9 Easy Side Hustle Ideas for Students Looking To Earn Extra Income

University is said to be the best time of our lives; you’re young and free to explore life’s endless possibilities. But behind every iced coffee, every I’m-late-to-school Grab ride and every late-night party lies a broke college kid’s daily expenses and looming student debt.

Why not get a headstart on managing your finances while you’re still under the relatively sheltered walls of being a student? Here are some popular side hustles you can easily hop on while in school for extra pocket money!

1. Part-time jobs

F&B, retail and administrative jobs—we’ve all been there. Working part-time in the service sector not only allows for a flexible work schedule amidst your studies, but it also hones your interpersonal communication skills that are relevant in many workplaces today.

There are ad-hoc jobs that require only a few weeks’ worth of commitment. You can easily get connected with them via job sites like Fastjobs or social media channels like Telegram (The Bojio Network and Event Parttimers, for example).

These gigs usually get posted during winter or summer breaks and are thus suitable for those seeking a quick way to earn some cash while still getting some rest before the next semester.

Part-time employees are typically paid by the hour and in Singapore, the rates range from S$8-$15 per hour depending on the job.

Pros: Flexible shifts, work discounts and perks improve people and technical skills

Cons: Labour-intensive and tiring. Need to manage customers.

2. Internships

Part-time and full-time internships are another clever way to boost your finances while building up your professional network. Internships, unlike full-time jobs, allow a certain degree of freedom in exploring the corporate world.

Throughout the 3-6 months that you are with a company, you’ll discover your likes and dislikes about working in the specific industry.

Regardless, internships are never a waste of time because the relevant skills picked up and the valuable industry connections made will prove helpful in the long run. Not to mention, intern pay typically starts from S$400 and can go up to S$1,000 per month depending on the industry, so you’ll also be killing two birds with one stone.

Not sure how to get hired as an intern? Check out online job sites such as Indeed or Jobstreet, speak to someone in the industry through LinkedIn or get connected to your dream company via your school’s career portal!

Pros: Work for companies you admire, networking and portfolio enhancing, fixed work structure, paid leave and employee benefits

Cons: Low work-life balance, long hours and low pay may end up disliking the industry or company, office politics

Read more: How To Ace Your Next Internship

3. Freelancing

Another way to beef up your portfolio is through freelancing. From freelance writing and designing to even freelance modelling or DJ-ing, many students have found freelancing to be highly rewarding as it allows them to engage in their interests while making some cash on the side.

Want to try freelancing but have no idea where to begin? Freelancer-friendly websites like Fiverr, Upwork and Behance are reliable platforms to kickstart your creative journey, advertise your services and expand your client base.

If you’ve wondered what freelancing opportunities will be suitable for you, here’s a list for your consideration:

Freelance JobEstimated RatesSkills Required
CopywriterS$30-150 per copywriting jobWriting skills, creativity
WriterS$35-200/articleWriting skills, creativity
DesignerS$60Knowledge with graphic design software
Social Media SpecialistS$15-80/hrGraphic design, writing skills
Game TesterS$20-40/hrMeticulousness
PhotographerS$100-500/hrPhotography skill, creativity
Video EditingS$25-$200/hrVideo editing skills, videography
Website DeveloperS$500-5,000 per websiteCoding, website development

Source: Indeed.com, Upwork, Jobstreet 

Pros: Flexible work schedule, ownership and full autonomy over projects, freedom to choose clients, and do what you love.

Cons: Unstable source of income, may get overwhelmed juggling multiple clients, lack of paid leave or company-sponsored health benefits.

4. Tutoring

Becoming a private tutor for primary to junior college kids is common among tertiary students seeking extra cash. It’s a viable option as you have free rein over the level and subjects you want to teach. Commitment levels and working hours are also negotiable and would most likely be fixed to suit your personal schedules.

Depending on the level taught and your qualifications, tuition fees can range from S$20-100 per hour. You’ll be surprised at how much you can rack up from just a month of tutoring!

For those looking to be tuition teachers, here is the estimated pay range for private tutors in Singapore according to the different education levels:

Private Tutor Rates in Singapore

Estimated hourly ratesPrimary (Pri 1-6)Secondary (Sec 1-4)A-level/IP/IB
Student Tutors (Diploma or A level)S$18-30S$20-35N.A.
Student Tutors (Undergraduate)S$20-35S$25-40S$35-50
Part-time/ Full-time Tutors (Graduate)S$25-50S$35-55S$50-80
NIE TraineesS$30-50S$35-55S$50-80
MOE Teachers (Current or EX)S$50-70S$50-80S$80-120
PhotographerS$100-500/hrPhotography skill, creativity
Video EditingS$25-$200/hrVideo editing skills, videography
Website DeveloperS$500-5,000 per websiteCoding, website development

Source: EliteTutor

However, being a tutor also means that you are partly responsible for your tutee’s grades and wellbeing. Thus, ensuring that your pupil performs up to standard and that you have a good track record is important, as this can affect your future employability as a tutor.

