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Make Money

51 weird ways students make money

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Student Loan not going far enough? A creative streak and strong stomach can take your wallet a long way. As the students in our surveys prove: where there's a will, there's a wage!

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Every year the National Student Money Survey uncovers the bare truths about student finances across the UK – and we always enjoy hearing about unconventional ways to make money.

We've compiled a list of some of the most inventive, weird and unusual ways to make money that students have shared with us over the years...

Listen to episode four of our podcast to hear some of the best ways to make money.

Unusual ways students make money

Here are 51 weird ways to make money:

  1. "Owl handling (it's a thing)."
  2. "Clinical trial – I got paid to give them my poo!"
  3. "Had to wander around a music festival dressed as a cleaner and occasionally play the violin in the Portaloos."
  4. "Submitted a video of my dog skateboarding for a free fiver."
  5. "Being dressed as a pancake."
  6. "Helping someone who lied about having a friend to other people and faking being this 'friend'."
  7. "Food quality testing. Made about £7 for around two hours of eating food and filling out paid surveys."
  8. "I spent my first-year summer matched betting."
  9. "Babysitting a pet snake."
  10. "I had an app from Ipsos which tracked my app and internet usage on my phone and tablet. Although not for everyone, I didn't find it too strange at first. But then I realised the app placed a parental lock on my browsers which I couldn't get rid of, and I couldn't look up anything remotely 'adult' themed."
  11. "Vaccinating fish."
  12. "Selling toilet roll tubes on eBay."
  13. "Eaten an olive for £10."
  14. "I used to be on a site where someone could rent you to be their friend for a day. It was a very weird experience but I got better pay than I expected!"
  15. "I sold my hair."
  16. "Took part in a study about daydreaming at uni."
  17. "Having to transport a full-size plastic horse on top of my car."
  18. "I hired my dog out as a stud. He's only had one job so far, might put him up on Gumtree?"
  19. "Buying Bitcoin and selling some."
  20. "Volunteering for a medical survey that involved cutting a small muscle from my thigh."
  21. "Sucked my friend's toe for £100."
  22. "Selling a toaster to other students."
  23. "My friend once bet me five pounds I wouldn't bite into a lemon segment and hold it in my mouth for a minute."
  24. "Spending time sitting in a fridge in a patient's gown as part of a clinical trial."
  25. "Got paid £20 to pretend that I was smoking some guy's cigarette because he was meant to have quit smoking and his friends were about to come over and see him."
  26. "Copying stock market traders."
  27. "Picking slugs out of watercress."
  28. "Confidence coaching (basically fake dates to help shy people)."
  29. "Being an extra for a commercial."
  30. "I poo pick a horse's field… the pay is good!"
  31. "Walking around a warehouse for 60 minutes in a circuit to train motion-sensor equipment."
  32. "Buying a coursebook on eBay and selling back to the uni shop for a profit."
  33. "Sperm donor."
  34. "I had to be a 'burp' for an online kids' TV programme and got paid £10."
  35. "Wearing a billboard on my high street."
  36. "I once rented my room for a night to someone online, as they were in the city for a night to see a rugby game."
  37. "Was paid around £20 to be a 'patient', with students repeatedly putting me in an arm sling."
  38. "Was paid to take part in a study about anxiety (which made my anxiety worse)."
  39. "Delivering takeaways at weekends with Deliveroo."
  40. "Taking the blame for someone's flatulence at a party."
  41. "Owning an item someone wore on TV... so I sold it."
  42. "Selling homemade jam for an insane amount of money. People still bought it."
  43. "Being an elf at a Christmas grotto."
  44. "I sold a homemade cardboard Tardis on Etsy."
  45. "Buying 600 shoe horns for 10p each in IKEA and selling them on eBay."
  46. "By reading out loud different sentences for a new device to understand and learn a Scottish accent."
  47. "By repairing a cafe's internet router, in exchange for a sandwich and coffee."
  48. "Stood in a field looking for bats."
  49. "I let people on the internet choose my outfit for a night out, as embarrassing as they liked."
  50. "Reviewed dog food."
  51. "Sitting on sofas talking to lecturers as nobody turned up in the afternoon on an open day."

(All direct quotes from Save the Student surveys)

Fancy making money from your own business? We've got plenty of business ideas you can set up from your uni room.

Owen Burek


Owen is the founder of Save the Student, the leading student money website he started in 2007. He's passionate about educating young people about personal finance and ways to make extra money. Owen has appeared on BBC News and writes for major publications including The Guardian, Entrepreneur and HuffPost.
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