5 ways to earn an extra income if you’re a student

There’s no denying, life as a student can be financially tough. As the student loan runs out, you find yourself eating concoctions that you’d feel bad feeding to a starving dog. How about earning an extra income?


There are quite a few different ways that are accessible to anyone. So we created this article to show you how to make money as a student. You’ll be rollin’ round your campus like Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather in no time.

#1. Sell t-shirts

If you have an interest in fashion, this will be right up your street.

There are sites like Teespring and Teemill which make it easier than ever to start your own online clothes shop.

All you must do is decide on a particular design, and place the t-shirt in your online shop. When you receive an order for one of your cool designs, the company hosting your online shop will print the design on the merchandise, and send it to the customer. They then send you a cut of the profit.

Here are a few simple steps to follow to help make this process a success:

  1. Decide on a target audience.
    You have two options here, you can either try and battle it out with thousands of others and do something that is popular (think Game of Thrones theme tops) or try and carve your own niche in something more obscure.It’s important to remember that the internet is a very, very big place. The things people buy online would surprise you. Especially when you discover there may be an army of people that share your interest in pictures of dogs in fancy dress.If you’re not a graphic designer, fear not. All you need is an idea, you can find someone to design your t-shirt very cheap on Fiverr.Fiverr is an online marketplace that allows you to hire people to create things for you at very cheap prices. The key here is to be as detailed as possible with your description of what you want. If you can hand draw a mockup to send them, or find related images online then that will help massively.
  2. Launch your campaign!
    Just follow the on screen instructions and you will have your very own products for sale in no time at all.Customers can find your designs organically, but the more traffic you can drive to your shop the better. Use your network of friends at university by sharing your links on Facebook. Look at forums dedicated to your chosen subject and promote your designs on there. And also check out the millions of Facebook groups for people who have similar interests. There are lots of free ways of promoting your designs.

Potential income rating: 3 out of 5.

Some people searching for ways to make money as a college student have made over £1000 selling t-shirts. But with effort? There are sellers that have revenues of 6 figures per year utilising Facebook ads.

Note: This way to make money for students will be subject to local taxes.


#2. Flipping goods on eBay

This method of how to make money as a student has recently been brought to public attention by entrepreneur and social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk. He believes that anyone can make $20,000 (£15,500) in a year by selling things on eBay.

His strategy has two different approaches.

  1. Sell your old things.
    Everyone has potentially thousands of pounds worth of stuff locked away in their cupboards that they rarely use.You’re probably sat there thinking, “no I don’t”. But you would be surprised by what you have lurking around that has some value, and what people are prepared to pay money for. Remember, one man’s trash, is another man’s treasure!Even if things only sell for £2 or £3, that soon adds up. Before you know it, you may have paid for a night out at your Student Union!
  2. Going to car boot sales and charity shops and finding things to sell.
    After a while, you will run out of things to sell that you have lying around your home. So you will need to spread your wings a little further.The beauty of this is that you don’t have to buy blindly. The key is to walk around with your mobile phone, looking for things that you may think are of value. Then when you spot something, you can search for it on eBay and see what price it’s selling at. Once you’ve found something to buy that is going for more money on eBay, just buy it, take it home and list it. It’s really that simple.

    Plus the more money you build up in your bank, the higher the price of the things you can buy. This gives a higher margin for profit, and you can also buy bigger amounts of stock to put on eBay. And it’s pretty much a no lose strategy since you already know it’ll make a profit.As time goes on, you will develop an eye for the more obscure things that sell. So when you first start out, search eBay for everything you find, because you may be surprised!

Potential income rating: 3 out of 5

As Gary Vee says, there is money to be made by doing this, but it does take quite a lot of work. But you can make around £15,000 in one year if you are dedicated.

Note: This way to make money for students is a business and will be subject to local taxes.


#3. Selling Books on Campus

There is a method for how to make extra money as a student that is right under the nose of every student in the country.

Course books are so expensive, but a necessity for every student. Before you know it, the module has finished and they’ve served their purpose. You’re then buying the next load of books.

But you would be surprised how many people are either too busy, or too lazy to go and list their books on Amazon and sell them on. The books will sit in their room collecting dust.

