Ways to Save Money in College

As a college student, saving money can be hard. We’ve compiled a list to help you save your hard-earned money. Believe it or not, we live by these tips too. What better way to provide advice than with some methods we’ve already tested ourselves! We hope you’ll be able to use some of these methods during your years in college and into the future. 

Textbooks

One of the first dilemmas you’ll face as a college students is having to buy expensive books for your classes. Let’s face it, you won’t even read half of the chapters in your class for some of them. Instead of buying new books, we recommend that you rent your books!

We’ve noticed some students purchase expensive books in hopes to sell them later on for an equal or higher price they bought them for. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Bookstore can’t always guarantee that they’ll buy your books back for the price that you’re hoping, or if they will be buying them back at all later on as their need for books fluctuates every semester. You’ll actually be saving yourself SO much money by renting!

At Textbook Solutions, we aim to keep our book prices lower than your on-campus bookstore and rent out books up to 90% off their new price.

Fitness

You should also look into what is included in your tuition: take advantage of the amenities that your university offers! If you’re looking to keep in shape while in college and are looking for a gym, don’t spend your money on a membership. Most universities have a gym for their students. All you’ll need to show at the door is your student ID. You can get fit and stay active without spending more money!

FOOD

On a similar note, we know that some classes can be super time consuming when it comes to homework and assignments, which may limit your meal times. Don’t let that pressure you into eating out every day. Many universities offer meal plans included in the tuition that will give you access to the cafeterias and on-campus restaurants. It’s already included, so you’re not spending more money by eating out!

One healthy, money-saving tip for eating and drinking is to always carry a reusable water bottle with you. It’ll not only help you in staying hydrated but also save you money. If not eating on campus, you should also consider the time of day that you go out to buy your next meal. We highly suggest visiting your favorite place during Happy Hour! Restaurants are more likely to be having special offers during that time.

Resources

In addition, most universities have a computer lab that allows you to print all the documents you need for free. Instead of having to purchase a printer, paper, and ink, all you’ll really need is your USB or Google Drive information and your school ID. You won’t have to worry about not having enough ink or paper!

Of course you’ll need a means of transportation to and from the computer on campus. While having a car can be useful, you can also look into taking the shuttle. If you live in university housing they most likely have shuttles all around – and the best part is, you don’t have to pay for gas! The shuttles on campus are designed to help the students get from their dorm to classes on time. We suggest scoping out the shuttle stops and checking out their itinerary.

Student discounts

People always say you should always carry your ID, and we couldn’t agree more. When you go out, never forget to ask if they have any active student discounts. If you’re in need of electronics/entertainment, Apple, Sprint, AT&T, Office 365, Best Buy, Dell, Spotify among others offer discounts for students! Restaurants like Dairy Queen, Buffalo Wild Wings, Waffle House, and Burger King can help you save 10% on your next meal. Don’t be afraid to ask if a place has any student discounts!

Budgeting

If you’re just not sure if you can keep track of your expenses by yourself, don’t worry! There are actually various budgeting apps designed to guide you. They’ll not only tell you how you’ve been spending your hard earned money, but how much you’ve been spending in transportation, shopping, dining, etc. Here are some budgeting apps you can use for free: Mint, Wally & EveryDollar. They can also help you in alerting you when your next bill is in addition to creating monthly budgets so you can stay within your ideal budget and save some moolah!

We know how hard it can be to save money while in college. At Textbook Solutions we aim to help you Save More Green. We hope that with these tips you’ll be able to do just that!

10 Ways to Sell Handmade Creations

Are you a crafting fiend with an obsession for DIY projects? Crafting is a hobby that many people enjoy because it is relaxing and a way to express yourself! If you have a passion for crafting and making your own creations, wouldn’t it be awesome if you could make some money at the same time? We have found some great websites and resources available to help you sell your works of art! If you have a love for creating and crafting, check out these platforms that help you get your handmade items out for the world to love and buy.

