Image: Unsplash/Ethan Hua
Despite what most people think, being a college student doesn’t mean being broke. There are plenty of ways to make and save hundreds of dollars every month without leaving campus. Or even changing out of your pajamas for that matter.
These reliable and legitimate money moves will help get your finances in order, right now.
1. Scan your receipts to save money
I get paid to go grocery shopping and you can too. Wondering how? With the free Ibotta app.
Just scan your shopping receipt and Ibotta will instantly pay you based your purchases. I recently got paid 75 cents to buy Milk, $5 for beer and $1 for pasta. How awesome is that?
To sweeten the deal, Ibotta is offering a massive bonus for new college users – a bonus $10 when you scan your first receipt! This one is essential.
2. Earn some quick cash
Most sites that people to take surveys have their own requirements for the minimum balance needed for them to release funds to you. If you want money fast, Survey Junkie is your best option.
The site has thousands of high paying surveys available which can be completed anywhere on pretty much any device. Best of all, the payout threshold is just $10 so you can cash out your earnings to Paypal, a checking account or as a gift card super quickly. That extra cash can be huge if you’re budget is feeling a little tight.
3. Make beer money with survey sites
Let’s state the obvious first: survey sites aren’t going to make you rich. What they will do is let you earn some decent beer money with a minimum of effort.
The highest paying surveys we’ve found are with InboxDollars and cashing out is super quick. College students using this in boring classes can make you some decent money.
4. Invest in the stock market with just $5
A common investing misconception is that you need lots of money to start. While that used to be the case, services like Stash allow you to begin investing with as little as $5.
Stash lets you buy fractional shares of Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), meaning you can invest exactly the amount you want. ETFs are baskets of shares, so you aren’t taking on the risk of investing individual companies.There are over 40 investment themes to choose from depending on your risk tolerance and social beliefs.
It’s important to fund your account immediately after registering to start investing.
5. Save money for when you need it without trying
Budgeting for all of your expenses from textbooks to your groceries is hard stuff. Sometimes when you run out of money at the end of the month you have no choice but to dump stuff like groceries on a credit card with a high-interest rate and hefty fees.
There’s a better way, though. Digit is an app that automatically pulls small amounts of money from your checking account throughout the month so you can start saving for the end of month squeeze without even realizing it. No more getting to the end of the month with no money left for food.
Digit also has a great new feature that will help you start paying off your credit card debt the same way!
6. Get cash back when you shop online
There is nothing like earning cash back for shopping in the exact same way you normally would. Here’s how: Simply sign-up for Ebates, and continue shopping online at your favorite stores from Amazon to Walmart, all while earning cash back. Of note: Every retailer available on Ebates offers a different amount of cash back, usually between 2 to 3%. Make sure to check the “Flash Cash Back Stores” tab on the site to find the special cash back offers (we’ve seen up to 22.5%)!
7. Use gift cards you earn from monitoring your spending
It sounds easy enough, but how often have you gone into the grocery store with a list and come out with a million things not on the list. You may have good intentions for your budget, but keeping on track of your spending is no easy task for anyone.
But monitoring your finances become a lot easier when you sign up for MoneyLion. Money Lion is a financial advisement platform that works with its members to adopt better spending habits. The best part is when users follow MoneyLion’s best spending habits, then MoneyLion offers gift card rewards from a variety of retailers.
8. Reduce Your Phone Bill In Minutes
Truebill’s goal is to lower your bills. Period. Sign-up for Truebill and either log-in or snap a photo of your bill and Truebill’s negotiators will get to work finding hidden discounts and promo rates you would never have been aware of otherwise. Just a few of the companies that Truebill has negotiated with include AT&T, Spectrum, and Comcast. There’s zero risk to see if Truebill can get your bills lowered because you only pay if they are successful. Customers have attested to saving hundreds of dollars a year thanks to Truebill.
9. Start saving with a free savings account
Don’t have a savings account yet? You really should, especially when there are 100% free banks like Chime that actually put money in your savings account every time you go shopping.
Unlike traditional banks, Chime operates fully online and doesn’t have any physical branches. That means something amazing, that they are able to offer 100% fee-free banking. Chime’s “Automatic Savings” feature saves you money by rounding up your transactions to the nearest dollar and then transferring the change to your Savings Account. It’s a dead-simple way to save.
You can also get your paycheck two days early when getting paid via direct deposit. If your fridge is bare right before payday, those two days are huge.
Head over to Chime and open a free account, it’s free and only takes five minutes.
10. Become a Lyft driver
Given the crazy earning potential if you become a Lyft driver, it’s worth thinking about if you own a car.
Lyft is looking for people over 21 who own their own car to be drivers. According to their website, drivers can earn up to $800 working just Friday nights and weekends – not bad for an easy side hustle!
To get an overview of how much you can make, just enter your driving hours and location on their website and you’ll get an immediate summary.
11. Tackle your student loans today
Student loans can spiral out of control if you don’t start paying them off as soon as possible. We have 7 expert tips to pay off your student loans faster.
Earn money going grocery shopping – Ibotta
Earn some quick (and easy) cash online – Survey Junkie
Make money from your phone – InboxDollars
Start investing in the stock market with just $5 – Stash
Automatically save for the end of month without trying – Digit
Earn gift cards for monitoring your spending – Moneylion
Lower your phone bill in minutes – Truebill
Open a free savings account and get your paycheck early – Chime Bank
Become a Lyft driver – Lyft