Being strapped-for-cash is kind of part of the deal when you go on to further education. It’s like a rite of passage. Your friends who left school and went straight into work will never know what it’s like to wonder if the half tin of beans in the fridge will be alright to eat even though it’s been in there for a month, or how much washing can be crammed into a laundrette machine in order to get it all done in one load.
No, those friends have gone from being taken care of by their parents to having a steady income of their own with no abject poverty in between.
If you’re lucky, you’ll have parents who won’t mind too much if you bring home washing, or take back food scavenged from their cupboards. But having a bit of cash in your pocket for a night out or just a trip to the shops for food and essentials is really important. After all, if you wanted to be a hermit and just study all the time you’d have become a nun, or signed up to the Open University. But if you’re at a university or college and want to socialise (and live independently) then you’ll need a bit of cash to keep you going. Here are our top five tips on how to earn a bit of cash:
- Find a job.
It’s important to get one that lets you earn money at a time that suits you. There is no point scrimping and scraping your way through university on minimum wage if you’re working so many hours you don’t have time to study. You also don’t want to be working every hour sent, because you also need a life!
Think imaginatively: advertise your typing services on the Student Union board (there are plenty of students with English as an Additional Language who would welcome a native English speaker to look over their grammar and content, too). The university or college might have jobs going: cleaning, or helping at conferences held there over the summer, for example.
- Sell Your Belongings.
Be careful not to sell something you’ll later have to replace or wish you hadn’t parted with, but you can earn a fair amount from selling your belongings online or through adverts at your place of study. Tap in keywords like ‘sell my netbook’ to get a list of good sites, or be more specific (e.g. ‘sell macbook pro‘) for a more tailored search for the best prices.
- Sell your time to other students.
There are some students out there with plenty of cash, who would rather not do some of the grunt work associated with university or college life. Charge your time at an hourly rate or have a list of services for set prices. Things like going shopping for them; doing their laundry; taking notes in lectures for them or doing library research for them.
- Sell your books
Course text books don’t tend to change much from year to year, so if you have some course books from last year, sell them at the start of the new term (or online over the summer for students who are getting their reading lists organised early).
- Get into freelance writing or blogging.
It is possible to forge a career out of writing for marketing companies that buy articles containing key words to promote their clients’ businesses. Search for freelance writing jobs online and see where it takes you! Or write a blog and run some adverts that pay per click.