First things first: maximising your income isn’t the most important thing in life. Once you’ve got enough money to cover your expenses, to put aside for an emergency, to save towards your goals, and to enjoy the little luxuries life has to offer, there’s not much evidence that earning extra will make you any happier.
Unfortunately, we’re not all lucky enough to be in that position. If your income doesn’t cover your expenses, or if what you earn isn’t meeting your goals, you might want to find ways to make some extra cash.
So here are ten tips on where you can look to make some extra money. Not every point will apply to everyone, but take a look through the list — you’re sure to find some ideas that will point you in the right direction.
1. Student finance
If you’re studying in the UK, but you’re not receiving funds from Student Finance, you should definitely look into it. You can get assistance with tuition and your day-to-day expenses — you will need to pay it back, but not until after you’ve graduated. The UK Government’s Student Finance page, or the UCAS Finance page will provide you with more info.
2. Bursaries, grants, and scholarships
There’s more to student funding than just Student Finance — take a look into what kind of bursaries, grants, and scholarships might be available. There are scholarships, which are granted based on your achievements, and bursaries and grants, which are awarded based on need. These usually don’t need to be paid back. The Blackbullion Funding page, or the UCAS “Additional Funding” page) have plenty of information for you to look through.
3. Part-time or temp work
If you’re a student looking to earn some cash, you probably don’t have the time to take on a full-time job, but you might be able to fit a part-time or temp job into your schedule. Take a look into what’s available that would suit you — it will also look good on your CV once you’ve graduated.
4. Extra shifts and paid overtime
If you’re already working, ask around to see if there are extra hours or more shifts available. This will depend on what industry you work in, and what’s available, but it can be a good way to earn a little extra to help keep you going.
5. Freelance gigs
Picking up freelance gigs can be a great way to earn some extra money when you need some flexibility. If you’ve got other commitments you need to attend to, like studying full-time, working regular hours, or looking after children, you should check out sites like Upwork and Fiverr. They have jobs in writing, coding, customer service, and more. Or, if physical labour and handiwork is your style, take a look at Airtasker or Taskrabbit.
6. Paid surveys
You might not have time to work part-time, or there might not be any opportunities that suit you — in that case, you might want to check online for paid surveys. Most of the time they don’t take that long, and they can get you an extra couple of quid. Even a fiver or a tenner can help, here and there, especially when all you have to do is give your honest opinion. Companies rely on these surveys to improve their services, so it’s win-win for everyone involved.
7. Sell your old stuff
If you’ve got more stuff than you really need, you might be able to make some cash by selling it on to someone who wants it more than you. Check out sites like Ebay, Gumtree, or take a look at Facebook Marketplace as ways of helping find a new home for things like shoes, clothes, books, videogames, and the like.
8. Ask the family
Not everyone’s family is in a position to help out financially, but if you can get some support from them it can be a very useful thing. Sure, it might be awkward to talk about money, or to ask for help, but even a little bit of assistance can go a long way.
Crowdfunding has been around for a while now, and a lot of people use it to help out with much-needed funding for their studies, or for other expenses. You let people know what you need, and they each contribute a little bit to the fund. You can take a look at sites like GoFundMe or Hubbub, and there are many others to choose from.
10. Benefits and assistance
If you’re in need, you might be eligible for benefits or government assistance. There are programs that provide income support, childcare grants, and assistance for those with additional needs. Head over to the Gov.uk Benefits page, and if you’re studying take a look at the Student Finance section for You might also find more help on the Citizens Advice website.
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