If there’s one thing all college kids want more of, it’s money. More than that, they want to find easy ways to earn a passive income and get their finances off to a great start before they graduate. The more money you save now, the easier it will be to transition into adulthood, manage your future income and work on paying down student debt. These college money life hacks are perfect for any student, whether they’re working part-time or trying to get by on an allowance from their parents. Taking these tips to heart could even help you save money and graduate with less debt to pay later.
Rent or Share Textbooks with Friends
Most of the time, you’ll spend an unreasonable amount of money on books each semester that you never touch again. They’ll either collect dust on a shelf for years, get lost in a garage or wind up being resold for a fraction of what you spent. Spare yourself the cost by renting books or sharing with a friend who is taking the same class. You can photocopy essential pages or have study dates where you both do the reading at the same time. This is a super easy way to save on college supplies. If you have a financial aid book voucher and don’t spend all of it, you can get the remainder as a refund. You can also choose to send any unused funds back to the federal government and lower your final debt.
Sign Up for Student Discounts
Tons of stores, restaurants and online subscription services offer discounts to college students. Always be on the lookout for potential savings, and take full advantage of any bargains while they last. Make sure you also look for loyalty programs or free rewards cards at shops you frequent. You can often get huge savings on products you’re looking for just by Googling student discount deals online.
Research Private Loans
Sometimes, borrowing money from a private lender can save you more than federal student loans. A private lender gives you more options with varying fixed interest rates and repayment options, including the ability to refinance your loans after graduation. While it would be great to graduate debt-free, private loans offer the next best alternative. One thing you should always look for when it comes to financial assistance is choice. While federal loans are stable, they’re also somewhat limited in what they offer and how you can repay them. You may ultimately choose a mix of both federal and private loans, but you should research all your options thoroughly before making a commitment.
Pay Debt While You’re in School
If you hope to reduce debt quickly, you don’t have to wait until you’ve graduated to lower student debt. When you’re in school, your principal balance (the original amount you borrowed) does not collect interest. So, you have the ability to pay down a lot of what you’ll owe before more money is added on top of it. If you work or get any money from family, especially large amounts as gifts, consider putting some of it toward your debt. You’ll be grateful when you have less to pay after you graduate and the bills come in.
Do Side Jobs Online
If you’re a busy college student, you may not have the ability to fit a part-time job into your schedule. But you can look into making money online as a content writer, graphic designer or even Etsy store owner. Print-on-demand shirts, stickers, mugs and more cost nothing to make and are easy to upload. Doing freelance work as a college student also gives you the opportunity to attract clients and build an attractive portfolio for future employers.