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5 Easy Ways to Save Money

If you’re anything like the girls at HCIU, Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” hits close to home. As much as we love dancing around our rooms singing about how incredible we look in your granddad’s clothes, we can’t help but remember that we actually only have twenty dollars in our pocket. Can you say buzz kill? Because we’re barely living above poverty level, we’ve had to become a little bit more creative when it comes to making money. And, because we know that we’re not the only ones digging for spare change between our parents’ couch cushions, we’re going to share with you our secrets to keep that twenty dollars in your pocket, and maybe even make a little bit more.

Sign Up for Emails

Stores and restaurants everywhere offer special discounts if you sign up for emails, and give you even more perks if you buy from their website using that same email. For example, Papa John’s not only throws in a free pizza every now and then to show me just how much they love us, but they also refer to us as a “Preferred Customer.” But it doesn’t stop there, folks. Not only will you get special discounts, you will also be the first to hear about any special sales or promotions, and who doesn’t love being #1? If a free pizza and the title of “Preferred Customer” is not enough to convince you to add a few more emails to your inbox, we don’t know what will.


Donate Plasma or Blood

If you don’t cry at the sight of needles, than here’s a serious moneymaker for ya. Donation centers are always in need of blood and plasma, and are often willing to pay you big bucks to drain your veins. Most allow you to donate a couple times a week, and will pay you each time. So, the money you make from getting rid of excess bodily fluids will add up fast. But let’s be honest here, who needs money when you get free juice boxes and cookies at the end?


Tests Around Campus

So needles aren’t your thing? Well here’s an idea that will keep you far away from needles. Take a leisurely stroll through your Psychology building, and you will find tons of paid experiments tacked onto bulletin boards and taped onto walls. Give up an hour of your time, and you can earn anywhere from $10-$50 per experiment. Do it a few times a week, and you will not only make some serious cash, but can count these strolls towards your recommended 30 minutes of cardio a day, and never have to workout again!


Cash for Old Clothes

We all have that pair of jeans we keep in our closets in the hopes that they will one day button, and that blouse we thought was a great idea at the time of purchase, but has yet to be seen outside of the confines of our rooms. As much as you want to make those jeans fit, and that blouse work, it’s time to come to terms with the fact that (in the words of the great Regina George) we have to stop trying to make it happen, because it’s not going to happen. Luckily, there are places like Plato’s Closet, Clothes Mentor, and EBay who want those skintight jeans and that funky blouse, and will pay you for them. Don’t have any clothes to sell? Well, now’s your chance to get rid of that old fedora (Sorry, but it’s time. That ship sailed awhile ago.), shoes, and jewelry. As long as your items are gently used, and in style, these places will take them off of your hands. Too worn and out of style to be sold? Take them to Goodwill. After doing such a good deed, your wallet may not be any bigger, but your heart will be (awwwww).


Ebates.com

We all dream of being paid to shop, and now that dream can become reality with Ebates.com. Ebates offers you cash back when you shop at your favorite stores, stores like Victoria’s Secret, J. Crew, and thousands more. They will even give you cash back when you book flights or hotels. So next Spring Break, you won’t feel nearly as guilty booking that trip to Cancun, or buying that itsy, bitsy, teeny, weeny, yellow, polka dot bikini with the not so itsy, bitsy, teeny, weeny price tag.


So these ideas will not get you featured on Extreme Couponers, but they will help you save a little money so that you can continue to live as comfortably as a poor college student can live. If you follow these tips your stomach, closet, and wallet will be a little fuller. Never again will you have to skip a $2 Tuesday, or say no to Kilroy’s breadsticks because you can’t afford either.

Junior at Indiana University, Mary is majoring in English with a minor in Studio Art. When she is not writing for one of her favorite online magazines, Her Campus, she can be found living it up at the 411, home to Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, eating yet another burrito at Chipotle, or traveling around Europe. Mary's life goals: continue writing for years to come, fit into the jeans she wore freshman year, and have children with British accents.
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