College life can bring a unique set of financial challenges. While adopting cost-cutting strategies like making the most of your meal plan or walking to save on transportation can be helpful, they may not always suffice.
For many college students, money often gets tight, and the financial aid from guardians and HELB may not be enough. If you have reached this juncture, it's time to consider how to generate extra income. This article will discuss ten ways college students in Kenya can make extra cash in 2024.
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Whether you excel in graphic design, writing, transcription, coding, or any other skill, there's a demand for freelancers in the digital marketplace.
Platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer can connect you with clients seeking your specific talents worldwide. All you need to do is set up a profile to showcase your skills and experience and start bidding on relevant projects.
Why consider freelancing? The earning potential is substantial; you can make extra money, reducing financial dependence on family or loans. You have the freedom to set your own work hours, and there's almost always the flexibility to work from any location while developing your skills and building a portfolio that can come in handy later. This adaptability allows you to balance work and studies seamlessly.
With the increasing demand for online support, businesses are constantly looking for efficient virtual assistants. As a virtual assistant, you provide administrative support to businesses, busy professionals, or entrepreneurs remotely. You only need a computer, an internet connection, and strong organisational and communication skills.
You can offer a range of services, but first, you will need to familiarise yourself with common office software like Microsoft Office and Google Workplace, as these tools are often used for tasks such as calendar management, email management, data entry, and document creation.
To get started, create a profile on freelancing platforms or contact local businesses. Highlight your skills and your ability to manage tasks efficiently. Be proactive in seeking opportunities, and gradually build a client base that fits your schedule to ensure your academic responsibilities remain a priority.
Being a virtual assistant provides a steady income and equips you with much-needed skills that can enhance your resume. As you assist in various tasks, you'll gain real-world experience that can prove invaluable in your future career endeavours.
Typical odd jobs include babysitting for busy parents, helping with laundry for those drowning in a pile of clothes, or running errands for individuals caught up in their daily routines. These tasks might seem small, but they can significantly impact someone else's life while providing you with a steady income. Doing laundry can earn you up to Ksh500 for two hours of work.
Finding odd jobs is often as simple as tapping into your existing network or reaching out to friends, family, or neighbours who might need assistance. Alternatively, you can explore online platforms such as your local community Facebook group, where people often post such requests.
These odd jobs are ideal for college students because they offer flexibility in terms of time commitment. You can easily fit them into your class schedule and other obligations. Additionally, they provide a chance to develop valuable skills such as time management and responsibility—all of which can be beneficial in both academic and professional pursuits.
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Leveraging your skills to start a business involves recognising your unique talents or expertise and finding ways to monetise them. Instead of seeking traditional employment, you use your skills to create opportunities for yourself.
For every skill you have, thousands of people can significantly benefit from your expertise and are ready to pay for it. These people may either want you to teach them the skill or want to hire you for a task.
For instance, if you are a talented chef, you can look for personal chef gigs over the weekend when not in college. If you are a good baker, you can bake birthday cakes for schoolmates and even consider selling your delectable creations online or in the evenings when you're not in class.
And if you're a fitness enthusiast, capitalise on your passion by offering training sessions to fellow students aiming to get fit.
Begin by identifying what you're good at, assessing the demand for your skills in the market and developing a service or product based on your skills that addresses the needs of your prospects. After validating your idea, start your new business.
Reselling, or "flipping," is a lucrative avenue for college students to make extra money without hefty time, space, or capital investments. This side hustle involves buying items at lower prices and selling them at a profit.
Here are some popular items to consider:
Textbooks: Source for used textbooks from fellow students and resell them online for a quick profit.
Furniture: Source for cheap furniture items like study desks and chairs, and resell them for a higher price.
Electronic Accessories: College students always buy the latest phone and computer accessories like covers, earphones, earpods, laptop bags, chargers, etc. If you can find a good supplier, you can make money buying and reselling these always-on-demand products.
