10 Genuine ways to make money and reduce your student debt

make money as a student

Going to University is expensive, that’s a given; however it doesn’t have to be that bad. Through the power of technology, lateral thinking and good old-fashioned elbow grease you can add some cash to your coffers and reduce your debt without the need to get a part-time job. Below are the top 10 ways to make money as a student while you complete your studies. You don’t have to do them all, but doing one or two could really help you through the financially frantic times ahead.

Top 10 Ways To Make Money

1. Sell your books, CDs, games & videos

We all have old textbooks lying around, maybe from school or university, or just books your aunty gave you for Christmas that you never read, or what about those CDs, DVDs and videos that you never use any more? So why not sell them? It might sound like too much hassle, but We Buy Books has made it nice and easy. All you have to do is enter the ISBN, and they will value your books for you, you print off a pre-paid postage label so you don’t even have to go to the Post Office and they will pay you when they receive your package.

Rather than throwing your CDs, games and videos away, why not turn it into cash through Music Magpie? All you have to do is enter the barcode, they will then give you an instant price for your goods, box up all your unwanted inventory and send for free to receive payment once the items are received.

2. Become an Extra

You can earn around £60-80 for being one of those background people on second-rate TV, which isn’t too bad given the fact you are effectively a living prop. Using sites like Be On Screen can get you on set and well on your way to getting your 5 seconds of fame (well, not that much fame). If you want to mingle with some Z-list celebs and get paid for it, this could be your ticket to more money.

3. Sell Your Notes

Put your hard work to good use; your built-up hours of note-taking and detailed charts and diagrams could gain you more than just a good grade. Sites like Notesale allow you to take your notes and put them online for any students who need a bit of extra help. The way it works is that you put up your notes, set a price and get paid through the website. So if you’ve worked hard and want to get a little something from it, by all means, give this one a go.

4. Tutoring

Another great way to make money as a student is to put your academic expertise to good use and become a tutor. This money maker can be quite profitable, with the earning potential being about £25-35 an hour. If you like the idea of collecting the cash, you need to advertise your talents on job boards for locals to see or use tutoring sites.

5. YouTube

YouTube can be more than just a distraction-filled platform teaming with cat videos and funny lip-syncing parodies, it can also grab you thousands of pounds. You probably didn’t know that you could earn some serious dosh as a YouTuber; for 1000 views you can earn between £1 and £5, meaning that if you get 50,000 views a month you’d be taking around £100, and that’s just per 50,000. Getting into YouTubing is easy; get an account and start uploading videos, although being good at it is an entirely different kettle of fish. Being original isn’t even all that necessary, although unique content has more value. Remember that some of the big YouTubers are getting over a million hits a day and taking in over a million pounds a year.

6. Comping (competitions)

While not for everyone, this money-making method can be extremely lucrative. It must be a hobby to really enjoy, otherwise you’ll be disappointed too many times for it to be worth it. Basically, you enter a lot of competitions, hoping that you will win some prizes. While the rewards can be huge, you will have to get used to losing more times than you win. However, if you win, you could be winning big prizes. E.g. an all-expenses paid trip to Dubai for 2 weeks or a Ferrari. If you are considering giving this a go, have a look at this site to get a better idea of how it works exactly and how to join the ranks of Compers; Competitions.

7. Mystery Shopping

It isn’t as cool as it sounds, however, it can be a good little earner. The general idea is that you go to a shop and buy something specific and take note of the details of the purchase, and then you get the money back for what you’ve spent and can get paid for the job itself. This can be surprisingly fun but requires more thoughtful work, as your reports have to be thorough. The prices for a job can range between just a few pounds to a hundred.

8. Review Music for Money

If you love music and would like to turn your passion into money then you can use sites like MusicXray to get some mullah for reviewing music. It’s a pretty simple concept; if you love music and don’t mind writing some reviews then this is for you; this method won’t earn you much money but for doing what you love it’s not bad. If you are consistent you could be grabbing up to £40 a month.

