Making Money as a Student

One of the main complaints from students is a lack of money. “I can’t afford it” is a classic excuse from the person who has parcels arriving for them every other day. Now, I have previously spoken about how I think there is an inherent need to complain or make excuses embedded in many students, but, there could be a way to stop this excuse and help you to afford even more. Yes, that’s right, I want to help you afford your hundreds of pounds of Amazon and ASOS orders and the nights out you’ve been avoiding because of your empty wallet. A disclaimer though, you need to be willing to work a bit. If you want to make money but don’t want to put the work in at the start, then you’re playing a mug’s game.

In my opinion, these are the best ways to make money as a student, ranked in order of least to most effort, as let’s be honest, that’s what we all care about:

  1. Matched Betting
  2. Investing your savings
  3. Becoming a (Depop) seller
  4. Part Time work
  5. Internships
  6. The Car Boot Method

I’ve referred to “Matched Betting” before, and if you’re interested in finding out more about it, check out my post on it here:

My personal investment bank

Investing your savings takes some work. That work is educating yourself on what funds, stocks or other, will get you a good return alongside a level of portfolio management that suits you. A point on this as well, I understand not everyone has savings. With regards to this, you can use your student loan to invest. I recommend low risk bonds or index tracker funds which mean you can make more money than having your money in a savings account with a low interest rate. It may not be huge money coming in, but for a small amount of work you can make your money work for you. For more information on educating yourself, you can use “investopedia”, Bloomberg or my personal favourite, Hargreaves Lansdown, which is my recommendation for opening your first stocks and shares ISA. Please note, make sure you are aware of commissions taken from the bank, and make sure you have a good understanding of what you wish to invest in before you start.

“Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing”

Warren Buffett

Becoming a seller could make you a lot of money. It is all about taking opportunities and knowing your market. Spotting a product for cheaper than its true value sounds easy, but if you don’t know a market or know the true value of the product, then you could make a mistake. However, if you find a market you are passionate about, this could turn something fun into making money. That’s where I move on to Depop, the clothes selling app. If you love clothes, love wearing vintage clothes but only ever wear things a few times before it gets dusty in your wardrobe, then this could be a great way for you to make a few quid. The key is you can either do it to make a profit, or to recoup money from clothes you no longer wear. Making a profit is more difficult, but if you enjoy hunting around vintage shops and charity shops for bargains, you can then sell these for profit, while still getting to wear them for more profit. To simply recoup your money, you can wear your clothes until you’re bored of them and then make the decision to sell either immediately to get quick money, or wait for a potential rise of the brand/item’s price in order to maximise that opportunity. Either way, you can make some money for things that were previously rotting away in your wardrobe. If you’re not a clothes person, don’t fret, YOU CAN SELL ANYTHING. The skills are transferable and you can start selling anything you don’t use, from games and DVDs to old wallets and any other rubbish sat in the back of your cupboard.

Part-time work takes more effort than investing but will bring in significantly faster money. Often you can do one day’s work per week and cover off a lot of your week’s budget with that day. The actual day of work isn’t the difficult part, but putting the effort into getting the job can be tough. You need to get started as soon as term starts and get applying for as much as possible, and if you are not willing to do that at the early stages of university, then maybe this isn’t the way for you. I would also relate internships to this. Often, they are much harder to obtain than part time work, but they also offer good money. My advice for anyone looking for a summer internship is apply where you can (it’s a competitive world out there), but apply for what you think you’ll enjoy. With regards to interviews and assessment centres, I have always tried to hone my personability, so would recommend trying to boost your communicative skills for the best chance of obtaining these useful and potentially career shaping internships.

My final tip, the Car Boot method, is another word for bargain hunting. It can take time, but the margins are fantastic. By going round car boot sales and trying to find branded or commercial goods for the smallest price possible, you can then sell these on for profit on eBay. Often at car boot sales, you can find many things worth £10 for about £1, this means big margins and small start up costs. If you’re willing to put the effort in, or simply enjoy bargain hunting, this could be a great way to make a bit of extra money. N.B this can also work in charity shops, but the margins tend to be lower. Check out this video by Gary Vaynerchuk for a more detailed explanation and examples of how this can work!

One last point that I’d like to make regards to making money across your entire life span. Many people know that collecting assets is a great way to make money. What many don’t realise is the assets they are collecting aren’t putting money into their pockets at all. So, I would like to offer the definition that Robert Kiyosaki gives of an asset and a liability. An asset is a good that puts money into your pocket without you touching it. A liability is something that takes money out of your pocket. For example, a property bringing in more rent than the payments you make on it, asset. A property you’re living in bringing in no money, and price slightly appreciating, liability. For a true explanation of this, read his book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”.

“Often, the more money you make the more money you spend; that’s why more money doesn’t make you rich – assets make you rich.”

Robert Kiyosaki

I hope you enjoyed reading this and hopefully this has taught you a new way to make a bit of money. These are not all of the methods I use, but these are the more risk free methods and perhaps the easier ones to do during a degree.

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