If you’re a student, chances are your personal finances could use a boost. Unless you’re on Rich Kids of Instagram, in which case you should probably stop reading right about now. For the rest of us, the struggle is real. Some of us get part-time jobs for a bit of extra income, but balancing your studies and a job is hard, especially if you’re trying to keep your grades up. Luckily, the world of tech has opened up several ways for students to earn money online that:
- Actually work
- Don’t take up too much of your time
Did that catch your attention? Good, because in this blog we’ve compiled a list of some of the best apps that students can use to earn money online. There are a hundred apps on the market claiming to make you a quick buck but they don’t all work. And for the ones that do, the pay-out is frankly, underwhelming. We’ve done the research and filtered out the top money earning apps that actually work.
But before we jump right in, it’s worthwhile to consider the different types of income generating apps that are currently on the market. Everyone’s different and so what might work for you might not work for someone else. For example – you might be great at taking photos and uploading them on socials for a fee but doing online surveys for cash might not be up your alley.
We’ve outlined the different types of income generating apps that you can choose from, based on your interests and strengths. Read on:
What are the Different Types of Money-Making Apps?
- Investment apps – got some leftover Christmas savings? Investment apps let you invest your savings and earn a passive income on the side.
- Task-based apps – these enable you to earn money by completing various low-effort tasks. Think: reporting on which brand of biscuits are on sale at a supermarket.
- Gaming apps – if your days start with PS4s (or PS5s if you’re among the select few), gaming apps are a great way to earn some money on the side. These apps literally pay you to do what you like i.e. completing stages and reaching milestones in a game.
- Market research apps – these apps compensate you for doing online and offline surveys to determine a product’s market position.
6 Best Apps Grads Can Use to Earn Money Online
Are you a diligent note taker in class? Do your friends and colleagues routinely ask for your classroom notes? If you’ve answered yes, then Notesgen is the right app for you. Simply upload your handwritten notes on a particular topic on the Notesgen platform. If other Notesgen users find your notes relevant, they can download them from the app and you get paid based on the number of downloads.
The great thing about Notesgen is that there are no restrictions on the number of topics so you can upload. You could have multiple uploads ranging from specific subject notes to prep material on competitive tests. The app has over 5.5 million users and is available on both iOS and Android.
Our next app is Swagbucks. According to the official Swagbucks website, it is the internet’s ‘most popular loyalty and consumer rewards program. Members of this free rewards service get free gift cards or cash for the everyday activities they're already completing online like searching the web, playing games, watching videos, or shopping online where you'll make money through cash back rebates.’
With Swagbucks, you can earn rewards called SB that you can redeem for either cash or gift cards from Amazon, PayPal and other brands. You would need 850 SB to claim a £5 Amazon voucher and approximately 18,125 SB for £100 PayPal credit.
Don’t worry though, racking up SB is quicker than you’d think and Swagbucks run regular offers on their rewards. So, you could earn gift cards or PayPal credit for 20% off the usual price.
Qmee is a popular survey-based app. The way it works is, you download and add the Qmee app to your web browser and then search online using Chrome, Firefox, Safari as usual. The Qmee add-on shows you some additional ads with your regular search results. Some companies pay Qmee to feature in these ads and Qmee in turn pays you a commission. Plus, if you click on the featured ad, you can also earn between 7p-15p.
Now for the survey bit. You can opt-in to receive surveys on your Qmee dashboard under the Surveys tab. Answer some questions about the types of surveys you’d like to receive. You can take surveys at anytime AND the rewards get added to your account in real time with no minimum cash-out limit. For example – if you earned £0.02, you could cash out £0.02.
4. Gift Hunter Club
This is another great app that helps you earn money online. Just sign up to the Gift Hunter Club with your email and once you’re registered, you can get started straightaway. You can choose from a range of tasks like watching videos and sharing offers with your friends.
With each task you complete, you earn points that you can convert into cash through PayPal. Alternatively, you could use your points to buy Amazon vouchers. Check the 'earn points' section when you sign up to see what tasks are available and how much they pay.
Each task also mentions the amount of time it will take you to complete it. This helps you choose which task you can take on depending on your availability.
Bonus: you get 75 points free just for signing up!
BeMyEye is a market research app that involves surveying and reporting on product placement in stores. The way it works is you download the app and then browse through the available ‘missions’ near you. These missions could include taking photos of how a certain biscuit brand is displayed in a store shelf to actually speaking to a store manager about the sale and search volume for a brand of tea.
Every part of the task is completed through the app. Just follow the step-by-step instructions and you’ll be fine. You’ll even be shown the optimum route to take to the store via Google Maps and given sufficient time to get there before starting your task. Once at the store, you will be asked to answer a few questions and take pictures of the shelves displaying the product. At the end of your task you only have to click on ‘Finish mission’ on the app to send your report.
BeMyEye is one of the better paying apps with payments ranging from £3 to £10 depending on the length and complexity of the task.
Pro tip: Tasks get picked up fast so consider turning on notifications on your phone to get alerts whenever they become available.
Roamler is another popular market research app. This one’s a little different because you need an invite to get in. Don’t worry though – you can make a request to join through the Roamler UK Facebook page. The app is available on iOS and Android and pays you to complete a range of simple tasks like counting stock in stores, to taking photos of beverages in restaurants.
Payments range from £3 to £20 per task and each tasks usually takes been five and 20 minutes. Payments are made through PayPal and there’s no minimum pay-out amount.
Things to Consider Before Using Money Making Apps
Whilst most people aren’t impacted by this, it’s worthwhile to know the tax implications for your online earnings. According to HMRC guidelines, you don't need to report the first £1,000 you earn from self-employment or selling goods/services 'for profit'. However if your income exceeds £1,000 from these money making apps, you will need to declare it to HMRC by registering for Self Assessment and filling in a tax return.
Claim Your Pay-out Fast
It’s good practice to claim any pay-out ASAP to avoid losing out on any earnings in case an app goes bust. For the apps that have a minimum pay-out threshold, make sure to cash out as soon as your reach this limit.
Use Gift Vouchers Fast
The same rule applies for gift vouchers earned from apps. Make sure to use any vouchers as soon as you can so they don’t go out of date.
If you’re a grad, managing your studies and life admin at once probably doesn’t leave much time to plan your next steps after uni. Check out the FDM Graduate Programme to see if a career in technology is right for you.