This is where you come to the rescue!

Start with your friend group, ask them what books they have to sell, and do your research on how much the second hand versions are selling for on Amazon. Then make them a fair offer that is below this price. Suddenly, you’re also helping your friends find ways to make money as a college student.

You then have two options. You can list them on Amazon and try to sell them on there for a quicker profit. Or you can wait until freshers week for the next intake of people taking these courses and offer to sell them all the course books they need at a discounted rate.

This could be a great way of giving yourself a nice quick cash boost at the start of the university year, before moving onto one of the other strategies in this article!

Potential income rating: 2 out of 5

This really depends on how well you are able to network and connect with people. There is a definite need to fill, and you could make a few thousand pounds at certain periods of the year when people need their text books.

Note: This way to make money for students will be subject to local taxes.


#4. Online Freelance Websites

The online freelance revolution is in full swing, and it is now easier to find work online than ever before. This is for two reasons:

Firstly, businesses are becoming more and more comfortable with hiring remote workers. There is lots of software available that is connecting freelance workers with businesses, so although you may be thousands of miles away, staying in contact is easier than ever before.

Secondly, it is now easier than ever to start a business. Many people are at the stage where they need help, but they cannot afford a full time employee. This creates a need for people to give them a hand.

As a student, you may be learning a valuable skill and this gives you the opportunity to put that skill to good use. There is a wide range of different skills that are needed from writing, to programming, to design and general admin work.

Having something on your CV is immensely useful when applying for jobs once you’ve completed your degree. To be able to say you’ve successfully worked with a varied client base on numerous different projects will stand you in good stead when going into the world of full-time employment. Not to mention that you’ve shown a great amount of resourcefulness by proving you knew how to make extra money as a student.

Not only that, but you can also work as little or as much as you want, and in many cases you will be able to work in your own time and fit it around your studies.

There are two main websites to check out:

  1. Upwork
    This covers a wide range of different jobs. Businesses post job specs on the platform, and you send a proposal to their job. Once a job is complete, payments are sent through the platform, so you are protected against non-payment.After completing a job, you will be given a rating by the client. The key is to perform to the best of your abilities and provide a good service. As your ratings increase, and you demonstrate your value, it will become easier to get a job.
  2. Fiverr
    With this website, you set up a service page which lists a particular service you offer, with different package levels. Customers will search Fiverr for the type of job they need doing, and pay up front. It’s then down to you to perform the task, and receive a good rating. Again, the more ratings you have, the easier it is for you to get hired.

Potential income rating: 4 out of 5.

The world is your oyster in terms of how much you can earn. But you also have to put the time in if you want to earn it. As a student during your spare time, you can maybe earn £500 per month.

Note: Again, this way to make money for students is a business., so any income will be subject to local taxes.


#5. Review websites and apps

With technology constantly changing, businesses are constantly renewing or adding to their websites.

And it’s important for them that their customers like their new site, it has no bugs, and it is easy to use. Otherwise they can lose a lot of money.

It’s for this reason that numerous platforms have emerged that pay you to test websites or apps. These platforms act as a middleman between you and businesses with a new website, or mobile app to test.

You’re then required to use the website for around 20 minutes, while giving your thoughts during the process, this is then recorded or filmed.

Most of the websites pay around £7 for each 20 minute testing assignment, which at £21 per hour is a decent income during your spare time.

To ensure you are chosen for a greater number of assignments, it is important to sign up for as many test platforms as possible, which we tell you about in a bit. You also need suitable equipment to be able to test the website or app, most of which you may already have. So a PC or Mac for website testing, or an Android or Apple mobile or tablet for app testing.

The webcam on most Macs and PCs will usually suffice, but the microphone isn’t usually powerful enough. So you will need to buy a standalone one, these can be picked up for around £10.

As we said, it’s worth signing up to as many testing platforms as possible. It’s important that you’re accurate with the details you provide, as these will determine the testing projects that you’re given. Below are the most popular platforms.

Most of the test sites pay automatically on a weekly basis via Paypal, so you will need to set up a Paypal account if you don’t have one already.

Potential income rating: 5 out of 5

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