Words by Russ Thorne

Sponsored by BIC

Money, they say, isn't everything. They're right, of course, but as a student it sure does help – so what can you do to get your hands on just a little bit more of it? Here are a few ideas...

1 – Part-time work

Part-time work
It's the obvious place to start, as a part-time job can fit in around your lecture schedule. There's also the added bonus of work experience: any part-time position can contribute to your CV as you'll learn to work in a team, communicate with customers and manage your time.

The classics include bar work and food service, or you could also look for roles at your university (they often need people to help with fundraising for example). At this time of year, stores are hiring their seasonal staff so it's a good opportunity to get your foot in the door. You can get some tips on applications and interviews

2 – Enter competitions

This could be online, through stores or via specific products. You might be surprised by how little effort is required to get yourself in the running for a cash prize.

Currently, the folks at BIC are running the BIC® Cristal® Challenge campaign giving you the chance to win £10 every 10 minutes. All you have to do is buy a promotional pack of 10 BIC® Cristal® Medium or Fun and text in for a chance to win. Hurry though as you’ve only got until the end of the month to participate.

3 – Start a business

Start a business
There's nothing to stop you creating your own enterprise while you're a student and lots of people do it every year. There are plenty of advantages: you're your own boss; it can fit around your studies; you often don't need more than a laptop and an internet connection; and there's no limit to what you could do!

Your business might be creating an app to fill a gap you've spotted, or selling your craft products on Etsy – that's up to you. (It's probably worth repeating that Facebook started as an idea at university and has gone on to do quite well). The good news is that universities are often very supportive of student entrepreneurs, so if you have an idea, get in touch with your union to see what help and advice is available.

4 – Work that web

If you're prepared to put in a little time, there are many ways to make some extra cash online. Some of them are old favourites: selling your used course books and DVDs or recycling your old mobile phone for example (a quick Google search will lead you to helpful sites).

A potentially fun one is to become a mystery shopper. This doesn't mean wearing a cloak and drifting into stores shrouded in mist (alas) – instead you shop anonymously on behalf of the store and report on the experience. It doesn't pay big bucks but you usually get free products, meals and so on, and it can be quite enjoyable going undercover.

Other methods include writing reviews or freelance articles for blogs and product sites, signing up for cashback on purchases (a very easy way to get some money) or even filling in surveys. Once you start searching for 'make money as a student' you'll quickly uncover some gems.

5 – Use your talents

Use your talents
Got a very particular set of skills? Use them. As an undergraduate, for example, your knowledge of your subject might make you an excellent tutor for GCSE and A Level students. You can earn a decent hourly rate for tutoring and there are several agencies out there that can put you in touch with parents.

Other areas to consider include busking, babysitting or (if you prefer tails to toddlers) dog walking. Once again, your flexible schedule as a student is your ally here. Or why not consider registering as a TV extra? You get paid for hanging around on set all day watching shows get made, and you might see yourself on the small screen at the end of it all.

With all five of these areas a little research will soon help boost your funds - and don't forget to use our forums to get tips and ask questions about which sites, agencies and employers are reputable. Good hunting!