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Top Money Saving and Comping Tips from a 21 year-old Student keen to make my limited budget stretch the semester!

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Luck and love!

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Making Money as a Skint Student



Being a student comes with many stereotypes – lazy, constantly out partying and being skint. Funnily enough they all go hand in hand – all those £1 messy bombs at the student union add up after all! Some students are too lazy to get a part time job, but for the vast majority of us, it’s simply too difficult to balance the constantly changing timetables and deadlines with a part-time job. So here are my top 5 ways of making money as a student that are flexible enough to fit around a crazy, or lazy, lifestyle.

1. Psychology experiments


Now, this one isn’t as terrifying as it may sound. Basically, psychology students need people to take part in experiments so that they can use the statistics to write up reports. The pay can vary from a couple of pounds to a couple of hundred pounds, and it’s worth checking out FULLY what’s involved. I have been paid £3-£5 for random half hour jobs like testing my reaction times, checking what colours I can see on a screen and filling out surveys, or £6- £10 for hour long tests.

There are also higher paying tasks. My friend is currently being paid £200 to gain 7kg in a month by eating a tub of Ben & Jerrys ice cream every day (which is provided) and then losing all the weight again in 3 months (no, I'm not joking). The experiment tests if people from different ethnicities gain weight in the same way, and where the fat lies on their bodies. In fairness, I think he's more interested the ice-cream and tasty pay cheque at the end!

So how do you find these experiments? The best place to look is around the uni – noticeboards, stairwells, student forums are all great sources of information. Whenever I am walking past one, I will always check and see if there are posters advertising, and either jot down the info I need or grab a tear off slip with the details on it. Be careful to read it properly – some experiments need people of certain ages, genders or ethnicities and don’t sign up for the longer term ones if you aren’t willing to go through with it all. Not all of them require you to be a student of the university, so drop the person a quick email to see what’s what.

2. Swag those Bucks


As a student, I spend an obscene amount of time on a computer. I would love to be able to say it’s all essays and studying, but let’s be honest - social media exists. So I decided recently, rather than wasting hours scrolling through cat memes and re-used jokes on the book of faces, why not try to turn that time into something more useful – like money? Swagbucks is an online survey site where you can build up points by completing online tasks and later exchanging these point for Amazon Gift cards. 

This all ties in quite nicely with the fact that, when you’re a student, gift giving standards seem to drop a little. Partly due to lack of funds, and partly because you’re so busy with other stuff, you probably remembered about Rachel’s Big Day a couple of days before. Both of these issues can be solved by the wonder that is earning Amazon Gift Cards. My favourite site to do this on is Swagbucks – simply build up your Swagbucks through games and surveys and exchange for gift cards! At first, it may seem a little time consuming, but once you get into a routine with it, you’ll be flying. I earn around £30 a month in gift cards – plenty to cover all those surprise birthdays! And with a 6-month trial membership of AmazonPrime for Student, you can get next day delivery for free – so they’ll never know you forgot!
Top Tips for Swagbucks:
  •   Sign up using this link to get good headstart 
  •   Hit the daily target – every day you will be given a target amount of points to reach and when you do this every day you get a bonus. The longer your winning streak, the more points you get at the end of the month.
  • Watch videos – wondering what’s out in the cinema at the moment, wanting to do some DIY or improve your yoga skills? Swagbucks has so many videos it’s unbelievable. So instead of watching another failed stunt on Youtube, try getting paid to watch a comedy show on Swagbucks.
  • Play games – When I need just a few extra bucks to make my daily total, I head to the game section. I find online games great fun and pretty addictive, so sit and play them anyway. On Swagbucks, I play Swagjump which is similar to other games you will find online, but you earn points. BONUS!
Top Tips for Swagbucks:
  •   Sign up using this link to get good headstart 
  •   Hit the daily target – every day you will be given a target amount of points to reach and when you do this every day you get a bonus. The longer your winning streak, the more points you get at the end of the month.
  • Watch videos – wondering what’s out in the cinema at the moment, wanting to do some DIY or improve your yoga skills? Swagbucks has so many videos it’s unbelievable. So instead of watching another failed stunt on Youtube, try getting paid to watch a comedy show on Swagbucks.
  • Play games – When I need just a few extra bucks to make my daily total, I head to the game section. I find online games great fun and pretty addictive, so sit and play them anyway. On Swagbucks, I play Swagjump which is similar to other games you will find online, but you earn points. BONUS!

