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How to make money as a student

Posted at 02 November 2018

­Who wants a job while they’re at uni, amirite?

Okay so, for lots of us it ends up being a must and tbf, it can teach you a lot about workplaces, responsibility and all that jazz. We even wrote a blog post about finding one that you might actually find interesting - Fun part-time jobs for students.

If you’re not looking for a steady income however – maybe your parents are helping, your loan has you covered, or you’re a nursing student and you LITERALLY do not have the time alongside uni work and placement – then check out our advice on how to make money as a student, when all you want is little bursts of cash as convenient.

We feel ya, we’ve been there.

Sell your old phones

Got a drawer jangling with old what-if emergency phones? Get ‘em sold! If you lose your current phone you can buy a basic one from Tesco for £10 and enjoy the extra dollar in the meantime.

But check out all your options first on Compare my Mobile. You can look at the difference in payment, how long it’ll take for the company to pay you and some of them will take faulty phones too.

You might be surprised to notice that the big brands don’t necessarily dole out the most cash – try lesser-known companies like Quick Mobile Fix; they fared pretty well in our comparisons.

Become a mystery shopper

If it wasn’t for the creative team over at Student Job, we 100% wouldn’t have believed this really existed. If you’re anything like us, you’ll have seen those dodgy sponsored ads on Facebook which are clearly too good to be true and never realised there was a legit alternative.

Apparently there is.

They told us:

“The popularity of mystery shoppers has ballooned recently, and with good reason! Think strategically and you can save yourself a lot of money.

“For example, students are notoriously known for drinking gallons of coffee, so why not become a mystery shopper to drink Starbucks coffee?! It is surprising how much a student can spend on coffee, so this is a fantastic way to save some cash.”

So you won’t necessarily MAKE earnings while you’re mystery shopping, but you can come away with some great freebies and free up money for other stuff.

Make the most of growing up in the digital age

Help companies improve their websites with User Testing and get paid too! If you spend a lot of time online, it’ll be a walk in the park and you might even enjoy it, or get inspired for a future career.

The best part is, UT pay out via PayPal a week after you complete each review.

Sell your craft on Storenvy

If you love painting, making jewelry or knitting, that’s the kind of pastime you’ll want to hold onto at uni. Not only can creating things be really therapeutic, but if you’re good you can flog your masterpieces online. Better yet, it’ll look great on your CV too.

You could go down the well-travelled route of selling on Etsy, but other UK sites which were later to the game are likely to have lower charges. Storenvy for example, lets you upload 500 products without listing fees, so you won’t be charged if your creations don’t sell.

Bear in mind though, they do take a higher cut of your profits, but that way you won’t make a loss.

Jump on the network marketing hype

Heard of pyramid schemes? They involve getting others to buy into a concept with the promise they’ll make money when they won’t, and they’re illegal so you don’t want to get involved in one.

On the other hand, there are plenty of legit network marketing organisations which can help you to make the most of a healthy social media following if you have one, and you can choose your own hours – but this isn’t our laziest money-making option; you will have to put some time into selling the product.

One tip from us – make sure you’re interested in the industry you’re working for. It’ll be much easier to talk to people about something you love, whether it’s health food, makeup or otherwise, and people will recognise your authenticity.

Established network marketing companies like Avon are a great place to start sniffing around.

Make money through your photography

Got a knack for taking photos that make your Instagram followers “ooh” and “ahhh”? It’s time to start getting paid for it!

We’ve looked around and Fotolia seems like an awesome place to get started. Not only will they pay you a chunk of what your photos sell for, you won’t have the hassle of selling single-handedly, and Fotolia don’t mind if you sell them elsewhere either.

Try out "extra" work

Did you dream of being an actor when you were watching TV as a kid? Realise that remembering lines is hard and being stared at makes you uncomfortable? Us too.

Get a taste of the action as a uni student and make bank at the same time – try your hand at extra work! You can earn some decent cash when you have a day free and you might appear in one of your favourite shows with the least amount of effort.

Just sign up at Extra People today!

Survey, survey, survey

You can take a survey while you’re watching TV, while you’re eating, travelling or sitting on the toilet! And who can blame you for being so willing when survey sites like i-Say let you shout about your opinion and pay in retail vouchers.

You don’t even need to pretend you were going to spend the money on something sensible.

Alternatively, try out YouGov, MySurvey and Toluna for a chance to earn money.

Sell your old textbooks

If you’re sure that you’ll never touch certain textbooks again – don’t be too hasty on this – then make sure you sell while the iron is hot.

Lots of people use Amazon Marketplace or Music Magpie, but make sure you shop around first. We found that We Buy Books had some great prices for the textbooks we listed and they’re just as happy to pick up your parcels for free.

Shift your notes for cold, hard cash

Finished a uni term and feel like burning your notes because you can’t bear to read them one more time?

That’s crazy talk! Well, it’s totally legit, but there’s better uses for your old study notes, even if they’re handwritten.

From GCSE through to degree-level, you can upload organised notes to Notesale, and while they take a cut of the profit, you’ll make money whenever someone downloads them.

Have you tried any of our lazy ways to make bank at uni? Do you have any great techniques that we’ve missed? Fill us in on Facebook today and we’ll add your idea and credit you right here!

Head back to the #YouGotThis hub for more of our handy student guides!