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I am a resident of Europe. I currently work a full time job, which pays around 1.5k euro monthly. I have under 1k in savings. I just finished my 1st year of Computer Science in college. I am aiming for just over 3k in savings by mid-August, with just my full time job. However, this amount of money will not even come close as to how much I realistically need, so I am looking for additional sources of revenue in order to be able to afford next years tuition fees and accommodation costs.

I had a few ideas as to how to achieve this, and I would like someone's input as to how viable these strategies are. Firstly, I have experience programming languages such as C, C++. However, I don't think that I can start making money from programming just yet, as I am still very much under-experienced. Learning another language which would be of use in achieving my financial targets is an option, however, I am clueless as to which one to start with.

Additionally, the reselling of items of value, such as designer clothes (Supreme reselling) or dropshipping is another option which I have researched. However, I am not sure as to how practical this option is. Is there anyone prior experience with such business model who can provide me with some insights?

I am unaware of any investment opportunities in my country of residence, but with under 1k in savings, I don't think that that will take me anywhere in such short space of time.

I am open to further suggestions, and I will be willing to do anything to further my savings (as long as it is legal, of course).

  • Can you get a part-time summer job in addition to your full-time job? Your social life would suffer, but ... you'd earn a lot more money! – RonJohn May 18 '18 at 17:59
  • @RonJohn that's what I am planning to do, but I'm still looking for ways to make even more. – erykkk May 18 '18 at 19:07
  • Have you checked freelancing websites? You might find an interesting opportunity there - and, of course, a lot of garbage. – Pere Jun 17 '18 at 20:42
  • @erykkk updating your purpose to save this money will help with answers. For instance, if not an urgent need, then freelancing, will immensely help you get experience and eventually a portfolio for the long term. If you need the money to pay necessities then its an entirely different thing. – Leon Sep 3 '18 at 9:19
  • Regarding: "Learning another language which would be of use in achieving my financial targets is an option,[...]." I think you'd need to ask this question eg on Stackoverflow, for an informed answer to it. – Sean CJ Sep 3 '18 at 22:23
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If you need the money to finance your studies (tuition fees and accommodation costs), a scholarship program might be an option. Some of them reward excellence in your subject, others simply base their support on your available financial resources and the amount needed. If you specify a country, there might be members of this community that can suggest specific programs.

  • I live in Ireland. I have already exhausted all options when it comes to scholarships or bursaries: I do not qualify any government grants, and there is a very small number of bursaries which are applicable to my course, and are only upwards of a few hundred euro. – erykkk May 18 '18 at 17:22
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The options I see for you: bank loan, freelance work, loan/support from friends or family, asking for a raise, or a scholarship (which you've pointed out is not applicable to your case)

This is an unfortunate situation, and one that is rather common (that is, a student not being able to cover cost of living / tuition fees with the income they have available).

  • You'll probably be aware of this, but since you didn't refer to it, I'll point it out - the typical solution is to take out a loan to make up for the difference. I assume you're wanting to avoid that, for the obvious drawbacks it entails, but it was the first workable solution (save scholarships, as pointed out by @mastov) that came into my mind...

Other (and I think better) possibilities are:

  • Freelance work, as you pointed out yourself. But on top of a full time job, as well as studying, I can't see how you'd be able to put in the time to get much out of this.

  • The approach that speaks most to me would be to look for support from your friends or family - be that by them lending you the money, or even unconditionally covering your shortfall for the period in which you have it (I'm sure you'd be able to make up for it in some manner, sooner or later).

  • And of course, I don't know what your job is, but if you could get a raise on it, that would increase income :P.

I can't tell you anything about "supreme reselling" or dropshipping, since I'd never heard of those before now, but in general I've come to view such activities as rather unproductive, and therefore not worth pursuing - even if there may be a financial gain to be made from them.

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I just finished my 1st year of Computer Science in college. ... Firstly, I have experience programming languages such as C, C++. However, I don't think that I can start making money from programming just yet, as I am still very much under-experienced.

