Black mug that has 'hustle' written on it sat on a table
Black mug that has 'hustle' written on it sat on a table

Best Side Hustles For Students in 2024

Need more cash? We hear you. Listen up. 

You’ve probably heard ‘side hustles’ being thrown about on social media. Which isn’t surprising, as we discovered over a fifth of students in a recent Student Beans survey said they already had a side hustle on the go. But to the rest of you, there’s still time to take money matters into your own hands. 

The cost of living crisis isn’t going anywhere soon, with a recent HEPI report stating that students are estimated to need £18,632 a year outside London. The maximum maintenance loan you can get in England if you live outside of London is £10,227, leaving a gap of £8,405 to somehow cover your costs for the year. Part-time work can sometimes be an option, but balancing studying and work can be a struggle. This is where side hustles step in. 

Whether you want to get selling on Vinted, showcase your handmade crafts, or flex your web design skills, there’s a side hustle for everyone. 

In this article:

What is a side hustle?

Side hustles are ways of making money on top of your salary (or studies). There are so many different avenues to go down, but some types of side hustles include:

  • Selling clothes
  • Website design
  • Influencer marketing
  • Virtual assistant
  • Dropshipping
  • Selling baked goods

What to think about when starting a side hustle

First things first, if you’re working on top of your studies, make sure it’s sustainable for you. Burnout is real and having a side hustle that takes up a lot of your freetime is a good way to fizzle out. If you think you won’t have a lot of time to dedicate, but still want to make some money, then why not try starting small, like selling unwanted clothes and completing online surveys. 

Another thing to think about is how much income you’re looking to make. If you earn over £12,570 then you’ll have to start paying tax on your earnings, so if you do start raking in the cash then keep that in mind.

Best side hustles in the UK for students

The opportunities for side hustles are endless. But if you’re wondering where to get started, we’ve gathered a few of the popular ways to make money, from easy options to more involved endeavours. 

Selling and reselling clothes

Do something useful with those hoards of unworn clothes from last season. Sites like Vinted, Depop, ebay are so easy to use and ideal for sifting through clothes you haven’t worn in forever. If you want to channel your inner entrepreneur, then why not scope out local charity shops to see if you can find any hidden gems to resell for a profit? 

It’s a risky game so a keen eye for fashion and a talent for charity shop rummaging is a must if you want to make money this way. Our top tips on selling your clothes on Vinted is a must-read if you’re looking to make some £££.

Social media influencer

Fancy yourself as the next Molly Mae? Becoming an influencer is one of the more lucrative ways to make money these days, but a lot of effort goes into building your audience. Whether you take to TikTok, Youtube, or Instagram, the benefits to building up a social media presence mean you can do it in your spare time from your phone. 

If it takes off, you can expect some serious cash from brand deals, UGC and affiliate marketing. But it’s a saturated market, so finding out your niche is key to success. 

If you think becoming an influencer is for you, then our post on content creation in 2024 will give you some top tips.  

Letterbox baked goods

Calling all future Mary Berrys! For those blessed with baking abilities, letterbox cake and brownie deliveries have taken off the past few years. People love a sweet treat so delivering straight to your door is a great business to start on the side. 

Things to look out for with selling physical goods include the actual cost of ingredients to make them, and packaging materials too. All of this will affect how much profit you can make. It’s also time consuming, so make sure you have time to balance your studies before embarking on your own bake-off adventure.

Copywriting/Content Writing

Journalism student? This one’s for you. Looking for that dreaded ‘experience with no experience’? Places like Fiverr list opportunities for content writing and copywriting which can help to build your portfolio during your studies as well as making a bit of money on the side. 

There’s a lot of competitions but once you have a few under your belt then you can use these as examples of your work too. 

Online surveys

If you only have a small amount of time to dedicate to your side hustles, then online surveys are for you. Lots of websites offer money for you to complete their surveys so they can understand opinions (like YouGov) or get a better understanding of their target audience. 

Usually, you won’t get a huge amount of payout from online surveys, but if you dedicate an hour a week to filling them out, then it’ll soon add up.

Focus groups

Along with surveys, a lot of companies will run focus groups, either in person or online. This is to get a better understanding of how an audience reacts to a product, opinion or whatever a company is selling. You’ll usually get between £30-£100 for participating in a focus group, depending on whether it’s online or in person. 

Some companies that run focus groups include:

Tutoring

If you’re looking to go into teaching, then this could be a great opportunity to brush up on your newly learnt skills. There’s a lot of opportunity to help kids across the country brush up on their English, Maths or Science before their GCSEs and A-Levels. If you’re a whiz at these, it’s worth throwing your name in the ring and can give you some good experience at speaking to young people about how they learn. 

An important thing to consider if you want to tutor is that you should get DBS checked if you’re planning to tutor under 18s. You can apply for a basic check on the gov website.

Cat sitting/dog walking

Cat lady? Dog lover? Channel your love of animals into cat sitting or dog walking to make money from what you’d probably do for free. 

Websites like Cat in a Flat and Borrow my Doggy mean you can set up a profile and people will reach out to you when they need someone to help care for their pet. It works like any review site, where you can review them and vice versa. Build up a good reputation and you’ll often get repeat customers who trust you with their furry friends. 

Test apps online

User experience (UX) is a booming business. So companies need everyday people to check how their apps work, from functionality to design. User Testing is a website that will send you opportunities for testing, and you can quickly build a nice little stack of cash from these projects. 

Website design

For those with a bit more time and a bit of technical website know-how, why not refine your design and coding skills with website design? 

If you’re already a coding whiz, then practising your craft not only helps refine your skills, but you can make substantial income on the side. Like some of the other ideas here, there’s a fine balance between side hustle and a full time job, so make sure you’re balancing your work properly to avoid burnout. 

Handmade jewellery 

Crafty people, we’re looking at you. Handmade jewellery has long been a massively popular category on Etsy, with the jewellery category appearing in the top 20 bestselling Etsy shops three times as of 17th May 2024. 

Similar to website design, making jewellery can be incredibly time-consuming. So before you set up shop, find out how much time you’ll have to make the jewellery, as well as setting up an Etsy shop and sending it out. 

Not ready to start a side hustle but looking for ways to save money? 

If you’re not quite ready to get started with a side hustle but are feeling the squeeze from everything going up, there are plenty of other ways you can start to cut down on spending

Additionally, make sure you’re saving on purchases where you can by taking advantage of Student Beans’ discounts, from your next meal out to a new pair of shoes, there are plenty of amazing brands offering exclusive discounts for students.