How To Make Meaningful Money At College

A pile of money spills out of a jar
Written by MicroStartups

One thing that binds all students together is that they don’t have enough money. However, there are plenty of ways that you can make a bit of money while you’re at college or university. Rather than part-time work at your local cafe or bar, consider how digital opportunities can help you earn money and develop valuable skills at the same time. Here is how to make some more meaningful money whilst studying.

Fill out online surveys

Information is valuable, especially to businesses, and they always want to know what potential customers want. As such, there are lots of websites that will pay you to fill out surveys about different consumer products, and you can often receive freebies into the bargain.
Usually you are paid a small amount per survey and, once you have accrued enough money through completing surveys, you receive your payment. Sometimes, instead of cash, you’ll be given Amazon gift cards, but these can be just as useful given Amazon’s wide range of products.

Try to find businesses and websites that would be specifically interested in students — many lifestyle and consumer brands want the insider track on what students find appealing. If you find something you are genuinely passionate about, consider becoming a brand ambassador for them.

Content writing

If you’re a student, then all of that essay writing has doubtlessly honed your writing style to a decent level. There’s currently a high demand for content writers on the internet and it’s the kind of work that can easily fit around coursework and other commitments.

If you think you could write:

  • Lifestyle articles
  • Product reviews
  • Promotional blog posts
  • Business articles
  • Web copy

Then you’d be able to be a content writer. It’s a lot easier than it might seem. If you do a quick search online for content writer vacancies, you’ll be sure to find something suitable; it’s worth signing up for popular freelance writing sites with a convincing writer profile.

You might also want to start by reaching out to your network — is there a local business near you that needs some help with their Facebook page or blog? Businesses often trust younger people with online copy and social media.

Sometimes content writing can pay really well, and can form a useful source of income, and may even develop into a future career.

Recycle old mobile phones

A lot of people have a stash of old phones lying around. Instead of hoarding them, you should be selling them. As it happens, you could be sitting on a gold mine — literally, as most mobile phones contain gold inside their circuitry.

But even if you’re not selling your phone for gold extraction, old phones can still net you a considerable sum. Some models will go for a good price, so consider selling it on eBay or heading to your local second hand electronics shop.

The same goes for other outdated tech like printers, iPods, laptops, and so on. Being savvy about reselling tech is a great way to help the environment as well as your bank balance.

Start your own micro business

The internet is a huge marketplace, and one that can benefit both the buyer and the seller. Consider starting your own micro business, either through an online store builder or through sites like Amazon or eBay as a platform for selling products. If you’re stuck for ideas of what to sell, consider the following:

  • Buy clothes when they are on sale and going out of stock, then sell them at full price a few months later.
  • Buy cheap, pre-owned books, and sell them for a marginal profit. You can also sell your old textbooks via student Facebook groups for easy money.
  • Another option for creatives is to make nice little pieces of jewellery. Sites like Etsy are ideal for homemade products.
  • Some out-of-print DVDs are worth quite a bit these days. If you take a look through your collection and check their prices online, you might find that something you aren’t even that fond of has increased in value considerably.
  • If you like to create visual artwork, monetise your creativity through selling your prints.

While these are just a few ideas, there are lots of other ways for you to make a money by selling products online. It’s worth mind-mapping a few of your own ideas to see what sort of thing could feasibly work for you.

If you’re running low on cash, keep in mind that there are always options available to you to help boost that bank account. Take advantage of the options offered by the digital landscape, or evoke your entrepreneurial spirit and start a micro business. The only limit is your own ambition.

About the author


A team of writers and marketers, MicroStartups was founded to inspire the entrepreneurial and business community to give back. We believe in business growth through giving and supporting the local community.

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