Top ways to make money online and offline
On this page you’ll find all the best ways to make money in your spare time whilst at university based on our own experience. We’ll keep adding new ways to this page so go ahead and bookmark it. And please do share your own ideas in the comments
1-No-risk matched betting
Hands down the quickest way to make a lot of money (well, without breaking the law). Lots of students have genuinely made £100s from this technique. It’s completely legal, risk free, tax free, and anyone can do it.
It works by taking advantage of free bets regularly offered by betting sites through ‘matching’ them at a betting exchange. Matched betting eliminates the risk (you are betting both for and against a certain outcome).
This leaves you being able to squeeze out the free bet, which can be as much as £200! Multiply this by how many betting sites there are and you can quite easily come away with a profit of a few hundred pounds
Owen walks you through how to make your first £18 profit (using a real life example) in this gem of a guide to matched betting. If you know of any better way to make £50/hr sitting at home, please let us know
2- Online surveys
An increasingly popular way for students to make money is to fill out online surveys in their spare time. Research companies are always recruiting new members to answer surveys and test new products.
For a few minutes of form filling, you can make a couple of quid which is paid as cash or rewards. You can bag up to £3 ($5) for some surveys!
A few good ones to try are: Toluna, OnePoll, MySurvey, i-Say, Global Test Market, The Opinion Panel, YouGov, Panel Opinion, Pinecone, Valued Opinions, SurveyBods, PanelBase, Branded Surveys, Hiving, Opinion Outpost, Prolific Academic, Harris Poll, Mind Mover, New Vista, PopulusLive, iPoll.
Also sign up for Swagbucks which rewards you for surveys as well as simply surfing the web, watching videos and playing games.
Update: See our new full guide to the best paid online surveys!
3-Paid for searching the web
Interested in earning cash for doing what you already do online? This has to be one of the easiest methods of making money online without really any effort or change in your behavior.
This innovative idea by Qmee.com rewards you for searching in Google, Bing or Yahoo. You just install a simple add-on to your browser and when you conduct a search there may be a few sponsored results alongside your normal search.
qmee paid searchEach Qmee result has a cash reward attached – if you are interested in it simply click on it and collect your reward.
The best thing is there is no minimum to cashout – our first one was just 72p wired to our Paypal account. You also have the option to donate it to charity.
Sign up now for free and start earning from your own searches!
4-Online market trading
The historically hard-to-break world of investing in stock markets and currencies has been cracked wide open. Today there is no need to be a fat cat or fund the yachts of Wolf of Wall Street style stock brokers. You can do it all yourself with the help of online market trading platforms.
Having spent many hours researching this new opportunity, I’ve been experimenting with the two biggest platforms: Plus500 and eToro.com. Both offer free practice accounts.
Overall I prefer eToro with over 4.5 million users worldwide. It was recently featured in the BBC 2 documentary “Traders: Millions by the Minute” and the Financial Times.
etoro tradingOne of the best things on eToro is the CopyTrader feature. This lets you literally see, follow and copy the investments of other top performing traders.
Follow George’s complete guide to trading on eToro to learn more. I think $200 is a good amount to get the most out of the learning curve by trying out a few different markets. If nothing else you’ll learn a great deal about various investments and industries.
Please be aware that CFDs are a leveraged product and can result in the loss of your entire capital. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Trading CFDs may not be suitable for you. Please ensure you fully understand the risks involved.
5-Start your own website
owen burekInterested in generating passive income? You need a website. It’s THE way to make money while you sleep.
Starting a website with Bluehost takes less than 20 minutes, costs hardly anything and can be done by an 82 year-old. It only takes a bit of plugging on social media to get your first visitors, and there are plenty of ways to monetise your site.
Save the Student is just one example of a successful website, started at university by Owen Burek in his first year, which has since grown into a full-time and sizable enterprise.
6-Review websites & apps for cash
usertesting.comWell it seems like you’re pretty nifty with a web browser, so perhaps it’s time to turn pro and browse websites as a paid and fun job!
Introducing UserTesting.com – a new platform that pays everyday people to review all kinds of websites. Each review takes around 20 minutes and bags you $10 (£6.50) via Paypal.
Simply sign up here, complete a test review and look forward to receiving websites in your inbox.
7-The ‘Disney Vault’ secret
disney vaultCredit: Walt Disney Pictures Inc.
To keep demand high across generations, Disney Studios carefully restrict the supply of some home release classics. They are locked away in the ‘vault’ for 8-10 years before being released for a short unspecified time.
