Advertising
Advertising

Broke College Student? 20 Money-Saving Tips For College Students That You’ve Never Heard Of

Broke College Student? 20 Money-Saving Tips For College Students That You’ve Never Heard Of

Those of us who’ve survived the four (or more) years it can take to gain our college degrees know that those can represent some of the most trying times of our lives – in no small part due to the lack of money college student hopefuls can experience.

Forget stripping and finding a “Sugar Daddy” to try and survive your college days. Here are 20 unique ways to increase the money in your pocket as a college student:

1. Sell your essays online via Kindle Direct Publishing

There’s a reason you’re researching and writing all those original essays. After you ace your assignment, upload those suckers via a Microsoft Word document (or other file types) directly to Amazon’s KDP website and sell them to others.

writer-mac

    2. Donate blood or other body fluids and such for money or gift cards

    Although certain FDA rules disallow paying cash for blood, there are ways that capitalists have found to reward blood donators with gift cards or other incentives. Selling sperm, plasma, bone marrow, breast milk, placenta, and even your hair are also options, but don’t think donating eggs is an easy payday.

    Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 10.56.58 AM

      3. Save by paying cash for medical procedures

      Yeah, there a certain visits to the doctor that you might not want to share with your parents. As such, sites like Yempl.com can give you the exact prices that physicians charge for various procedures – like health screenings, etc. – and the discounts they offer people who pay cash.

      money-ring

        4. Cut the cable bill costs

        Of course you want to keep up with some mind-numbing TV to counteract all that learning, but you don’t want to pay outrageous cable TV costs to do so. Soak up your favorite episodes via Hulu or sites like Choose.tv that allow you to watch international channels online.

        Advertising

        Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 11.00.33 AM

          5. Rent textbooks from Amazon

          Textbooks can be pretty pricey, but if you rent them through Amazon’s textbook rental service, you can use them only for a semester then ship them back when you’re done.

          Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 11.02.27 AM

            6. Trade those gift cards for cash using special CoinStar machines

            Let’s say you receive a $200 Victoria’s Secret gift card for Christmas, but truth be told, you’d rather have cash for food instead. Use a CoinStar Exchange machine to trade it in for cash, but be warned, you may end up with only $120 or so in greenbacks as a result.

            Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 11.03.52 AM

              7. Recommend wacky and outrageous products

              Use programs like Amazon Associates to promote wildly expensive products on your blog, and take a cut of the fee when they sell.

              Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 11.08.04 AM

                8. Hawk a video course

                Sell your skills via video courses on websites like Udemy.

                Advertising

                video

                  9. Go crazily creative on YouTube and get ad revenue

                  If your friends are always laughing at your antics, consider filming them and uploading them to YouTube. Select the option to monetize your videos, and if they go viral, you might make a dent in those student loans!

                  Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 11.12.09 AM

                    10. Become a virtual tutor

                    The best part about being alive in the Information Age is that there are folks willing to pay you to jump on Skype and tutor their kids in all sorts of subjects. Find them on sites like Elance, oDesk, or even Craigslist if you must, but be careful about giving out too much private information.

                    Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 11.14.25 AM

                      11. Gain an income for your voice

                      If you have the kind of voice that belongs on a TV commercial, try your hand at gaining voiceover work in between classes. Set up a gig on Fiverr and see where it goes.

                      Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 11.19.10 AM

                        12. Offer local businesses a web presence

                        Chances are you might know more about social media and websites than the local bakery owner in your college town. If you’re technically inclined, offer to set up their Google Maps listing, social media accounts and even a website – for a fee, of course.

                        website-smaller

                          13. Take pics with your phone and make money via apps

                          Use apps like Gigwalk to score gigs that pay users to take photos of specific things, like end-cap settings in stores.

                          Advertising

                          smartphone

                            14. Perform article arbitrage

                            If you’re savvy and smart enough with details, being a liaison between freelancers and their clients can pay you. For example, you might find one client on Elance willing to pay $175 to have a 500-word article written, and a writer willing to get paid $100 to write the article. By acting as a detail-oriented middleman, you could pocket $75 bucks for the transaction.

                            Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 11.26.04 AM

                              15. Make your own app

                              You don’t even need to know how to code apps in order to have an app created. Use a free app-maker online to get a basic app made. Or, pay small amounts to have a basic app made and submitted to the iTunes App Store and add advertisements to the app. Perhaps you can become the next “Make it Rain” millionaire.

                              Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 11.28.09 AM

                                16. Sell your Photoshop skills

                                If you’re good with that lasso tool on Photoshop, you can probably find a groundswell of clients online and in your real life willing to pay you to pretty up their pics or to create amazing renderings for their graphic design needs.

