Ideas on how to make money as a student

There are many things that you can start as a student as a way of making money or just earning extra income.

Ideas on how to make money as a student

9 Dec 2020 15:19

In this article, we will be talking about income generating streams for students. We know that employment is generally associated with when a student completes their degree. But we believe that there's really no harm in you starting to earn a little bit of money while you are studying, provided, though, that your work does not come in the way of your studies and actually harms your chances of actually graduating.

So it is important for you to start earning because the sooner you can start earning, the sooner you can start fostering a culture of saving and also get into the investing game. Remember the little thing called compound interest - compound interest is basically money earning money.

Ideas for making money as a student

Your interest will earn more money for you! So let's jump into some ideas of what students can do to earn a little bit of money on the side.

Student Tutoring

Idea number one, you can actually get some work at the college, university or institution where you are registered. You can actually become a tutor. What is a tutor? Well, a tutor is somebody that helps other students when they are struggling with understanding some of the subjects / courses, but also writing assignments and really just getting them to understand the work a little bit better.

Retail jobs

Number two, you can actually work in retail. Of course, we do not advise or give any tips or actually champion you working during school hours. So if you are going to go into the retail sector, which is a very hard sell, to make sure that your hours are outside of your school and your studying hours.

Retail can be hard and it can involve a long time for stock-taking. Sometimes you are putting out new merchandise, so ensure that it does not interfere with your studies. Perhaps maybe it's something that you could do even on a weekend.


You can become a promoter.  There are often companies trying to get their brands out there and you become one of their brand promoters. It could be handing out leaflets or it could be you product activations at the mall. Search online for promotion companies in South Africa. It might not be much, but they do pay well enough for a student, who maybe just needs additional money.

Sell products – network marketing

You can sell products. Network marketing is something that is huge in South Africa. Think of companies like Avon, Herbalife, Honey, Avra Shlain, Tupperware etc – whet they do is called network marketing. You basically sign up with them and you become a reseller or a distributor of their products. What you do is get an idea of what other students or your neighbours want and you sign-up with those brands. Selling existing products like Avon means you don’t have to stress about coming up with your own and you are often selling an already widely-known product.

Just ensure you don’t take too much products on credit – if you fail to find clients, that can get you into debt. Rather stick to taking orders first and then only supplying those orders. And also watch out for scams – although network marketing is a genuine business concept, it has been tarnished by unscrupulous people.

Social media influencer

Become a social media influencer. Our digitising world is redefining what a job is. Now people can get paid good money for being influential on social media.  Social media influencers are people that have built their brands on social media and now other brands use them to be able to move their messaging and their stuff to their audiences. So if you have a good social media following on your Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, you can translate that into income.

Events on campus

You can also throw events on campus as a way to make money as a student. You can be the go-to person for parties, charities, modelling events, music festivals etc and you will certainly charge a commission for organising such events.

The above are just a few ideas really, there is a lot that you as a student can do to make money on the side. 

Benefits of working while still a student

So what are some of the benefits of really starting to earn an income as early as possible? The first one means you can actually start generating income and savings that can even help you to become an investor in the long term.

Another benefit is that it can really be a cool thing that you can put on your CV. It will show your potential employer that you are not afraid of hard work, that you already have work ethic. Starting your own business or starting to earn some money while you are at university can really be the differentiator between you and the potential next candidate.

Making your own money also makes one feel good about oneself – so don’t wait until after university.

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