Being worryingly short of cash whilst at uni is a real headache. Not just socially, but money concerns can have a profound impact on your health and wellbeing if you cut back on buying food or sleep less in order to work late at night. And don’t forget the impact all this can have on your mental health.
(Image Credit: Pixaby: stevebp)
So how can you earn much needed additional income in inventive ways that have a positive impact on your life – as well as your bank balance?
1. Recognise that the degree you are doing at uni will give you knowledge and insights into your chosen subject well beyond what most people have. Can you and a couple of other course mates create a discussion/learning group to teach what you know and are learning to local schools, interest groups, clubs? Running a regular programme like this can lead to a range of new connections, as well as giving you new skills such as public speaking.
2. Some of the aspects of your degree may provide you with incredibly transferable skills which many residents in the university city would love to learn. Perhaps you are doing a fashion degree – people of all ages are eager to learn how to use a sewing machine, or know about pattern cutting. Set up a regular Saturday morning class in your locality to teach these skills. A two-hour session could earn you £40 or so per person, then multiply that by 8 attendees, for a 6-week course. Ensure you have good support materials and let the attendees know what they need to bring. Posting it on social media and pinning flyers on local noticeboards and in shop windows will soon bring a waiting list.
3. Don’t overlook other students where you are studying either. Whilst many may be tight for cash like you – others have a bit more in the bank. Is there something you could offer them? Perhaps spoken or written language coaching? Or short guided welcome tours of the city for overseas students and their families?
4. As a digital native, you will also have extensive experience on social media and other digital applications. This could be another source of income. Mentor up – teach an older group or individual the digital skills you take for granted. They may be late to the social media party and not able to access it so readily as you, welcoming the chance to be guided through it in return for a coaching fee.
This short list should give you lots to think about, to plan and to get you out and about meeting new people, engaging with different communities in inventive ways to supplement your income. And of course, all of these new mini businesses and revenues will only add depth and colour to your CV when you leave uni. Employers look for inventive team members to employ – so how you earn money at uni could help you land the job of your dreams later on!
Erica Wolfe-Murray is the UK's leading Business expert and founder of Lola Media.