As a student yet to graduate and earn a valuable degree, it can be challenging to make money. The job market is competitive in almost every aspect. Even more so when you don’t have a primary degree that’s usually a bare minimum criteria the hiring managers look for in a candidate.
But no worries, it’s not the end of the world. Here are some of the most unusual ways to make money as a student that will keep you from being broke, and help you pay for those beer tokens (or gym membership maybe).
1. Part-Time Work At Retail Stores
Are you older than 16? Can you hold a basic conversation and handle the pressure of customer service? Congrats, you tick off the boxes of the criteria list to work as a part-time employee in plenty of food outlets, including Starbucks, McDonald’s, pubs and local shops.
In general, you can expect entry-level positions like, baristas, waiting staff, cashiers, etc. An approx pay range can be somewhere between £10-15 per hour depending upon your location and expertise.
Although this isn’t necessarily an unusual way to make money as a student, it is definitely a reliable one.
2. Open An Etsy Store
If you happen to be someone who is gifted in art and crafts and other creative means of expression in general, a good, yet unconventional way to make a few more bucks as a student would be to sell your arts and crafts on Etsy.
Etsy is a great place for amateur individuals and small businesses to get started with selling their crafts. What can you craft? Well, it’s up to you but for starters, here are a few ideas – fancy journals, wall decorations, wooden showpieces, resin jewellery, handmade stickers, quirky fridge magnets, and maybe even miniature furniture.
Check out our guide to make money on Etsy.
No matter how good Google translation is, it’s not yet advanced enough to beat human translation. So the Spanish or French or whatever other language class you took in high school isn’t a waste.
In case you are fluent in more than two languages, you can offer translating services on various freelancing sites, such as Freelancer.com, Upwork, Fiverr, and PeoplePerHour.
If the languages you know are commercially and culturally popular, for example, French, German, and Spanish; you will make enough money to sustain a comfortable lifestyle instead of barely scraping by. Some companies even hire skilled translators as interpreters for real-time business meetings.
4. Niche-Specific Freelancer Writer
Being a freelance writer is a great option if you are someone who prefers to make money while working remotely. From the comfort of your house or university dorm, you can offer writing services to clients and start earning.
However, the writing market is competitive as there are way more job seekers than the available positions. To stand out, you can try being a niche-specific writer.
If you are a student, you can offer write-ups in niches that are relevant to your degree. Since you will be more knowledgeable in that particular field, this will set you apart from other candidates seeking the same position and increase your chances of getting hired.
As you gain more experience, you can become a known name for a particular niche in the writing market.
5. Social media manager
More than ever, business owners are aware of the importance of social media and are happy to pay good money for people to manage their accounts. As a social media savvy student, you probably have the understanding of the platform that many would pay good money for.
You’ll need to understand how to speak to specific audiences, what content attracts engagement and know your way around a scheduling tool.
Bonus points if you are also a dab hand with video editing (see the next point).
If you want to earn money as a student by being a social media manager, take a look at Fiverr and post a gig there, and maybe even post your availability on your social media platform of choice.
6. Video editing
Another nice side hustle for students is the option to do video editing. Where this was, once, a skilled discipline, more of us than ever do some casual video editing in our daily lives. Normally as part of our social media use.
If you can put together a cool looking video, beyond the basics of cutting and adding in subtitles, this could be a decent way to earn money as a student.
It will help to have a portfolio, and even a basic website to showcase your skills.
Find video editing work for students on sites like Reddit, Facebook, Fiverr, Upwork and Linkedin.
7. OnlyFans Model
OK wait up! Before you run screaming for the hills, you don’t necessarily have to be a nude model and you also don’t necessarily have to be a woman. You don’t also have to be stunningly good looking.
But if you have the time and the drive to make this a success, there is some serious money to be made on OnlyFans.
While the best earners do tend to be women offering self produced pornographic style images, there are other options too. You could make good money on OnlyFans if you do any of the following:
- Cosplay model
- Specific fetishes (eg. feet, glasses, smoking, latex)
- Non-nude such as bikini or lingerie
For men, you might automatically assume that the gay audience is the most obvious – which it is. But plenty of men make money by selling videos of themselves with their conquests (with permission of course).
If you’re looking for a good way to make a side hustle income as a student, and you’re sexually confident and happy to share adult content online, then making money on OnlyFans could be perfect for you.
8. Be a friend for hire
Wait, what? Yes, really. You can get paid on sites such as RentaFriend to be a friend to someone for a few hours. You can also list yourself as a friend for hire on sites such as Facebook, but be careful as you might get people looking for more than just ‘friends’.
Although this isn’t necessarily a big earner, it can be a fun way to monetise your free time and meet some cool and interesting new people.
There are no shortcuts to making money consistently. As a student, the last thing you should do is focus too much on odd jobs and ignore your studies. Build up skills that have a future and will reflect well on your resume after graduation. With enough time you will grow as a skilled learner who excelled in a field aside from their degree. This comprehensive list of unusual ways to make money as a student is curated such that it doesn’t add over-the-top pressure on you or distract you from school.
So, happy hunting!