As a college student, it's important to save money and even find ways to earn it in order to afford certain things. I'm about to be a second-semester senior, and I've learned different ways to save large amounts of money in order to pay for groceries, as well as other miscellaneous things. Throughout my four years of saving, these are the best ways to earn and save money. These can also help when you're out of college!
Save your coins!
You've probably heard or done this already, but if not, this will definitely be a lifesaver. A 2016 article from CBS talked about how "Americans are losing $62 million a year by tossing coins in the trash." While coins may seem like a burden when we go shopping, because it keeps falling or it makes our wallet heavy, it doesn't mean you should throw it away. Despite their small values, overtime your one penny can turn into thousands.
You can start saving your coins in some sort of container. I used a jar to store my coins and if it got filled then I would resort to a large bucket. This is a long process, but saving money comes with patience. Over time, if you fill your coin holder, you'll be able to turn those small metal circles into crisp bills. When you're ready to turn them into cash, you can go to your local TD bank and use their coin machine to cash out money. If you're not a TD bank user, then you will get a small percentage taken from your savings.
I don't use TD bank, but you can still change those coins to cash. Get coin wrappers to organize your coins. Count the amount that you have and then take it to your bank. Tell them the amount that you have and that you would like to exchange it for cash. Once that's done, you'll have your cash in no time!
If you don't know what Plato's Closet is, it's a thrift store that also buys your clothes! This thrift store is all about having trendy clothes so you'll definitely find some good items in here. If you feel like you have too many clothing items, why not try to sell your clothes here? Many people tend to throw away their clothes, which is actually bad for the environment. By giving away your clothes, you'll be saving the planet! In this case, you save the planet and earn some money out of it.
To sell your clothes at Plato's Closet, you'll definitely need to have items that are "on trend" and "stylish." This is a rule of theirs that they use in order to determine whether or not you'll receive any cash. If you feel confident that your clothes will make the cut, then head on to this store. The issue that arises with selling your clothes here, however, is that they are very stingy about giving money. It's quite understandable, as more people are likely to want to earn money rather than spend it.
From my experience, the criteria they use when considering to take your things are: the amount of inventory they have on specific items, how new is it, if it has any stains or rips, is it in season, and if it's trendy. The times that I've went to try and sell my clothes, there was always an issue with their large inventory so this was always preventing me from earning more. Either way, if you're a trend setter and want to rid of your clothes, try to sell it here! If they don't take it, you can always donate it to Goodwill, or try the next idea.
Depop is basically like an online thrift store. There are other platforms similar to this, such as Poshmark. You can also make an Instagram or Facebook page dedicated to selling your items. Basically, you're creating an online store for your items. Sometimes selling your clothes at Plato's closet isn't always 100 percent guaranteed, so using an app to sell your clothes can be the next step.
Many users have used Depop, Poshmark, and other social media platforms, to create a market for their items to sell to others. Some have created enough revenue to afford their college tuition and even become influencers for reaching a large audience. Selling your clothes on these platforms is basically how you would online shop. Someone finds something they like on your profile and then they want to confirm their order.
You can make your own prices for your items, as well as shipping and handling. These platforms have users from all over the world, so there is no doubt that if someone wants to order your item you'll have to pay for packaging, labels, etc. Creating the prices can be a difficult challenge, as there are people who will want to bargain for prices. It is up to you how you handle that, but more or less you will still earn some sort of amount.
Scan Your Receipts
People save their receipts for tax purposes, credit card bills, etc. But how about saving them to earn rewards? Fetch rewards is an app that lets you scan your grocery receipts to earn points. There are certain items that can earn more points if you have them on your receipt. Once your receipt is scanned, you can redeem those points for gift cards, or to enter in large giveaways, such as a $1000 Visa gift card. Do note that the receipt can not be older than two weeks. If it's older than that, the app will not take it.
Taking online surveys can help you earn some pocket money! One of the most well-known survey taking websites is SurveyJunkie. It is a legitimate service that lets you take surveys and earn points. The amount of points you have is the amount that you earn. For example, if you earn 200 points you have $2. There are different amounts of points, depending on how long the survey is. You will also not be able to take every survey, but the website will still give you some points because you tried to take it.
This year, it's all about making money moves. Anyone can do these to make some sort of little income. It doesn't hurt to have a little more cash in your pocket and you're wallet won't be crying anymore.