How does a busy student turn more coin?
February 24, 2007 12:11 AM   Subscribe

How do i turn some coin without ruining my studies? I'm in the 4th year of my degree which i should have finished a while ago, due to pressure to pay rent each week I've been working a lot, and subsequently failed a lot of papers due to pressures all around. I cant get government support.

As simple as possible: I am ineligible for government student allowances due to my parents income, (despite not having lived with them/or been supported by them for over 2 years) the only thing the govt can offer is $150NZD weekly loan (interest free) and I usually have an aversion to borrowing money.

My current job is a no brainer and usually work alone with not much to do (it's usually phone work where I wait for the work to come to me, and I get paid regardless). What kind of activities can I do which would earn me more money without having to invest too much time or capital? I just turned 21 so, currently still fairly unskilled in the job market.

I'm thinking...
-Selling things via Trademe (NZ version of eBay)
-I'm a novice screen printer, so printing blank t shirts and selling them on-line.
-selling my photographic prints online or other places.
-proof reading, and editing (not sure how to find these jobs at piecemeal rate, and only via email -outsourcing and such).

any alternative income ideas would be great, also, should I take that loan? Given that it is interest free until i start earning above $X a year. I currently earn about $50NZD after rent and some food. Help me get my girlfriend to Fiji at the end of the year! :-)
posted by chrisbucks to Work & Money (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
posted by dropkick at 12:38 AM on February 24, 2007

Help me get my girlfriend to Fiji at the end of the year!

Wait, what? You need more money to send your girlfriend to Fiji? I'd advise getting by with what you're doing right now as you seem to be managing to pay rent and finish your degree before you start raising money for holidays. I wouldn't take the loan out unless you're not getting by on what you make.

To actually answer your question, I suggest bartending. Also, can you apply for legal emancipation from your parents or something? I don't know how it works in NZ but I know in the UK if you're a student and your parents haven't supported you for x years and you can prove it more financial help is available.
posted by corvine at 2:45 AM on February 24, 2007

haha, the Fiji comment was more of an aside. sorry. I can actually financially manage on what I'm getting (just), i'm not in financial hardship yet. Taking out the loan would pay for my rent and that's about it, so I'd have $150 i can save for emergencies,. Obviously that's just $150 i'd have to pay back down the track, but at the moment I'm almost thinking of throwing it in, in terms of studies because I'm simply not enjoying it and I'm having to scrape through each month.

In terms of the legal emancipation, the only way of doing this is by filing for an Independent Circumstances Benefit, which is where I need to prove to the government that I've had a 'relationship breakdown' with my parents which prevents me from living with them or them supporting me, which is simply not the case. I dont live with my parents because they're a 1.5hour daily commute to and from the university and it's simply not practical, and they dont support me because they believe my living situation is MY choice, and therefore I should be supporting it.

Thanks, I looked at prosper but noticed that it's restricted to US citizens
posted by chrisbucks at 3:26 AM on February 24, 2007

Some questions for you...

How many hours a week do you need to dedicate to study in order to pass your course?

Taking this, sleep, and your social life into consideration, how many hours can you commit to working?

How much money do you need to live happily? (i.e. cover your expenses and have enough for the occasional treat, so you're doing a bit better than "just managing to cope") And how many hours would you need to work in order to make that money?

Okay, so you know how many hours you need to work to make the money you need and also how many hours you can reasonably commit to work while still having enough time for study and a social life.

If these two numbers don't add up then you have two options. You can cut down on work and make up the difference with the loan (you shouldn't need to take out the whole $150 a week if you don't want to). Or you can consider studying part time and working more. That's what I did (in Oz - I was in an identical situation to you when it came to financial assistance) - took me a couple of extra years to complete my degree but I ended up with no debt and good grades and had fun along the way.

And it's obviously a bit late for this year, but consider full time work over summer - you can build up a savings pot that means you need to work less during the academic year.
posted by finding.perdita at 5:02 AM on February 24, 2007

A few ideas:

1) Find a PT job on campus. Before I graduated I went to school part-time and worked within the same university, and found the proximity really helped as far as getting from class to work. A friend of mine is making a fair bit of money typing class notes for hearing-impaired students, for example, so if you're a good typist/note-taker, that might be something to look into.

2) It sounds like you sort of do this already, might try picking up some shifts at a not-so-busy convenience store, used bookstore, video rental shop, etc. Any low-key, low-traffic place (preferably in a safe area) that lets you sit alone behind a counter. I have friends who do all their homework/studying while working evening shifts at various mom-and-pop joints, and still manage to have social lives.

3) See if any on-campus media groups need proofreaders (student newspapers, weekly music pubs, etc). They won't pay much, but they might give you an honourarium.
posted by lindsey.nicole at 8:01 AM on February 24, 2007

Plasma donation gets me $50 per week. $200 per month definitely comes in handy.
posted by sian at 8:53 AM on February 24, 2007

We don't get paid to give blood in NZ. And for students everything is means tested on our parent's income until we turn 25 regardless of if we live with them (for unemployed people it's 18, bleh). I've worked at StudyLink and the paperwork and justifications needed for Independent Circumstances Allowance are reasonably arduous, the poster won't qualify without a lot of lying and a social worker willing to do the same.

The exact answer partially depends your location because the kind of jobs available vary in different places. First thing you should do is sign up with student job search. They often have small one off jobs that will pick you up a bit here and there (check their website regularly) and also have ongoing jobs that may suit (tutouring or housecleaning or gardening are traditional student jobs). There are a lot of part time call centre jobs advertised in Auckland, many of them aimed at the student market. It sounds like you have experience at this already so picking up an extra shift or two somewhere that recognises that could get you a decent income boost. Many retail outlets are also hiring, there are never quite enough low level workers to go around these days. Now that you're a senior student you should look into demonstrating or marking, on campus work always pays well and looks good on the CV. It can even help with your studies to some extent, making you known to the professors etc.

Basically, there is work out there. If you want more money, spend more time in paid employment. With unemployment being so low right now student-friendly definitely jobs exist if you're not picky and Seek and trademe jobs are the places to look after SJS.

Fifty dollars a week over rent and bills is a totally adequate student income. It's what I had as an undergrad, a lot more than I had doing my MSc and not much less than I have now as a PhD student with a stipend. So don't take out the loan unless you actually need it for something (Fiji doesn't count). They add up fast and can end up hanging around a lot longer than you planned. Don't go there unless you're actually in need, which you aren't.

If you're really disciplined you can borrow now throughout the year, put it aside for emergencies and pay it back at the end, so it only costs the fifty dollars set up fee. Every week you don't borrow is gone, you can't get it later. This way if you need emergency dental care or something you can pay for it. However, you need keep it safe (i.e. no blowing it at the pub) and you need to pay it back straight away, otherwise the system goes to custard. I haven't yet seen someone do this successfully (and know a couple of people carrying biggish loans because of it) and it doesn't really help with your making extra money for living on problem in any case.
posted by shelleycat at 1:33 PM on February 24, 2007

I met one guy at a garage sale, that buys sentimental looking stuff from garage sales and sell them on ebay.
He was buying stuff like old paintings, picture frames for $2 or $3 and sell them on ebay for about $30-$40.

Maybe you could look in to it.
posted by WizKid at 1:34 PM on February 24, 2007

See if your uni has interested paid opportunities. My Australian uni is paying folks $10/hour to type up lecture notes and lodge them with the Equity office so that they can give them to students with disabilities who aren't able to take down notes. They're also hiring people to be Student Ambassadors, which basically means you represent the uni to other students.
posted by divabat at 8:36 PM on February 24, 2007

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