A guide to the best ways to keep yourself out of that overdraft!



With rent, bills, travel and food to pay for when you’re a student, it can seem hard for your maintenance loan to stretch to paying for luxuries like clubbing, clothes and holidays. However, there are plenty of ways to earn as a student so you don’t have to delve deeper and deeper into your overdraft or run back to the bank of Mum and Dad!




1. get to know your university

Plenty of universities offer work portals in which students are sent vacancies and opportunities to earn, something which a lot of my fellow student friends didn’t know – so make sure to look on your University website for roles on campus. Jobs range widely so if you don’t fancy working in your bar/student union, don’t despair! There are a variety of roles which are designed to be flexible to fit in with your student schedule, too! Most unis have roles ranging from library assistants, IT service assistants and reception/accommodation desk roles with regular weekly hours to casual positions such as student ambassadors, student mentors and university event stewards which don’t require you to work every week.

2. play your strengths

If you have qualifications in dance, music or sport, you have potential to earn! Lots of unis have dance societies in which they require dance teachers (offering paid incentives), as well as university gyms and swimming pools which may require personal trainers and lifeguards, so make sure you ask about at uni! If you go to University in a city or large town, advertise any skills you have from music and childcare and/or animal care qualifications to hair and beauty skills/qualifications, as there is a good chance that there are people seeking these services!

If you have experience of tutoring or mentoring, try finding a tutor centre such as Explore Learning in your area, as they have lots of branches and love to take on students. If you’re fluent in more than one language, you can also make money inside and outside of uni by offering language classes to students and/or locals, or by checking out positions at uni such as language translators/website content editors for pages aimed at international students.

For those who have photography, media or digital software knowledge/experience, you can offer your services – even to student societies such as drama, dance and musical theatre who often need leaflets or flyers designed for shows. If you enjoy photography recreationally, try selling your photos to companies such as Getty and Shuttershock!

3. utilise your car

If you have your own car at university, try making money out of it! On club nights, if you’re not going out, offer to drop and pick up your mates for a fiver/tenner – it will save them having to use taxis who charge sky-high prices when they know students need their services!

If you drive home often, open an account on a car sharing site like BlaBlaCar or write on your uni page offering to give fellow students lifts (obviously, only if they’re en route) as you can make back the money you spend on petrol and save students having to pay train/coach prices which are often quite expensive.

Another thing to note is when it comes to the end of the academic year, you might have too much to take back or things you want to get rid of so try a car boot sale if there are any local ones in your area – if you invite your housemates or other students along, you can split the entry fee and each make money from selling old books/clothes etc!

4. try something new

If you’re passionate about anything, from books and films to clothing, hair and beauty, why not start blogging and vlogging; if you build up enough views or subscribers, there’s potential to earn, through promoting brands, allowing ads on your blog or becoming a partner with Youtube, if you’re a vlogger.

For those who like cooking and experimenting with food, upload student recipes to Studenteats who pay £5 for every recipe submitted!

If you fancy yourself as quite the entrepreneur, starting a business at uni might be a good suggestion. As uni is a good place to gain potential customers and a good amount of exposure – I’ve spoken to students who created fashion and food start-ups – it may cost primarily, however, if you get positive feedback, you can create a successful business!

5. take risks

These aren’t for everyone, however, they still have earning potential:

  • Life modelling (why not if you’re body confident?)
  • Sell stories to mags/papers – particularly if you’ve had a life changing experience – you can make hundreds!
  • Clinical trials – obviously this requires time and there are huge risks, however, the pay-outs are in the thousands so if you’re a risk-taker, go for it!

6. Other ways to earn

Use survey websites such as Valued Opinions or earn by listening to music on Slice The Pie and reviewing songs – these are quite monotonous and time-consuming however you can make a good amount

Promote if you’re into clubbing and particularly if you have friends that go out all the time – you can earn around £1 for every ticket you sell which is pretty good (and clubs/bars offer great incentives like free drinks and free entry all year round)

Mystery shopping and casting calls –  both can be hard to come across but keep an eye out on social networks such as Twitter or Facebook where these roles are often advertised

For budding authors, publishing a Kindle eBook is free and also offers great exposure

And if all else fails? eBay everything you can – you can’t go wrong!


What do fellow students say?


Evie Oldfield

Spanish & Portuguese Student: The University of Birmingham

 How she earned: Working for events companies is ideal because you choose the dates that you want to work so it's flexible around you and you're not tied down to working certain days. Plus they're generally long hours so you can earn a good amount even if you don't work that many events.


Imogen Marsden

Education Student: The University of Birmingham

How she earned: Being a student mentor was a perfect job for me whilst I was studying. I want to work with children and young people in the future so gaining experience in this area whilst studying was perfect. I felt like I was doing a worthwhile job which made a difference whilst getting paid for it. So all in all it allowed me to improve my skills when working with young people, helped me to earn some money and was a perfect experience for me in regards to future employment after my degree.


Rebecca Sealy

English Student: The University of Nottingham

How she earned: I work part time as a telephone fundraiser for my university. This role works brilliantly around my studies and enables me to earn on a flexible basis. I also worked as a Brand Ambassador for Deloitte during the past year. This was a great role as it gave me experience in promoting and marketing, which are transferrable skills that I can use in the future.


Mariam Musa

Media Production Graduate: Coventry University

How she earned: YouTube has always been something that I have always wanted to do. It took a lot of saving for a new camera, researching into what aspect of YouTube I wanted to go into and a lot of planning. I am happy that I have done it. It has brought me to so many opportunities with businesses and it has paved way in helping me earn extra money. Through YouTube I earn money every month due to my views and subscribers. The more I post the more I earn which is awesome. I really recommend YouTube to people if they have a true passion for being creative and sharing that creative side.

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