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How to Make Money as a Student

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how to make money as a student-Simplified-23rd-of-July-Eventbrite

‘Simplified by Cowrywise – How to Make Money Moves as a Student ‘ was a virtual event held to share a roadmap to making money as a student. Simplified events are periodically held to help break down how money works for everyday people. At the Simplified event held in July, Feranmi Okafor, Growth Associate at Cowrywise and Salem King, Content Strategist and Teacher shared how to get your coins as a student. This is a summary of their session, read and share with any students you know.

How to make money as a student

  1. Monetize your hobbies
  2. Learn a skill
  3. Find a flexible side-gig
  4. Save money from what you earn
  5. Confront your limiting beliefs
  6. Learn more about how money works.

Watch the full session below on how to make money as a student:

Can’t watch the video right now? Read the text summary below:

Feranmi’s Okafor’s desire for more than pocket money πŸ’³

Feranmi’s story begins many years back. As a much younger girl, she already had the desire to have her own money. She still lived with her parents and there were people who helped along the way, but she wanted to own and afford to pay for certain things without needing anybody’s help.

DJ, please play “Miss Independent” by Neyo 🎧. Oh, there’s no DJ? Ok ok, moving on. 🌚

It was an important value for her to not always rely on pocket money to get things done. She started a business at 13 selling bow sets to churches. It wasn’t “big money” but it opened her eyes to the power of earning your own coins.

Make money from skills you already have 🍳

In secondary school, people noticed that Feranmi was really good at writing so she saw an opportunity to earn from it. πŸ€‘ She started ghostwriting, which is writing for people for a fee without taking credit. It could be essays, novels, or non-fiction. She didn’t “blow” from ghostwriting but it earned her pretty decent pay. Plus, inflation wasn’t this high then. 🌚

Students often look outside themselves to make money, but you may already have a skill you’re overlooking. For example, if you hear “your voice is very nice” all the time, you can make money by becoming a voice-over artist. Of course, you’ll need to hone the skill, but it’ll be easy because it’s a skill you already have that others don’t.

You might be thinking – “but this my ability to cook well” or “my way of tying gele” or “how I’m so good with numbers” is random, but there are people willing to pay for you to teach or do it for them.

Monetize your hobbies πŸ–

Now that you (hopefully) believe your skills are valuable, let’s talk about your hobbies too.

If you love something, you can make money from it. Feranmi shares how she’s made money from almost all her hobbies.

Hobby - an activity or interest done regularly for pleasure or relaxation and not as your main occupation.
Skills - expertise or the ability to do something well.

Hobbies are not exactly the same as your skills because skills are often connected to “work” but hobbies are things you thoroughly enjoy like travelling or reading. You can then make money by curating fun travel experiences for people or starting a reading club and helping people hit their reading goals.

“I like money. Money is very important to me”, Feranmi says. So she finds interesting ways to make some and you can too. πŸ˜‰ She even took advantage of her love for writing poetry during Valentine’s to write love poems for people. Talk about someone who doesn’t play with her funds. πŸ˜‚ πŸ™ŒπŸ½

“There’s nothing greater than making money from something you love.”

If you have a flair for business, you can start a small business in your hostel or online and people will buy depending on how well you market your business or brand.

It’s not crazy 🀯

You’re going to get ideas that seem crazy and that’s ok because you’ll never know what people are willing to pay for until you put yourself out there and try.

Monetizing poetry, for instance, sounded crazy but she tagged it the “love project”. Feranmi decided to write these poems for only 20 people and thereby used something called the scarcity technique in marketing to get customers.

How much did she make? Almost 150k in just 10 days! 😎 Not bad at all for a student.

Your ideas, your hobbies and seemingly crazy ideas are valid.

Feranmi Okafor

No go dey do pass yourself βš–οΈ

If you’re picking up a side gig or a part-time job, it has to be in sync with your current reality. Remember that you’re a student and can’t work full-time like someone who’s out of school. Balance is key because you still have to get that degree.

It’s hard to reach a perfect balance but if you set the boundaries by prioritizing both effectively, it’ll go a long way. Don’t take up jobs that will take up your whole life. “I’ve been there and it wasn’t nice!”

Whatever you end up doing for money must be flexible.

Feranmi Okafor

Collect your coins 😎

“No free labour!” πŸ—£

As students, there is a tendency for people to want to cheat you. That’s when you’ll be hearing things like “we will pay you in exposure” but exposure doesn’t pay the bills. You’re not going to learn how to make money as a student if you refuse to be paid.