9. Ebaying

You can view this method as a serious way to make money as a student, or just a way to clear your house of your old stuff. There are people who have earned thousands through eBaying, however, if you don’t want to take it as seriously you can just get rid of old stuff and make a little bit of side money. This little guide will help you with either of the options: eBay Guide.

10. Freelancing

There are two big pros to being a freelancer; being able to charge what you want and being able to work when you want. A freelancer can be anything from writing a few times a week to earning over $100,000 a year. Websites like Upwork allow you to bid on a job (using both a written proposal and your price to win the job). Set up a profile and start earning.

So there are our top 10 picks but why stop there? 

Here are some more great ways to make money as a student.

Online Surveys

Use your free time wisely and take part in online surveys. There are a number of online survey sites offering cash or voucher rewards for your opinion. Pre-screen checks are carried out and honest answers are required, but aside from that, you’re good to go!    

Part-Time Jobs

Getting a part-time job holds many benefits from boosting your CV skills section to earning extra money.  It’s a good idea to think about your current skills and what sector you would like to work in. Consider retail, hospitality, bar work and many more.


If you have to have a keen interest in writing, blogging can be a great way to earn some cash. There are ways to make money from blogging such as sponsored content and affiliate marketing, that can boost your numbers and your cash inflow.

Start your own business

If you have an idea that’s waiting to come to life, seek out support from your university and start your own business! It can be a risk but one worth taking. Social media and online selling platforms will give you a base to kickstart a business and sell online.

Loyalty cards

If you’re purchasing from a retailer it’s a shame not to reap the potential rewards. Be sure to check for loyalty points to be had and use them. Apps like Stocard are a great way to store your loyalty cards within an app, rather than bulking out your purse full of plastic.


If you have a good command of the English language, then why not teach it to others? Taking courses can be costly; however, you will be qualified and able to make money as a student straight away. Check out the Udemy TEFL complete course, including downloadable resources, full lifetime access and certification on completion. Alternatively, use code 47202F4A on and you will get a 10% discount on all TEFL training courses.


Quidco and Topcash back can save you hundreds of pounds by earning money back from purchases. Although these sites are great, imagine pooling cashback from your family members too and it all goes towards your uni costs:  introducing Funds4uni.  You and your family can shop with over 3,500 retailers through the site and reap the rewards once your purchase has cleared.


Use your knowledge to your advantage and consider tutoring. With 3 A levels you can tutor younger children in those subjects and earn a minimum £20 an hour. Sites like My Tutor provide a platform to register your interests and skills and find children to teach.

Paid Web Search

Did you know that you can get paid for searching the web? You can make money as a student by searching the internet from sites like Swagbucks. Becoming a Search Engine Evaluator takes prior SEO skills and passing a qualification exam. If you have the dedication and time the pay is rewarding.

Review Websites

There are loads of website and app owners who need users to test out their sites for usability and bugs. You could expect to get paid between £8 and £20 for a user test which might take you around 20 to 25 minutes to complete.

Rent out your car parking space

A peculiar but resourceful way of utilising space on your driveway! If you live near transportation links or prime locations you can easily earn some extra cash. Sites like Just Park enable you to rent out your driveway space to people within a 5m radius for a set price per month.


There are many different types of modelling so finding what’s right for you is key. Research and register yourself with a few agencies but be sure to check the requirements. These can range from general to very specific attributes such as height.

Creative Talents – Etsy

If you’re creative, you could set up an Etsy shop and sell your creations online. To set up shop, start by creating an Etsy account. Add in all the relevant info like your shop name, payment and billing methods. Create your listings and sell your work! Etsy take a 4% plus 20p processing fee which albeit a fee, is still a small cost compared to the profit you can make.

If that isn’t enough for you check out some more ideas at Save the Student and Student Money Saver.

Find additional funding

Filter, find and apply for scholarships, grants or bursaries 
via the Funding Hub on Blackbullion.

Sign up now