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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.

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    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.

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      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.

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        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.

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          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.

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            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.

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              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.

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                8. Hawk a video course

                Sell your skills via video courses on websites like Udemy.

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                  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!

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                    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.

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                      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.

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                        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.

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                          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.

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                            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.

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                              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.

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                                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.

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                                  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.

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                                    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.

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                                      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.

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                                        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.

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

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                                          Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                                          The Definitive Guide to Get out of Debt Fast (and Forever)

                                          The Definitive Guide to Get out of Debt Fast (and Forever)

                                          Debt can feel crushing, like a weight that is always weighing you down. Looking at those numbers, it can feel as if you’ll never get out from under it. However, if you really want to learn how to get out of debt, it is possible with a great deal of focus and self-control.

                                          Getting out of debt isn’t impossible. Like any big goal, all that it takes is an action plan to identify where you are and creating a plan to zero out your debt.

                                          Identifying All of Your Debts

                                          The first part of paying off your debt is getting a complete picture of what you owe. When you have everything written out in front of you, it makes it much easier to create an action plan. Depending on how much you owe, it might also help you realize it’s not as bad you might have originally thought.

                                          Here’s how you can get started identifying your debts:

                                          1. Own Your Debt

                                          Before you start identifying all of your debts, take a moment to process that you have debt but want to get out of it.

                                          Forgive yourself for any past mistakes, missed payments, or overspending. It might be painful to accept how much debt you have at first, but you must own it.

                                          2. Make a Debt Tracker

                                          It’s astonishing how few people ever created a tracker to understand their total debts. Most likely, it comes from not wanting to accept the guilt of having debt, but, if avoided, it can make it nearly impossible to get out of debt.

                                          Open up a new Google or Microsoft Excel sheet and list out all of your debts. Start with the name of the creditor, interest rates, total balance, loan term length (if any), and the minimum amount due each payment. This will include student loans, credit cards, and any other type of debt owed.

                                          3. Get Your Debt Number

                                          Once you’ve made your debt tracker and taken the other steps, identify your total payoff number. This is crucial, as you will have a starting point and a clear goal that you are trying to achieve.

                                          Prioritizing Your Debts

                                          All debt is not created equal. It’s imperative to understand that there are different types of debt.

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                                          1. Understand Bad and Good Debts

                                          Bad debts are usually paying for things you want instead of always need. While there might be some emergencies that max out your credit cards, often times it’s excessive spending[1].

                                          There are three main types of bad debt:

                                          • Credit Card Debt: The average American household owes over $16,000 in credit card debt!
                                          • Auto Loan Debt: According to CNBC , the average auto loan in the US is $30,032!
                                          • Consumer Loan Debt: Consumer loan debt isn’t as common as credit card and auto loan debt, but it’s still considered bad as interest rates are usually between 10-28%.

                                          Good debt is identified as investments in your future. Here are three common types of good debt:

                                          • Student Loan Debt
                                          • Mortgage Loan
                                          • Business Loans

                                          2. Decide Which Debt to Pay off First

                                          Once you know each type of debt and their interest rates, you can begin to pay off debt quickly.

                                          Focus on paying off bad debt first, regardless of if it is a credit card or auto loan. Start by paying off the loan with the highest interest rate first.

                                          If you have several credit cards with different interest rates, you want to focus on the one with a higher APR. You will actually save more money by eliminating the card with the highest interest rate.

                                          3. Don’t Pay the Minimum Amount

                                          Paying the minimum amount digs you into a hole as interest rates will offset your payment. Even a small amount more than the minimum can help you pay off debt much faster.

                                          Removing Obstacles to Pay off Debt Quickly

                                          Creating a debt tracker and prioritizing a plan is simple, but avoiding temptation can be difficult.

                                          1. Set a Reminder to Track Your Debt

                                          “If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.” -Peter Drucker

                                          It’s so important to track your debt to ensure that you get it paid off quickly. Similar to working out and measuring your results, you need to track your debt constantly. Start with a weekly reminder, where you sign on and log your updated number. Did you increase, decrease, or stay the same?

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                                          Regularly tracking your student loan balance can be incredibly motivating, as well. You will get a huge confidence boost each time you see your total debt amount decreases.

                                          Set weekly and monthly goals so you can have short term wins and keep the momentum going.

                                          2. Hide Your Credit Cards

                                          If your biggest debt is credit cards, you need to eliminate temptation and remove them from your wallet.

                                          Some people have gone to extreme measures by freezing their credit cards. Why? This would create an ice block around your card, which would require you to chip away at it slowly. This will give you time to think if it’s the best idea to buy that thing you’re about to buy.

