When it comes to flexible earners, you can’t beat being your own boss. Even better, there are plenty of ways to make extra money, often without even leaving campus.
If you think earning money off your own bat means starting a business empire, you’re overthinking it! There are loads of ways to make cash on the side, or keep work flexible enough to fit around your studies. Here are seven of the best starters (with another 30 here!) – and they’re simple enough for anyone to have a go at.
1. Teach what you know
How much you earn from up-skilling others depends on what you teach, what demand is like, and where you’re based, but private tutors typically make around £25-35/hr. What makes it especially good for students is the sheer number of options you’ve got:
• Teach your native tongue (including slang and regional or cultural differences), or a foreign language you excel at
• Music skills, from music theory and instrument tuition to singing confidence
• Help get the older generation online (or onto social media)
• Tutor sixth-formers who need to get to grips with your subject or want to polish their uni applications
• Teach your favourite hobbies, crafts and anything else!
You can start by advertising on campus, in local shops and on library noticeboards – but video messaging plus social networks can find you remote work all over the world.
2. Make money from freebies
The internet is stuffed with freebies and prizes and, while getting your hands on them can take some patience, when your luck comes in you’re in line for pure profit. Collect sample-size products, launch-day goodies and anything else on offer and tout them on eBay or Facebook Marketplace. Get a separate email address just for freebie hunting to stop your main mailbox getting spammed out!
3. Be a film extra
Getting on TV isn’t as dependable as a part-time job, but it’s a nice little side hustle – and it’s pretty well paid: rates start at around £75/day, often with meals or travel costs thrown in. It’s also a lot of fun! You could be a peasant one day, and a grumpy commuter the next – plus there’s always the chance to star-spot along the way. Try Uni-versalEXTRAS, who don’t charge students to look for work.
4. Be a brand ambassador
If you’ve got an inkling for a career in marketing – and even if you don’t – being a brand ambassador is a way to get paid AND earn freebies, discounts and exclusives to boot. Roles vary, but typically involve handing out flyers or samples, coming up with marketing ideas, or representing the company on campus. Keep an eye out for vacancies on uni noticeboards, check the Campus Industries website, or get cheeky and holler at brands you’d love to work with.
5. Work for your uni
In the mad dash to find paid employment it can be easy to overlook your own uni as a source of work – but most of them will have student-friendly gigs right on campus.
• Send your CV around admin offices as well as your department or college.
• Chat to tutors outside of lectures – and not just when you need an extension! Getting your face known can be really handy when it comes to finding out about jobs before they’re even advertised.
• If your uni pays students to be campus guides or part of the fresher welcome wagon, ask how you can get involved!
6. Go freelance
You might struggle to go it as a consultant without a few years’ career experience under your belt, but luckily, the internet has made it much easier to get a foot in the door. Have a look at freelance marketplaces like Fivesquid, Upwork and People per Hour for online gigs of all kinds, from typing to web development and everything in between. Prefer working face-to-face? Check out apps like Syft and Catapult for short-order work in the real world.
7. Earn money the lazy way
Passive income is money you can keep earning long after you’ve done the hard graft – so it makes sense to kick it off as soon as you can and leave it rolling over year after year. Top picks are:
• Selling content to online stock libraries – it’s good for photos, video footage, music/sound fx and even coding hacks
• Get your own YouTube channel and opt-in to let brands show adverts alongside your videos (if you get big enough you could get freebies and other incentives from sponsors, too)
• Got a book in you? Write it up, sign up to a self-publishing platform (Amazon have one, or try Smashwords) and you can be on sale in stores around the world in a matter of days
• Start a blog or website – they’re super easy to set up opt-in for advertising revenue.
TL;DR? There’s tons of ways to earn a bit on the side – and if you can’t find a job, you may be able to make one for yourself.
Guest blog written by Ruth Bushi, an editor at Save the Student – the UK’s largest student money advice site.