If you’re spending a considerable amount of time on something, then you deserve to get paid. Any reputable company should pay you for the services/skills that you offer. Period! ✊🏽

Save money ohh πŸ’°

“Most of the stuff that I have done or am able to do now has come as a result of me having some money saved up.”

As a student, you’ll be tempted to spend all you have all the time but that’s heading into a danger zone.

Savings help you to have a fallback plan whenever things come up – and we all know that things will almost always come up in school! 🌚

You don’t have to have “blown” to save.

Make sure that you’re always on the right side of money. The only way to achieve that is if you’re financially literate, know how to save, know how to keep money away for another day, and can create budgets and stick to them.

Salem King’s mistakes as a student and what you can learn from them πŸ“

Salem was already in 300 level before he realized that he had made a mistake choosing Economics as his course. It involved a lot of maths which wasn’t his strongest point. The statistic and further maths he encountered there were like principalities. 🌚

One of the things I wish I took more seriously in school was my money.

Salem King

Salem had the mindset that he was going to graduate and become a full-time “corporate guy”. His plan was to go get his master’s after university, become an investment banker and then “make his money”. He used to think his friends who were entrepreneurs in school were doing something he could never do, but that has changed now.

His mistakes 😫

  • Thinking he was too young to do anything business related. “I was just really relaxed and thought I would think of ways to make money later”. At the time, he thought he was being focused but now realizes that he was simply making excuses. No matter how young you are, it’s not too early to begin making money decisions.
  • His second mistake was being totally dependent on his parents. There was no time when he would have a need and think “how do I meet this need for myself?” He only always thought “I need to call home” and this is a dangerous mindset to have all through your school life. Don’t be too entitled because pocket money will not last forever. You want to prepare before time.
  • Another mistake Salem made was not saving. When he needed money, he knew who to call and the problem with entitlement is that you don’t realize the importance of things on a grand scale. “I didn’t use to think that my parents’ money can finish.” He blew everything they gave him on food and other things and if this is you, REPENT! πŸ˜‚
  • Salem also didn’t know anything about finances and he wasn’t learning. This is also dangerous, you must be willing to learn about finances to make better decisions. There’s a lot of information on the Cowrywise blog that will come in handy.

Money isn’t something you learn about when you have it, otherwise when you have it, it’s not going to stay.

Salem King

When he started to work, his eyesight opened to these mistakes but his eyes really opened when he moved out of his parents’ house and started to pay rent. 😭 This is when he had to take financial education seriously and learn all he had missed while in school.

When you move out, even to have breakfast in bed, you’ll have to get up and cook the breakfast. πŸ˜‚

Confront your limiting beliefsπŸͺž

Saying “I’m too young to learn how to make money as a student or I don’t make enough to start saving” is a limiting belief. If you don’t save money when you make small money, you’re not going to when you make “enough” because your appetite will continue to grow. Observe your internal dialogue. Whenever you think about or relate with money, what does your mind tell you? When you get money unexpectedly as a gift, are you thinking of how to invest or how to blow it up?

Is your mind saying “I can’t be an entrepreneur because I’m only a corporate job type of person” or “I can’t be thinking of how to make money as a student right now?”

Confront these limiting beliefs that put a cap on what you consider possible.

Learn about finances πŸ’΅

Be very intentional about learning about finances. No need to be uncomfortable about it because money is something you interact with almost every day in one way or the other!

Food, transportation, data, and books all cost you money so it only makes sense that you organize your finances as early as possible.

Start Saving 🏦

If this is coming up again, then it’s super important!

It’s more about building the habit than about how much you save at this time. See it as “paying” yourself first instead of spending all you have. Start building the habit now.

Want to learn how to make money as a student? – Start a business βœ…

Find something you love that you can turn into money. When you start earning your own money, it will do something positive to your psyche. Research business ideas in Nigeria that you can execute to earn a side income.

Place a value on a skill you have so that others can put a value on it too!

Find opportunities πŸ”

Every time you’re on break or less busy, find opportunities to work. Salem shared a quote he loves…

If you are unsure about your purpose, find someone who is and serve with them.


If you’re not sure about what your purpose, assignment or passion is, find someone who is very clear about theirs and work with them. It will give you an opportunity to discover more about yourself.

Learn a skill 😎

It’s never too early to learn how to make money as a student using your skills. You never know what you’re preparing yourself for.

What lessons are you taking away as a student?

Share with us in the comments! 😊

Will you like to join Cowrywise as a student ambassador? We have exciting opportunities waiting for you!


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