40 easy ways to make money quickly
On this page you’ll find all the best ways to make money in your spare time whilst at university based on our own experience. We’ll keep adding new ways to this page so go ahead and bookmark it. And please do share your own ideas in the comments!
Top ways to make money online and offline
No-risk matched betting
Hands down the quickest way to make a lot of money (well, without breaking the law). Lots of students have genuinely made £100s from this technique. It’s completely legal, risk free, tax free, and anyone can do it.
It works by taking advantage of free bets regularly offered by betting sites through ‘matching’ them at a betting exchange. Matched betting eliminates the risk (you are betting both for and against a certain outcome).
This leaves you being able to squeeze out the free bet, which can be as much as £200! Multiply this by how many betting sites there are and you can quite easily come away with a profit of a few hundred pounds.
Owen walks you through how to make your first £15 profit (using a real life example) in this gem of a guide to matched betting. If you know of any better way to make £30/hr sitting at home, please let us know!
Credit: Julio Marquez – Flickr.com
An increasingly popular way for students to make money is to fill out online surveys in their spare time. Research companies are always recruiting new members to answer surveys and test new products.
For a few minutes of form filling, you can make a couple of quid which is paid as cash or in rewards. You can make up to £3 for some surveys!
A few good ones to try are: Toluna, Vivatic, MySurvey, YouGov, SurveyBods, Valued Opinions, The Opinion Panel, OnePoll, iPoll, Global Test Market, Hiving, PanelBase, Harris Poll, Opinion Outpost, Your word, Pinecone, IPSOS, New Vista.
Also sign up for Swagbucks.com which rewards you for surveys as well as simply surfing the web, watching videos and playing games.
Update: See our new full guide to the best paid online surveys!
Paid for searching the web
Interested in earning cash for doing what you already do online? This has to be one of the easiest methods of making money online without really any effort or change in your behavior.
This innovative idea by Qmee.com rewards you for searching in Google, Bing or Yahoo. You just install a simple add-on to your browser and when you conduct a search there may be a few sponsored results alongside your normal search.
The best thing is there is no minimum to cashout – our first one was just 72p wired to our Paypal account. You also have the option to donate it to charity.
Sign up now for free and start earning from your own searches! Click here to start.
Social Investment Networks
The historically hard-to-break world of investing in stock markets and currencies has been cracked wide open. Today there is no need to be a fat cat or fund the yachts of Wolf of Wall Street style stock brokers. You can do it all yourself with the help of free online market trading platforms.
Having spent many hours researching this new opportunity, I’ve been experimenting with eToro.com which has over 4 million users worldwide. It was recently featured in the BBC 2 documentary “Traders: Millions by the Minute” and the Financial Times.
One of the best things on eToro is the CopyTrader feature. This lets you literally see, follow and copy the investments of other top performing traders.
Follow George’s complete guide to trading on eToro to learn more. I think $200 is a good amount to get the most out of the learning curve by trying out a few different markets. If nothing else you’ll learn a great deal about various investments and industries.
Warning: trading can be volatile and you can lose money, so don’t throw your life savings into it!
Mobile phone recycling
Credit: CannedTuna – Flickr.com
See how much you can get for your old mobile phone using our in-house mobile phone price comparison tool! Maybe ask your parents if they have any lying around too.
You can get some good money and help the environment by recycling mobile phones with certain companies listed on the comparison tool. Most phones are shipped off to Asia to be dismantled and we know of at least one student who received a £120 cheque in return.
‘Get Paid To’ sites
Similar to making money from online surveys, GPT sites reward you in cash and vouchers for completing various offers or activities online.
Exciting update! We’ll soon be launching our own GPT service for our readers. Invites will be limited and UK only, please join our mailing list if you’re interested in hearing once it’s live:
The ‘Disney Vault’ secret
To keep demand high across generations, Disney Studios carefully restrict the supply of some home release classics. They are locked away in the ‘vault’ for 8-10 years before being released for a short unspecified time.
Buy them in this window at normal retail price and you can turn a nice profit when they go off sale for another decade or so.
For example, in 2011 you could buy Beauty and the Beast on Blu-ray 3D for just £24.99. In just a couple of years it’s now on Amazon for a staggering £74.99!
Importantly, not all Disney releases are subject to the vault and only the true most popular classics will maintain such demand.
Start your own website
If you’ve ever seen the film The Social Network then you’ve most likely had your brain spinning as to what website you can start-up to make you billions.
And of course there are lots of stories out there about successful students who have started a site while at university, or even bought a domain name and later sold it for 1000s.
In fact, Save the Student is one such example of a website started at university by Owen Burek in his first year, which has since grown into a full-time and successful enterprise.
Read Owen’s 4-step guide to setting up a website if you’re interested in finding out more. It’s really not that difficult to get started and there are plenty of opportunities to make money online.
