- Student life is expensive
- Amazon FBA
- Freelance Work
- Being an affiliate
- Start your Own Business
Student life is expensive
From rent, to food shops, to a bus pass, to nights out- student life is expensive.
For the most part, your maintenance loan won’t cover all of your expenses and hobbies, so we’ve compiled a list of our top tips on how to make money during your time at university.
One of the safest ways to generate a reliable, stable income is to pick up a part-time job.
Fitting a job around your studies can be difficult, but with a bit of prior planning and extra effort towards organisation, it’s definitely doable!
Some good places to look for jobs with zero hour contracts or contracts with fewer hours are supermarkets, retail stores, restaurants and bars.
Have a look on job listing websites such as Indeed, or alternatively you could look at local groups/on your university’s job board.
We’ve spoken about this in another blog: check it out here.
Investing is becoming more and more accessible to the average person- even students! With the many investing apps such as Freetrade and eToro that allow you to invest from your phone, the ability to buy fractional shares (meaning you don’t need to invest a lot of money), and the wide variety of free resources available online, investing is easier than ever.
Investing can be a good way to maximise the power of your money.
It’s important to note that investing has risks, and will not make you a millionaire overnight. It’s a long-term game!
The sooner you begin to understand the power of investing, begin building your portfolio and understand how returns vary with risk, the better. Here are a few examples of different types of investment.
– lending your money to the government, in return for better interest than you’d get in a savings account- but the interest is still rather low.
– lending money to corporations and businesses, which is riskier than lending to the government but yields slightly higher returns.
– buying stocks that pay a yearly dividend (usually around 3-6% per year). Over time the dividends could build up enough to cover some of your expenses.
Exchange-Traded Funds (ETF’s)
– you can invest in a bundle of stocks called an ETF. When you buy a share of an ETF, you now own a tiny portion of each company included in the ETF. The most famous ETF is the S&P 500, a fund composed of the top 500 largest US companies e.g. Apple, Tesla, Meta. Investing in ETFs is a popular choice as it allows you to easily diversify your portfolio, therefore decreasing risk.
– this is riskier but, again, could potentially yield higher returns. If you’re going to invest in individual stocks, it’s important to conduct proper research into the company that you’re planning on investing in.These are just a few examples of ways you can invest your money. Here is a good article to read before you start!
FBA stands for fulfilment by Amazon, in this case, you are leveraging Amazons services to make an eCommerce business.
In short – you are finding products on Amazon, seeing if you can source them for cheaper, checking if you will make a net profit on each item after all the fees.
You will then buy the products, ship them off to Amazon at a price that undercuts the other sellers, Amazon will then pack, store and ship the items as they sell.
There is a lot more to it, and things you need to check before diving in as you can lose money if not done correctly. Like with trading and investing, do a lot of research before diving in, here there is again a lot of free information on the internet, but mentoring can speed up the process and help you to avoid making mistakes, one bit of advice, never try to undercut Amazon if they are the seller of the item you are thinking of sourcing as they will just undercut you and drive your profits into the ground.
Fully eCommerce, this is a more hands-on experience and in my view, riskier than Amazon FBA. You will be creating a website and store, doing all your marketing and ad campaigns, and sourcing the products.
You will usually source the products from China (Alibaba) as this gives the best profit margins, and then with certain suppliers, you can connect them to any orders through your website. So, an order that is placed goes straight to your supplier and they ship it directly to the consumer.
So unlike with Amazon FBA, here you will never have to package and send products yourself. But customers may be unhappy as delivery time could be up to or even over a month. It can also be difficult to drive customers to your website unless you have a large social media following so you will need to know about making the most out of ads and have the money to spend on ads.
This is where the risk comes in, you may spend £100 on ads but only get 2 sales and end up making a net loss. So here even with higher margins, they could be destroyed through the cost of marketing, so the risk is increased! Most drop shipping websites are created on https://www.shopify.co.uk/
You may have good design skills, be good at creating marketing content, or have a good voice or persona for audio or video reviews for ads. Websites such as https://www.fiverr.com/ can be used to promote your skills, so when someone comes across you they can pay you for your service and review it after. It may be difficult to get your first few sales but once you get some good reviews under your belt this can be a good way to earn an extra bit of money on the side.
Being an affiliate
You may decide to become an affiliate, there are loads of different models and businesses that will offer affiliate deals, whether that’s people using a link and buying products or selling a course this can be another good way to earn some extra money. You may decide to make a website, this can be done easily using Wix or WordPress, you can become an affiliate through Amazon and write in-depth reviews on products and leave your affiliate link, every time someone makes a purchase using your link Amazon will pay you.
Start your Own Business
Just like we did with Roome, we had no idea how it would turn out or even how to go about starting your own business. The first step is talk to someone within your university, the entrepreneurship lecturers, student support, the SU, anyone who can put you in touch with the right people to support you. Universities want to help, especially if one of their students have come up with an innovative business.
There are often ways that you can win funding from the university to help support you in your business venture, the opportunities are limitless.
If you’re struggling to come up with an idea, the best way to come up with one is think of something that really inconveniences you in your day to day, or something that would make your life easier, check if it already exists as a company and get going!
These are a few ways you can make a bit of extra money during your time at university. None of these are easy, they all take hard work and a lot of research but for the most part, are extremely scalable and leveraged models that you can continue for most of your life if you choose to. Again, none will make you a millionaire overnight but set modest goals and push yourself, the sky is your limit!
Posted by Owen Redman
Co-founder of Roome