As students, it’s practically a rite of passage to hustle for that extra cash without resorting to the daily grind of traditional jobs. Forget the age-old bartending gigs and retail shifts; we’re diving into a world brimming with unusual and weird ways to make money, where creativity meets opportunity in the most unconventional ways. Yes, we’re talking about genius ways to make money that might just border on the bizarre, but hey, when it comes to your bank balance, a little weirdness never hurt anyone, right?

From the odd ways to make money that will have you scratching your head in wonder, to the crazy ways to make money that seem straight out of a sitcom, we’ve scoured the corners of the internet and beyond. Think beyond the norm; how about monetising your quirks online or discovering weird ways to make money online that could turn your digital space into a goldmine?

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We’re not just talking about selling old stuff online – that’s child’s play. We’re venturing into the realms of the weird and wonderful, the funny ways to make money that will have your friends doing a double-take. Ever thought about getting paid for being under the weather? Or what about those random ways to make money that pop up when you least expect them? And let’s not forget the weird things to sell to make money – some of which you never even knew had value.

So we’ve rounded up these 20 weird ways to make money. Whether you’re looking for unusual ways to earn money or just a good story to tell, we’ve got you covered. Remember, when it comes to making money as a student, sometimes the weirdest ideas are the most profitable. 

28 weird and unusual ways to make money

From random ways to make money by selling old (and used) household items to genius ways to earn cash by sleeping, watching films or buying booze, there are lots of strange ways to boost your income. They aren’t exactly fully-fledged side hustles either, as most of them require little investment. I mean who knew that just keeping your old toilet roll tubes would be worth something. In money. Keep reading to explore more crazy ways to make money.

1. Sell your used toilet roll tubes

weird ways to make money

We know it sounds odd, but you can actually make money by holding on to your old toilet roll tubes. People are actually listing them on eBay for cash. Why not try to make some money out of something you’d usually throw away? Simple? Yes! Cheap? Yes? Weird…? Definitely! It’s no doubt selling used toilet rolls is one of the weirdest ways to make money, but who cares? One person’s trash is another person’s treasure as they say. 

2. Sell your panties

weird ways to make money

And along the lines of selling old stuff and weird ways to make money – have you thought about selling your old underwear? You may have heard of it before, but selling your knickers for cash, ranging from naughty knickers to boxers, on the net for money can work. If you don’t fancy setting up on Instagram and doing it that way, you could always flog them through the online market place such as

3. Become a life model

life modelling to make money

If you’ve ever fantasised about being drawn like Rose from Titanic this one is for you. You can register to be a life model online with The Independent Art School. You have to answer quite a few questions but it’s worth it to make sure you’re completely comfortable. It’s all in the name of art and is a great (maybe a little weird) way to make money, so go for it!

4. Get paid to buy booze

This one is strictly for 18 and 19-year-olds. All you have to do is visit supermarkets, bars, betting shops and other places and try to buy restricted items and see if you are challenged. It’s flexible and you get paid for it, what’s to lose? In the past, jobs like this were advertised on Serve Legal’s website, so keep an eye out.

5. Catch the flu

get ill to make money

Get ill – officially the weirdest way to make money. But everyone gets ill from time-to-time so why not make money from it? The thought of being locked up in a room surrounded by people in white suits and masks sounds rather intimidating, but it’s far from the truth when it comes to clinical trials. How do we know? Well, earlier this year, a student told us all about her experience at Flu Camp, where she got paid £3,000 to catch the flu. If you don’t fancy doing Flu Camp, there are plenty of other options advertised online.

6. Become a professional mourner

weird ways to make money

Some people want to get the best send off for their loved ones as possible, even if that does mean a bit of theatre goes on. Some go as far as hiring professional mourners to up the number of attendees. It’s one of the weird ways to make money out there, but if people are paying for it…why not?

7. Go walkies

dog walking make money

Dogs are known to come into unis and make everyone feel better. So why would you not want to get paid to spend time with a dog? It might feel a little weird when you start off, but dog walking is one of the lucrative ways to make money. Although if you are going to become a professional dog sitter, you may want to get your landlord’s permission first.

8. Sell your story

weird ways to make money

Have you ever had something happen to you that your friends gasped at as you tell them the story? Well, why not make some cash out of your misery by selling your story? There are plenty of agencies you can go to, or you could go direct to the magazines and negotiate a price. In fact, Twitter is one of the best places to find journalists, so you could always pitch them your idea this way. 

9. Become a mermaid

weird ways to make money

Yes, you heard me right, one of the weirdest ways to make money is through fulfilling a childhood dream. Ok maybe not everyone’s childhood dream, but surely some of us could be found practising our mermaid swimming as kids. Well for those people; you can make your childhood dreams come true by pursuing a career as a real life mermaid. If you don’t believe it could happen, it did for student Yasmin Awan, who gets paid up to £100 to don a tail and act like Ariel.

10. Sell your pics

sell pics online to earn cash

Before you jump to conclusions, this doesn’t mean nudes. If you’ve taken a particularly Instagrammable snap you can sell it to Foap who will share it with brands who could use it. All you have to do it download the app and upload your pics, once your image received five positive ratings your photo will be published for sale and you will earn $5 every time a company buys it. Ok this might not be the weirdest way to make money out there, but it’s not something everyone thinks of.

