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Balling On A Budget

We all need a little extra cash to get by whether its to pay bills or for a concert, but we don't always know how to make that happen. Below is a short guide that can lead you to earning and saving cash for those expected and unexpected life situations.

Budgeting 

 Plato’s Closet (In-store selling)

Chain retailer buying & selling trendy secondhand clothing for teens & young adults.

How to sell:

  1. Bring in gently used name brand clothes and accessories.

  2. Plato’s closet employees will review your clothes and/or accessories as you browse the store for affordable name brand clothes, shoes, and accessories.

  3. An offer will be made to you based on brand, condition, and style of your items.

  4. If you choose to accept the offer you leave with extra cash!

Website: https://www.platoscloset.com/ 

 

Poshmark (Online Selling)

Poshmark is a leading social commerce marketplace where people from the United States can buy and sell new or used clothing, shoes, and accessories.

How to Sell:

  1. Take a photo of the clothes that you want to sell

  2. Share your photos

  3. Wait for someone to purchase!

Website: https://poshmark.com/

 

ThredUP (Online Selling)

We’re the world’s largest online secondhand shopping destination with thousands of like-new styles from your favorite brands at up to 90% off estimated retail.

How to Sell:

  1. Order free kit ( A ThredUP bag to send in your clothes)  

  2. Fill your bag with shoes, accessories, handbags, and women and kids clothing.​

  3. Once your bag has been processed you will receive your cash or credit with the items that are accepted.

Website: https://www.thredup.com/

 

Buying and Selling Clothes and Accessories

If you have extra clothes that are in good condition you can actually sell them for cash! Check out these sites for ways to earn some money! 

Cash Back Apps

Did you know that there are apps that actually pay you for shopping for everyday items? Well, you can! Try out these apps to receive cashback when you follow the simple steps.

 Ebates 

Earn cashback up to 40% by shopping at over 2,500 stores!

  • Download the app

  • Shop: First, start an Ebates Shopping Trip. To do this, simply be sure to click on any Ebates link to the store you’ll shop with before you make a purchase.

  • Validate: When you click an Ebates link, you’ll see a pop-up confirmation letting you know you’re ready to shop and earn Cash Back at that store.

  • Purchase: Complete your purchase as you normally would. This will also complete your Shopping Trip.

Website: https://www.ebates.com/

Ibotta 

Three types of ways to earn cashback

  • Download the app 

  • Earn in-store Take pictures of your receipts and receive cashback in 24 hours 

  • Link loyalty Card- Automatically save on groceries without a receipt

  • ​Save Online-When you shop at eligible websites earn cashback.

Website: https://home.ibotta.com/ 

Dosh

Earn cash back at over 1,000 stores and restaurants!

  • Download the App

  • Connect your debit or credit card

  • Start dining and shopping to earn 10% cashback and select restaurants and stores

  • Transfer your cash to your bank account or donate it to charity. 

Website: https://www.dosh.cash

 

Campus Jobs!

Campus jobs are a huge bonus of college. They make sure your academics come first and work well with your class schedule unlike some other off-campus jobs university positions. It's also easy to travel to work depending on your campus you can take a shuttle, walk, run or ride a bike from class to your job. Check your campus job board for positions that interest you. 

Once you find a job whether on or off-campus make sure you have a savings account where you can save for expenses that may occur. Try setting aside a percentage of your earnings to be deposited into an account to have funds for unexpected expenses, purchasing a vehicle, paying for college textbooks, etc. Once you have your account set-up give yourself boundaries. Don't spend your savings on anything other than what the money originally set aside for. For example, if you're saving for next semester's textbooks you probably shouldn't spend your savings on buying your 20th pair of sneakers. Of course, if emergency money is needed it is a perfect opportunity to use that savings account money. 

Campus Jobs and Savings Accounts 

A great place to start in budgeting is figuring out what is a need vs. a want. Sure going out for lunch every day sounds like a good idea but do you really need to? Or is that just a want?

 

  1. Start by making a list of things you’d like to save up for.

  2. Identify whether each item on the list is something you absolutely need or is really a want.

  3. If you decide you want something, ask yourself if you will still be happy you bought the item in a month.

  4. Next, prioritize each item on the list.

Once you have set your priorities, you can then determine whether you should incorporate each item into your budget. Then you can add them to a chart such as an example provided to have visual of your needs and wants.  

