous tutoring experience, your availability and maybe a reference from one of your own tutors or lecturers.
4. Private tutoring centres offer job security and pay very well, but they can also be competitive. You may also be required to tutor people of different ages so be sure you’re serious before you apply.
5. You can also apply to tutor people online, with sites such as MyTutor.
7. Be an extra
Lending yourself as an extra on a film set can bring in very good money, but it also means being available at a moment’s notice if you’re to get the good gigs. Work can be sporadic, and there may be long periods of standing around, but some extra jobs pay up to £100 a day!
Another good thing about being an extra is that you don’t need to audition or fill out a CV, and it involves absolutely no acting experience whatsoever (you just need to do as you’re told).
There aren’t many options for progressing from a lowly extra into a Hollywood movie star. But it can be a great way to see how a finished production comes together and do some really good networking.
How to earn money as an extra:
1. First, register yourself with a local extra agency. Try out Universal Extras; Casting Collective; RayKnight or Extra-People.
For the Liverpool/Merseyside area specifically, take a look at the Extra Special Casting Agency; Yula Casting and Harmony Casting.
2. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll be required to fill out your profile. This includes uploading a headshot photo and your essential profile, such as height, hair colour, eye colour etc. Your headshot doesn’t have to be taken professionally, but it should show you against a blank white background, with your face and hair clearly visible. You might also be required to upload a full-length shot too,
3. Some extra agencies charge a joining fee on the promise they will find you work. This is normal, but check first that they service enough productions in your area to help you find work.
4. Once you’re registered, it’s then a case of waiting until the agency contacts you about a local production. When you’re contacted, don’t hang about! Jobs come on a first-come, first-served basis and someone else may replace you. It may be short notice, but again, this is normal for show-biz.
8. Start a blog/website
Blogging is something that takes a lot of time and commitment, but can be a lucrative source of income further down the line.
It’s not a great idea start a blog with the mere aim of making money. Most blogs earn their keep by first building up a reliable reputation as an authority source. If you don’t spend time establishing your voice first, it’s unlikely any money-making attempts will work.
However, if you’re already an avid blogger looking to take things to the next level, this one’s for you.
How to make money from blogging:
1. Affiliate links. These are links used whenever you mention a product or brand, which send traffic through to that company’s website. If that same user later makes a purchase, then you’ll get a cut of the sale. Not bad!
Some companies may run their own affiliate programmes, but you can use sites like Affiliate Window, Skimlinks and of course Amazon Affiliates to find and place the affiliate links you want. As well as text links, you can also place affiliate images, banners or sidebar ads on your blog, which gain you a commission when somebody purchases through them.
2. Ads. These can be placed on your blog in a number of ways. You can use a tool like Google Adsense, which displays an ad in your blog’s footer or sidebar related to the user’s own unique browsing habits. Or you can place the ad yourself, by liaising directly with a specific company.
The first option takes out a lot of the guesswork when it comes to placing ads, but you’ll only have a certain amount of control over what gets placed. Asking a company if they’d consider paying for advertising space on your website is a much more beneficial option, but may be more difficult to pull off. Companies will usually require a breakdown of your daily and monthly traffic to ensure it’s worth the money, so wait until you’re getting decent traffic consistently before trying this one.
3. Sponsored posts. This is where a company or brand pay you money to promote a product on your blog, usually in the form of a post. For example you may need to come up with a related topic or deliver a post that fits with the theme of the brand’s campaign.
If you do choose to do sponsored posts, make sure you only promote products you would genuinely buy and use. Otherwise you are misleading your readers
All links within a sponsored post should also be no-followed, for SEO reasons. You can read more about no-follow links here.
Have you tried any of these money-making methods? Do you have any other tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below!
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