  1. Absolute Arts. This website is perfect for artists and sculptors! It is free to sign up, and you can list up to 20 pieces of art for free. They have a huge community of artists and even help with marketing your items.
  2. ArtFire. This is a pretty well-known website and community for artists and creators to sell their products! They have boutique accounts for more commercial products, and also handmade artisan shops with one-of-a-kind items. They offer free seller accounts with various upgrades that you can purchase as you become more experienced.
  3. Craft fairs or farmers markets. Most cities have multiple craft fairs or weekly farmers markets that are great opportunities for local crafters and artists to set up a booth and sell their creations. Do a google search for your area and you can easily find how to sign up to become a vendor!
  4. Cratejoy. This is a little different than the others because it turns your products into subscription boxes! Subscription boxes are becoming more and more popular, and this website helps you get your small business started by creating your own subscription boxes with your items and reaching a wide audience of customers.
  5. eCrater. Here, you can create your own online store for selling your items – for free! It’s very easy to set up and you can customize the website and add your own logo and photos.
  6. Etsy. If you haven’t heard of Etsy, you’re missing out! Etsy is probably the biggest online shop for handmade, one-of-a-kind products. You can find almost anything on there and it reaches a wide variety of needs and people. It is great for crafters who want to try to sell their work because you can set your own prices and sell as many items as you want. It is free to open up a shop, and while there are some listing fees, they are pretty small.
  7. Facebook Marketplace. Facebook is such a great way to reach a lot of people, and the Marketplace feature helps you sell items when you don’t really know where else to go yet and are just getting started. It also targets your specific location, making it easy to find people near you who want to buy your products!
  8. iCraft. For the crafters who make their own unique creations from scratch, this is the website for you! iCraft is only for original, handmade creations – they do not allow vintage items or commercial products. They offer resources and tools to get your small business going and give sales tips if needed. You can start selling on here for just $5 a month, with multiple business plans to choose from.
  9. Shopify. This is another great option for your creations! For just $9 a month, you can create your own online store and customize the theme. They offer many helpful resources and tips for how to start your own small business, such as creating a logo and building your online presence.
  10. You Can Make This. This website is also different from the others because instead of selling your items, you are creating tutorials on how to make different kinds of handmade items and then selling the tutorial! Your product/idea has to get approved, but then you can start creating your tutorial and including all of the details for this product. People can purchase your tutorial online and you make 50% of the sales.

Discounts With Your Student I.D.

College life has its ups and downs, but one major perk is all the discounts you can get with that small piece of plastic: your student ID! There are hundreds of places that offer discounts or freebies by verifying your student status. We have found 28 websites and stores that can help you save money!


Student Discounts at Retail Stores

  • Amazon: With your student email, you can get a 6 month free trial of prime, then pay 50% less than the full prime price after the trial ends.
  • Sam’s Club: Discounted membership and a $15 giftcard when you sign up.
  • J.Crew: Your student I.D. can get you 15% off full priced items online or in store.
  • Banana Republic: 15% off your full priced purchase when you show your ID in store.
  • Madewell: 15% off when you show your student I.D.
  • Kate Spade: 15% off your purchase when you sign up through UNiDAYS.
  • Levi’s: 15% off your purchase when you sign up through UNiDAYS.
  • Nike: 10% off online when you verify that you’re a student.

Student Discounts on Electronics

  • Apple: Apple offers “education pricing” for all students, even if you have just been accepted to a college. This discount can be up to 15% off Apple products.
  • Norton: Students can get 50% off protection software for your computer.
  • HP: Students can get up to 55% off select products and free shipping if you sign up through UNiDAYS.
  • Lenovo: Select your school and get up to 25% off certain brands, plus free shipping.
  • Sony: Up to 10% off products for students.
  • Adobe: Students can get up to 60% off “Creative Cloud” design software.

Student Discounts for Entertainment

  • AMC Theatres: They offer discounted student tickets on select nights when you show your I.D.
  • Spotify: With your student email address, get Spotify Premium for $5 a month (also includes Hulu and SHOWTIME).
  • Cinemark: At select Ciemark theatres, show your student ID to get discounted tickets.
  • Regal Cinemas: Certain locations offer student discounts when you show your ID. Check the list here to see if your location offers this discount.
  • Many museums or art galleries offer student discounts. Check out your local museums to see if they have any discounts for students!

Student Discounts on Food

  • These fast food restaurants offer 10% off meals at participating store locations when you show your student I.D:
    • Arby’s
    • Dairy Queen
    • Dunkin’ Donuts
    • Firehouse Subs
    • McDonald’s
  • Buffalo Wild Wings: If the university you attend is on this list, you can get a free appetizer with any $5 purchase.
  • Chick-Fil-A: You can get a free drink when you show student ID.
  • Wingstop: They run a promotional where you can get 15% off all combos Monday-Friday from 2-6pm with your student I.D.
  • Hello Fresh: 15% off every box plus free shipping when you sign up with UNiDAYS.