Needs and Wants  Chart 

Source: studentid.ed.gov

So you just saved money by selling clothes and using cashback apps, finding a job and determining needs vs wants now what? Try these apps to help you keep track of your spending. 

 

The following apps can be used to track your budget.

 Mint App

This app allows you to see all of your bills, balances and even credit score in one place!

Link your bills and cards to the app and it will let you know if you owe money, where you’re overspending and provides ways to create a budget. This app will also give you tips on ways to manage your money and give recommendations centered on your goals and lifestyle.

Website: https://www.mint.com/

Pocket Guard

This app will help you avoid spending too much. It links your accounts so you can track how much you are spending compared to your budget for the month. It will show how much your spending on everyday expenses, bills, and what’s going into your savings account.

Website: https://pocketguard.com/

 

Resources On Campus

Financial Aid Office

The staff of the financial aid office at your school should be able to provide relief in any way they can if you are experiencing financial struggles. Make sure to fill out our FAFSA early and be a good advocate for yourself and your financial situation.

Career Centers

Most college campuses will have a place for students to go to hash out their professional skills. Career centers offer resume reviews, professional workshops, and professional clothes closets for students to borrow for interviews. Most importantly they can connect you to alumni in relevant fields that will know about internship opportunities and how to grow professionally. 

TRIO Offices

TRIO offices exist to serve first-generation and low-income students in successfully completing college. They offer support in various forms to students who may have not been groomed for college.

Community Involvement/Community Service Office

These offices should be able to connect you with service opportunities the community that is now your home. Often times there's continuous service projects that happen throughout the year and one-off service trips, such as alternative spring break trips.

Disability Accommodations

If you need accommodations for any reason, do not hesitate to reach out to this office on your campus. They will know what process you need to go through in order to have the accommodations you need to be successful. 

Multicultural/ Diversity and Inclusion Office

Some colleges have offices whose job is to highlight the importance of diversity and inclusion. They generally have programming for those who are traditionally underrepresented on college campuses. They can provide much needed community.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do when I need help or have a question on campus?

If you have any kind of question, it’s important to not make assumptions and ask for clarity. If you live on campus, your Resident Advisor is a great person to ask and help point in the right direction. If your question is about a particular course or major, talking to your professors and counselors is a great first step. Make sure to use your resources and remember that everyone on that campus is there to make your experience as beneficial as possible.

What do I do when I feel unmotivated in college?

If you find yourself temporarily unmotivated, start by making a list breaking down the things you need to accomplish and complete the easiest task first. Work yourself to the more daunting tasks. This will help you continue to move forward even if you lack the drive. If this a reoccurring issue, this is the perfect time to lean on your support system. Whether that’s a childhood best friend, a high school teacher, one of your classmates, a current professor, or your parents, go to those supports to help you understand where this lack of motivation stems from. Often times, those close to you have observed this behavior in you and may help you understand the root issue.

How do I do my own laundry?

The first step to laundry is to separate your clothes into colors, whites, and blacks. The separation keeps the dyes from bleeding onto the rest of your clothes. If you are using on campus facilities, make sure to pay attention to any signs close to the machines, in case there are notices unique to the machines.

What do I do if I don’t understand my financial aid?

Understanding your financial aid information is one of the most crucial parts of ensuring your college success. If you have a question about your financial aid, contact your school’s financial aid office. Make sure to be open with your question and information. They are not there to judge, but to quickly resolve financial aid issues. If the conversation goes to a frustrating place, thank them for their time, hang up, and call back to talk to another representative.

How do I change my major?

This process can change from college to college, but if you have questions about changing your major, schedule a meeting with your advisor. If you are thinking about changing which area of study you are pursuing completely, it would be a good idea to schedule a meeting with a counselor in that department. This counselor will be able to explain the major requirements and where this change will put you, in terms of graduation date.

What are some of the community resources available to me?

Community resources can vary slightly from college to college, but most colleges have a large number of groups for students to participate in and benefit from. From intramural sports to the arts to groups bonded by a common major, college offers a variety of student-lead groups. For more information, the student center on campus would have more information about what groups are offered at your given school.

 
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