While Jeremy Corbin has recently come under attack for reneging on a campaign pledge to cancel all student debt (despite the fact that no such promise was ever made), there is no doubt that student finance remains a serious bone of contention in the UK.
With an antiquated repayment system that has forced some to overpay and other issues concerning inflated interest rates, there is no doubt that aspiring graduates must face a myriad of challenges as they pursue their educational goals.
Fortunately, we live in the age of the accidental entrepreneur, in which it has never been easier for individuals to boost their earning potential and income streams. Here are some examples of how students can make money on the side (without compromising on their studies).
Sell Your Textbooks and Notes
At the end of every year, you are likely to be left with piles of irrelevant textbooks and notes that you are unlikely to ever use again. One man’s junk is another’s treasure, however, and it is now possible to monetise these items by selling them to fellow students who can use them the following year.
Through the Stuvia website, it is possible to connect with other students of all ages, while identifying those who are learning similar topics. This in turn creates an opportunity to sell your unwanted textbooks and study, for a reasonable fee that is paid online.
While this will not generate earth-shattering amounts of money, it is quick, easy and serves the understated purpose of enabling you to monetise items that would otherwise have no commercial value.
Trade the Markets
If you are studying accounting or some other form of financial discipline, the chances are that you have some natural numerical ability and a keen understanding of money. This can also be used to make money as a student, particularly if you commit some of your disposable income to the financial markets.
Over time, technology has removed many of the imposing barriers that once surrounded the market, while it is now also possible for part-time traders to access a wide range of assets with minimal start-up capital. Those who trade derivatives like currency through the forex market can also profit in a depreciating climate, so long as they possess basic knowledge and a keen sense of determinism.
By trading the markets carefully and in line with your budget, you can build a diverse portfolio of assets that earns a steady stream of passive income while your study.
Sell a Marketable Skill
This may not be a preferred option for some, as it requires a little more time, effort and commitment that the other two. For those with a strong work-ethic and focused organisational skills, however, it remains an excellent way to generate side income.
The freelance market in the UK has never been more buoyant, with around 1.5 million people now working for themselves. With demand rising for flexible, freelance employees, it is now easier than ever for people with define and marketable skills to find temporary employment.
The key is to identify your skill, which would usually relate to the field that you are studying. This can then be marketed across professional networking groups such as LinkedIn, in the hope that you can will contracts and establish a workload that is both financially rewarding and manageable.
Such experience also adds practical value to your resume, while distinguishing you as a motivated individuals with a proactive attitude.