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Posted March 20, 2015

Student Saving Tip: Looking for Odd Jobs

For many of us, the phrase ‘odd jobs’ reminds us of an adolescence of car washing and baby-sitting for what then felt like astronomical amounts of money - TEN pounds? Just to sit in someone’s house and make sure their child doesn’t electrocute themselves? BEST JOB EVER!

However, even now the odd job can be a perfect way to make a little extra money in your free time if you can’t fit in any more shifts between study sessions and are still struggling to pay that month’s rent. However, now that you are older you can afford to think outside of the box, really put the ‘odd’ into odd job to find extra cash sources from the least likely of places.

Prime amongst these are websites such as Fiverr. Like an Amazon that sells services rather than products, these sites allow you a way to offer odd jobs at a set price. Fiverr is the most famous of these, with services starting (as the name suggests) at $5 (£3.30). Although design and writing skills are the most popular, many websites offer more niche sellers who make pretty good pocket money selling all sorts of things: hand-written poems, household tasks…anything you can imagine is available. So whatever you can do, be it as a hobby or as part of your degree, consider selling it as a skill to others. You haven’t got this far into your education, for example, without being a pretty good proofreader of your own work, so why not offer this service to others for a fee?

Although the internet widens the audience a seller can reach, your university itself is another great place to find small amounts of work. Translators, proof-readers and language tutors are always needed around campuses, especially those with high numbers of foreign students, so making a few posters with tear-away contact information and putting them on noticeboards can get you bits and pieces of work fairly quickly. Another thing that students will always need are cleaners - especially towards the end of the year when they're worrying about losing a deposit!

Think outside of the obvious, though, and there’s money to be made in all sorts of things. Many societies often have to hire help for various things, and not only is this easy money but it’s a great way to make friends within university. Very brave students indeed can offer themselves as life models for art classes if they don’t mind being naked in a room of their peers (like that didn’t happen to us all in freshers…), but there are plenty more less genital-exposing ways to make a buck or two within university. Offering repairs of clothes , or proof-reading are two good ones.  Psychology trials often offer financial incentives, as do focus groups and customer insight experiments in business schools, so keeping an ear to the ground, a finger on Google and several mouths speaking to your fellow students can secure you extra bits and pieces of money.

To sum up, the key to looking for odd jobs as a student is to just remain aware, of university opportunities which are always advertised and always available. Also, spending a few minutes working out what you can do and how you can charge for it can pay back in a big way. And all without ever having to wash a car again.

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