Tumble out of bed and stumble to your flat’s untidy kitchen. Pour yourself a cup of… stale pot noodle? Because there’s nothing left in your fridge and you’re skint. We’ve all been there. For some, the maintenance loan barely covers accommodation costs, let alone the cost of living and socialising. According to Lloyds bank, 65% of parents believed they would have to support with accommodation costs. But what if your parents aren’t in the position to help you?
So you might have thought about ways to make money as a student, to avoid being absolutely broke. Well, you wouldn’t be alone. According to a survey conducted by Endsleigh, eight out of ten students now work part-time to help fund their studies.
But balancing working and studying doesn’t come without challenges. Earning money shouldn’t come at the expense of your studies, or most importantly, your social life. For some courses, it is advised that you don’t work alongside your studies; it can even be a condition of study. That’s why all our suggestions can be done from your bed via your laptop or by working flexible hours that suit you.
Read on to learn the five best ways to earn a little extra cash
1. Become a Tutor
Put what you’re learning at university to good use by tutoring GCSE and A Level students in your subject. Websites like TutorHunt, Tutorful, MyTutor and TutorFair allow you to create a profile, set an hourly rate and the times you are available to teach. You may then have to undergo background or criminal records checks before you can be contacted by potential students.
You can work as little or as much as you want, depending on how many students you tutor. There are also little to no costs involved. Most tutors teach via Skype which simply requires a laptop with a good internet connection and a decent microphone. However, some websites take commission from your earnings so make sure to compare sites to find the best rates.
2. Become a Freelancer
Websites like Upwork and People Per Hour make it easy to start freelancing from home. Upload a profile that highlights your skills and experience then search and apply for freelance jobs. Jobs include but are not limited to writing, editing, translating, designing, customer service and data entry. You can set an hourly rate or negotiate a fixed price for a project.
Fiverr is another great site for freelancers. Advertise your service, set a price (the lowest is £3.68) and wait for someone to bid. Categories for services include Graphics and Design, Digital Marketing, Writing and Translation and Video and Animation.
Get creative! Some of the strangest services on Fiverr include people offering to interpret dreams, record an original piece of avant-garde music or take photos of their cat. The weirder the better.
Being a freelancer is a great way to build out a portfolio and reviews for your future too. If you plan to work in a creative field, you may need to have a portfolio ready for interviews. By working as a freelancer you can use the skills you’re learning in your degree, make money off them, and prepare for your future career.
3. Work Part-Time
An oldie but a goodie. If you’re looking for ways to make money as a student, bars, restaurants, cafes, supermarkets and shops on the high street are a popular choice. This is a great option for students looking for part-time work, as they usually offer flexible working hours to students. Job offers are most plentiful around Christmas time, as companies need extra staff during the busy period, so get your application in early. Often, companies hold off on permanent hiring when the Christmas period is coming up, so your temporary contract could be made permanent before it’s over.
If you’re worried about your part-time job clashing with your studies let your boss know of any important deadlines. That way you’ve given plenty of notice to plan your shifts around your uni work.
Outside working in retail or hospitality, there are plenty of other part-time gigs you might not have thought of. Check your student union. Many advertise part-time or ad hoc work representing your university as a student ambassador or as a caller asking alumni for donations.
If you’ve got the necessary experience, babysitting and childminding can be a lucrative way to spend an evening. Sign up at websites like Student Nannies or Care.com. If you hate kids you can still house or even plant-sit through websites like House Sitters UK and Trusted House Sitters. If your landlord allows it, and you like animals, you could become a cat sitter with Cat in a Flat or sign up to Holidog to look after a cat or a dog. There’s nothing nicer than revising or studying with a cat or dog curled up on the sofa with you.
4. Start your own business
If you’re a fashionista, make like Sofia Amoruso and start your GIRLBOSS empire by selling your old or thrifted clothes. Create an account on apps like Depop and Vinted, upload some pictures, and start selling! Remember to take high-quality images of your items and charge more for pristine or designer items.
If you’re a budding artist, you can design and sell prints, mugs and t-shirts and more on websites like Society6. Society 6 produces, packages and ships your products to customers. All you have to do is upload a high-resolution image of your design. You can also sell your own creations on websites such as Etsy, ArtFire and Redbubble.
5. Become a Deliveroo or Uber Eats rider
A bike is all you need to start delivering for Deliveroo or Uber Eats. The pay is £6 per hour and £1 for each delivery made plus any tips. You’ll work on a zero-hour contract which means shifts are whenever you want them.
Be warned, this also means your shifts can be cut at any time. You are also self-employed, meaning you have little to no rights if you are injured on the job.
But if you’re looking for ways to make money as a student that are totally flexible, Deliveroo and Uber Eats could be a great choice.