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I mentioned last week how I went back to school when the Goof was a year old. I just graduated in May after 5 years, my son’s blood disorder diagnosis and treatment, infertility treatments, a twin pregnancy and birth, NICU stay and more! Did I also mention my husband was also a student? Yep! And I was not making money on this blog at the time, and he was the only one working. As you can imagine, money could be tight at times. Thankfully, I found some creative ways to save money on college and also to earn money without much effort that I am going to share with you.
These tips are great for students trying to pay their own way or parents trying to support kids through college. No matter where you fall in the “paying for college” spectrum, there are some very creative ways to save money on college that can add up to big bucks staying in your pocket.
Creative Ways to Save Money on College
- Take extra courses. If your school has a flat rate for full time students, take a few extra credits if you can handle it. Even just 3 extra credits a semester (typically one class) can really add up in savings over the course of 4-5 years. Within 4 semesters, you just basically took care of another full time semester. That could be a huge savings!
- Test out of courses. Take placement tests or test out of courses if possible. This will not only save you money but time. I was able to test out of an English class and a math test, both of which were worth 3 credits each. I paid a small fee for testing out, but it was nothing compared to the course fees and cost of books for those courses.
- Save big on books. Speaking of books for courses, one of the best ways I found to save money on school was through my books. Some of my classes, it felt like the books cost as much as the course itself. YIKES! I decided I needed to look into alternative ways to purchase my books. I actually lucked out that I had signed up for Amazon Prime Student so I was able to not only order used or new books off Amazon for cheaper then at my school book store, but I was able to enjoy the added benefit of FREE two day shipping on many items. I also loved that through Amazon Prime Student I could even rent my textbooks for even more savings. They made the renting process so easy as well. Amazon was seriously the best way I saved money on textbooks. (Plus I made money back on those textbooks- but more on that later.)
- Take Classes Online. Okay, so this is one that may not work for everyone, but for me it did. I found that I saved major money by taking classes online. Not only did I save on gas (back and forth to school) but childcare. There was a small fee for a course being online, but it was nothing compared to the cost of gas and childcare so I still saved big!
- Enjoy free and cheap entertainment. Almost any college student (or parent of one) knows that money can get tight and so it is often hard to find activities to unwind. I found that utilizing free or cheap forms of entertainment helped save a lot of money. Our local university’s student union building has a super cheap bowling alley, pool hall, etc area for those with a student id. It sure helped make for some cheap date nights. I also utilized my Amazon Prime Student account for unlimited streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV shows with Prime Video.
- Signing up for Amazon Prime Student. Okay, so I mentioned a few times that I saved money using Amazon Prime Student but one great thing is that being a college student, you can save big on your Amazon Prime Student membership. When you sign up for Amazon Prime Student the first 6 months are free, courtesy of Sprint. After that, your membership is just $49 annually. That is half the cost of a regular Amazon Prime membership (and you get all the same benefits).
Creative Ways To Make Money in College
Saving money is great, but even better is making money that go towards all those little expenses that you don’t see coming. I am going to share with you some of the creative ways my husband and I have found to make money while attending college.
- Tutoring. Tutoring is a great way to make money in college and help other students out. Check with your school for their tutoring program, or if they allow independent tutors. If they allow independent tutors then you can place an ad for your services. Be sure you are tutoring in subjects that you are well versed in and you still leave yourself plenty of time for your own studies.
- Donating Plasma. I know that donating plasma gets a bad wrap, but honestly, this is a great way to earn money. Some areas you can make over $100 a week donating plasma 2 times that week. My husband began donating plasma, not for extra money really, but because our son has a bleeding disorder and plasma donations are crucial to his care. The money was just a little bonus. Check with your local plasma donation center to find out if you are eligible and how much you can make.
- Sell your old textbooks. If you have textbooks you will no longer be using, sell them to get some extra money. I personally found that the way I made the most money on my textbooks was by selling them to Amazon. While my school offered me about 10% of what I paid, Amazon almost always gave me back more than half of what I paid for my books. I could then use that money for the next semesters books.
- Refer friends to Amazon Prime Student. Yep, that same Amazon Prime Student that helps you save money can help you make money. When you refer your friends to Amazon Prime Student, they get $5 and you get $5. So you are both making money and saving money. How great is that?
Hopefully these tips will help you save money on college (and maybe even make a little). Do you have any other creative tips?
Are you a student? Be sure to sign up for Amazon Prime Student by CLICKING HERE. Remember, your first 6 months are FREE (courtesy of Sprint) and then it is just $49 annually after that.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.