As part of our ongoing work with NUS and Totum, we’re coming together to support students in finding their feet at uni in this very strange time. As part of this, we want to help with your financial worries. If you’re worried about money as a student, or maybe the reduced chance of making money during Freshers 2020, then carry on reading.
The term ‘side hustle’ is often thrown around when talking about making some extra cash on the side. Maybe you babysit your nieces/nephews in your spare time; maybe you design logos for small businesses; or maybe you sell the jewellery you craft in your student bedroom. Regardless of what you do to make money on the side, many people have found themselves relying on their ‘side hustle’ more than ever during lockdown – especially students.
But how do you get yourself the opportunity to make more cash in the first place? And how do you do it in the age of the coronavirus when trying to social distance? Here are 25 ways to earn extra money whilst social distancing.
Before we begin, don't forget that if you start earning your own money on a freelance basis, you still need to put your earnings through the relevant tax authorities!
How to earn money from home, UK
1) Sell your unwanted stuff for cash
There’s never been a more perfect time to sort through your stuff and streamline your living space. There are so many platforms out there where you can safely sell items now. Whether you’re selling locally using Facebook Marketplace, or you’re willing to post using the likes of Ebay, Depop and Shpock; it can be a great way to get rid of things you no longer need and get some more cash in your account.
2) Use your creative talents to make money
If you’ve been thinking about using the skills you already have to make a little extra cash, now is the perfect time to try. You could be a writer, designer, content creator or videographer. Whatever the skill, there’s probably someone out there who is looking for it. Starting out can be difficult – especially if there’s a lot of competition in your trade. Start by utilising existing contacts you already have.
There are also specific freelance websites out there (like Fiverr) that allow you to offer your services. You’ll pay a portion of your fee to the website themselves, but it may be a good way to start building your portfolio.
3) Make money from blogging
If writing is your skill, did you know that you can make money blogging? This is usually through advertising, or you may hear the term affiliate marketing being used – where you place adverts on your blog and if your readers click through and purchase, you’re rewarded by the brand.
If you’re a student running your own blog, if you don’t already know how, you’ll need to teach yourself how to manage your own site, how to get people to your site and also manage the relationships you build with brands. To help, there are some large affiliate network platforms out there where you can sign up and apply to be an affiliate for various different brands.
If you’re looking for ways to make money, chances are, you have some free time. Why not spend that time upskilling? Take some courses (there are lots of courses that you usually need to buy that are being given away for free at the moment) online and improve your knowledge. You’ll make yourself more employable and you’ve learnt new skills too!
5) Earn money from surveys
There are a few sites out there where you can take part in audience research and get paid for every survey you undertake. It’s worth doing research around this first, but one of the most popular organisations for online surveys is YouGov. Although, there is a lot of interest in this platform, so you may need to go on a waiting list.
6) Sell photographs for extra money
There are lots of stock image sites online (like Shutterstock) where people purchase images that photographers upload for personal/commercial use. If you’re a talent behind the camera, you could look into uploading your own photography for use by other people.
7) Sell cakes for cash
If you fancy yourself as the next Mary Berry, why not use this time to improve/showcase your baking skills? If you’re just starting out, it may take a while to get to the point you can sell your cakes, but if you’re already an avid baker, starting to sell your cakes as a next step might come naturally.
If you are taking this step and you’re getting a fair few orders in, you may need to look into products liability insurance (just in case something goes wrong!). Just be sure to check out all health and safety regulations and make sure you’re approved by the relevant organisation(s)!
8) Make money crafting jewellery
If you’re quite crafty and enjoy making jewellery, just because the coronavirus has put a stop to craft fairs, this doesn’t mean you have to stop selling. You could take your jewellery online, selling on Facebook, Etsy, Depop and other craft sites. This may be the perfect time to finally create a dedicated Instagram account especially for your creations.
9) Sell your art for extra money
You may enjoy drawing, or crafting in your spare time to ease your mind. But what if you could exchange those pieces of work for cash? Whether your joy is creating pet portraits or crafty gifts for family members, you may be surprised at the uptake when you offer your services to others.
How to make extra money with a job
So far, we’ve told you about ways to earn money from home (in the UK). But what about getting employed? Here are some ideas for positions you could fulfil whilst social distancing:
10) Coronavirus-focused jobs
The NHS have been recruiting for Contact Tracers for their track and trace scheme. The job involves speaking with those who have coronavirus and also finding out who they’ve been in contact with. This will be done via text, email and phone and will support the NHS’ track and trace app.
The scheme is still evolving so it may be worth keeping an eye out for more job postings.
