10 Unusual Ways to Make Money

Written for a student employment site, while working for Harmony Internet. The project was suspended indefinitely. Image on a CC license from doug88888

There is the expression ‘thinking outside of the box’ which entirely applies to finding unusual ways to make money as a student. Not all income will be from a job during the holidays, or part time as you study. Sometimes opportunity will present itself; sometimes you need to get a bit creative. Here are our suggestions for unusual ways to make money.

1. Teach

If you have a skill, whether it be playing the piano, speaking a second language, fixing computers, advertise your services. This may be amongst fellow students (but remember they probably won’t have any money too), the university community and the local community. Even if you have no formal teaching qualification, teaching your degree subject to a GCSE or A-level standard privately for a family can be a way to make a little money. Foreign visitors wishing to improve their English could be a way to teach a language without knowing a second one fluently.

2. Catalogue Companies

If you have a little capital to allow for an initial outlay, and enjoy sales, then catalogue companies and similar may be a good way to make some money. Companies such as the Body Shop, Avon, Anne Summers, Virgin Vie and Littlewoods all have a network of representatives working from home to promote their products. Avon may involve distributing catalogues and delivering orders to homes, Anne Summers and Body Shop may involve running parties for groups, for which you may need some transport.

3. Leafleting & Promotion

Clubs and bars, student union events, shops all need promotion. If you’re willing to stand on chilly street corners with a bunch of flyers in your hand promoting a club night, seek out such roles with local entertainment venues. If you’re lucky, you might get a mascot costume to wear…!

4. Get Crafty

If you’re artistically minded or inclined, get crafty. Make greeting cards, offer your services in web design, offer to take photographs for a band for a fee, sell your wares at fairs, or online at Etsy or Ebay. This may mean you have an initial outlay, but if it’s a strong talent, you could command good fees.

5. Wordy Business

Perhaps words are more your forte? If you are good at spotting mistakes in essays, offer your services as a proof reader. You could read all manner of short essays, enormous PhD papers, lab reports, or even drafts of books for overseas clients if you set up online. If you don’t fancy so much reading, turn your creative talent to writing articles and reviews for websites or publications, or write short stories.

6. Drive Up Cash

If you are lucky to have a car and a license while you’re a student, it is no doubt a bit of a drain on your finances. If you’re not using your car quite so much, consider services to rent out your car – such as Whipcar, or become a courier and pitch to deliver parcels for people at stuff2send.com.

7. Park a Pound

Perhaps you’ve no car, but a car parking space or a driveway? If you live close to the university or a busy train station where parking is charged at a premium, rent out the space for money to a commuter. Parkatmyhouse is a site to help you to do that.

8. Wash Cars

Dab hand with the bucket and sponge in cold weather? If your local market hasn’t already been saturated by the cheap valet services appearing in hardware store carparks, offer to wash cars for a fee. Get creative, consider where you’ll get the water from, what equipment you’ll need. Find a few business people who need their company cars kept clean.

9. Enter Competitions

Enter competitions and surveys asking for opinions or market research. This is a whole process known as ‘comping’ where you can strategically enter competitions and fill out surveys to maximise the likelihood of receiving a prize or cash in return. This does come with an element of risk, so be savvy how you go about this and seek advice from the existing comping network.

10. Review Music

If you enjoy listening to new music and can review it objectively, then music review site slicethepie.com may be your thing. Get paid for listening to tracks it selects for you to review. With some dedication, you might earn some fairly decent beer money.