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How to Earn Extra Money During College

Earn Extra Moneyimage source

Let’s face it: you’re busy. But this doesn’t change the fact that your textbooks cost an arm and a leg, tuition is rising constantly, and you still need to buy groceries this week. How are you supposed to keep up with your studies as well as your expenses? Here are a few ways to make extra money without letting your grades suffer.

1. Work Study Programs

Most colleges have employment opportunities specifically for students. Work study programs usually subtract your pay from your tuition bill. A few hours a week working at minimum wage doesn’t seem like much, but it adds up quickly. The best part is this work can usually be scheduled around your class schedule so it won’t interfere with your studies. Check with your financial aid office to see if your school offers programs like this.

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2. Sell Unwanted Items

Whether it’s clothes that you don’t wear anymore or your old guitar that, let’s face it, you haven’t picked up in years. There are usually plenty of things lying around your dorm that you have no use for anymore. Like the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Snap a few clear, well lit pics of your unwanted items and list them on eBay for a small fee (this fee is so small, you probably have enough change under your couch cushion to cover it). Another wonderful platform for selling clothing is an app called Twice available here. With this app you can sell your gently used nice clothing.

Sell the Clothes You Dont Wear Anymoreimage source

3. Start a Side Business

Okay so maybe this one is a bit more time consuming but with the right work ethic, you’d be surprised how easy this can be. This doesn’t have to be a full- fledged business venture. You can make a decent amount of money mowing lawns or painting houses over the summer. If you have a knack for crafts, you could also make and sell handmade items such as jewelry or paintings at craft fairs or with online marketplaces such as Etsy.com. Similar to eBay, with Etsy you can pay a very small fee to list your handmade treasures for others to purchase.

Start a Side Businessimage source

Whether you choose work study or cleaning out your closet, there are simple ways to earn some extra cash while also taking some of the strain off your parents to cover your tuition bill. What other ways do you make extra money for college? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

Meal Plan Running Out?

The end of the year doesn’t just mean your classes are ending, it means the end of your meal plan too.  Many of us get caught realizing this too little too late.  If you are in need to stretch your meal plan to keep you fueled up during final time, check out these tips:

One option is to simply add more to your meal plan.  This is most likely the most expensive but most convenient route.

Does your school let you take a meal to go?  This could be used to your advantage.  Fill up that to go box with the two P’s, produce and protein.  Most dishes can be stretched easily.  Going to the grocery store or local farmer’s market for lettuce to stretch out cafeteria dishes by making them salads.  Some cafeterias I have eaten at have a Taqueria or Mexican section.  Filling up a to go box with shredded chicken and salsa can be stretched by making a Mexican salad in your dorm.  Other dishes can be stretched out with rice or pasta.  Make it healthy and look for multigrain, which sometimes only costs a few cents extra. To go boxes also leave you with more than one meal, even by an athlete’s standards.  This way, using one block or meal can end up providing you with a couple meals.

Pick your meals wisely.  If you have a big breakfast, could you make it to dinner with only a few snacks?  Breakfast is the cheapest meal to eat in your room as you can get cereal, a large tub of yogurt, box of farina, carton of eggs (if you have stove access) or a large tin of oatmeal each of which are not costly and will last.  If you factor out that you can have one meal in the cafeteria a day,  make it lunch.  This way you will be most full in the middle of the day, good for your budget and good for you digestion.  You will need some dinner meals though.  Some cheap but healthy dinner items to stock up on are rice, beans, soup, frozen veggies, and frozen dinners.  A word on frozen dinners: be sure to check the Nutrition Facts to see how much food you are getting for the price.  I have found that Healthy Choice meals give you more food for the same price and quality as Lean Cuisine.

If most of your meal plan is consumed by coffee (and/or tea), price out how much you can save by buying instant coffee or tea packets in bulk.  I know what you’re thinking, instant coffee is nothing to your Starbucks Frappuccino.  Some instant cappuccino mixes are surprisingly satisfying.  General Foods International’s 100-Calorie Packs of French Vanilla Cappuccino Mix is a personal favorite and cheaper than my usual Starbucks order.

Although I am not advising anyone to go on a liquid diet, staying hydrated can keep you feeling full longer.  Make sure to drink water or herbal tea throughout the day.  This is especially important as there is a lot of salt in Ramen, a classic college staple food.
Just think that in a few weeks, you will be home eating as you’re used to.

- TravelBug