How to earn extra cash at university


Getting through University on a low budget can be tricky. But there are ways to earn additional income whilst still committing to your studies, and every little helps.

There are lots of things you can do to top up your income while you’re at university – read on and see which ones you might consider. Remember that you need to balance working with studying and you might need to ease off the working hours while your exams are close – setting a regular limit is a good idea so that you can manage your workload and leave time for socialising.


There will be paid jobs on campus – a great way to meet people and keep things within easy reach.


Campus jobs

·         There are many jobs within a university campus and it’s a great place to fit around your studies and minimises your travel time.

·         Student union bar & library – perfect place to meet people and be sociable.

·         Working at Freshers Events and Open Days – great opportunity to develop some sales and marketing skills,  as you chat with new or prospective students about your own experiences

·         Studying at PostGrad level? Ask about teaching assistant or research assistant roles.



·         This might be asking the general public to answer a few questions – or working for a charity asking people to sign up to donate. Check if it’s a flat rate of pay or based on sign ups – you need to know what you’re signing up for, if you’re good at sales, this might be perfect for you!

·         Handing out flyers – promoting student nights at local bars/clubs.


Bar work/table waiting

·         “If you can keep your head when all around you etc etc”… then this might be the thing for you – they’re generally flexible hours, a great social environment and you can earn tips!

·         Be prepared for the not so happy customers, and remember you have to remain polite and friendly all the time.

·         Contact a catering agency – they’ll need staff for regular events and the work can be reasonably well paid along with offering flexible shifts.


Mystery shopping/Market research and Customer surveys

·         You’ll be paid to visit shops and comment on their customer service. Apply for these through an agency – the work is often random and you will be asked for specific information for each outlet that you visit.

·         You may be offered products in return for your time.

·         Customer survey groups meet and offer opinions about a product or service. They need people representing differing sectors of society – differing ages/gender/working or students etc.



·         These jobs are plentiful – all supermarkets and chain stores employ part time staff and often offer staff discounts. The hours are flexible and the working conditions are monitored.


Entering competitions

·         There are hundreds of competitions run all over the country and online – writing short stories and poems for cash prizes for example. Or there are lots on packets of food to win tickets or products. See how many you can enter for free online!



·         Lots of companies need bloggers – you could start with mybrink! We need students to share their experiences and we’re not alone. If you enjoy writing and have an opinion or view then email us at and get writing!


Brand ambassadors

·         Shout about a brand or product, promote it to your friends and be an active advocate on social media and get paid for it – either in products or money depending on the brand. Look online for these roles, we currently have roles at mybrink all around the country – email for more information


Babysitting/house sitting

·         Word of mouth is the best way to get these roles. If you’re studying near home, maybe your parents have friends or neighbours with children who you could babysit for. Ask around and advertise locally – but always make sure someone knows where you are for your own safety, and that you’ve checked out it’s all genuine.



·         This is a great way to top up your income. If you’re freelancing then you can set your own rate – but it’s worth checking out the local going rate before you jump in! You can share your knowledge and help a younger person achieve their goals by giving them time and attention while you focus on their studies with them. It’s also a great thing to put on your CV, especially if you’re considering a teaching career.


Top tips!


·         If you’re being paid directly into your bank from your employer – make sure they get the right tax code!

·         mybrink need bloggers and ambassadors – what better place to start?

·         Everything you do will help you gain life experience and can be useful to add to your CV.


If you’ve already undertaken work while you’re studying – do you have some tips to share with new students? Please let us know!