There are so many more student discounts out there to take advantage of! Another tip is to check out UNiDAYS, an app exclusively for college students that has TONS of discounts for restaurants, clothing stores, electronics, and more! Comment and tell us about other student discounts you’ve found!

Creating Your Own Budget

If you are starting college or moving away from home, one major change is that you have to be responsible for your money. It’s very easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new place and lose track of your spending habits! Whether you have recently left home or been on your own for a while, it is never too late to start budgeting. We want to show you how budgeting can be easy and effortless! Creating a budget and keeping track of it may take some groundwork at first, but it is all about building good habits. Here are some tips for how to lay that groundwork and get your budget started!

Discuss your budget and expenses with anyone involved, such as your parents or guardians. If anyone is giving you money each month or semester, you want to communicate with them your needs and set a solid game plan. This is also a good time to figure out the expectations: do they want you to get a job to earn some income, apply for loans for tuition, or put a certain percentage into savings? Establishing the expectations on both ends will lead to a smoother transition and all of you will feel more confident and comfortable!

List all of your income. This is great to do with your family, if they are providing you with monthly income. Take into account all ways you may be getting money: allowance from family, part-time jobs, side gigs, financial aid, savings, and any other place you have income coming from to help you live during college.

Now, list your expenses. Another topic of discussion is how the expenses will be paid for. This is an important step in communicating with family because you can figure out what money is being used for each expense. If you are unsure what all of your expenses are, track them for a month or two and start categorizing them so you can see how much you’re spending on each per month. Some common expenses for college students are:

  • School related: tuition, textbooks, school supplies
  • Living: rent, utilities, internet, insurance, cell phone, basic home and health supplies
  • Food: eating out and groceries
  • Transportation: car expenses, gas, bus system
  • Entertainment and clothing

Make sure your expenses aren’t more than your income! Add up all your monthly income and monthly expenses, and see what the difference is. You’re aiming for either breaking even or having some money left over. If your expenses are more than what money is coming in every, you need to start budgeting and cutting back! An easy way to start this is by monitoring your spending by checking your bank accounts, credit card statements, or apps like LearnVest or Mint. Apps like this are linked to your bank accounts and automatically put purchases in various folders so you can see exactly how much you’re spending on each category. (See the end of the post for a list of great apps for budgeting!) This can help you figure out areas you can cut back on, such as eating out less per month or finding cheaper solutions to your groceries and supplies.

It’s never too early to think about the future! If you are able, it’s always a good idea to start putting money into your savings. This can be an emergency fund, a travel fund, or saving for your future and a family. Even if it’s small, every little bit helps!

Now that you have clear expectations and goals for where your money needs to go, your foundation is set! Building good spending habits and remembering to keep track of when you’re swiping that card are important for maintaining your budget going forward. Here are a few great apps to help with this and keep you accountable, since it is sometimes hard to keep track of it all!

5 Great Budgeting Apps for College Students

  1. LearnVest: This app links to your bank account and categorizes your purchases into various folders like Groceries, Entertainment, Living, or ones you create yourself.
  2. Mint: This app also connects to your bank account automatically updates your spending and allows you to create whatever budgets you want. It also makes sure that you never charge more than what you have on a credit card.
  3. Pocket Budget: This app shows your main budget in a pie chart and also lists your transactions. It is very straightforward and let’s you easily see what percentage of your money is going to each category of expenses.
  4. You Need a Budget: This app does all the work for you! It is based off of your personal income and “assigns” your money to specific categories, like rent, groceries, entertainment, and savings. It doesn’t leave any dollar unaccounted for, so you can make sure you’re being as effective as possible.  
  5. Wally: This app helps you track your income and expenses and shows your remaining budget so you don’t overspend.

Earning Quick Cash Just in Time for the Holidays!

The last few months of the year can get pretty busy with a slew of holidays and with finals just around the corner! Whether you’re too busy with school to worry about picking up a seasonal shift at your local department store or just wanna make a few extra bucks to splurge on Christmas gifts this year, here’s a list to help you through!

Blog - Earn extra money

*all descriptions are taken from official websites*

Google Adsense – If you have your own blog, website, or business, this may be for you! Google AdSense provides a way for website owners to earn money from their online content. AdSense works by matching text and display ads to your site based on your content and visitors. The ads are created and paid for by advertisers who want to promote their products. Since these advertisers pay different prices for different ads the amount you earn will vary.

