One of the biggest problems students face is limited budgets and getting by on a fairly low income during their studies. Increasingly, they’ve been turning to work to top up their incomes, when at a similar time in their lives, their parents may have not needed to do so, instead benefiting from grants and loans that were paid back once they got a job.
Parents are often finding themselves powerless to help – student rents are growing way faster than wages, and that was true before 2008’s collapse, but has been much more pronounced since. For that reason, students have been forced to get creative with how they’re getting by, and today we’re going to take a look at Dan, a local student who’s making money by building websites to help out people that are waking up to find that their boiler has packed up.
In fact, he’s capitalising on his old job as a gas fitter. He’s fully qualified and gas safe registered – the body responsible for the UK that makes sure all approved gas engineers are properly trained and competent. He’s studying electrical engineering – a fairly tangential course that complements his existing knowledge and hopes to have a huge advantage in the industry once he graduates thanks to the dual disciplines he’ll be able to offer as a qualified expert.
Dan’s recognised that there’s a hole in the market for helpful advice for home owners, giving them the information they need to help them know when they can solve problems with their heating system themselves and when the time has come to get an expert in to help. For example, he gives details of the error codes that might flash up on their boiler – an example would be an F22 fault on a Vaillant unit which is something that a home owner can probably deal with on their own. He’s quick to point out though, that it’s not going to be expensive for a call out to resolve either, so if people are nervous they should make the call.
You might be wondering how that pays the rent or puts food on the table while he’s studying. He’s using a clever technical technique called affiliate marketing, which means that companies pay him for sales or referrals, so each time a customer requests a quote from a gas fitter, he gets paid – a great win win situation – the customers get their problem fixed, the engineers get work, and a student doesn’t go hungry – brilliant.
So, why not take inspiration from Dan? Everyone has a hobby, a skill or other useful experience and information to share, why not put yours to work and raise a little extra cash on the web? Dan did, and he’s saving homeowners everywhere when they have a boiler breakdown – you could too!