It’s nearly the end of the Easter holidays and the prospect of yet another term of expensive living is starting to dawn on us.
It’s nearly the end of the Easter holidays and the prospect of yet another term of expensive living is starting to dawn on us. With lots of comfort eating through exams to do, and then plenty of partying to do afterwards to celebrate (or commiserate about) your results, I know that personally I am starting to worry about having to stretch out the last pennies of my student loan until the end of the academic year. So for those who are desperate for some extra cash, here are a few handy tips.
1. Do someone’s degree for them
If you are a keen academic and fancy brushing up on those skills to get a first, become a ‘homework helper.’ Excellent at equations? Give someone a hand with their assignment. A whizz with words? Edit someone’s essay, or if you really love Shakespeare, churn out 2,000 words on Romeo and Juliet. Go on, that’s what you’re at university for, right?
2. Sell shots
Maybe if you’re more of a partygoer, you’d rather make money while you’re on your way. Easy! Grab yourself a bottle of Cactus Jacks for £5 in your local supermarket. Sell shots to your friends for 50p each. With roughly 20 shots in each bottle, you’ll make a 100% mark up on the original cost! If you’re feeling particularly vindictive then pour the Cactus Jacks into an empty bottle of Sourz and sell the shots for an even higher price. Then you’ll have plenty for a couple of extra rounds in the club.
3. Make sandwiches
At the university where I study, Warwick, the Christian Union’s offer of toasted sandwiches delivered directly to students’ kitchens had the society run off their feet. Taking their inspirational lead, why not grab yourself a few loaves of bread, some cheese and a toaster, and set up your own stall selling toasties to drunken people rolling out of the Students’ Union at 2am? Use your persuasive skills to make your creations sound more appealing than a greasy kebab.
4. Run your own taxi service
If you’re lucky enough to have your own car at university*, on one of your nights when you can’t afford to go out, stay sober, and charge your mates to drop them off and pick them up when they go clubbing. The best thing to do in this situation is wait until they’re drunk and then charge them ridiculous prices. They won’t say no.
5. Sell condoms
A friend of mine recently complained to me that every time she goes to the nurse, they gives her hundreds of free condoms that she simply doesn’t use, and she’s running out of places to put them. Solution? Sell them in club toilets (or even better, to couples making out in the smoking area and then stumbling home together) for as much as you can haggle them for.
6. Hire your room out for a night
A friend needs somewhere to stay? Brilliant! Grab your sleeping bag (and any possessions you’re particularly fond of), hand over the keys and snuggle down in your kitchen. Be sure to lay down a few ground rules first and then you’ll have a proper hotel business running, particularly if you can coerce your housemates into doing the same thing for visiting groups.
7. Have a go at busking
If you have a hidden talent (or even if you don’t) hit the streets and get singing…or juggling. Or, you can be one of those cool human statues that scares people. Even if you don’t earn very much, it’ll bring you some well-deserved attention, whether positive or negative.
8. Sell your possessions
That’s right, all of them. Who needs summer clothes when it’s basically winter all year round now, anyway? One massive jumper will do. Actually, this would kill two birds with one stone and also save you money, as there would be less washing. And what’s the point of a phone, when your only friend is your next-door neighbour anyway? Cut down to the very bare essentials and chuck everything else on eBay. It’ll sell—people buy any old junk on there.
9. Become a poker face
The tip to betting is to actually be good at it. Don’t spend more than you win, and work out what you’re good at. A guy I live with won £100 at an online Russian Roulette on his birthday, has an accumulator running** and is now about £400 in credit. It’s certainly achievable, though I have a funny feeling a lot of his success is down to having nothing better to do, considering he goes to none of his lectures.
10. Get a job
Oh yes, if all of your miniature business plans fail, your hotel service results in a trashed room and your betting addiction uses up the very last bit of your student loan, you’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way. Write yourself a fancy CV, jump on your bike and go shop-hopping. Bring on the long hours and hard graft.
11. Actually do your degree
Who needs money when you’re staying in on a Friday night to perfect that first-grade assignment? You’ll reap the rewards later when you’ve got a top job in a bank and have a mansion with an indoor swimming pool in Florida. Instead of wasting your time with silly money-making ideas, you’ll simply hit the big time in later life. What even is a Jaeger bomb, anyway?
* Although let’s be honest, if you can afford to run your own car whilst at university you probably won’t need these tips.
** Girls: this is something to do with football, don’t worry about it.