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How to make money as a student

It’s a place I never thought I would find myself again. As a student.

Earlier this year I began, as usual, signing my contract and starting 2018 as a school teacher. Something I have repeated for many years. However this year was different. I discovered that I needed a break from teaching. So nervously I said goodbye to my beautiful students, their families and my incredible colleagues. As I had worked full time there were some savings in the bank however this soon dried up with the usual bills that come with being an adult. 

It was during this initial time that a friend of mine introduced me to a wonderful app that allowed me to make some money. So from here, I would like to share with you tips and tricks that I learnt when I was a student studying to be a teacher and as someone who will be heading back into postgraduate studies next year.

How to Make Money As a Student? It’s About Balance!

As an adult you are now responsible for a lot of financial decisions and may I say it, financial literacy is poorly taught in high school and the early adulthood years. Like many things in life, it’s about balance. Here are the basics:

  • We live in an instant world (e.g. microwaves for food, fast internet rather than dial up, ‘Uber Eats’ rather than driving to buy ingredients and cooking etc.) however saving for and buy items take time. It does require patience and effort.
  • You will start with the small and old.
    You like the couch your parents have or dream of having the convertible? Sorry to disappoint but your first car/lounge will likely be an old one and let me say as someone who had their first car for 11 years, that vehicle paid its weight in gold a million times over.
  • Don’t get a credit card!
    I don’t think I can stress this one enough. It’s ‘cash on the barrel’. If you don’t have the money, you can’t buy it. I have seen many many friends get credit cards, use them to buy items and then lose a lot of sleep and have anxiety/stress over debt for many years to come- sometimes 20+ years.
    As an 18 year old opening my first bank account, the teller asked if I wanted a debit or credit card. To this day I am VERY thankful that my Dad was with me at the time and explained what they both were. If you take anything from this article- this point is it.
  • A zero dollar budget.
    Budget is not always a fun word, I get it. It means that you may have to say no to things but in the long run, you’ll be enjoying that convertible/new lounge rather than always wishing.
    Here’s how it works- you choose a time frame- e.g. a fortnight.
    1. List all of the money coming in/expected to come in (e.g. youth allowance/Ausstudy/Abstudy), any part time jobs income, and money from parents if they give you some etc.
    2. Then list your expenses e.g. rent, petrol, food, tithing, savings, going out with friends, other bills (e.g. electricity/gas/water etc.). The ‘Other bills’ will only come once every three months however take a portion aside and build it up each fortnight so it’s there when the bill comes.
    Budget as often as you like (e.g. each fortnight) and feel free to change it around based on what you value most. In the end your budget comes out to $0 as you have given every single dollar a name. You know exactly where your money is going. Here is an example:
Income (Each Fortnight)$TOTAL
Youth Allowance500
Part-time Job-Babysitting sister25
Mum and Dad30
Part-time job- Mowing Aunty’s lawn20$575 Fortnight
Expenses (Each Fortnight)$
Rent300- shared housing (a FN)TOTAL
Petrol/Saving for Car/Bus transport40
Household bills – electricity/water/gas20
Fun out with friends40
Phone credit (prepaid)10
Tithing/Giving20$0 – after all money allocated

This is just one example but there are many others. You can have different online bank accounts for these or better yet have envelopes/plastic zip lock bags and get the money out in cash- I did this throughout uni and really helped me to appreciate the value of money, especially when you have to hand it over Did I fail at times? Absolutely but always got back up and tried again. I also HIGHLY recommend that you google ‘Dave Ramsay’ and look at his website and the 7 baby steps. It has helped me many times over!!

Additional Ways to Make Money As a Student

Here are some ways that I have and are currently making extra money:

  • Airtasker– this is the app my friend showed me and it has been a God send. Check it out
  • Snooper– Another app I discovered as a result of Airtasker and I have earnt nearly $100 already with only a few hours of work. My current new favourite app.
  • If you enjoy being around children, offer to work for family, family friend’s, friend’s etc. to babysit their children for a few hours. The parents will love the time away
  • Childminding through agencies – e.g. expect a star, Centenary Nannies, Australian Nanny Agency
  • Live out au pair work
  • Sell items you have on Facebook Marketplace, eBay, gumtree, local buy swap and sell Facebook pages, have a house or street garage sale with your neighbours etc.
  • Do a 3 hour course as a barista locally (short course- usually cost around $100) and work as a barista.
  • Deliver phone books and pamphlets (good opportunity for exercise, cut the gym bill and you get paid to do it ).
  • Complete reputable online surveys/survey websites
  • Teach a skill (if you have a special skills such as piano playing, another instrument, know a second language- offer your skills through notices- uni notice boards, online, sometimes university guild will offer short courses you can teach and get paid to do.). You could also teach via skype/zoom etc.
  • Tutoring– Through agencies – search for those in your area. There are many.
  • If you have access to a lawn mower and whipper sniper, go around your local area offering your services for a reduced price.
  • Gain money by cashing in recycled goods – e.g. 10c for a plastic bottle etc.

How to Save Money As a Student? Discounts You Get As A Students

If you are a student or hold a health care card you are entitled to the following:

  • Approx $80 off electricity bills if with Ergon. Check with your electricity supplier if different.
  • Discount on travel if a student- e.g. buses, trains, long haul coach buses etc. with a student card/pensioner card etc.
  • Discounts on water bills (not available in QLD however may be available in other states.)
  • Free optical and Dental (There will be a waiting list for dental however if you have a health care card it will be free). Standard optical appointments are a faster process.

Other Ways to Save Money As a Student?

If planning travel/ overnight accommodation use discount websites- e.g. Groupon, Wotif etc.

Well there you have it… examples of ways to save money and make a bit of extra cash. I hope that some of this helps as we both do life while being a student

Take Care

Miss B


Author: Sim K


Sim K


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