                                hole-wall

                                  17. Make niche websites

                                  Take advantage of being a college student in the know – privy to your own 16- to 24-year-old huge focus group. Parlay what’s hot and happening right now, like the corset waist-training craze, for instance, into a site surrounding the topic. Throw up some Google AdSense ads and Amazon product recommendations, and pray the dough will roll in to your coffers.

                                  Advertising

                                  lifehack-size-shopping

                                    18. Sing on the street

                                    If you’ve got a velvety smooth falsetto or alto singing voice that gets rave reviews, why not share it with the world – or at least the folks outside your window? Hey, it worked to make R. Kelly famous, when he sang for spare change on the L train’s platforms in his Chicago hometown.

                                    Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 11.33.57 AM

                                      19. Edit videos for others

                                      Instead of plopping your face or voice all over YouTube, consider firing up iMovie or your favorite video editor to help spiffy up the videos of others – for a small or large fee, of course.

                                      examiner-size-woman-on-beach

                                        20. Sell your social media likes and comments

                                        Yes, in our social-media driven world, people are willing to buy followers, likes and comments. If you’ve attracted quite a following, look for sites that are willing to trade that popularity for money.

                                        examiner-size-money

                                          Featured photo credit: 20120421-NewYorkCity-ColumbiaUniversityCampus (4MF).JPG By jzlomek via mrg.bz

                                          More by this author

                                          Beauty Hacks: 25 Smooth Shaving Tips for Women 25 Mind-Blowingly Informative Websites That Will Expand Your Worldview 30 Interesting And Scam Free Ways To Make Money Online The 20 Best Work-From-Home Jobs You Should Consider Taking Daughter: You’re Almost 12 – Here’s What Kids Should Know By Adulthood

                                          Trending in Money

                                          1 How to Eat Healthy on a Budget (The Definitive Guide) 2 9 Millionaire Success Habits That Will Inspire Your Life 3 Top 5 Spending Tracker Apps to Manage Your Budget Smart in 2020 4 How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them 5 25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education

                                          Read Next

                                          Advertising
                                          Advertising
                                          Advertising

                                          Published on January 17, 2020

                                          How to Eat Healthy on a Budget (The Definitive Guide)

                                          How to Eat Healthy on a Budget (The Definitive Guide)

                                          Have you ever looked at health gurus and wondered how on earth they can afford all that health food? Or maybe you’ve tried multiple times to start eating healthy only to find the $600 monthly budget overwhelming?

                                          If you’re anything like me, you know exactly what I’m talking about! I absolutely understand the sinking feeling of looking back over a grocery budget and finding you went way over what you intended. And besides that, it can be hard to justify buying a tiny $5 bag of carrot chips while a $1 mound of potato chips is sitting right next door.

                                          My husband and I recently ran into that struggle. We got married this past year and soon found ourselves trying to balance 12 hour work-days with keeping our relationship strong and trying to keep our personal businesses afloat. Granted, our budget was the one thing that took a hit! After we started tracking our spending, we were shocked to see we were spending over $1000 a month just on food! A little planning cleared that right up.

                                          So, how to eat healthy on a budget?

                                          Here’re the top tips I learned that helped us shave over $600 monthly off of our food budget so we could reinvest that in the areas that really mattered to us![1]

                                          1. Meal Plan

                                          You’ve probably heard the saying “Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail” right? Well, this saying couldn’t be any more true than in the area of healthy budgeting! The fact is, most healthy foods don’t actually cost that much… the pre-made time saving ones do!

                                          If you go about creating a healthy meal plan within your budget, you could easily cut costs down to around the same price you are paying for junk food.

                                          Meal planning is as simple as working in foods you already have in your fridge/freezer, adding in several meals with simple ingredients and seasonal veggies, and breaking it down into a shopping list.

                                          Often, finding a few meals to make in big batches will save you the most money in the long run, which leads me to my next point.

                                          2. Cook in Bulk

                                          Not only will cooking in bulk save you a whole lot of time, it will save you a whole lot of money too! Believe it or not, if you find meals to make with similar ingredients, you can easily save more money than when you were eating unhealthy.

                                          Don’t believe me? Just look at a $4 frozen pasta dinner. Now, sub that with a veggie pasta dinner. 5 zuchinni ($3), Pasta sauce ($2.50), and chicken ($5) could last you a full 5 meals which adds up to a whopping total of just over $1 per meal!

