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!
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 over 18 in the UK can do it (Not in the UK? Skip to no. 2).
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 £100. 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 £13 profit (using a real-life example) in this gem of a guide to matched betting. If you know of any better way to make £40/hr sitting at home, please let us know!
2. Online surveys
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 worldwide 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 rewards. You can bag up to £3 ($5) for some surveys!
A few good ones to try are Toluna, LifePoints, Branded Surveys, InboxPounds, OnePoll, i-Say, Opinion Outpost, YouGov, Pinecone, SurveyBods, Panel Base, Valued Opinions, The Opinion Panel, Prizerebel, Opinion Bureau, Marketagent, Survey Junkie.
3. 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, Yahoo, Amazon, and eBay. 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.
Each Qmee result has a cash reward attached – if you are interested in it simply click on it and collect your reward.
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.
4. Online market trading
Whilst this isn’t necessarily an easy way to make money, investing in stock markets can be lucrative if you learn to do it properly and safely. By the same token, you may suffer significant losses if you don’t take it seriously.
Today there is no need to fund the yachts of Wolf of Wall Street style stock brokers. You can do it all yourself with the help of online market trading platforms.
Having spent many hours researching this new opportunity, I’ve been experimenting with the popular platform eToro.com.
eToro has over 12 million users worldwide and offers free practice accounts. It has been featured in the BBC 2 documentary “Traders: Millions by the Minute” and sponsors several Premier League football clubs.
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.
Please be aware that all trading involves risk. eToro is a multi-asset platform that offers real asset ownership and high risk leveraged ‘CFD’ products. 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. This content is not financial or investment advice.
5. Start your own website
Interested in generating passive income? You need a website. It’s THE way to make money while you sleep.
Starting a website with Bluehost takes less than 20 minutes, costs hardly anything, and can be done by an 82-year-old. It only takes a bit of plugging on social media to get your first visitors, and there are plenty of ways to monetize your site.
Save the Student is just one example of a successful website, started at university by Owen Burek in his first year, which has since grown into a full-time and sizable enterprise.
Read Owen’s step-by-step guide on how to start a website in 20 minutes. It’s really one of the best assets you can have.
6. Review websites & apps for cash
Well, it seems like you’re pretty nifty with a web browser, so perhaps it’s time to turn pro and browse websites as a paid and fun job!
Introducing UserTesting.com – a new platform that pays everyday people to review all kinds of websites. Each review takes around 20 minutes and bags you $10 (£6.50) via Paypal.
7. 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, iPods, 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 (browse these) so it stands out, and once your book is live on the Kindle store 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.
8. Affiliate marketing
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 as a publisher on the Awin network, 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.
9. Become a ‘Clickworker’
The Clickworker.com concept is based on ‘internet crowd-sourcing’ where businesses advertise specific, scalable tasks they need completing quickly. And for us, it’s an easy way to make fast cash from our couch.
There are a variety of tasks, but most commonly they involve mindless data entry, web research, or form filling. You are rewarded and paid in cash (via Paypal) for the work you do, and you can choose for what and when you work. Give it a go. [If you’re US based, also try Amazon’s ‘Mechanical Turk‘].
10. 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).
They cost as little as $0.99 to register with GoDaddy.com yet premium domain names can fetch $1,000s if not millions when sold on. In 2007 VacationRentals.com went for a cool $35m!
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 that have some commercial value, snap them up, and then list them for sale on a site like Sedo.com.