Make Money

39 weird ways students make money

Student loan not stretching far enough? A creative streak and a strong stomach can take your wallet a long way. As the cash-strapped students in our surveys prove: where there’s a will, there’s a wage!

Every year the National Student Money Survey uncovers the bare truths about student finances across the UK – and we always enjoy hearing about the side-hustles students use to boost their bank.

We’ve compiled some of the most inventive, weird and unusual money makers that students have shared with us…

Unusual ways students make money

(All direct quotes from STS surveys)

  1. Owl handling (it’s a thing).”
  2. “Clinical trial – I got paid to give them my poo!”
  3. “Selling taxidermy I have made myself.”
  4. “Had to wander around a music festival dressed as a cleaner and occasionally play the violin in the Portaloos.”
  5. Selling my dirty underwear to a stranger (I had to ejaculate into them after wearing them for a day).”
  6. “Food quality testing. Made about £7 for around 2 hours of eating food and filling out surveys.”
  7. “I spent my first year summer matched betting.”
  8. “I had an app from Ipsos MORI which tracked my app and internet usage on my phone and tablet. Although not for everyone, I didn’t find it too strange at first. But then I realised the app placed a parental lock on my browsers which I couldn’t get rid of, and I couldn’t look up anything remotely ‘adult’ themed.”
  9. “Took part in a research study where I had to look at disturbing images and say how I felt.”
  10. “Selling toilet roll tubes on eBay.”
  11. “I used to be on a site where someone could rent you to be their friend for a day. It was a very weird experience but I got a better pay than I expected!”
  12. Sending foot pics to a guy with a foot fetish in exchange for money.”
  13. “I sold my hair.”
  14. “I ate a worm for a tenner once.”
  15. “Having to transport a full-size plastic horse on top of my car.”
  16. “I hired my dog out as a stud. He’s only had one job so far, might put him up on Gumtree?”
  17. “Buying Bitcoin and selling some.”
  18. “Volunteering for a medical survey that involved cutting a small muscle from my thigh.”
  19. “Sucked my friend’s toe for £100.”
  20. Selling a toaster to other students.”
  21. “My friend once bet me five pounds I wouldn’t bite into a lemon segment and hold it in my mouth for a minute.”
  22. “Got paid £20 to pretend that I was smoking some guy’s cigarette because he was meant to have quit smoking and his friends were about to come over and see him.”
  23. “Copying stock market traders.”
  24. “Picking slugs out of watercress.”
  25. Confidence coaching (basically fake dates to help shy people).”
  26. “Being an extra for a commercial.”
  27. “I poo pick a horses field … the pay is good!”
  28. Walking around a warehouse for 60 minutes in a circuit to train motion-sensor equipment.”
  29. “Buying a course book on eBay and selling back to the uni shop for a profit.”
  30. Sperm donor.”
  31. “I had to be a ‘burp’ for an online kids’ TV programme and got paid £10.”
  32. “Wearing a billboard on my high street.”
  33. “I once rented my room for a night to someone online, as they were in the city for a night to see a rugby game”
  34. “Was paid around £20 to be a ‘patient’, with students repeatedly putting me in an arm sling.”
  35. “Was paid to take part in a study about anxiety (which made my anxiety worse).”
  36. Delivering takeaways at weekends with Deliveroo.”
  37. Taking the blame for someone’s flatulence at a party.”
  38. “Owning an item someone wore on TV… so I sold it.”
  39. “Selling homemade jam for an insane amount of money. People still bought it.”

Fancy making money from your own business?  We’ve got 53 business ideas you can set up from your uni room!