                                          Advertising

                                          That’s not even digging in to all the money you will save from fast-food. Trust me, a little $10 spent here and there add up! You’ll be saving a whopping amount from all the meal prep you will do!

                                          3. Cook all Your Meals in One Day

                                          The science behind this is 2-fold.

                                          Number one, if you have lots of meals to grab and go, you will be far less likely to binge on pricier food when you get hungry. Let’s be real, you’re not going to spend 1 hour cooking when hub-n’-grub is at your bekon-call!

                                          Number 2, meal prepping ahead of time will help you stick to your meal plan better when you’re not in the mood. Let’s face it, we’re all going to have days when protein and veggies doesn’t exactly sound appealing. But, if you have a full meal that’s quick to grab in the fridge, it will be easier for you to fill up on the good stuff rather than spending money on what you don’t really need.

                                          4. Cut Back on Snacks and Specialty Items

                                          I can almost hear you from across the screen. “But, I thought snacks were good for me!” Here’s the deal: Snacks are expensive! And healthy snacks, oh my goodness, say goodbye to your paycheck!

                                          Look, I’m definitely not saying that healthy snacks are bad. Quite frankly, I would much rather you chow down on Halo Top than a triple-butterfinger-fudge sundae. It’s just that… healthy snacks are why eating healthy gets a bad rap for being expensive.

                                          Look at it this way: You could either buy a week’s worth of groceries full of chicken, fish, beans, veggies, and fruits for $30. Or, you can spend that $30 on six snacks that will leave you hungry for more.

                                          What’s more, the ingredients for gluten-free baked goods, sugar free substitutes, or protein powders alone will add up to you eating a full week’s budget in one sitting. By all means, if you want to work some yummy items into your budget, do it! But don’t confuse that extra monthly $300 of delicacies as a necessity. Your body and budget will thank you!

                                          5. Satisfy Yourself with Your Favorite Subs

                                          We all have an emotional tie to food. Maybe pasta reminds you of home! Or maybe a fresh-baked pizza is what gives you a feeling of comfort. Whatever you favorite food, find a way to work it into your budget in the best way.

                                          We’re only human, and depriving ourselves of what we love will never end well. More often than not actually, it ends in take-out or a pricey-premade substitute.

                                          Instead of finding yourself in this situation, find a way to make your favorite foods fit your budget. Zuchinni noodle pasta might just give you that feeling of home without breaking the bank. Or maybe you could google a healthy pizza alternative you would like that you could make at home. Often, something similar to your craving will be enough to give you a sense of satisfaction.

                                          Advertising

                                          Or, just buy your cheat meal and save it for a special day. That’s okay too!

                                          6. Stick to the Cheaper Proteins

                                          Okay, I know we all love steak. Unfortunately, buying pre-cooked or expensive cuts of meat are one of the easiest ways to drain a budget.

                                          Instead of purchasing those, try buying frozen chicken or eggs. A 5 lb bag of frozen chicken can be as cheap as $5, and you can buy a whole weeks worth of eggs for just over $1. You could even try going vegetarian for a few meals if you really want to cut down on costs!

                                          7. Buy Frozen Fruits and Veggies

                                          I know, we all love our fresh fruits and veggies! However, sometimes frozen might be the way to go if you’re looking to cut costs!

                                          Fruits and veggies are easiest to ship when frozen, making them a much cheaper option. Contrary to popular belief, scientists have actually found that frozen might be better for you too![2]

                                          The reason is, frozen produce is picked at its prime and shipped immediately. Fresh fruit tends to be picked much earlier so it will ripen while being shipped. Not only does this make it less nutrient dense, but sometimes the fruits are actually pumped with artificial flavors to make up for the lack of real nutrients.

                                          While I’m all for fresh fruits and veggies, don’t feel guilty if you opt for frozen foods due to a budget.

                                          8. Bump up the Calories with Rice and Beans

                                          The problem some people find when trying to eat healthy is that it can be hard to get the amount of calories you need without relying on expensive “specialty” items. Instead of stocking up on pricey gluten-free breads and pasta, I say stick to simple rice and beans as the bulk of your meals.

                                          Brown Rice is very cheap and easy to use as a base for bowls and dishes. Likewise, beans can add a bit of fiber making you feel full and satisfied without having to spend a lot of money.

                                          If you are trying to cut on body fat, use extra veggies as the bulk of your meal and add in rice and beans as a filler.

                                          9. Try Acai Bowls

                                          Acai Bowls can be a really cheap and satisfying meal as long as you do it right.

                                          Advertising

                                          You can find cheap fruits at most stores or just freeze your fresh fruits before it goes bad.

