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      4.  Need to boost your bank balance without having to work for it? Sounds like you could do with reading this list of ways to make free money.

        Your parents may have told you that you'll never get money for nothing but, unfortunately for them, that's just not true. We've found a whole bunch of ways to earn free cash with little or no effort.

        Now, that 'effort' part is important. Lots of other guides to making free money include things like paid online surveys, which we think is a little misleading. Having to do anything other than the bare minimum for your money means it isn't free – it means you're working.

        So, with that in mind, we've only included the very easiest, very simplest ways to make free money – and don't worry, you can still earn £100s!

        Got a little more time on your hands? Our bumper list of ways to make money quickly may require a bit of effort on your part, but the earnings make it more than worth it.

        How to earn free money

        Here are the best ways to make free money with little or no effort:

        Bursaries, scholarships and grants
        university with bags of money
        This one probably isn't news to a lot of you, but hear us out – we are a student money site, after all.

        While you're probably well aware that students can receive money in the form of bursaries, scholarships and grants (and that, unlike Student Loans, these don't have to be paid back), what you may not know is just how many people are eligible for this free cash.

        Many students tend to assume that these funds are only on offer to those with the top grades, a talent for a particular sport or instrument, or those from less privileged backgrounds. But, while these students usually are eligible for support, plenty of others can get some of this free money too.

        As we explain in our guide to weirdest bursaries, grants and scholarships, funding's available to students for all kinds of reasons. Whether it's being a vegetarian, having a knack for FIFA or just having the right surname, you could get free money for almost anything – so there's really no reason not to search for funding yourself.

        Signup offers

        Before you create an account with a company that sells anything, you should always check to see if there are any signup offers for new customers.

        Far from just offering an introductory discount, loads of companies will give you free money for signing up. And although you'll sometimes have to make a qualifying purchase first, if it's something you were going to buy anyway, it's 100% free cash.

        Sometimes the reward will come in the form of an Amazon voucher, but given that Amazon sells pretty much everything, a voucher is as good as cash anyway. And if you use our Amazon shopping hacks, you'll be guaranteed a bargain.

        There are countless signup offers out there but among our favourites are the £5 bonus for joining OnePoll or the £10 payout for signing up to Curve.

        You can also earn free cryptocurrency by signing up to Coinbase and completing some short tasks. Although you won't be able to spend it with most retailers, you can exchange it for Bitcoin (some shops do accept Bitcoin) or sell it for upwards of £20.

        If you're after more, just head to our deals page for all the best ways to earn free money by signing up with companies.

        Money for switching bank or utility supplier

        One of the main things we advise students to do before they start uni is to open a student bank account. But did you know that you can switch bank accounts even when you've already started uni and that you could get some free cash for doing so?

        Switching bank accounts couldn't be simpler, and whether it's pure cash or an Amazon voucher (which, we repeat, is as good as normal cash anyway), loads of banks offer as much as £100 to convince you to switch.

        And if you've not got a bank account yet, don't worry – these offers are available for new customers too, not just those switching.

        Just make sure to double-check the terms of each bank's offer, as there's a chance you may not be eligible for the free cash (if you've already completed your first year of uni, for instance). And remember that banks offer cash to non-students looking to switch, too.

        Free money for referring friends
        We absolutely love referral codes. In terms of how little effort is needed and how much money you could make, it's hard to think of a better way to earn free money than referring your friends and family to sign up with a few companies.

        There's actually a fair bit of overlap here with our previous tip, as some of the very best referral codes are offered by banks, energy companies (Octopus Energy gives £50 credit) and broadband providers.

        Often the promotions they run for new customers (like £100 for joining) are mimicked in their refer-a-friend schemes, but with one crucial difference – both you and the person you're referring get a reward.

        The biggest and best offers will indeed come from the banks and utility providers, but loads of companies have referral schemes. Some reward you in the form of credits, but others will pay you cold, hard cash.

        Cashback sites (which we'll also cover below) and automatic savings apps are among the most reliable for this (although the specific offers often change), and you could earn as much as £15 per signup.

        The bottom line is: check all the apps and services you regularly use to see if they offer a referral programme – you could be raking in the cash in no time.

        Get a Student Loan refund

        There's a lot to complain about when it comes to the current state of Student Finance in the UK but, on the main, Student Loan repayments are pretty sound. That is until the flaws in the system mean you end up making repayments when you shouldn't be.

        You see, to start repaying your Student Loan, two things need to happen: you must have reached the first April after your graduation, and you must be earning over the threshold for your repayment plan.

        We explain things in more detail in our guide to Student Loan refunds but, over the last few years, it's emerged that 100,000s of graduates have ended up repaying their loans before the April after their graduation.

        While this is less than ideal, what it does mean is that 100,000s of graduates are also entitled to a refund – a lump sum of free cash that averages at least a few hundred quid.

        We've got a guide for a full explainer of how to check and claim your refund, as well as why you probably won't end up having to pay it back again later.

        Check if you're owed a tax rebate
        Student Loan refunds aren't the only way to get back some free cash that you've overpaid.

        Every year, thousands of people across the UK accidentally pay too much tax – and, if you're one of them, you're entitled to a rebate.

        You may have overpaid tax for one of a number of reasons, but the good news is that it doesn't matter if it was your fault or not. And, even better, it also doesn't matter if this all happened many moons ago – you can claim a refund up to four years after the end of the tax year in which you overpaid.

        It's worth remembering, too, that students very rarely earn over the annual threshold for paying tax (£12,570 a year), so if you think you've paid tax when you've earned less than this, you should definitely look into claiming a tax rebate.

        Last, but by no means least, on our list of ways to make free money: receipts. If you usually find yourself throwing away your receipts, or even rejecting them altogether, you may want to reconsider your actions.

        Aside from making it a lot harder to ensure your consumer rights are being honoured, failing to keep your receipts could see you missing out on free cash, too. So, make sure you keep a hold of them – at least long enough to take a picture.

        Why? Well, receipt-scanning apps like Storewards, Shoppix and Huyu will pay you to upload scanned copies of your receipts for any purchase from any shop. And while you won't get paid actual cash for each receipt, you will get some coins or tokens every time you make a submission.

        Once you've built up enough coins to make a withdrawal, you'll be able to get your free money either in the form of a voucher (including Amazon, thank god) or as free cash (usually via PayPal).

        It may take you a while to get to this stage, but with such little effort required, we'd say receipt scanning has definitely earned its stripes as a way to make free money.

        Feeling creative? This list of weird ways students make money has all the inspiration you'll need once you've exhausted our sources of free cash.