Unless you come from a wealthy family, a common struggle University students face is making your allowance last till month-end.
With food and transport costs eating away at our bank balance on a daily basis, we have to prudently manage whatever is left if we want to go to the movies or buy the latest gadgets.
While simple part-time work at F&B joints or administrative work at offices are always an option, to me, the pay is simply not attractive enough for me to give up my hours to work on. In my personal search for alternative ways to earn money in my spare time, I have come across 3 types of high-paying work that are available to students.
1) Private Tuition
Private tuition is something many of you have heard before, as it is one of the highest-paying work university students are able to pick-up.
As a part-time private tutor myself, I have experienced the true flexibility and freedom part-time tutoring offers.
With the usual pay ranging from $30-$40 an hour, depending on the academic level of your student, private tutoring is undeniably a lucrative option for students that do not have much free-time.
In a highly competitive academic environment like Singapore, as the competition between students grows, the demand for tutors are on the rise. When households are unable to afford paying hundreds of dollars a month for professional tutors, they turn to student tutors, which charge a more affordable rate.
Thus, despite not having any professional teaching certification, many students are able to find students that require their services.
How to find students
- Word of mouth:
The easiest way and most cost-effective way is definitely to simply check amongst your own network. What this means, is to let your friends and family members know that you are looking for students to tutor.
Via word of mouth, you might get lucky and find out that your friend’s younger sibling or your cousin requires tutoring, therefore landing you your first student.
Personally, I was fortunate enough to succeed via word-of-mouth, and met my first student, who was the son of my former Junior College teacher.
- Advertising online:
If word of mouth does not succeed, you can always try to advertise your services online.
From my own observation, many students currently offer their tutoring services on Carousel and Facebook, often using their stellar academic results to display their academic prowess.
On their advertisements, they also provide numerous testimonials that demonstrate how their services have enabled their students to improve their grades, and parents who profusely thank them for saving their children’s scores.
If you are able to create a unique advertisement that can draw potential students to your page, you will definitely be able to succeed using this method.
- Using an Agent or Tuition Centre:
Another method you can utilize is approaching an agent or tuition center to source for students for you. While this may mean that a cut of your pay will be given to the intermediary, you do not have to go through the hassle of finding your own students.
If you are too busy to utilize the advertising/word of mouth methods of finding students, this will definitely be a great time saver.
2) Insurance Agent
While being an insurance agent might not be the easiest of jobs, it definitely is one of the best for students that want to earn a large sum of money on a monthly basis.
Presently, insurance companies or financial advisories are increasingly looking to hire students into their teams, whilst crafting competitive welcome packages for new hires.
With such packages, students are able to earn thousands of dollars each month while taking up a flexible work schedule that allows students to work during their free-time.
If you were to divide the amount of pay with the number of hours worked, it would definitely be one of the most efficient ways to student to earn money whilst studying.
However, there is never a free lunch, and there are several barriers to entry that you must first surpass in order to become an insurance agent.
As a student hired insurance agent, these are several things you should know if you are interested in joining the field.
According to the Monetary Authority of Singapore, becoming an insurance agent requires you to first become an Appointed Representative, with the following criteria, as per listed on the MAS Website:
The individual to be appointed must meet the following criteria:
- Be at least 21 years old.
- Satisfy the minimum academic qualification and examination requirements as set out in Notice SFA 04-N09 Minimum Entry and Examination Requirements for Representatives of Holders of Capital Markets Services License and Exempt Financial Institutions.
- Satisfy the fit and proper criteria set out in FSG-G01 Guidelines on Fit and Proper Criteria.
Therefore, for those that have yet to turn 21, you would unfortunately fail to meet the first criteria.
For undergraduate students, you would need to first complete the Capital Market and Financial Advisory Services (CMFAS) papers before you can become an appointed representative.
Namely, there are 4 papers that you would have to pass; M5, M9, M9A and HI.
These papers mainly focus on the rules and regulations governing financial services in Singapore, while providing you with different investment related knowledge as well as information on various life insurance products in Singapore.
The papers, administered by SCI (Singapore College of Insurance), will cost a total of $395.90.
Though this might seem like a hefty sum, there are actually several insurance companies that would waive the fees partly/fully upon your successful passing of the papers, provided that you stick with the company afterwards.
Personally, I felt that the papers were not too difficult, and I was able to pass with around 3 days of studying for each.
Once you have successfully passed the papers and are able to meet the rest of the MAS criteria, you will receive a code from MAS and your company. Once that is complete, you would have become an official representative of your firm.
You are then able to start your sales and earn your commissions based on the number and types of products sold.
(Disclaimer: There are strict rules and regulations set out in the Financial Advisors Act (FAA) that govern the workings of an insurance agent. You should only make sales based on individual client’s needs and financial objectives. Note that failure to comply with the rules set out in the FAA will result in legal penalties.)
Depending on how much you plan to earn a month, you can then work out a schedule to fit your school commitments and financial goals.
3) Starting an online business
I believe that starting your own business is not something many of us might have thought of before.
After all, how can a mere student, who has no real-world experiences come up with a business model that is able to earn profits? Doesn’t it cost a lot of money and time to manage a business?
Well, while that may have been true in the past, presently, we are fortunate enough to live in a digital era, making it more feasible than ever to begin your own online business.
Utilizing platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Carousel, many home-based businesses have sprung up in recent years amongst undergraduates.
Discovering your niche
The first step is discovering what services or good you are able to provide to others.
Often, passionate triumphs talent in this case, as with proper determination and interest, you will pickup the necessary skills over time.
Personally, I have witnessed:
My sisters’ friend who loves to bake – created her own online store on Instagram, offering home-baked Indonesian cakes and pastries at affordable prices.
An ex-school classmate who is passionate in photography – created a webpage selling collectible vintage film cameras.
An army senior who took his interest in sneakers – opened up his own store at Golden Mile complex selling rare sneakers for hundreds of dollars.
The common theme with all these businesses is that they are born out of one’s passion, and that it proves that you do not need to have significant capital nor experience to become successful in what you plan to do.
In my opinion, creating an online business does not require the mind of a genius, nor does it require the wealth of a rich-man’s son.
In fact, all you need is to have an open mind that is willing to try out new ideas, and the ability to learn from failures.
Your very first idea may not succeed immediately, but with time and consistent effort, while trying out different businesses, you would definitely find success and gratification.
All three types of work I have mentioned do not function like common work where you get paid by the hour.
Rather, while the potential payout may be high, they still require an open mind and commitment in order to find success.
Regardless of which route you choose, you will definitely see the fruits of your labour. While your friends may be working part-time jobs at F&B or taking up simple administrative tasks that pay them $9/hr, you would be spending your time efficiently, earning the same amount of money each month while using up considerably less of your precious time.
All the best!