The first term of university always seems to go by the quickest. It feels like Fresher's was only last week but in reality, you are over half way through your first term and your deadlines are fast approaching. All of those spontaneous nights out and (not-so infrequent) take-aways have taken a toll on your bank balance and you're now panicking about your lack of funds over Christmas. Fear not, as we've compiled a list of 9 student-friendly ways to make money so you won't need to be a recluse who didn't buy anyone any Christmas presents this year.
1. Sell, sell, sell
Although this seems blindingly obvious, this is the most straightforward and hassle-free way of earning money fast. On top of this, it will help to de-clutter your room and free up your space. Think about which items you no longer need anymore but are still worth selling (such as that shark costume you bought last year for Halloween).
Start by taking good quality pictures of your unwanted items against a plain background and list them on sites such as Ebay or Depop – this can even be done on your phone whilst sitting in bed hungover! Look to join any local selling pages such as on Facebook/Gumtree where you can conveniently sell your items in your area for cash without going out of your way.
2. Participate in academic research
There are many ways to earn cash for partaking in research, both face-to-face and online. Students often need data for their dissertations and will pay you to participate in their studies. These are usually one-offs and often take place on campus meaning you can fit them around your timetable. This is especially common amongst Psychology students, so keep an eye out when passing through their department.
3. Online surveys and market research
If you're feeling particularly lazy and don't want to move from your bed, there are heaps of online surveys that reward you with cash and vouchers for your opinions – just be sure to watch out for dodgy sites. Many surveys can take as little as 10 minutes to complete – meaning you can make money whilst waiting for your pasta to boil! Companies are always on the lookout for consumers (that's you!) to share with them your opinions and experiences of their products. Take part in paid market research which can involve anything from app and game testing to face to face interviews, with no commitments on contracts.
This is a way to earn cash whilst simultaneously bringing pure happiness to people... delivering takeaways! This is a flexible way of earning money as you can fit it around uni and other commitments without having to agree to set shifts. You can make decent money working for companies such as Deliveroo, Uber Eats or a local version. If you choose to cycle, this is also a great way to keep fit, not to mention a great alternative to paying for a monthly gym membership.
5. Become a student brand ambassador
More and more companies are now using brand ambassador schemes at university as a marketing technique - they know that students are influenced most by other students. In a nutshell, a student brand ambassador's job is to promote a certain company in a good light and basically give it a good reputation – this can involve doing something as easy as handing out Lucozade on campus. If you're naturally outgoing, enthusiastic and enjoy talking to people, this job could be perfect. Not only can this pay well, this is especially good work experience for students who are looking for a career in marketing or events. Ambassador work can be on and off campus, and companies can offer students anything from one-off jobs to term-time contracts. Being a brand ambassador can give you the opportunity to work alongside and network with some really big companies, whilst earning money and developing your communication skills. Companies that have used student brand ambassadors in the past include ASOS, Spotify, Nike, and the Economist to name but a few.
6. Become a campus ambassador for your university
Universities are always on the lookout for students to lend a (paid) helping hand on campus for things like open days, campus tours and induction talks. You can pick and choose the events you are interested in and earn a little extra by promoting your positive experiences to other future students! Typical roles can involve things like manning registration desks (you can literally get paid for sitting down), to supporting staff and course leaders at talks. If you want a bit more responsibility, you can hold campus and accommodation tours and even talk to groups of students about your course experience. Being a student ambassador can pay really well (often including your training day) and allows for students to enhance their leadership and communication skills as well as looking really good for prospective employers.
Are you a bit of a maths wiz or a grammar guru? Tutoring is a great way to help out other students with your skills in a particular area whilst boosting your CV (and bank account). Many students come to uni and find that some aspects of their course are more interdisciplinary than they had expected, and may need a helping hand at some point. There is only a certain amount of help students can ask from their lecturers, so students are often willing to pay tutors for this additional help to take the pressure off. As a longer-term strategy, you can also tutor younger students at primary or secondary level on a regular basis, however you will need to apply for a DBS check. Or, if you consider yourself to be part of the grammar police, students are also willing to pay you to proofread their coursework/dissertation. Advertise your services around campus and post on the university department's Facebook pages.
8. Mystery shopper
This is not really an obvious one, but mystery shopping can be a quick way to earn cash or vouchers for your store of choice. This is a form of market research in which you are paid to anonymously rate and review your shopping experience for a certain company. You can be a mystery shopper for most types of companies, such as food, clothing, beauty and technology. Whether you want a free £100 food shop, or need to add to your winter wardrobe, sign up to a reputable agency and select and apply to wherever you want to do your detective work.
9. Affiliate marketing
Similar to number 4, affiliate marketing involves brand promotion but is usually commission based so you only earn money per person you sign up as opposed to earning an hourly rate. This is an extremely flexible way to earn and can be a breeze if you're naturally persuasive and are a bit of a social butterfly. It's also a plus if you've got a good social media presence, as you can get a lot of sign ups simply through a few clicks on Facebook and Twitter. That being said, you need to be self-motivated if you're going to be successful as it's an extremely independent way to earn and you need to be your own boss. You can become an affiliate marketer for GRB and start earning right now.
Every student knows just how easy it is to lose track of spending and how quickly you can burn through your loan. It can be difficult to find the balance between studying, work, and your social life, and no one wants to be worrying about money over Christmas. It's a time to relax and spend time with friends and family, but it also comes with a bit of a price tag (travelling home, buying presents, going out with friends). By staying organised and knowing your deadlines from the get go, you'll soon be able to work out a way to earn money quickly which works around (instead of getting in the way of) your university life. Not only will your bank account thank you, but so will your CV and future career prospects. Win win!
Do you have any other easy money tricks for helping with Christmas costs? Let us know via Twitter!