Struggling student? Ways to earn money (part-time)

Many students wish they had more money in a month, to actually buy the things they want (and not have to stare at people who are holding the latest gadget, droolingly). Others simply need more money in order to survive or pay for their studies.

Don’t despair. If you can make the time, and put in the effort, there are many ways of earning some extra cash whilst you are still studying (that DON’T involve selling any parts of your body).

Below I will be giving you a list of things/jobs you can do for extra dough, but just a word of warning first:- Try and do your own thing independently and stay away from so called “student employment agencies” or “student job providers”, as many of these are out to exploit or scam students (by placing them in jobs that pay peanuts and taking a cut of the proceeds, and/or by selling them (students) products or services they don’t really need). Please note I stated that SOME and not ALL agencies/providers are out to do this, so do your homework before making use of one of them (if you still so wish).

Okay, now for the list of jobs/things students can do for extra cash:

1. Waitering – This one is a classic! Even in my early days of studying (in the 1990’s), part-time waitering was a big earner for students. Just make sure you don’t take on more hours than you can handle and that you work by a restaurant/establishment that gives you a share of your daily profits/sales and not just your (earned) tips as an income. I remember working at a restaurant that only let us keep our tips. Many nights I would only earn two rand (as in seriously, there are many cheapskate tippers out there) and then I was still made to do some dishes in the back after my shift ended (hardly worth if for two rand).

2. Recycling – Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. Recycling is actually a great way of earning some extra cash if you pursue it seriously and collect many varied items. Cans, glass, paper and plastic can all be recycled which is great for students, since all of these items can be found on campus (and it dorms) in abundance. Few people know that all forms of cans are recyclable (aluminium and steel etc.) so collect all forms of these (soft drink cans, beer cans, paint cans, food cans, aerosol cans etc.). Once you have a good collection going, you can just surf the internet for a list of local places you can drop your stash at, in exchange for cash. All in all recycling is really worthwhile (the cash part and the fact you are doing your bit to save the planet). The only down side to recycling is the fact that you will need quite a lot of space to store all the items collected.

3. Child minding – You can call it babysitting or au-pairing (even though this term is traditionally used for those child minders who have come from a foreign country to work for host families), however, whatever you wish to call it, part-time child minding is another great job for students. Again I wish to add that you must be careful not to take on more hours doing this than you can handle. Also, make sure that you know your rights as a child minder (as well as the rights of the parents) and any other legalities concerning child minding (such as safety laws, responsibilities etc.), before taking on any jobs. Note: You should only attempt doing this (as a job) if you have tons of patience and a love for children.

4. Weekend car wash – Definitely a job I recommend for the summer only (unless you are super brave and like to play “Fear Factor” with icy cold water). How this works is you get a bunch of your friends to join in on the idea, then you go and visit local premises (such as shop parking lots, petrol/gas garages etc.) and ask their permission to set up your own small car wash on weekends. Alternatively you could also just apply for part time work at an existing car wash (on weekends only since this job can get very messy and exhausting).

5. Dog walking – Now this is something many students never even think of doing. Why dog walkers have started dying out is beyond me because they are needed now more than ever! Think of it. More and more people are working extended hours and on weekends and have way less time to spend with their children, nevermind their animals! You could even extend your services to dog/house sitting when people go on holiday or away for the weekend. All you need are some good references (written by your family, neighbours and church back home, in order to prove you are not a psychopathical maniac out to ransack, pillage and burn the house down), some flyers advertising your services (which you can put up and/or hand out at local shops) and you are good to go.

Note: References such as the ones mentioned are a very good idea if you are considering other jobs dealing with children, properties or animals as well (such as child minding mentioned above).

6. Dog bathing/grooming – Only attempt this if you know how to cut/groom a dogs hair without hurting it! Alternatively you could just offer a dog washing service on weekends, where people can bring their dogs to you and you give them a bath and gentle towel dry (with NO haircut). Note that you will need a bathtub, towels and warm water source in order to offer this service. Tip: Many South African houses have back rooms/ maid quarters built in their backyards, therefore students who still live with their parents can make use of these rooms in order to run a weekend business of this sort (provided these rooms are used for no other current purpose of course).

7. Flea markets – Lets face it, most people will buy the biggest load of junk just for the sake of shopping, so why not turn the shopping addictions of others into some cash for yourself? In a previous post, “Fun things to do on a student’s budget (outside of drinking)”, I mentioned how students can host craft evening for fun, now you can turn those craft evenings for fun, into craft evenings for profit! Collect all the crafts you make independently and on craft evenings until you have enough of them to sell at a flea market, or other sale venues. Alternatively you could bottle/can your own preserves or bake some goods for sale (and also make evenings out of these activities with your friends). Note: As mentioned before in my “Fun things to do on a student’s budget” post, only the craft items made with bought goods/crafting materials or “quality” junk items such as glass, should be put up for sale – (think of it for a minute, would you want to buy a cow ornament made out of eggshells and a milk carton? Exactly! Hell no, you wouldn’t. On the contrary you would just burst out laughing and give the person who tried to sell the item a bad name, and who wants to walk around for the next four years being called “carton cowgirl” for example?).

And that is that. If you can think of any other jobs/activities I have left out please share them with us (as long as they are not dangerous or vulgar).

Have fun and happy earning!


Academics Can Kill Your Sanity 2016

2 thoughts on “Struggling student? Ways to earn money (part-time)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *