Browsing Tag

making money in college

Student Life

Student Guide on How to Stop Overspending and Start Saving

November 11, 2021

Being a student is one of the most exciting phases of one’s life. Financially, this is the ideal time to experiment with your ideas and get a head start for adulthood. The challenge, though, is how to make ends meet with the limited resources you currently have. After all, just a night of overspending can lead to disastrous results down the line.

Fortunately, there are a lot of steps that you can practice to prevent overspending and learn more about personal financial management. In this article, we are going to share some of them with you, particularly those that we have already tried and tested for years:

1.  Make use of last year’s books.

According to Academic Matters, an average student spends more than $1,000 on books and other learning materials per year. While putting them to good use is the best way to make the most of your investment, there is another way to get (at least) some of your money back. Take good care of your textbooks because you can still resell them for a good price once the school year’s over. Check out your campus bookstore for buy-back programs, or sites such as Amazon or Chegg.

2.  Enjoy savings for this year’s books.

While we’re on the topic of textbook savings, you can use similar tactics for books you have yet to purchase. Look into buying used textbooks or renting them. Many times, you can still. write and highlight in books you rent, so it shouldn’t impact your study habits.

3.  Know your discounts.

Since we are already talking about Amazon, did you know that they have an Amazon Prime student program as well? This allows you to sign-up at half the price of their regular plan, take advantage of significant discounts, enjoy free food delivery, and more.

Meanwhile, Amazon is not the only company that offers discounts to students. Don’t forget other types of bonuses as well. For instance, groceries typically hold late-night discounts for perishable items that didn’t sell during the day. Take the time to find what’s available near you and you might be surprised how a little effort can stretch your dollars further.

4.  Plan your expenses and shop smart.

There are different types of budgeting systems but for students, we highly recommend starting with something simple like the envelope system. It won’t require any expense recording but it will make sure that you live within your means.

Don’t automatically assume that you need to buy everything as well. You will need a lot of things when you’re moving into you’re venturing out into the world for the first time, but don’t think that you would need to buy everything brand new.

There’s no shame in asking around whether your family and friends have some things that you might need just lying around unused, such as old pieces of furniture or kitchen appliances. Other items, like the power tools you’ll need to assemble your own furniture, can also be rented as needed.

We also recommend alternative methods such as point-of-need financing. You can use it to buy bigger educational-related expenses, like a new laptop or a printer. You might even need a small fridge or a microwave for your dorm room. This will allow you to get what you need and pay for them through smaller and more manageable monthly payments.

5.  Explore new interests.

Binge drinking, excessive partying, shopping, and even vaping are all hobbies that are not just irresponsible, they’re quite costly too. Instead, consider exploring fun and inexpensive hobbies!

For example, there are affordable musical instruments that you can start learning how to play. Getting a chess set is pretty cheap and you can spend your whole life contemplating on its 69,352,859,712,417 possibilities and still not master it.

Are you a fan of working out? There are campus gyms that offer free memberships for their students, teachers, even the alumni. The fun that comes with college parties can still be enjoyed, just not overdone!

6.  Take advantage of more affordable forms of entertainment.

A lot of campuses offer free (or really affordable) forms of entertainment such as movie nights, museum passes, and cultural shows. We also recommend skipping a costly cable package. Try a streaming service instead, like Netflix or Hulu. Amazon also offers Amazon Music and Prime Video as part of the student program we have featured earlier. Talk to your roommates and see if they’d split the cost on one or two streaming services for you to share.

In fact, when it comes to music, there really is no need to buy tracks these days. You can simply use free streaming services like Spotify or Pandora.

7.  Share food and space with your friends.

You can further pull down your monthly expenses by splitting the cost of your rent and utilities with a roommate. You can even plan your meals together and share grocery expenses. Splitting the responsibility of cooking and cleaning up is unbeatable!

8.  Review your life skills.

Speaking of cooking, it will save you a lot from eating and spending money on take out. We know how convenient it is, but it is financially smarter to just cook your own dinner rather than reaching for Uber Eats every other day. Save those splurge nights for really special occasions.

Riding a bike is another way to save money in college. Car payments, insurance, parking passes, and gas can really add up, especially if you are on a student budget. If you really need a car, you could rent one for the day or utilize a ride share service. But a bike should be enough if you live on campus or close by.

There are certainly other methods to save money as a student, but the ones we have mentioned above are good points that you can already start practicing. Good luck!

Student Life

5 Ways for Creative Students to Make Money

June 29, 2021

Starving artist and broke college student? This trope almost feels impossible to avoid as a student wanting to pursue your creative strengths. However, in the age of the internet, there are plenty of opportunities for young artists to not only establish themselves but also to make some money.

  1. RedBubble

If you are a busy, on-the-go student, then RedBubble might be the best money-making option for you. This website focuses on helping to simplify the selling process for artists. All you have to do is upload your artwork, select what products you want to sell and then promote your shop! RedBubble allows for you to bypass any shipping or printing hassle without any out-of-pocket costs. All in all, RedBubble is the perfect starting point for artists who want to begin selling their creations.