11) Healthcare jobs
Whether it be as a Carer, Health Care Assistant or working in the kitchens, you could check out the NHS careers site to see if they have job listings in your area. This could be a rewarding thing to do, but it’s worth considering who you have regular contact with and whether you’d be exposing them to the virus if they’re high risk.
12) Supermarket jobs
Some of the unsung heroes of lockdown are definitely supermarket staff. With increased demand for supermarket staff as they expand their services, there have been plenty of job opportunities available in certain stores. It’s worth checking individual supermarket websites near you to see if there are any vacancies.
13) Delivery drivers
Likewise, with restaurants being closed, the demand for takeaways has seen an increase due to the coronavirus. You could reach out to local takeaway restaurants and see if they need more driving support.
14) Get a job in retail
With shops gradually starting to reopen after lockdown, there are more measures put in place to keep people safe. For this reason, you may find more job opportunities in local shops. Check out recruitment sites, but also keep an eye out on local Facebook groups where managers may be advertising.
15) Look out for bar/restaurant jobs
Similar to the above, bars/restaurants are expected to recruit more staff to deal with the impacts of COVID when they reopen. Keep a look out for job postings and you could even get in touch with local bars/restaurants to ask if they’d consider recruiting you.
How to earn extra cash when using online services
16) Earn money via ‘refer a friend’
It may not always be cash, but you could earn money, rewards and discounts by referring friends to the services you use. Whether it’s via a subscription box or your utility bills, if you know a friend is going to invest in the same service you’re using, do some research to see if you can earn anything from it!
17) Earn money by switching provider
If you’re due to renew your electricity provider, or you’re switching who you have your phone contract with, shop around for some deals. Many providers will offer you cashback/rewards if you shop with them, so this could be a good way to get some cash in your pocket. Check out our 10 step guide on how to switch home insurance.
18) Use cashback apps to make money
There are services like Top Cashback where, if you shop through them, you’ll get a percentage of your order back. If you do a lot of online shopping, this cash could mount up over time!
Best way to earn money with gadgets
19) Recycle old gadgets for cash
Many of us will get a new gadget and then pop the old one in a drawer for the foreseeable future. If this is you, dig them out and consider selling/recycling them! You can use sites that are meant specifically for recycling gadgets, or if your gadget is still in good condition, clear your items and sell it onto someone else. You may be surprised at the money you can earn from unused gadgets sitting around.
How to earn more money (in your current job)
20) Make sure your reviews are on track
Most jobs will include regular one-to-ones with your leader and then more infrequent reviews of your performance (for example, once or twice per year). Sometimes progression will be discussed in these reviews, so keep an eye on your next review date and if it slips, be sure to politely remind your leader.
21) Ask for more responsibility
If you’re dealing well with your current role, you may have the capacity to take on some more responsibility. Whilst there won’t always be huge promotions available (especially during the time of the coronavirus!), you may find that your boss reviews your current role and salary and agrees to adjust both. You may even be taking some work off their hands!
22) Ask for overtime
Whilst this may not always be doable, if you work in an industry that is commonly understaffed, or has an influx of work with not enough resource to fulfil it, you may like to offer to do some overtime. Whilst this sounds like a good idea, be sure to look after yourself and don’t take on more than you can handle. Although making more money is great, your wellbeing is far more important than any overtime you can you can pick up.
Save money on gadgets
In addition to making money, you’re probably interested in saving it too. Here are some ways you can try and stop unnecessary gadget spends.
23) Ask yourself ‘Do I really need it’?
This sounds like an obvious one, but when you’re a student on a budget, this is a question you’ll need to ask yourself a lot. If your laptop is busted and you can’t do your work, yes, you’ll probably need to get a replacement. But if you’re considering buying the latest model just because you think it looks good, you may want to reconsider until your finances are more stable.
24) Buy second-hand gadgets
If you are faced with buying a new gadget, or you’ve decided you’re going to treat yourself to a new tablet, consider buying one second-hand. You can pick up second-hand phones, laptops, tablets and so on for a fraction of the retail price. Some places to look are Ebay, Facebook Marketplace and other ‘buy and sell’ platforms.
25) Make sure you're insured and use cashback apps
This is one of the more important points. Saving the best until last, as they say! Why not completely stop the need to buy new gadgets if yours are damaged, by insuring them? Insuring your gadgets means that if you accidently break them, they’re lost or stolen, you can claim back from your insurance. You’ll only need to pay your agreed excess fee, rather than fork out the cost for a brand-new gadget.
If you’re a student staying in accommodation, you may already have contents insurance provided by Endsleigh. You can check and confirm your cover here on the My Endsleigh app.
The My Endsleigh app will also help you earn cashback when you spend. So you can shop with top brands, add cash to your Rewards Wallet and this will help pay for any new insurance policy bought through My Endsleigh.