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Desperate times can call for desperate measures.

As students, we can be quite creative when it comes to finding ways that could earn that extra bit of cash because when there’s a will, there’s a way.

So we asked 7 Malaysians what they did when they were students to earn their own extra pocket money. I have to admit, some of these are pretty dang smart—wish I thought of them!

Idea #1: Capitalised on people’s love for music.

Back when internet was a limited resource and not everyone owned a phone, Chin Wei said she would constantly hear her friends complain about not being able to sing along to their favourite songs on the radio.

So she jumped on this opportunity.

Quote from Chin Wei.

Those tacky fonts were attractive enough for students (especially girls) to ask Chin Wei if she could print these lyrics for them too, which they then used to stick on the back of their class folders.

How much she earned:

“Popular songs would be RM0.20 per sheet while more obscure songs would be RM0.50 since I only had 1 hour a day on the internet at home so it was a lot more effort on my end,” said Chin Wei.

Idea #2: Became the middle man.

Image Credit: thundie.wordpress.com

Ah, young love. Those were the days.

Romance was more old-school back then. There was no Direct Message option on social media or using heart-eyed emojis to express your interest. So students would resort to love letters instead if they felt too shy to confess verbally.

Brian Tan remembered his friends being too embarrassed to even give these letters themselves, so he stepped in as a messenger when they offered him money in return.

Quote from Brian.

How much he earned:

“I didn’t set a price but most of them would give me RM1. Sometimes, I could easily make RM5 a month and as a kid, I felt like I struck gold with that,” said Brian.

Idea #3: Sold free overseas candy.

Most of us will have that one student in class who would travel abroad often or at least have a family member who would do so.

Traveed Soni was one of them. His dad was a pilot who would come back from his flights with bags of foreign candy for Traveed to share with his peers.

Which he did, but with a price.

Quote from Traveed.

How much he earned:

“I only sold them in pieces so each piece would cost about RM0.50 to RM1. If they wanted to buy the whole box, it’d probably go up to RM5—which even a teacher actually paid me for once!” said Traveed.

Idea #4: Sold an obscure 90’s game.

Image Credit: handmadedelight.blogspot.com

If you were born in the 90s, chances are you know about this traditional game.

Shahirah Azmi was always good at sewing, so she used this skill to her advantage and offered to make this game for a price.

Quote from Shahirah.

How much she earned:

“I charged about RM2 for the 5 small sacks and they could even choose the print of the fabric,” said Shahirah.

Idea #5: Made 100 origami stars and put ‘em in a jar.

There is a saying that if you make 100 origami stars, you are granted a wish.

It’s a superstition that actually grew popular with kids and this was a common gift given to friends or loved ones to wish them good luck for exams or just well wishes in general.

Munirah Hamid used to do this to pass time (and because she enjoyed hoarding origami paper), she didn’t expect students to take notice of this and make special requests to her.

Quote from Munirah.

How much they earned:

“Each jar with 100 origami stars would be about RM3,” said Munirah.

Idea #6: Photocopied study notes.

Farid Kamaruddin was that student who was pretty good at turning notes into infographs, turning boring topics into something more interesting.

This garnered the attention of his classmates who then asked if they could photocopy his notes for a small fee.

Quote from Farid.

How much he earned:

“I’d charge RM3 for a whole stack of my notes, which were about 10 pages,” said Farid.

Idea #7: Capitalised on friendships.

Image Credit: fotothing.com

DIY bracelets were the living proof you’d need to validate a friendship back in the day. Not particularly popular with the male crowd but this was quite a hit with girls.

And Deivina Raj was one of them.

Quote from Deivina.

How much she earned:

“I’d sell them in a pair for RM2,” said Deivina.

Looking back at these methods, they may seem a little juvenile when comparing to the modern tech lifestyle we live in now but it got the job done and put a few bucks into our pocket.

Even getting RM3 was enough to buy us snacks and have extra for cute stationery. Total win.

Times may have changed but RM3 nowadays can still get us something useful. Digi has an internet add-on of 2GB for their prepaid plan users for just RM3. This allows you to #JomInternet Your Way, all day.

Handy for those moments when you’re running low on your monthly quota and you just need enough to last you those last few hours.

If you’d like to get more information on this deal, you can check out their website here.

This article was written in collaboration with Digi.


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© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)

Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)