Write and publish a Kindle eBook
If students are good at anything, it’s researching and writing. With the Amazon Kindle store, anyone can publish an eBook and make money.
And the Kindle app is now available on almost any device (laptops, iPads, smartphones and yes, Kindles) so your global market is huge!
List your book for £1.49 – £6.99 and you earn 70% of the sale. Considering Amazon is the ultimate selling machine (and remember people are looking to spend), that is a fantastic deal.
The key to success with eBooks is to create value, and write non-fiction. Simply bundling information you have researched and complied on a common problem (eg. ‘secrets’ to finding a job) and then presenting it in an easy to digest format (an eBook) justifies someone spending a few quid on it.
Another big tip is to have a great cover designed so it stands out, and once your book is live on the Kindle store (approval takes less than 48 hours) it’s really important to get some reviews so it shows up higher in results. Encourage readers to leave an honest review at the end of your book.
The best thing about this lucrative idea is that once you’ve invested the time (say 20 hours), you’ll earn a passive income for years to come! For a step-by-step guide to publishing and earning with eBooks, see “How to write a nonfiction eBook in 21 days“.
If you’ve got a good presence on social media or perhaps you even have a blog or website, you can start bringing in money immediately by promoting all sorts of companies, products, services and offers online.
Sign up to an affiliate network such as Affiliate Window, check their offers blog or browse the merchant listings to find something you think your friends would be interested in, grab your affiliate link and share it. If someone buys (can be within up to 90 days) using your link you’ll make a nice commission.
To take it a step further, set up a website (read our guide) or a topical Facebook page and invite all your friends to join it and post your affiliate offers on there.
Review music for money
If you love music, make it your business by reviewing unsigned bands and artists online for cash with Slicethepie.
It can take a while to build up your reputation but some users of the site have said that they earn £40 a month. This may not sound like much, but if it’s something you enjoy then it shouldn’t be hard work and is another thing for your CV. Money you earn will be in $US but anyone can sign up and review.
Entering competitions of course comes with no guarantees, but there is a growing community of so-called ‘compers’ in the UK consistently making up to £50,000 a year through all sorts of competitions.
Types of competitions available to enter range from simple registration forms and Facebook page liking to answering questions correctly over the phone to being a TV game show contestant. Imagine you made it onto Deal or No Deal instead of just watching it!
Start by entering our very own monthly student competition (Like our Facebook page to see when our next one is)!
Then head to our active competitions page to enter other free competitions that we have found. Just note that some of these sites may send you spam so use an alias email address and opt-out of as many of the offers as possible.
For loads more tips on achieving success and making money from competitions, read our guide to entering competitions.
Claim tax back
Many students work part-time or during the summer months, and others will be on placements or paid internships. More often than not, if you are a student working during the year, you will be overpaying income tax.
Why? Simply because few students reach the personal tax-free income allowance each year but are put on an emergency basic tax-code by their employers meaning tax is being paid when it shouldn’t be.
Use our student tax-back service to help you reclaim any tax you should not have paid. Just enter your details in the calculator here to work out what you may be owed. Otherwise for more information read our guide on claiming tax back here.
Get cashback when shopping
This is not only a way to make money but also to save money as a student. If you look at it in a different way then you are making money with every purchase you would have made anyway, whether it be 10% or 0.5% cashback.
There are a number of cashback sites out there which pay you the commission they otherwise would have earned.
A part-time job
A part-time job is the obvious first choice, opted for by most students looking to supplement their student loan. It provides a pretty steady flow of income and can enable you to gain valuable work experience.
It’s also worth signing up with the Graduate Recruitment Bureau, a free service which will match you with both part-time jobs or graduate opportunities.
Read our guide to finding a part-time job whilst studying for more tips.
Gigs on Fiverr
What you offer could be absolutely anything, from writing and translating, social media posting, playing pranks and teaching to creating music, voiceovers and short video clips for people all around the world!
The default price is $5 (hence Fiverr..), but you can attach extra services to gigs for more money. Whilst it might not seem like much, it can quickly add up and there are plenty of examples of people making a really good living from the site. The key is to get a system in place which minimises the time spent on each gig.
But there is another way to profit even more from Fiverr for potentially far less work. How? By simply reselling gigs elsewhere. For example, find a decent logo designer then reply to jobs on Elance or even local classifieds. A $5 spend can easily become $50+, and it’s repeatable!
If you’re not interested in selling at all there’s SO much good stuff you can get done for yourself. Have a browse and get inspired!
Sell second-hand course books
One great way to make money is to buy other students’ text books at the end of the year, and then sell them just after freshers’ week – when the new intake of students know that they need them!
You can either advertise on campus or list them online very easily on Amazon.co.uk Books Trade-In (just bear in mind they take a commission on books sold).