11. Become a professional cuddler

professional cuddler

Yes this is actually a thing, and yes you actually receive a diploma in this! Cuddlers provide physical comfort to people who otherwise are devoid of this. There are reportedly lots of stats behind how physical touch can heal others, and this is the stance that organisations like Cuddle Professionals International take. 

12. Be a seat filler

become a seat filler

This is not only a weird way to make money, but it’s also a great way to see shows! From theatres to concerts, filling seats is the perfect to earn cash easily. It’s also called papering, and is used by lots of companies or venues that don’t want auditoriums to look empty. You just have to keep how you got the seat a secret!

13. Sleep professionally

become a professional sleeper - weird ways to make money online

Are you the king or queen of napping? Well don’t put those skills to waste! One of the weirdest ways you can make money is by joining research experiments that pay you to sleep! It’s not as rare as it sounds either, where you can even search to be a professional sleeper on Indeed! 

14. Become a moirologist (professional mourner)

weird ways to make money

If sleeping isn’t your thing, you can become a professional mourner instead! You’ll obviously need to be able to show sensitivity, empathy and respect, as well as making sure you’re not affected. Despite being a weird way to make money, it’s actually a really centuries-old profession that dates back to Ancient Egypt. 

15. Sell your hair

sell you hair online

Companies such as Wigs UK-Custom will pay between £3 – £7 for 25 grams of hair. If you’re getting a chop soon, why not try to collect it and get some money? The better the quality, the more you’ll get, so stock up on biotin and other hair-friendly nutrients! Plus, your hair will be going to a company that designs wigs for people with alopecia, so you’re also doing good!

16. Become an extra

become an extra genius but weird ways to make money

You don’t have to be an aspiring actor/actress to do this, as many extra parts don’t require anything more than sitting in a cafe or standing around. You’re essentially there to make the background of a series look real. But you never know, you could end up with a cameo at the end of it!

17. Be an elf (at Christmas)

weird ways to make money

Dressing up as an elf is certainly a weird way to make money, but it can also work out pretty well. If you need a bit of extra cash in the run up to Christmas – and who doesn’t? – this could be perfect. For other seasonal jobs, check out our Christmas jobs article.

18. Sell your farts in a jar

weird ways to make money

Hear us out…you just need to buy a jar, eat a lot of gassy food, and get an ebay account. You’d be surprised that people are interested in this. Reportedly, a reality star made $280,000 doing this. Just. Bizzare. 

19. Host tours of your city

weird ways to make money - host a tour of your city

If you’re the type of person that likes meeting people, and possibly enjoys history, culture, drinking or something else, this could be for you. You can specialise your tours to attract like-minded people depending on what you’re interested in and what you can show off in your city. 

20. Flip furniture

flip furniture

If you love a bit of DIY, why not try flipping furniture? Start off with cheaper furniture, either from charity shops or places such as IKEA and start revamping it into something unique. Flipping furniture can actually be a lucrative business, so why not set up an Insta account for it too?

21. Answering surveys on SwagBucks

unusual ways to make money

Fancy a bit of easy dosh? Hop onto SwagBucks in your downtime. Whether it’s filling out surveys, eyeballing ads, or getting lost in online games, you can turn these simple tasks into cash or vouchers. Perfect for a sneaky Amazon shopping spree! It’s one of those genius ways to make money online without breaking a sweat. 

22. Pebble art

pebble art - Genius ways to make money

Here’s a random one – unleash your inner Picasso on pebbles! Grab those rocks, slap on some paint, and maybe a googly eye or two. Voilà! You’ve got yourself a nifty little desk companion to sell. Etsy’s the marketplace for this wonderfully odd way to make money. Who knew rocks could be so lucrative? Google pebble art to get some more ideas. 

23. Virtual queue holder

Random ways to make money

Ever fancied being a digital knight in shining armour? As a virtual queue holder, you do just that. Park yourself in those never-ending online queues for product launches and get paid for your patience. It’s a weird way to make money, but hey, if you can help someone snag the latest gadget, why not?

24. Rent your wardrobe

weird ways to make money

Got a wardrobe that’s bursting with stylish threads? Why not rent them out to fashion enthusiasts? Apps like By Rotation or HURR are your go-to platforms. It’s a smart, unconventional way to earn money and keep your wardrobe fresh. 

25. Plant sitting

watering people's plants

Got a knack for keeping plants alive? Offer your green-fingered services to babysit people’s leafy friends. It’s perfect for those who love plants but lack the space. Plus, it’s a serene and somewhat random way to make money!

26. Rent-A-Friend

rent a friend

Ever thought being a pal could be profitable? With Rent-A-Friend, it can be! Offer your companionship for events or outings. It’s a funny way to make money, but also a heartwarming one, bringing joy and company to those who need it. 

27. Sell custom T-shirts

sell custom t-shirts

Got a flair for design? Whip up some custom t-shirt designs and sell them online through platforms like Teespring. It’s a cool and creative way to make a bit of extra cash, and who knows, your designs might just be the next big thing!

28. Offer a ‘Rent My Dog’ service

rent my dog service

Missing your furry friend while at uni? Or have a dog but don’t have the time to keep walking it? Offer your dog for rent! It’s a bit barmy, but people love the companionship of dogs. Plus, your pooch gets extra walks and cuddles. It’s a win-win!

If you need more info on weird jobs but prefer to focus online, here are 13 weird places to make money on the Internet. Or why not take a look at our list of the best side hustles for students in the UK where you can grow a business while studying?

Last Updated on January 29, 2024