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Student money makers
Today students need to make money more than ever. Thankfully, there are loads of easy ways in which they can do it. We’ve got tonnes of money-making ideas – whether you’re looking to earn some extra cash in the holidays, or get yourself a little term-time job – there’s something for everyone.
- Make money in the holidays
- Term-time earners
- Fun money makers
- Make money from the comfort of your sofa
- Quick money earners for any time
- Camp America
If you fancy what will turn out to be an extended paid trip to the USA, look no further than Camp America. Your food, accommodation and flights are paid for. You’ll be guiding kids through sports and activities for 9 – 12 weeks. And as part of your visa agreement you get a month at the end of the scheme to travel around the USA.
- Be an extra
Want to be in a movie with your favourite celebrity? Always thought it would be fun to see your face on the big screen? Acting extras are ordinary people who are essential to setting up scenes in films or television shows. You can earn £80 for a day’s work, not to mention the bragging rights if you’re in the same shot, even momentarily, with lead actors. Try The Casting Collective or Ray Knight Casting for starters. For more info check out our article on how to make money being an extra.
- Be part of a street team
If you’re keen to promote a charity and you enjoy talking to people, you can make good money working as a member of a charity street team. Students (amongst others) are employed to sign people up to donation schemes for charities, like Oxfam or the British Red Cross. It’s ideal if you like speaking to people positively and selling a product you really like. You’re paid a flat rate and then commission for the number of people you sign up. A friend of Moneymagpie worked for Oxfam for two months over the summer and made upwards of £2,500!
- Street surveys
If you like chatting to people but don’t feel comfortable asking them for money, you can try working for a surveying agency, carrying out public surveys. Companies like Ipsos MORI pay you a flat rate to interview and ask the public about topics as varied as town planning initiatives, to how they spend their leisure time and where. Pay will range depending on the agency you work for, but you could earn around £90 a day. If market research becomes your thing, try signing up with online agencies such as Saros Research, who suggest typical earnings of between £30 and £100 for two hours’ work. This would involve sharing your views in discussion groups, or participating in surveys.
- Freelance interviewing
You could try being a freelance interviewer. NatCen (the National Centre for Social Research) has a national panel of 1,100 interviewers, and they’re looking to recruit more. They ask for a minimum commitment of 20 hours per week which can be spread over a seven-day period. There are four pay scales, and new interviewers in an average week of 17 successful interviews can expect to make £185. Travel costs are covered. You can work in your local area, and the option of working elsewhere in the UK, they offer interesting research subjects and the flexibility to take or refuse work when you want it. You can even join the stakeholder pension scheme after three months.
- Work at major sporting events
How do you fancy being able to work at some of the most prestigious sports events in the world? Thousands of people are employed each summer to work at major events and if you check out hospitality job sites you can find work at events from Wimbledon tennis to Royal Ascot at stadiums ranging from Lord’s to Wembley.
The work varies depending on where you apply, but you could be working as a waiter or even get to cover the courts at Wimbledon. Quite often the hours will be long but over a relatively short amount of time. For instance, a court coverer at Wimbledon will work long days for three weeks, but in the process will earn roughly the same amount as a part-time summer job.
Check out our essential article on how to make money from sporting events – it’s packed with information and valuable contacts.
The first and most obvious option is the part-time job. It’s a great way of keeping a routine and a reliable source of income.
- Work in a bar
Bar work is useful because you know it won’t clash with your course. But if your social life is as valuable as the money you need to fund it, then prepare to see your evenings and weekends disappear under phrases like ‘overtime’ and ‘shift swaps’. Jobs can be found at the student union, in the back of the classifieds, or at Jobsite UK.
Bar jobs are notoriously minimum wage, which stands at £6.19 an hour if you’re 21 or over (£6.31 from 1 October 2013), and £4.98 if you’re between 18 and 21 (£5.03 from 1 October 2013). Try to be savvy as to where you choose to work though – if you work in a city wine bar rather than a suburban pub, you can certainly expect more favourable tips. If you have a friend who works in a good bar, ask them to suggest you to work there. Not only will you save on the hassle of looking for a job but you get to work with a friend too.
- Work in a restaurant or cafe
Restaurant and cafe work can be found quite informally if the restaurant isn’t part of a chain or is relatively small. Very often jobs will be advertised in the window. Again, the potential wage is the national minimum, but the tipping tendency is stronger.