                                          Making your own granola can save you a lot of money as well. The total cost for this delicious meal should only add up to a few dollars compared to triple that price if you were to buy one pre-made.

                                          10. Make Your Own Meal Kits

                                          Do you like your meals freshly cooked? Sending meal kits to your doorstep is an easy way to drain your budget. Instead, try making your meal kit at home! Not only is it fun, you will easily get a delicious taste.

                                          Simply find a few simple meal cards or print some out and fill a ziplock with the ingredients for each specific day. Don’t know what recipe to make? Another option is to order one month of meal kits and recycle the recipe into ingredients for the upcoming months with ingredients you picked up from the store.

                                          11. Don’t Drink Your Calories

                                          A few dollars spent here and there can really add up! Just as with specialty items, healthy drinks can be a blackhole for you. An energy drink and kombucha and coffee each day could easily have you spending and extra $300 each month!

                                          I you really need a special drink fix, try making your favorites at home. Bring a coffee in, make kombucha, or even try making lemonade with stevia or a healthy soda. You’ll be surprised w hat a big difference such a small change can make on your budget!

                                          12. Buy Cheap Online

                                          Just like anything else, it pays to be prepared. Buying foods from online retailers can be a really affordable way to save money as long as you’re prepared.

                                          Plan ahead for those more expensive specialty items you can’t live without. It will save you tons of money compared to having to buy food from a specialty store.

                                          13. Don’t Fret about the Clean Fifteen

                                          One of the huge things that can mess with a person’s budget is eating organic. For the record, I am 110% all for eating organic whenever you can. However, for some people, it can be hard to make organic food fit into a budget.

                                          Instead of scratching healthy eating for a smaller budget, try to buy meat and the dirty dozen organic, and don’t go crazy about the rest. The clean fifteen are the fifteen safest foods to buy that aren’t organic! Meanwhile, the dirty dozen is the most worthwhile avoiding. According to Produce Retailer, these are the dirty dozens:[3]

                                          1. Strawberries
                                          2. Spinach
                                          3. Kale
                                          4. Nectarines
                                          5. Apples
                                          6. Grapes
                                          7. Peaches
                                          8. Cherries
                                          9. Pears
                                          10. Tomatoes
                                          11. Celery
                                          12. Potatoes

                                          14. Pay Attention to Storage

                                          Keeping the food you have is just as important as how much food is in the first place. Try to stay on top of how much produce you can actually use before it goes bad. It might not be a bad idea to pencil an extra shopping trip in the middle of the week to keep food fresh.

                                          Advertising

                                          Investing in good food storage containers could go a long way in saving you in the long run as well.

                                          15. Freeze Food Before it Goes Bad

                                          Instead of getting mad at yourself at the end of the week for all the wilted produce you need to throw out, try freezing it before you get to that point.

                                          Most frozen veggies will taste delicious in stir fries and soups. You can freeze fruits to make sorbet or smoothies. Frozen greens can be chopped up and tossed into just about anything for a nutrient boost!

                                          16. Consider Ditching Most Supplements and Powders

                                          I have nothing against superfood powders and supplements. However, if your budget is tight, it can be hard to fit supplements and powders in.

                                          Instead of adding in powders, add extra nutrients to you food. Add lots of greens and veggies to all your meals to meet your nutrient needs. If you need a specific supplement, you can find great deals online as well!

                                          17. Use Budget App

                                          There are so many great apps you can download for free. One of my current favorite is HoneyDue because you can track your budget easily with your spouse. There are many options available, just find the one that you’re most likely to use. The ones that download your spendings automatically are often the easiest and will give you a more accurate number.

                                          My husband and I use the same app, but have a separate budget for each of our weekly food plan and for our additional snacks. Keeping things separate can often be helpful to know exactly where your money is going. Plus, it can help hold you accountable if you have a significant other you are sharing money with.

                                          18. Use What you Have

                                          Most people have unused protein powders lying around in their cabinets. Instead of letting that go to waste, work them into your meal plan. Protein powders can make amazing doughnuts, pastries, or pancakes!

                                          19. Enjoy the Process!

                                          Finding ways to enjoy your new lifestyle will be helpful in sticking to it long term. Find fun in seeing how much you can save each month. Make a competition with someone to see who can stick to the lowest budget and create something fun to do for the winner with some of the money saved! Blast some music in the kitchen while cooking your new recipes.

                                          Budgeting and health doesn’t have to be a drag. Make it fun and you’ll enjoy your new lifestyle long-term!

                                          Featured photo credit: kevin laminto via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

                                          Read Next