4 Ways to Make Extra Money as a Student This Holiday Season

4 Ways to Make Extra Money as a Student This Holiday Season

"4 Ways To Make Extra Money As A Student This Holiday Season" blog post banner with a group of young adults smiling and laughing with sunny, cloudy skies amidst green trees in the background.

We've all been there: being done with exams and ready for the holiday season. But what if you are looking to not hang out with friends or chill at home, but instead make some money during the holiday season? If your financial goal is to learn about the different ways to make extra money this festive season, you've come to the right place! 

The Issue

The issue with being a university student is that there aren't that many high-paying jobs for someone who doesn't have a degree yet (isn't "qualified") or isn't certified in some way (has certifications). 

Plus, the jobs that could pay you enough to be comfortable — or as comfortable as a student could berequire you to work full-time. Now, I don't know about you, but unless you're superhuman it can be incredibly challenging to work and study full-time.

The Solution

Working seasonally, particularly during the holiday season, is a great way to work full-time without worrying about keeping up with your coursework. 

Gif of Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, saying, "Problem solved." and pointing his index finger to his head and pointing to the audience.
Source: The Daily Show with Trevor Noah via GIPHY

Now that we've figured out that working during the holiday season is the optimal time to work as a student, let's look at four ways to make extra money as a student.

4 Ways to Make Extra Money as a Student This Holiday Season

1. Work as a Sales Assistant 

Smiling cashier assisting lady at the counter to pay for goods.
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Many retailers advertise posts and have increased demand for sales assistants during the holiday season. This is because many people will be shopping for gifts, clothes, gadgets, etc. With employees receiving their bonuses (13th cheque), they will have more disposable income around this time. Retailers anticipate and prepare for this by hiring more sales assistants during the festive season.

Sales assistants work on the sales floor and assist customers by answering inquiries, assisting them with item selection, and so on. If you have great interpersonal skills and don't mind being on your feet all day, this could be a great option for you. According to Indeed.com, the average salary for a sales assistant in South Africa is R4 140 per month. Please alter the search to reflect the average salary in your location.

Retailers are not only looking for sales assistants. They are also looking for:

- Shelf packers

- Cashiers

2. Sell your Skills

Image of Muslim female student in the library reading a book with a camera in front of her and a coffee drink beside her on the desk.
Photo by Muhammad Haikal Sjukri on Unsplash

If you have a skill such as photography, baking, knowledge on a specific topic (for tutoring), etc, you can sell these skills to people in your community and people online.

You can take pictures of people at weddings and other events, bake scones and cupcakes for sale to people in your neighborhood, and tutor students online from different parts of the world.

Generally speaking, the pay depends on the number of hours you work and how you set your price. If you are tutoring online, the pay depends on what the tutoring company sets the rates at. If you're tutoring as an independent tutor, you can set your own rate per hour. Just make sure you're pricing your services well to factor in transportation costs to and from the student (if tutoring in person), as well as keeping in line with the average/market rate. 

Ensure you are following the COVID-19 safety regulations in your area when doing these jobs.

3. Complete Online Surveys or Participate in Research Studies

Parks and Recreation

Are You Having Fun?
Clips from Parks and Recreation

Now, some surveys do ask boring questions like Amy Poehler's character does in the clip above, but some survey sites ask you interesting questions about research and products you've never heard before.

Survey sites like Prolific have surveys based on research done by masters and Phd students, marketers, etc. These cover industries such as Medical, Education, etc. Sometimes you get to play games and your responses and moves you make are used in research. It's pretty interesting! 

So far, I've earned £25.63 (approximately R538.33 at the time of writing) by completing surveys on Prolific part-time. I joined them on 31 August 2021. 

Screenshot of Prolific earnings since 31 August 2021
Prolific earnings since 31 August 2021

You could probably make more than that if you do it full-time during the holiday season. Be sure to install their Prolific Assistant on your Chrome or Firefox browser. Once you have configured it to your liking, it will send you notifications of new studies on their site. This way you're more likely to complete more studies and get paid more. 

It's not a guarantee that you'll get a spot in the study that's on their site because spots fill up quickly. But it does help you keep an eye out for more studies.

Another great site or app is dscout. dscout is an app that allows you to participate in user research. You'll partake in research that asks about your experience using certain products, for example. It usually involves answering multiple-choice questions, short and long questions, and video responses. Sometimes the research requires you to take pictures and videos of the product the research is about. 

So far, I've made $110 (approximately R1 696.76 at the time of writing) on the app. I joined the app in early September 2021.

Screenshot of $110 earnings on dscout app.
Overall earnings to date on dscout app.

Screenshot of breakdown of earnings from dscout.
Breakdown of $110 earnings on dscout app.
Last but not least, we have Surveytime

Surveytime.io logo
Surveytime logo. © Surveytime.io. All rights reserved.

Surveytime is a website where you can earn $1 for every survey you complete. The surveys range from a few minutes to more than 30 minutes at a time. Also, when there are no $1 surveys available, sometimes they'll have $0.50 surveys available for you to complete.

So far, I've earned $9.50 (approximately R147.03) so far. I signed up in late September 2021. 

Video screenshot converted to gif of earnings from Surveytime.io since 28 September 2021.
My earnings on Surveytime from 28 September 2021

It's worth noting that I completed only 12 surveys: 7 were $1 surveys, and the rest were $0.50 surveys. You could probably earn more if you spent more time on them. Surveytime allows you to set up desktop and email notifications, so you don't miss new surveys. They also have an affiliate program you can apply to & sign up for if you are an "influencer, blogger, vlogger, and media channel manager with an engaged and active audience who has an interest in generating additional income and working from home." according to their website.

4. Manage the Social Media and/or Content Creation of Small Businesses or Brands

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash
A great way to earn extra money as a student this holiday season is to manage the social media and/or content creation of a small business or brand. 

You can find a small business in your area (by visiting the mall, walking or driving around your area, for example) and determine if they have a social media presence. If not, you can offer to provide social media management and content creation services for them. 

The average salary of a social media manager in South Africa is R13 670 per month (gross amount before tax and any deductions or contributions). Considering that you're offering your services to small businesses (who are often experiencing financial constraints), you may want to offer your services at a lower charge and negotiate the terms (posts per week, social media channels managed, and hours worked). 

Alternatively, Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer are some of the platforms you can use to be a freelance social media manager and content creator.


Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it.

The festive season is a great time to make extra money as a student, especially since you usually have a lot of free time. What are some extra ways you can think of to make extra money as a student this holiday season? Let us know in the comments section below.

Till next time!

Take care,


This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. 

The information presented herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional financial advice.

Always talk to your financial advisor about the risks and benefits of any financial information shared. If you are looking for financial advice, kindly speak to somebody who is certified and registered with the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA).

eishstudentbudget™ and its owner(s) are not liable for any loss, harm, or damage you may incur as a result of you using the information presented here.


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