- Get paid to volunteer
During term time stressed PhD students will send round circular emails looking for volunteers for psychological experiments, and the pay is often good. If you keep an eye out around the faculty buildings and university websites, there are often paid volunteer requests for scientific experiments as well. These can range from having your brain scanned to completing a computer test. Simple!
- Be a tutor
Tutoring can be a serious money earner – you can make up to £80 an hour! Plus it’s a great way for you to put your studies to good use while you’re still at uni. It’s also extremely flexible – you can fit it in between lectures and studying. Agencies such as UKtutors or Greater London Tutors will require DBS checks and a few assessments of your abilities, or you can advertise your services on a site like Schoolstrader. Have a look at our article on making money as a tutor here.
- Be an exam invigilator
Institutions are always looking for honest individuals to invigilate their exams: although it’s mostly term-time work you can apply for it during the holidays. Higher Education colleges have a formal process for their invigilating jobs so you must apply well in advance. They’re normally accessed through an online application and the pay can range from £8 to £18 an hour. There are agencies that’ll speed the process of you finding invigilating work, so have a look at Agency Central for one that will suit you best.
- Get paid to take lecture notes
While at university, attending more lectures may be the last thing on your mind – but many universities are on the lookout for people willing to take lecture notes for those who are otherwise unable to. Don’t worry – you won’t be an English student taking notes at a maths lecture, it’s more likely you will be (for example) a third year economics student attending some second-year classes, as they prefer to use people studying the same subject.
Sometimes e-mails will be sent around by departments looking for note takers, but most universities have a facility to allow potential note takers to join a register and you could make up to £30 extra a week.
- Work at your student union
Not only will your student union advertise work that is needed, but they’ll also need people to work for them. While a lot of this work is voluntary, or chosen by the student vote, there are some positions that will pay. Co-opted positions to run the union are available to you after you graduate: average salaries run at around £15,000 to £16,000 per annum, for working in and out of term. And you’ll also be at the heart of what’s being organised in your student community, meaning people will want to talk to you about a multitude of things – a great way to make friends.
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- Get your friends out partying
You’re probably going to be going to clubs while you’re at college or uni, so why not make money out of it? If you’re really into clubbing, and you have a lot of friends, you could get paid to bring your friends into clubs on quiet nights. It works out at about £10 a head, plus more if you get a table. It’s only in London and major cities, though.
See here for our article which has loads more info and including how to find companies that are looking for people like you.
- Host a club night
On the other hand, you could do the whole thing yourself. That’s right, set up your own club night and make serious money. You’ll need a lump sum to hire the club, bands, and DJs; and more to promote the night with flyers and posters. It’s all dependent on the amount of time and effort you put into creating a buzz about your night, and the draw of the acts you get to perform, but it’s possible to make some great returns.
If the club is big enough the management might ask you to cover the £1,000 bar charge if your punters don’t get enough people through the door. It’s best to start with a smaller venue that you can fill more easily, then it’ll look better to those who are there. It’ll take time for a loyal band of clubbers to regularly come to your night, but if you’ve picked a niche that nobody else has, and you’ve promoted it enough, then it should grow to be successful.
- Be an open day tour guide
See if your university does open days, or introductory weeks for sixth-form students. You can be paid with the offer of free food and accommodation, which is great if you need to hang around to study. There may even be pay; some universities pay as much as £10 an hour. Keep an eye out for circular emails from either your faculty, the admissions tutor or the university publicity officer, or advertisements around campus.
- Playing music at functions
Members of a group, whether it’s a jazz band, a classical quartet, or even a modern pop covers outfit, can make themselves good money by playing functions, weddings and parties. Someone in the band acts as agent, and advertises by creating flyers and posters, plus of course social media and good old word of mouth. Depending on the size of the band, you can be paid around £200 a time for a performance. It’s an informal process, so it depends how driven you are to get work.
Busking involves less organisation than functions, although there’s no guarantee on income and it’s less safe to lug a double bass around on the bus! Although busking isn’t officially licensed, certain local councils have passed by-laws dictating where and how you get to play in their district, so just ask. You could earn between £40 and £50 an hour if you’re professional and you’ve found a good pitch, or if you have something a little unusual to offer. For some great ideas, click here for our dedicated article on busking.