                                          3. Automate Everything

                                          Willpower can be a huge downfall to paying off your debt. By automating your bills each month, you will ensure that willpower isn’t involved.

                                          4. Plan Ahead

                                          Getting out of debt will require some sacrifices, but with enough planning, you can make it work.

                                          For example, if you know that you have a friend’s birthday or family dinner coming up, plan ahead for the costs. Whether you need to cut back on spending the week before, pick up a side job, or meet them after dinner, do what is needed.

                                          5. Live Cheaply

                                          The only way to get out of debt is to make some sacrifices on your spending habits. Find ways to save money each month so you can apply that amount to your outstanding debts. Here are some ways to save money each month:

                                          • Live with roommates
                                          • Cook dinners and prepare lunches for work instead of eating out
                                          • Cut cable and choose Netflix or Amazon Prime
                                          • Take public transit or bike to work

                                          Finding the Lowest Interest Rates

                                          The higher your interest rates, the harder (and longer) it will take you to pay off any debt.

                                          If possible, you want to find ways to lower your interest rates to help get out of debt quickly. Here’s how you can get started:

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                                          1. Maintain a High Credit Score

                                          Your credit score will have a large impact on your ability to refinance your loans and receive a lower interest rate. If you have a low credit score, it’s unlikely you will be able to refinance your loans. Use these credit tips to increase and maintain an excellent score:

                                          • Never miss a payment
                                          • Don’t exceed 30% of your credit limit
                                          • Don’t sign up for more than one card at once
                                          • Limit hard inquires, like auto-loans and new credit cards
                                          • Monitor frequently with free credit-tracking software

                                          2. Find Balance Transfer Offers

                                          Start by opening a free account on credit.com. Credit.com offers you the chance to open a free account and see what type of balance transfer offers you can receive. Some of your existing credit cards might already have 0% or lower APR balance transfer offers available.

                                          Contact each of your credit card providers to ask about lowering your rate for a one-time balance transfer offer[2].

                                          If you do take advantage of this option, make sure that you use a balance transfer and not a cash advance. Cash advances have a ton of high interest fees (15-25%, depending on your credit card) and will only compound your debt problem.

                                          How to Get Rid of Debt Forever

                                          Setting up a plan, removing temptations, and getting the lowest interest rates is the first step to get out of debt.

                                          1. Keep Monitoring and Adjusting

                                          Once you have a plan, don’t get comfortable. Track your debt payoff plan and make the necessary adjustments when needed.

                                          Monitor your credit scores with a free site like CreditKarma. The higher your credit score climbs, the more likely you will be to secure a new, lower-interest loan.

                                          2. Earn More Money

                                          There are only so many ways to save money. Instead of clipping another coupon or making sacrifices for your morning coffee, find ways to earn more money!

                                          Think about it…it is much easier to find ways to earn an extra $1,000 per month than find $1,000 to cut from your budget.

                                          Here are some examples of ways to earn more money:

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                                          Talk to Your Boss

                                          Have a conversation with your boss about current salary and/or commission rates. If you’re not satisfied or want a change, don’t be afraid to look around at other positions. Some of them might even have a student loan debt reimbursement plan!

                                          Start a Side Hustle

                                          This could be coaching students on the weekends, driving for Uber, or taking paid online surveys. There are tons of ways to make money outside your 9-5. Now that you have a clear plan to pay off your debts, you’ll be more motivated than ever to figure out creative new ways to earn money.

                                          Build an Online Business

                                          There are so many websites and blogs that earn money from ads, affiliates, and other online products. Find your niche and get started.

                                          3. Celebrate Your Wins

                                          As you progress in your debt payoff journey, don’t forget to celebrate your wins. You need to always reward yourself for the hard work and discipline that is required to get out of debt.

                                          While you shouldn’t celebrate so big that it increases debt, make sure to factor in little rewards to keep you motivated.

                                          4. Set New Financial Goals

                                          Eventually, with a plan and these steps, you can rid yourself of your debt. Once you do, make sure to celebrate your monumental achievement, but don’t stop there.

                                          Now, you can focus on acquiring wealth and increasing your net worth. Set new financial goals so you have a new target to aim toward. Here’s how to set financial goals and actually meet them.

                                          These could be anything now that you are debt free! Think about where you want to travel, buying your first home, or saving for your future retirement. Just like before, make sure that your goals are specific, measurable, and achievable.

                                          Conclusion

                                          Congrats, you can now set a plan in motion to finally pay off your debt quickly (and hopefully forever)!

                                          Remember, if you want to get out of debt quickly, it’s not always easy. Just like any big goal, there will be sacrifices, challenges, and problems to overcome.

                                          More Tips on Getting out of Debt

                                          Featured photo credit: Pepi Stojanovski via unsplash.com

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