  1. Etsy

Etsy might be up your alley if you are more crafty and have some time and resources on your hands! Etsy is an e-commerce company that provides a platform for artists to sell handmade items and crafts. If you love making jewelry, clothing or home decor pieces, you can find a home to sell your creations on Etsy.

  1. Skillshare

You might be interested in sharing your creativity and talents by teaching others. If you are, then selling your own classes on Skillshare might be the best option for you! Skillshare provides a platform for anyone to teach. You do not have to be accredited or a professional in your field, all you need is to be passionate about what you do and willing to help others. Start by creating your own class, and then as your following builds, you’ll earn money!

  1. Artfinder

If you are drawn to selling more traditional pieces, and you have a more solid idea of who you are as an artist, then Artfinder might be the best fit! Artfinder is a marketplace of independent artists who sell their own original works. Whether it be printmaking, sculpture, photography or another medium, you can sell your art among other creators who are just as passionate about their craft as you!

  1. ShutterStock

You are probably familiar with ShutterStock if you often work on producing presentations, videos or promotional pieces. ShutterStock is a platform that provides stock images, videos and vectors around the world, and it allows for anyone to contribute. If you have high-quality pieces that you are willing to share for others to download and use, then submit them to ShutterStock. Everytime one of your uploads is downloaded by a user, you will receive payment.

These are just a few of the opportunities that exist for artists to make money. Not only are they user friendly and customizable to you, but they are also great ways for students to enter the art world while pursuing an education. Good luck and happy creating!

BIO: Morgan Kubasko is going to be a freshman at Barrett, the Honors College, at Arizona State University. She is majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication. She is currently a summer intern with Grad Guard Insurance Company.

Adulting Other

Easy Ways to Start Investing

May 14, 2021

As a college student, you have some unique challenges. There’s a lot on your plate between attending classes and homework, but also studying and balancing a social life, too. You should also devote time to your own wellness.

In this post though, we are not talking about physical or social wellness. Instead let’s focus on a more neglected wellness aspect – financial wellness.

Here are five easy ways to achieve that glow in your investments while being sensitive to a college student’s lifestyle.

Open an Interest Generating Savings Account or CD

Got some cash? Here are two easy, super safe ways to earn some interest:

  • High yield savings account from a bank that pays you a variable interest rate.
  • CD (certificate of deposit) guarantees you an interest rate if you leave your money in for a certain amount of time.

Both offer some return for your money, so they do count as investments. Be prepared to let this money sit in these accounts for a while. After a few years, you will start to see some real return, more than you would see if you let it sit in a standard bank. Work for your money, then let your money work for you!

Modern Brokerage Account

Back in the day, brokerage firms were stodgy and cumbersome to deal with. You had to physically call a broker or use a desktop computer. Not to mention the fees that came along with it.

That’s changed. The internet is not just for cat websites or eating challenges. In today’s investment landscape, there’s a plethora of free online brokers with slick interfaces that work on phones, tablets, or desktops.

Names like Robin Hood, Webull, or M1 Finance come to mind. These apps have truly introduced a large group of “retail” investors to the markets.

Index Funds

Now armed with a modern broker app, you can start diving into the more “traditional” investments like stocks and funds – the kind of stuff you hear about on CNBC (but never paid attentioned to).

For a busy student, simple is best. And the simplest is to buy an index fund, a fund that holds ALL the stocks in a given market. This is less volatile since you are well diversified and exposed to many stocks. Over the long term, America’s stock market only goes up.

Basically, if you are not interested in individual stocks or sectors of the market, just investing in the whole market is the way to go. It’s generally a safer way to get your start in investing. But again, this won’t make you a lot of money quickly, unlike how you may be able to make a quicker profit through riskier, more volatile trades.

Retirement Account

“Retirement accounts” once made my eyes roll. I know the last thing on your mind is 40 years from now.

But hear me out. Basically, IRA’s and Roth IRA’s are just accounts or vehicles that your investments live in. You contribute to these accounts, then decide what funds or stocks to buy from there.

With a Roth, you contribute money you’ve already paid taxes on, and when you withdraw, it’s tax free! With an IRA, you contribute pre-tax dollars, then pay taxes on it when you withdraw.

For a busy college student, there are two things to set up. First is an automatic monthly or quarterly withdrawal from your checking or savings into one of these. Second is to reinvest dividends from that fund back into the fund. Something to look forward to in the future is to look for employers who match employee 401K contributions. That’s something you’ll definitely want to take advantage of — it’s basically free money.

That way, time and compound interest helps grow your account, hassle-free. Even contributions of a couple hundred dollars a month, over 30 years, end up massive!

In Closing

When I started “adulting,” my knowledge of financial products was minimal. I freely admit I did not know the difference between a checking and savings account, much less investing.

Now with modern apps, investing is easier and more accessible. Get started with a few of the top tips above!