- Be an online music reviewer
Continuing on a musical theme, have a look at Slicethepie. If you join their community and rate the unsigned bands on the site, you can earn a small fee each time you send back a review. Alternatively, you could always stick your demo on there if you are in a band and get set on the road to a profitable record contract! Get all the info on how it works in our full article here.
Babysitting is the best paid way of spending time with cute kids. Whether it’s an informal arrangement for home time during the holidays, or through an agency if you’re at university (for which you’ll need a DBS check), both can lead to a reliable client list and regular work. If you’ve been trained in childcare courses you could charge £7-10 an hour, although a lot of people will give a flat rate for the night.
- Mystery shopping
Agencies recruit people (known as mystery shoppers) to go into pubs, restaurants and shops and monitor the quality of service. Although you’re paid a very low rate in return, you claim back the cost of the food or products you’ve bought, so you effectively get it for free! That means you aren’t going to make a mint, but you are going to make some decent savings on food, drink or new products. Viewsbank offer you up to £100 a time doing mystery shopping jobs, so check them out here. For some more information, just look at our article.
- Run your own fashion show
If you’re a dedicated follower of fashion you may like to set up your own fashion show – and perhaps even run a clothing sale or swap shop afterwards. You can speak to the student union about where to hold it, and perhaps charge £1 for people to come and watch. If you get a lot of people modelling, their friends will no doubt be keen to see them and the prospect of being able to swap clothes or buy them cheaply afterwards will help too. We’ve got a guide on clothing swap shops here if you like the sound of it.
- Sell on eBay
You’d be amazed what other people want, and are willing to pay good money for! So don’t clear away that pile of junk at the back of your wardrobe – stick it on eBay or eBid (who don’t charge for listing your item). Internet selling is the savvy way of making money from stuff you don’t really need. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be your stuff – ask friends or people in your halls if there’s anything they want to get rid of, and then offer to sell it for them for a cut in the profit. Old textbooks, sports equipment and CDs can all be turned over for more cash.
- Buy from cashback sites
There are sites which will give you cashback whenever you buy something from them. You effectively earn money by simply doing your shopping and some give you cash just for signing up. For more information on cashback sites, check out our article here, or use this list to check out a few:
- Be an IT support technician
If you have a computer and are good at interacting with people then consider Teletech. They’re an American company that need people with an internet connection to offer customer service and technical support on the phone for them. Full training will be given, and the pay stays above £6 an hour. There’s a minimum of 20 hours a week to be worked, and you can work more if you apply for it.
The application process can be rather drawn out, but it is a genuine work-from-home job that pays for complete time and not just for time you’re on the phone. There’s also the full benefits of being employed – so you don’t have to worry about self employed tax issues. It doesn’t require joining fees and you don’t have to sell a product.
- Online surveys
It is quick and easy to make money just by answering a few questions. There are loads of online survey sites out there – check out our article to find out more about them, or check out some of our recommended sites:
- Sell clothes on ASOS Marketplace
In a similar vein to selling on eBay, ASOS Marketplace offers you an opportunity to sell your own clothes. Students are suckers for a bargain, but with limited space in student houses it’s easy to run out of room for everything. We’ve got our very own guide to selling on ASOS Marketplace – whether you just want to sell the odd item or want to sell a whole wardrobe, click here to find out more.
- Set up a blog
We know how much some students love to sit on their laptops, so why not get creative with that and set up a blog? A blog can simply be a way of expressing your creative side – be it through words, pictures or drawings – and there can be many ways of eventually making it profitable. See our guide on blogging for all the information you need, right from setting it up to making money from it.
- Make money by recommending your friends
To do this, a good place to start is Refer Me Happy where after you register, you can start referring ‘friends’ for deals, or they can start referring you. This only takes a minute and it’s free. This site gives you an opportunity to search companies that you’re already signed up to, and then claim cash or vouchers if you refer a friend. Read more about referring your friends in our article.
- Deliver leaflets
You could deliver leaflets and promotional materials door to door. It pays about £6 an hour, and you can solicit the business yourself by asking local businesses whether or not they do it. You could increase your pay by delivering for several companies at the same time, so you walk once, but earn more. Have a look at our page on delivering leaflets for guidance.
- Dog walking
How about walking dogs for extra cash? In London you can earn up to £15 a dog. Whether you do it through an agency or ‘freelance,’ it can be very flexible and good for your health! Have a look at our dog walking article to find out more.
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