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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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                                          Published on September 17, 2018

                                          How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

                                          How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

                                          Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

                                          With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

                                          So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

                                          1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

                                          It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

                                          You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

                                          So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

                                          2. When you want something big, wait

                                          Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

                                          It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

                                          We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

                                          A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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                                          So, you get the itch.

                                          You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

                                          Here’s where you have to take a step back.

                                          Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

                                          Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

                                          It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

                                          The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

                                          3. Live smaller than you can afford

                                          You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

                                          You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

                                          That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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                                          Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

                                          Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

                                          The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

                                          But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

                                          4. Practice smart grocery shopping

                                          Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

                                          But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

                                          Create a grocery budget

                                          Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

                                          Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

                                          I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

                                          Make a list… and never deviate

                                          Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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                                          You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

                                          These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

                                          Eat before going grocery shopping

                                          It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

                                          If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

                                          After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

                                          Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

                                          However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

                                          This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

                                          5. Cancel your gym membership

                                          Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

                                          The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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                                          Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

                                          I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

                                          Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

                                          Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

                                          For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

                                          Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

                                          There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

                                          It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

                                          I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

                                          Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

                                          The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

                                          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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