In my experience from another part of europe, many companies offer part time student jobs for people in your situation. They know that you need more time and guidance then a regular employer, but they are glad to have a opportunity to get a chance to look at a future employee, and happy to delegate tasks that are more about effort then skill. This kind of job experience would help you more in the future, since you gain valuable experience than in better paid jobs. Another job which is good for student are night shifts, usually they are well paid and sometimes you also have time to read while you are working (i.e. at gas stations you mostly have few customers).

Additionally, the reselling of items of value, such as designer clothes (Supreme reselling) or dropshipping is another option which I have researched. However, I am not sure as to how practical this option is. Is there anyone prior experience with such business model who can provide me with some insights?

I see the following problems with this: you need the money now and regulary and most likely don't have that superior market insight. Also, your earnings would be low, because of your contacts and market experience ... And since you need the money, you maybe have to sell for lower prices. Also in doing the job on your own, it might get more time consuming :(

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You mentioned that you don't think that you have enough experience to work in your field, but I don't think you're right, I work as a developer and both me and most of my classmates found full-time or part-time jobs as developers after finishing our first year in college. Finding a job in IT will definitely bring you more income than any attempts to make some extra money in your free time.

You should definitely at least try to apply to few positions.

You also mentioned that you are open to learning new languages. With your background, I would learn Java or C# - those languages are similar to the ones you already know, and are often sought by companies

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If you are attending university there are probably means tested grants and scholarships available, they exist for this very purpose.

If you don't meet the criteria for the means tested grants, this means (implicitly) that your parents should support you, since it is as a result of their financial situation that you are ineligible for such grants.

Other ways of making money as a student that I have tried:

Matched betting - I got bored so stopped, but you could make upwards of 1k a month

24+ month purchases interest free credit card (Only if you will get a well paying job upon graduating and will be able to pay it off)

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A bit of a side note on the drop shipping thing:

You should be very careful on this front. Many sources of drop shipping are just knockoff sites and products. If you think there's no legal ramifications on being the middle man in that you're most likely wrong. I had to do some assistant work for IP protection back in the day that did nothing but seek the middle men who provided the drop ship connection. Amazon, Ebay, etc. It's all the same. They follow the money. You can find fully legal sources for most products, but you can expect minimum buy ins to be a whole lot more than your savings budget.

For you, I would definitely go with side work taking on small clients who cannot afford shop rates. I'm a web programmer, so I am not 100% sure if there's a C++ market for low experience. That is more of a serious language and they may want people with a few years under their belt. Still though, knowing any programming language can make it a lot easier to crash course other more rapidly marketable languages for web, like React (Javascript), Ruby, PHP, etc. The $1k-$2k marketplace is always strong for those kinds of languages and it's pretty easy to rack up a few good clients on the side.

Don't be under confident. I had no business applying for the internship I went for but I went in saying "how hard can it be" and 12 years later I'm senior at the firm. Not everyone cares about the paperwork. If they like you, then you're most of the way there.

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Work as a contractor for programming jobs. Look at Bucky Roberts, He's has a YouTube channel called thenewboston. He and Siraj Raval teach how to program. They advise new programmers to go to websites that offer contractor type jobs. Maybe you should look into that. You can set the amount you want to be paid and you can work whenever you want providing that you can get the job done within the timeline.

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Questions don't get any more generic than this: how can I make money?

I can definitely tell you how NOT to make money:

  • Trying to do things that you are not expert at
  • Doing things that are far away from where you live
  • Getting involved in schemes suggested to you by other people

In all honesty, I think your chances of making a significant amount of money "on the side" in a short time frame with no special skills are about zero.

You don't sound like a typical jobber or hawker to me, so the plan of hawking purses or whatever, is a bad idea.

Your best bet is to leverage your current job. The fact that you don't even describe your current job tells me that you don't take it very seriously or think much about it. Did it ever occur to you, that that might be the reason you aren't making much money? My advice is instead of fantasizing about some other work, focus hard on the work you already have and give it the attention and respect it deserves.

ANY job, even garbage collector, can be leveraged into a more powerful position by working hard, and that is what you are failing to do.

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