Buy them in this window at normal retail price and you can turn a nice profit when they go off sale for another decade or so.
For example, in 2011 you could buy Beauty and the Beast on Blu-ray 3D for just £24.99. In just a couple of years it was on Amazon for a staggering £74.99!
Disney vaultImportantly, not all Disney releases are subject to the vault and only the true classics will maintain such demand.
8-Become a delivery rider or driver
Make money as a delivery driverGot a bicycle, motorbike or car? What about a Smartphone? That’s all you need to make some extra money by delivering food or people whenever you’ve got some spare time.
Sign up to delivery specialist companies like Deliveroo who are always on the hunt for new riders. They allow you total flexibility to work when you want, delivering food from restaurants the the customers’ door. You can make up to £16 an hour.
Double-up your opportunities by directly contacting local takeaways and bigger chains like Dominos to see if they have any delivery jobs going.
9-Write and publish a Kindle eBook
If students are good at anything, it’s researching and writing. With the Amazon Kindle store, anyone can publish an eBook and make money.
And the Kindle app is now available on almost any device (laptops, iPads, smartphones and yes, Kindles) so your global market is huge!
List your book for £1.49 – £6.99 and you earn 70% of the sale. Considering Amazon is the ultimate selling machine (and remember people are looking to spend), that is a fantastic deal.
kindle ebooksThe key to success with eBooks is to create value, and write non-fiction. Simply bundling information you have researched and complied on a common problem (eg. ‘secrets’ to finding a job) and then presenting it in an easy to digest format (an eBook) justifies someone spending a few quid on it.
Another big tip is to have a great cover designed (browse these) so it stands out, and once your book is live on the Kindle store it’s really important to get some reviews so it shows up higher in results. Encourage readers to leave an honest review at the end of your book.
If you’ve got a good presence on social media or perhaps you even have a blog or website, you can start bringing in money immediately by promoting all sorts of companies, products, services and offers online.
Affiliate Window logoSign up as a publisher on the Awin network, check their offers blog or browse the merchant listings to find something you think your friends would be interested in, grab your affiliate link and share it. If someone buys (can be within up to 90 days) using your link you’ll make a nice commission.
To take it a step further, set up a website (read our guide) or a topical Facebook page and invite all your friends to join it and post your affiliate offers on there.
11-Mobile phone recycling
See how much you can get for your old mobile phone using our in-house mobile phone price comparison tool! Maybe ask your parents if they have any lying around too.
You can get some good money and help the environment by recycling mobile phones with certain companies listed on the comparison tool. But be aware: you won’t always get the quoted cash since it depends on ‘condition’. We recommend Mobile Cash Mate for the fairest and highest payouts in most cases (they sent us a £203 cheque for an iPhone 5).
12-Become a ‘Clickworker’
The Clickworker.com concept is based on ‘internet crowd-sourcing’ where businesses advertise specific, scalable tasks they need completing quickly. And for us, it’s an easy way to make fast cash from our couch.
There are a variety of tasks, but most commonly they involve mindless data entry, web research or form filling. You are rewarded and paid in cash (via Paypal) for the work you do, and you can choose for what and when you work. Give it a go. [If you’re US based, also try Amazon’s ‘Mechanical Turk‘].
13-Claim tax back
Many students work part-time or during the summer months, and others will be on placements or paid internships. More often than not, if you are a student working during the year, you will be overpaying income tax.
Why? Simply because few students reach the personal tax-free income allowance each year but are put on an emergency basic tax-code by their employers meaning tax is being paid when it shouldn’t be.
Click to use the Tax refund calculatorTo learn more and calculate how much tax back you might be due, see our guide on student tax refunds.
14-Get cashback when shopping
This is not only a way to make money but also to save money as a student. If you look at it in a different way then you are making money with every purchase you would have made anyway, whether it be 10% or 0.5% cashback.
There are a number of cashback sites out there which pay you the commission they otherwise would have earned.
We recommend signing up with Top Cashback, Quidco.com and Swagbucks which are free and offer the best selection of retailers and exclusives.
15-Review music for money
If you love music, make it your business by reviewing unsigned bands and artists online for cash with Slicethepie.
It can take a while to build up your reputation but some users of the site have said that they earn £40 a month. This may not sound like much, but if it’s something you enjoy then it shouldn’t be hard work and is another thing for your CV. Money you earn will be in $US but anyone can sign up and review.
slicethepieTo get started, head over to Slicethepie now or read our quick guide for more info.
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