Pros: Teach within your comfort zone, relatively flexible schedule, always in demand

Cons: Difficult-to-handle children, time clashes with tutee’s other commitments, may have to compete with more qualified teachers in the market

5. Research and teaching assistants

Research and teaching assistant roles are commonly taken up by senior students at universities. Research assistants (RA) usually help out professors with their research projects and are in charge of doing up preliminary materials like interview questions, summaries and literature reviews.

They can also get involved in the research process and attend to administrative matters like responding to emails. If you’re detail-oriented, and have an area of interest you might like to research into, becoming a research assistant might just be for you!

If this is something that appeals to you, go ahead and ask your university tutor or lecturer if there are any ongoing projects you can help out with.

Pros: insightful and exciting projects, improve research skills and aptitude, gain relevant experience for future career progression (if you aspire towards the research industries)

Cons: Having to juggle work and studies

Teaching assistants (TA) have a similar job scope, but instead of research, they mainly prepare their own lesson materials based on the course requirements, teach other undergraduates, and aid the professor in charge.

If you are passionate about a certain module, or have a flair for explaining difficult concepts, you may have a knack for guiding others as a teaching assistant!

Pros: Improve interpersonal communication skills, contribute meaningfully to your university, gain relevant work experience

Cons: Juggling between work and studies

Salaries for RAs and TAs range from about S$2,000-S$4,000 a month and you can easily sign up for these roles via your school’s job portal or job sites like LinkedIn! So, if you’re up for a challenge, these roles might prove highly fulfilling to your university life and your finances.

6. Investing

You’ve probably heard your friends discussing the latest news in the stock market and comparing bonds. But, if you’re a newbie to the investment scene, starting out can be daunting. Saving up and investing as early as possible is ideal, but you don’t have to rush into it either.

Start by building up ample investment knowledge and by coming up with a personal plan before diving in. There are tons of online resources available for you to get familiar with the foundations of investing, ETFs, investing advice and more.

Of course, investing comes with certain risks, so make sure you do your due diligence before putting your money into any investment product!

Pros: a better understanding of your personal finances, additional income if successful, protects your purchasing power

Cons: might lose money as it is still a risk

7. Become a financial advisor

If you’re interested in finance or simply love meeting new people, you can add becoming a financial advisor to your potential-side-hustles list. Insurance agencies like AIA and Prudential are constantly on the lookout for fresh talents to groom and mentor via their apprenticeship programmes which, by the way, offer trainees quite a generous allowance.

Aside from enhancing your finance and market knowledge, if you find yourself having a knack for persuasion, climbing up the ladder could also lead you to fatter paychecks.

Pros: Connecting with new and different people, flexible work hours, unlimited income potential

Cons: Expanding your client base can be difficult, a strong work ethic must be maintained

8. Surveys

Survey-taking has become an increasingly popular method that university students are latching on to for easy money.

Companies and academic researchers are always on the lookout for research participants to test out their products or complete their research projects. Typically, you’d complete a short 10-minute survey and be rewarded with e-vouchers or even cash of up to S$5. Some reliable sites are Rakuten Insights Survey, or your university’s research recruitment webpage.

Pros: Straightforward cash source with no additional burden

Cons: You won’t make a lot of money

9. Selling notes and old coursebooks 

University course materials and textbooks can cost a bomb, so keeping these items in mint condition until you’re done with them is a good idea as you can sell them off, albeit at a lower price, to new students. This way, you’ll be able to earn back some of your spending while helping a fellow coursemate out with more affordable pricing!

If you have a habit of writing your own notes for a module and don’t mind sharing them with your juniors, selling them at reasonable prices via online sites like Carousell, or through your personal networks can also earn you a quick buck.

Pros: Hassle-free earnings

Cons: Not a lot of money and depends on whether people are interested in your notes

Spend your Side Hustle Income Wisely 

Whether you decide to grab a part-time job or start selling your notes, exercising prudence and financial responsibility are vital to ensure you are not overspending, especially with the extra cash pocketed.

After all, disciplined budgeting and saving up towards an emergency fund are good first steps to being on top of your personal finance!

Need help with budgeting? We have an app for that. 😉

Read more: Student Loans: What Kinds Are There, and How Do I Graduate Debt-Free?

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