For more tips on selling items online click here.
Sell your notes
If you don’t mind sharing your notes with other students it’s a great way to generate a little extra cash. There are sites out there that you can upload your notes to, along with your price, and then when another student downloads them you get paid.
Sites like Notesale are free for you to list your notes but tend to take a cut of your profit in order to handle the marketing etc so that you don’t have to go out there and promote your notes yourself.
You will most likely have to upload PDFs but it’s worth it for the return and you can submit handwritten notes but you’re likely to make more money if they’re typed up.
Become an Amazon ‘Mechanical Turk’
Don’t ask us what this means, all we know is that it’s an easy way to make fast cash from your sofa. The concept is based on ‘internet crowd-sourcing’ where businesses advertise specific, scalable tasks they need completing quickly.
There are a variety of tasks (known as HITS), but most commonly they involve mindless data entry or form filling. You are rewarded in cash (though $USD) for the work you do, and you can choose for what and when you work. Give it a go [Update: Currently US signups only, try ClickWorker].
Buy and sell domain names
A domain name is just a website address (eg. ‘savethestudent.org’ or ‘mysite.co.uk’) and there are lots of extensions (.com, .net, .co.uk etc).
Now you’re probably not going to come across anything like that, but you can still turn a quick profit with a bit of searching. The trick is to find available domain names which have some commercial value, snap them up and then list them for sale on a site like DomainLore.
Today becoming a mystery shopper is easier than you think and you can get rewarded handsomely.
We’ve recently come across a really fun smartphone app called Roamler that pays you in cash for completing various tasks in your local area. So definitely check that out first!
More traditionally, there are plenty of agencies that pay you to visit all sorts of shops to feedback on how they are performing. For more info on where to apply see our guide to becoming a mystery shopper.
Be an extra
Do you fancy yourself as a budding young actor or just that person that walks past in the background shot of an episode of Eastenders? It could be you if you apply to be an extra.
The pay isn’t bad either – £60-80 a day on average, and you hardly have to do anything!
Sell all your old CDs, games and movies
If you are looking to make a very quick buck, then selling your old bits and bobs that are cluttering up your room is a good idea.
The best thing about it is that you can rip all the songs and films onto your laptop or external hard drive before selling them. This means that you are only really selling the plastic and artwork!
You can earn anything from 10p to £20 per item, and the earnings can really add up if you have a large collection. Whilst you’re at it, see if your parents have any ‘clutter’ they’d be happy to see the back of.
For more tips and places to sell check out our guide on selling DVDs, CDs and games.
Sell on your education!
Become a tutor to local GCSE or A-level students (find out more about tutoring here). There are now a few online tutor sites too, so you can go also global without too much hassle.
You may feel as if you aren’t qualified to be a tutor, but seeing as you are at university you will most likely have the qualifications to tutor for GCSE or even A-Level. Some parents may feel that their child will react better to a younger tutor, and it can be great experience, so why not give it a go?
You can advertise on SchoolsTrader or sign up with Bright Young Things & UK Tutors. You can expect to earn around £10 an hour. However, make sure you don’t have to do too much tutoring around your exams!
Sell your photos
Make more money selling photo subjects that people are demanding, and there’s a great resource to find this out here. It might be a good idea to test them out in print first yourself (get free photo prints here).
Rent out your car parking space
Some student accommodation comes with a drive or garage. If you aren’t using your parking space and you live in a busy area then you might be in luck. There are plenty of people that may work in the city centre and are fed up of paying through the roof for daily parking.
Or, check out our full guide to renting out your parking space.
Work as a charity collector
Ok so this job takes a certain kind of person, as you’ll have to take a lot of rejection and be persistent.
But if you are bubbly, personable and reckon you could sell ice to an Eskimo then this could actually be a great student money making idea. You get paid commission on new sign ups (typically around £20).
Advertise your services locally. It’s a classic money-maker, and for good reason. You get paid (well) to watch TV and not very much else!
Be warned that you will need a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check to look after small children, even though some parents may not ask for one. If you are wondering what to charge, then look at local ads but you can expect to be paid over £6 hour even if you aren’t trained in child care. It really is easy money (unless you get stuck with the child from hell!).
Become a freelance interviewer
Do you have ambitions to take on a career in HR? Do you love asking questions? Believe it or not, there are companies that will ask you to carry out interviews for them and pay you for your time. It couldn’t be simpler.
You could make £185 a week plus have your travelling costs covered. The downside is that you will have to commit to at least 20 hours a week, so make sure that you have the time! Apply at NatCen.
Dog walking may sound trivial but it’s big business. Just think that as a student you’re likely to have free time during the day when others are out at work and worried about their pets at home.
