Asked on 15 Jun 2020
Will be matriculating this year and taking up a cpf loan. What are some flexible side income ideas while in uni? The goal is to be able to save up to pay it off asap once I graduate which is about 3 years!
Flip stuff, buy low at somewhere such as Ezbuy and sell high at Carousell
Learn a skills. Could be selling, copywriting, digital marketing, coding, web design, whatever that is. Then monetize that skills by taking up side gig and be a freelancer. (Heck, it could even be your 'full time' job if you manage to earn a sizeable income from it)
Start a blog. Well it's linked to point no.2, because you will need to have a skill first in order to start a blog (I mean, if you have no knowledge and skill in any particular area, what content are you going to publish on your blog). Once you have consistent readers coming to your blog, you can start monetizing it through ways such as affiliate marketing, sponsored content, selling ebook, online course, coaching, etc.
Start a service business. Identify a problem in the marketplace (what your friends and family are constantly complaining about), and come up with a solution to solve that pain point. This is a whole new topic about business, but if you are interested in starting one, do give 'The Lean Startup' a read to get yourself started.
Give classes - tuition, music class, exercise class, etc
Firstly, you can tap on you interest/course of studies. So if you're doing design/programming-related course, you can make use of what you learnt in school to join the gig economy. Not only does it provide an income source, it can potentially help boost your portfolio.
Next, you can consider traditional part time roles such as F&B, promoter, packer, etc. These jobs gives a fixed pay per hour so you can plan the hours you want to work in advance to better schedule your work. Downside to this is that you may be directly in contact with customers (not very ideal during this period), and the job may not be very beneficial in terms of portfolio development.
Additionally, you can also consider scholarships and awards offered by school and external organisations. Scholarships focus more on grades. Different awards have different eligibility. Some are meant to reward those who contribute actively to the community at large while some are for top student in a single course. Do check your school's page for more info.
During the 3 years, you should also build up your knowledge on personal finance. I feel that stocks are volatile and may not be the best option to build your weath for paying loans. You can consider short term investment instruments that provide capital guarantee (at the very least) so that you will not have to fork out more capital to repay the loan. Cutting back on expenditure is also important. Less clubbing, alcohol and eating out will definitely help a lot.
Any part-time job works! For instance, it could be private tuition, retail, delivery, F&B.
Start a business. Look for ones where capital required is non-existent.
Allocate your time according to what you prioritize. I spent more time in the examination hall than in classes during my university years, and I still completed my course half a year early compared to my peers by maxing my course modules every single semester, including the final semester where a big project was required. I was on scholarship as well during my time and I maintained my GPA, my grades did not suffer.
People tend to grossly overestimate their time required to complete a task. Especially when the task is related to studying. My mantra is, if you can get into university, you are smart enough to allocate your time efficiently. Study smarter, use your time wisely, sleep faster and accomplish more.
Look for gigs where the potential income is high for your current qualifications. Learn skill sets where it allows you to scale your income quickly.
My friend managed to save up enough pay off her student loan by taking 4 students for tuitions. That is the path that I am taking now as well 😊.
But I guess the best way is to generate income from your field of study (CAD, 3D design, graphics, website design). You get to boost your resume and earn a side income as well. Or you can do research internship with a prof during your semester.
Your university also have experiments that you can take part in to subsidise some of your living expenses.