Thrifted Clothes and Shoes: Explore Mtumba markets for fashionable items that you can resell at a markup to follow students.
Utilise a variety of platforms for reselling, including local marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace and online platforms such as Jiji. If permitted, you can even sell your products within the college hostels.
An internship is typically a temporary job offer. Local businesses and nonprofit organisations commonly offer them to students in their final years of college and fresh graduates.
Typically, internships are related to your field of study. As a computer science student, you can intern at a tech firm, assisting with software development or IT support. As a journalism/communication major, you can intern at a newspaper, radio station, or digital media company. These opportunities can lead to a full-time offer when you graduate.
Even if they don't lead to a full-time job, internships may teach various on-the-job soft skills that can serve you well across many fields, such as teamwork, motivation, and professional behaviour. Moreover, a good experience will likely yield valuable insight, positive recommendations, ongoing career connections/networks, and, not to forget, a steady chunk of walking-around cash.
To become a content creator, start by identifying your passion or expertise. Whether it's fashion, tech, gaming, or lifestyle, choosing a niche you genuinely enjoy ensures sustained enthusiasm.
Next, set up your platform – this could be a blog if you are a good writer, a YouTube channel if you are good in front of a camera, or even a Podcast page if you want to tell your stories in audio format.
Content creation involves producing engaging and valuable material for your audience. To monetise your content, you need to build a loyal following, which is crucial to attracting sponsorships, generating advertising revenue, and even buying your products/services and merchandise.
However, it's crucial to understand that success doesn't happen overnight. You need to be patient and consistent, so establish a posting schedule that suits your college commitments, produce high-quality content, engage with your audience, and stay updated on trends.
Teaching others can reinforce your understanding of a subject and put extra cash in your pocket. It's a win-win! As a tutor, your job will be to teach your classmates subjects you're knowledgeable in and enjoy.
Start by advertising your services to classmates and schoolmates. Create eye-catching flyers or use social media to spread the word about your tutoring services. Highlight your strengths and the subjects you can assist with. Consider offering special rates for group sessions, making it affordable for multiple students to benefit from your expertise.
Don't limit yourself to on-campus opportunities. Reach out to high school students looking for weekend help in various subjects. Parents are often willing to invest in their children's education, providing you with an additional income stream.
As a student, you usually use social media frequently — so why not make it a means of earning a living? Social media managing skills are something you possibly possess already as you will be leveraging your knowledge of popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
The beauty of social media management is its flexibility – all you need is your mobile phone. You can earn between Ksh7,000 - Ksh20,000 per month by managing and growing the social media pages of brands and small businesses.
Your tasks may include creating content, engaging with customers, and providing online customer support. To excel in this field, invest some time in learning analytics tools to measure your social media performance, create engaging content that resonates with your client's target audience, and showcase products or services effectively.
Next, you will need to build a portfolio showcasing tangible results, such as increased engagement and website traffic, which will attract more clients. To kick-start your journey, you can offer your services to local businesses or look for social media management jobs online.
Read Also: Is Social Media Ruining Your Finances?
Crafting and selling handmade items allows you to showcase your artistic talents and provides a flexible income source. Whether you’re making jewellery, knitted items, designing t-shirts, or even homemade soaps and candles, there’s a market for handcrafted goods on your campus.
To get started, determine the type of handmade items you want to create and sell, source for materials, and set up a workspace in your room. Create your products while prioritising quality in your creations. You can market your products to students and on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok to reach a wider audience and connect with customers.
Read Also: 5 Smart Ways to Monetise Your Personal Brand
College life is demanding, but that shouldn't be an excuse to remain broke when there are many opportunities to explore and make money. Today, technology and social media even make finding side hustles that fit your schedule, interests, and expertise easier. Additionally, most tips above also require low upfront costs to get started.
But remember, the key to successfully juggling your studies and side hustles lies in effective time management and setting clear boundaries. Don't invest too much effort in your side hustles that education takes a backseat.