How to Balance Your Studies and Side Hustle in South Africa

balance your studies and side hustle

Written by: teamcoupania

April 24, 2023

In this article, we want to discuss how to balance your studies and side hustle in South Africa with some practical tips.

PS:  Yes we have a PS right at the beginning….read till the end, even if you are dead tired of all the studying because we reveal our number one, numero uno, side hustle for all South Africans, especially students right there in the last sentence….

Ah, the life of a student. Endless studying, caffeine-fueled all-nighters, and surviving on a diet of cheap noodles and coffee. And to make things even more interesting, you’ve decided to take on a side hustle to earn some extra cash. Well, buckle up, because it’s going to be a wild ride! But with these tips, you can learn how to balance your studies and side hustle like a pro.

That said, before we even get started, perhaps it is worth answering the following:

Can a student have a successful side hustle?

In general, the answer is yes, a student can have a successful side hustle. In fact, many students have turned their side hustles into full-time careers. The key to success is to find a side hustle that complements your studies and allows you to manage your time effectively. It’s also important to set realistic goals and deadlines, build a support system, and prioritize your tasks. With hard work, dedication, and a little bit of creativity, students can turn their side hustles into a profitable and fulfilling venture.

Of course, you might have more questions. One where do I even start? Well, the cool dudes – we were also students once – from Coupania have you covered. In this article, we cover 50 side hustle ideas you can start right now. 


Now that we have answered the most important question, let’s dive into the tips for success on How to Balance Your Studies and Side Hustle in South Africa or in any part of the world!

Manage Your Time Like a Boss

Let’s face it, South Africans have become experts at managing their time. We’ve become masters of multitasking, like balancing eating biltong while driving on the highway, or catching up on some Zzz’s while waiting in the never-ending queues at Home Affairs.

But when it comes to juggling studies and a side hustle, things can get a little tricky. So, here are some tips to help you manage your time like a boss.

Firstly, get yourself a planner or digital calendar. Not only will it help you stay organized, but it will also make you feel like a fancy CEO. Trust me, nothing screams “I’ve got my life together” like scheduling your life down to the minute.

Next, prioritize your tasks. Make sure you allocate enough time for studying, attending classes, and completing assignments. And don’t forget to set aside time for your side hustle too. Whether it’s selling your homemade biltong or offering your taxi services, your side hustle deserves some love too.

Now, here’s a pro tip. If you’re really feeling ambitious, you could try scheduling your load shedding around your study sessions. I mean, what’s more fun than trying to calculate how many hours you have until the power goes out while trying to cram for an exam? Just kidding, please don’t do that.

Remember, managing your time is all about finding a balance. So, take a deep breath, grab a cup of Rooibos tea, and tackle your to-do list like the boss you are. And if all else fails, just blame Eskom. They’re always a good scapegoat for life’s little hiccups.

Set Realistic Goals and Deadlines

Let’s be real, as South Africans, we have a bit of a love-hate relationship with deadlines. On one hand, we thrive under pressure and the adrenaline rush of a ticking clock. On the other hand, we can’t help but procrastinate until the very last minute.

When it comes to balancing studies and a side hustle, it’s crucial to set realistic goals and deadlines for yourself. Don’t try to cram in everything in one day, or you might end up pulling an all-nighter and regretting it the next day. Instead, break down your larger goals into smaller, bite-sized tasks that you can tackle one at a time.

And speaking of time, it’s important to be mindful of how you’re spending it. Sure, it’s tempting to binge-watch that new series on Netflix, but remember that every hour you spend scrolling through Instagram is an hour you’re not spending on your studies or side hustle.

So, set aside some dedicated time for both your studies and your side hustle. And if you finish your tasks early, reward yourself with some quality time with your friends or family. Whether it’s a braai or a movie night, don’t forget to enjoy the fruits of your hard work. After all, what’s the point of being productive if you can’t also have some fun?

Find a Side Hustle That Complements Your Studies

Finding the right side hustle can be a game-changer for students looking to earn some extra cash. But with so many options out there, it can be tough to know where to start. Luckily, South Africans are pros at hustling, so we’ve got some tips to help you find the perfect side gig that complements your studies.

First, consider your interests and hobbies. Do you love baking? Offer your tasty treats to friends and family or start a small baking business. Are you a fitness fanatic? Become a personal trainer or offer group fitness classes. By choosing a side hustle that aligns with your passions, you’ll be more motivated to put in the effort and excel.

Next, think about your skills and experience. Are you a whizz at social media marketing? Offer your services to small businesses or start your own social media marketing agency. Are you bilingual? Consider translating or interpreting for companies or individuals.

Finally, look for opportunities that can provide you with valuable experience and knowledge that will benefit your future career. For example, if you’re studying engineering, consider working as a research assistant or intern at an engineering firm. Or if you’re studying journalism, start a blog or freelance for local publications to build your portfolio.

And if all else fails, you can always turn to the trusty South African side hustle staple: selling biltong. Whether you prefer beef, ostrich, or even kudu, there’s always a market for this delicious snack. So, get creative and find a side hustle that works for you and your studies. Who knows, it could even turn into a full-time career one day.

Build a Support System

In South Africa, we know the importance of having a good support system. Whether it’s our families, friends, or even our friendly neighbourhood spaza shop owner, we all need someone to lean on from time to time. And when it comes to balancing studies and a side hustle, having a support system is essential.

Talk to your professors or academic advisors about your workload and find ways to manage your time effectively. And don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends and family for emotional support and encouragement. They can be a great source of motivation when you’re feeling overwhelmed or discouraged. And if you really want to feel connected, join a student organization or online group. Who knows, you might even meet some like-minded individuals who can help you take your side hustle to the next level.

In Conclusion

Balancing studies and a side hustle can be challenging, but with a little bit of planning and a lot of coffee, you can make it work. So, grab your planner, set some goals, and start hustling. Who knows, you might even become the next South African millionaire.

Of course, starting the good old side hustle is not always as easy as so many YouTube “gurus” – the Coupania team hate those guys – will let you on to believe. So he have a host of resources for you to get started. Check out our step-by-step guide to get started here. 

And if you want to dive deeper in the subject and don’t want to make s stupid mistake then check out our article on common mistakes here.

And of course, as we mentioned in our PS right at the beginning, we have one side hustle that towers head and shoulders above anything else.

  • This WILL balance your studies and side hustle (checked).
  • You can start this immediately
  • It will GIVE YOU the BEST training in the industry.

This changed our lives…




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