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Student Life

10 Easy Ways To Earn A Little Extra Cash And Save Money

Side hustles are a way of life.

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10 Easy Ways To Earn A Little Extra Cash And Save Money

Ah, the holiday season! As students and young adults, many of us are looking to make a little extra cash. But sometimes, your job isn't enough. I have many different flows of income, some requiring more work than others. But the best thing about my side incomes is that they earn me cash that I can let build up before transferring it to my bank account in a time of need. Finding ways to earn freebies and cash can be helpful in a pinch!

1. Sell your old toys and valuables 

Last year, I decided to clean out my storage. Living in apartments and moving every few years made me realize it was time to cut down on the excess belongings that I have. You may have old toys that can turn out to be very valuable! I ended up selling a lot of my old American Girl dolls and accessories online (although, honestly, I couldn't part with everything). To sell the items, I primarily used eBay because it reaches a wide audience and is a trustworthy site. However, I also used Facebook Marketplace. My eBay sales went to my PayPal account and I made a couple hundred dollars just by stuff that was sitting in storage bins!

2. Use survey sites to earn gift cards

Survey sites are a great way to earn gift certificates online. I have been using e-Rewards for three years now and I have found it to be a reputable site. For each survey you complete, the site credits your account with points. These points can then be used to redeem gift cards and other prizes. I personally have used the points to earn $75 Starbucks or iTunes gift cards, which are a nice treat. It takes a lot of surveys to earn enough points, but if you have free time, it can be an easy way to earn yourself some free gift cards.

3. Participate in research studies

Research studies can be a fun way to earn cash! I am participating in a long-term study through a university that sends me Amazon gift cards twice a year for the completion of bi-yearly surveys. I am also registered with a couple of local research companies, such as L&E Research. I receive notifications when they are looking for participants in new studies. If I fit what they are looking for, I just go in and am paid cash at the end of the study. The studies have all been interesting! It's definitely an easy way to earn some extra cash here and there.

4. Sell your clothes and accessories at consignment shops

Cleaning out your closet and earning extra cash has never been easier. While you may be familiar with regular thrift stores that take donations, there are also consignment shops that pay you for your used items (in good condition, of course). Generally, there are two different kinds: ones that pay you upfront and ones that pay you when your item sells. The stores that pay you upfront pay you a smaller percentage of the resale price. However, the benefit is you walk out with cash or store credit. The other style pays you a higher percentage of the selling price, but you can only cash out once they actually sell your item. If your item doesn't sell, they may offer to donate it or return it to you. Stores like Plato's Closet and Uptown Cheapskate are a great place to look for new clothes or clear out your used items.

5. Download coupon apps

If you're like me, you do a lot of shopping at Target. Target has an app that you can download to your phone with a feature called Cartwheel. Cartwheel is a coupon app, and the discounts it provides can be used in conjunction with manufacturer's coupons as well. It has a handy search feature or you can also browse all of the offers. All you have to do is select the coupons you want and scan your personal bar code in the app at checkout. All matching discounts will apply to your purchase. While it may not save you more than a few dollars at a time, there are sometimes killer deals in there, such as an additional 20% off clearance clothing. According to my account, I've saved over $300 using Cartwheel!

6. Sign up for store rewards 

Having an account with a store rewards program can actually be quite helpful. At most grocery stores, having an account allows you to access their sales and discounts. However, it can also be useful while online shopping. For example, I have an account with Tarte Cosmetics where I order a lot of my makeup. Each purchase earns me points that can be redeemed for free items or discounts. It's not a huge savings, but it takes no effort to save on your regular purchases!

7. Join an ambassador program

Ok, sure, so the constant posting on social media can be a little irritating, but signing up to be a brand ambassador for a company has its perks. Every company's BA program has different requirements and benefits, but I have found some to be very helpful. I like Sand Cloud because you can earn points to redeem as discounts on your personal purchases without much effort. Serengetee is also known for its rep program, but it involves a lot more work on your part. Serengetee's program culminates in a project, but you do have the chance to win a vacation to Guatemala. Either way, you get a discount on the company's products and a chance to earn freebies.

8. Use your talents to sell goods 

If you have a unique talent, you can use Etsy to sell your handmade goods. I know quite a few people who have used Etsy to sell various things they make, such as jewelry, clothing, and decals. One of my best friends made and sold paper flower bouquets for weddings. It can be a great way to make a little income with your talents or start a business.

As an education major, I have sold things on Teachers Pay Teachers.

9. Sell your clothes and accessories online

Clearing out your closet has never been easier. I use the consignment app Poshmark to reach a wider audience. Poshmark is really user friendly: you don't have to pay out of pocket for shipping! You set the prices yourself and Poshmark takes a small percentage of your earnings. Then they send you a prepaid shipping label and all you have to do is send the package. The funds will be released to your account once the buyer receives the item. I like the peace of mind that comes with using this app. And one nice thing is that you can transfer your earnings right into your bank account, or use it as credit to purchase from other sellers.

10. Download a rebate app

I have become obsessed with the iBotta app. iBotta functions in a similar way to Target's coupon app, but iBotta provides rebates. You can browse the offers and upload images of receipts to earn credit. Once you reach $20, you can transfer the money directly to your Venmo. iBotta has discounts on EVERYTHING: beer, milk, bread, almost anything you can think of. They're also partnered with online stores like Amazon. I've even earned credit for a plane ticket purchase. I've had iBotta for 2 months and have earned over $60 that can be transferred directly to my account. You can sign up for iBotta by clicking this link: https://ibotta.com/r/kvoecnp

Whether you're looking to earn extra cash or have access to discounts, there are lots of opportunities for you to take advantage of out there.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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