Amazon Mechanical TurkAmazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is a crowdsourcing marketplace that makes it easier for individuals and businesses to outsource their processes and jobs to a distributed workforce who can perform these tasks virtually. This could include anything from conducting simple data validation and research to more subjective tasks like survey participation, content moderation, and more. MTurk enables companies to harness the collective intelligence, skills, and insights from a global workforce to streamline business processes, augment data collection and analysis, and accelerate machine learning development.

FiverrFiverr is the world’s largest marketplace for digital services. So, if you have a talent, you can share that talent with our buyer community and make money while you are at it. Whether you are a graphic designer, programmer, content writer, translator, or voice over artist, Fiverr has a place for you.

ScriptLance (Freelancer)We have jobs available for all skills. Maximize your job opportunities by optimizing your filters. Save your search and get alerted when relevant jobs are available. Put your best foot forward and write the best pitch possible. Read the project and let the clients know you understand their brief. Tell them why you’re the best person for this job. Writing a new brief for each project is more effective than using the same one!

SwagbucksSwagbucks.com is the web’s most popular rewards program that gives you free gift cards and cash for the everyday things you already do online. Earn points when you shop at your favorite retailers, watch entertaining videos, search the web answer surveys, and find great deals. Redeem points for gift cards to your favorite retailers like Amazon and Walmart or get cash back from Paypal.

MyGiftCardsPlus –  MyGiftCardsPlus, powered by Swagbucks, offers electronic gift cards to hundreds of your favorite retailers. Your gift cards will be delivered electronically to your email within 1 to 2 business days or later. With every gift card purchase you’ll earn valuable Swagbucks. To ensure you receive SB points, you will be asked to link your existing Swagbucks accounts to your MyGiftCardsPlus account during the particular purchase. With the Swagbucks you earn from your MyGiftCardsPlus purchases, you can choose FREE gift cards from over 80 popular retailers at Swagbucks.com.

PerkJust like getting rewards for using your credit card, Perk rewards you for what you are already doing while on the Internet like shopping and searching. Perk Points are earned by shopping at our partners stores and through web searches using Perk Search. You are then able to trade those points for things you love: Cash, Gift Cards, Airline Miles, Electronics, or make a Donation. Shop, Earn, Perk!
TopCashBackWhen you make a purchase from a retailer features on TopCashback after clicking through from our site, the retailer will give us a commission for sending you to their website. We pass 100% of this commission back to you as ‘cash back’ which is added to your Earnings page, and once the commission is actually paid by the retailer, then we’ll make your cash back ‘payable’ to withdraw and spend.
Zoombucks (Grabpoints)GrabPoints is a free, mobile based app that allows users to earn points by completing offers & surveys, watching videos, entering free promo codes and much more! Refer your friends and earn even more points. When your referrals earns 100 points, you will earn an additional 50 points. It’s a fun & easy way to earn gift cards for yourself, friends or family.
FushionCash – You just register (for free) and pick your favorite way of earning cash. We have paid surveys, paid videos, paid radio, paid to click, paid tasks, cashback shopping, paid to search, and more. Then, after meeting people to provide feedback on their products and services and they are willing to pay people like you to do just that. You can also earn money on CashCrate by completing offers, referring other members to our program, playing games, watching videos, and more.
InboxDollarsAdvertisers pay InboxDollars to reach consumers like you. Through programs ranging from paid online surveys to PaidEmail, InboxDollars shares the revenue we receive from advertisers with our Members. Your time and participation are valuable, so join now to be rewarded!
MyPoints – Shop online, take surveys, watch videos, read email and more to earn Points. Shop over 1,900 popular retailers through MyPoints and earn Points for your purchases. Get alerts + coupons for MyPoints partners with our extension so you don’t miss out on shopping. Earn Points per dollar for your Groupon and LivingSocial goods and voucher purchases. BonusMail offers great deals to earn Points, and many have 5 Points just for clicking! Answer market research surveys and earn up to 400 Points.
Extrabux Retailers pay us commission for referring you (a shopper) to their stores; we keep some of it and pass the rest of the cash back to you. Everything works smoothly if you visit Extrabux before you visit the store (and therefore before you’ve added any items to your shopping cart) and if you don’t delete your cookies or click on any non-Extrabux links or use non-Extrabux coupon codes.