 3. Win, win, win


Among my more normal student hobbies of sport, tea-drinking and studying, I have a hobby that most people look at me weirdly when I mention. I am a comper. I love entering competitions on Twitter, blogs, emails, you name it, and then waiting not-so-patiently for the postman to bring me a present in the post.

Now, comping simply to make money is somewhat frowned upon, however it can save you a lot of money, I can't remember the last time I bought make-up because I win it so often. Donating unwanted wins as presents or selling off the odd prize that you just don’t have use for is perfectly okay - I won a pair of gorgeous Adidas shoes the other week, and was gutted when they didn’t fit. However, when I sold them on eBay for a cool £120 it didn’t seem quite so bad!

Another common one to win, is tickets to events. If these events are local, the competitions usually have a lower number of entries, so you have an increased chance of winning. Then, since you normally win a pair of tickets, you can sell the other one or, if you’re feeling generous, take a mate and enjoy a free night out! I took my X-factor mad Dad to the Live X-Factor tour, just look at his wee face:




For those students that find university isn’t enough of a brain work out (I’d love to meet you) or just miss the joys of Highers and A-Levels, you can make a little extra money by passing on your wisdom. For me, tutoring is one of the best ways to make money as a student: you are keeping your brain active, it’s so rewarding to help other people, it doesn’t take up too much of your time and, the crucial ingredient, it’s a nice wee earner.

I have been tutoring for about 2 years now, and couldn’t recommend it highly enough! I have met some great people, and have managed to avoid a part-time job at uni. The key to tutoring is contacts and preparation. Don’t go in thinking that the one hour contact time is all the time it will take – the prep and learning can be time consuming, so be sure to take that into account. I charged around £15 when I first started, and just tutored younger friends. Once I got into it, and they spread the word a little for me, I managed to get a good base of tutees.

However, it can be even more flexible than that. MyTutorWeb is a great online tutoring base. As long as you attend a Russel Group University, are studying your subject and achieved the appropriate grades in the subject at school, you could tutor online. This opens up so many more tutees to you, and location is no longer an issue! Tutoring really is such a flexible money-maker!


5. Shopping


The food shopping is a task all new students have to get to grips with – finding the best bargains, choosing healthy options or picking the quickest meal. However, did you know that you can make some money when you are shopping?

There are two ways to do this, one is being a mystery shopper. You go to a set shop, answer some questions and take some photos. Upload the results to the appropriate site and receive some money back as an incentive. My favourites are ‘iPoll’ and ‘Click and Walk’, mainly because I can get them on my mobile. Although this isn’t a consistent stream of income, it contributes towards my emergencies fund and it’s always nice to get a little money boost.

The second is cashback. Again, I like using an app for this – mainly Checkout Smart. Simply upload a picture of your receipt onto the app within a week of your purchase and receive cashback on certain selected items. This quickly adds up, and they are very efficient at funding you the money.

Although none of these are set to make you a millionaire overnight, these ways to make money are perfect for students and can all build up. Putting a little money away each week really adds up – just try not to splash it all on ‘Pints of Fun’ at the union (don’t ask, you’re best not to know). So long skint student, hello savvy money maker!

8 comments:

  1. My sister did clinical trials, but that's probably limited to a few cities. I had to settle for police line-ups - not a major earner when you're in a city with one of the lowest crime rates in the country... :D

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