You could make around £7 a dog for a 1 hour walk, and it’s also a great way to keep fit. Sign up to and try sites like Tailster that match you up with dog owners. Alternatively advertise your services locally with fliers or on classified websites such as Gumtree.
Rent out your house for filming
Directors for TV and film are always on the hunt for houses to film in. For instance, a scene for Coronation Street was recently filmed in the student house one of the Save the Student editors used to live in!
Not only can you make good money but it’s crazy seeing your own place on TV. Start out by looking at My House Your Shoot.
Rent out your body
Ok, ok – this isn’t what you think. “Renting out your body” can go as far as you want it to go. For example we reported on a story a while back about students who are turning to lap dancing to make a quick buck.
If you are comfortable taking off your kit for a more acceptable cause then why not try life modelling. Sit there in the buff while budding artists capture your every curve (or pokey bits) in frightening detail! Try RAM, a website especially designed for these kind of jobs.
Warning: Do not do anything you are not comfortable with, no matter how desperate you are for money! There has been an unhealthy rise in student prostitution in recent years – do not fall victim to it!
Perhaps you enjoy writing, managing Facebook pages or doing a little bit of graphic design in your spare time. There are so many freelance jobs out there that require simple skills or just time that someone else might not have.
And the best things about freelancing is that you can work for clients in the UK and around the world with just an internet connection from home, to your own hours whilst developing valuable skills.
If you can sing or dance then this is your time to shine baby! Did you know that Justin Bieber started off busking? That’s right, with a little work you can be as annoying as him.
There are really no tips for this except choose a good spot with high footfall, make sure you are good and play your heart out. Some buskers in the past have been known to make upwards of £20 hour.
Sell clothes on eBay
Everyone’s best friend when it comes to getting rid of junk is eBay. Online auctions are a sure-fire way to turn that sleeveless jacket (which came in and out of fashion in a week) into hard cash.
Some eBay sellers look at trends and try to predict what will be big ahead of the market. If you are good and don’t mind taking a risk then you can buy early in bulk and sell on when the craze hits.
For lots more tips on selling on eBay read this guide.
Sell your stories and videos
If you have an interesting story then you could try selling it to the papers. It could be anything from sleeping with a professional footballer to getting caught in a clothes horse!
One of the Save the Student team was unfortunate enough to have a pigeon fly through and smash their window at university and sold the story to The Sun for a tidy £50.
You could also film your mates at all times and send it into You’ve Been Framed to net yourself £250 and a few seconds of fame.
According to recent stats we now watch more videos on YouTube than searches on Google. And with the recently introduced YouTube Partner Program you can now profit from making and uploading videos. You will receive a percentage of the advertising revenue collected per 1,000 views.
Depending on how successful you are (virality, subscriber base and topic) you can make a lot of money, and there are plenty of stories every week of more and more YouTubers making it their career.
For more tips read our guide to making money from YouTube.
Also known as Multi-Level Marketing (MLM), this is a business model that allows you to generate ongoing income in two ways: by making a commission selling products and by recruiting other members who go on to sell. The later allows you to make money from the sales made by those you have recruited.
Importantly, this is not a pyramid scheme (they are illegal) because there is an end goal which involves a customer buying a product or service of value.
It’s also not a ‘get rich quick’ scheme. You will have to work I’m afraid! However with the growth of social media, network marketing is becoming easier and lots of people are now making a decent living from it.
This is a serious way of making good money on your own terms and it’s well worth reading up on it. I recommend getting “The Business of the 21st Century” by Robert Kiyosaki.
Source property for wealthy investors
We all know how much money there is in property, but on the surface (with house prices as high as they are) you might be thinking this market is off-limits.
Truth is, lots of people make a great deal of cash simply sourcing suitable properties for wealthy investors who simply have no time.
The trick is to find properties below market value (BMV) by avoiding estate agents and instead flyering your area with your contact details offering to buy houses. Then approach investors with a no-brainer offer to pass on the details of cut-price property in exchange for a % of the sale value.
Most cities will have monthly networking events for landlords and property investors. Track these down, sign up, put on your best suit and go along with lots of business cards. Or you could start on LinkedIn or even Twitter to build some initial contacts.
As you might imagine, this isn’t necessarily a quick way to make money but once you’ve got a few investors in your phone book it can prove to be very lucrative in the long run. If you’re interested, I recommend reading this book.
Advertise your other skills
What can you do well where others struggle? Fix bikes, computers, write articles, create websites, make cupcakes or fresh lemonade?!
The key is to be creative and think outside the box. A writer at Save the Student actually made small models out of beer cans and wire and sold them to other students. Great idea with big profits!
There are many other creative ways to make money as a student, such as our 50 business ideas. With any luck you’ll be on the road to making millions! Please feel free to share your own ideas by leaving a comment below.