How Students Can Save by Giving Back

Students can save money in college by giving back to their communities. We've gone over a few of the ways you can give back, like donating shoes and clothing or giving blood.

charity donations discounts

Donate for Discounts, Cash and Freebies

College students are always looking for ways to earn money. The next best thing to earning money is saving money. Besides coupon sites and spending hours looking for promo codes, there are things you can do in the natural world to save. Consider donating your time, person or items to earn discounts at popular stores or make money.

Be a Goodwill Ambassador

Whether you're battling the freshman 15, or you've cleaned out your closet, you may have a bag of clothes that you no longer want. Donate clothing to Goodwill and earn discounts at some of your favorite stores. For instance, stores such as the Gap sometimes partner with Goodwill to offer a percentage off at the store, depending on the amount of clothes you donate. Sometimes Goodwill donates a coupon per clothing item. Typically, these donations-for-discounts are taken at the store - not at a Goodwill location.

You can also find other deal-of-the-moment donations in your area - if you keep your ears open. Shoe stores sometimes run promotions where they partner with Soles4Souls: you donate a pair of used shoes, and the store offers you a discount on a new pair. Also, an additional benefit to donating clothing is that you can earn a tax break. While this is not often important for college-aged students, if you are a non-traditional student, you'll understand the impact of tax deductions.

Don't Fear the Needle

Plasma is the rich part of your blood that can be donated up to twice a week. The process of donating plasma is similar to donating blood, except your blood will be put back into your body after the plasma has been separated from it. You can typically earn $50 for your first few visits, and potentially $60 for two visits per week.

For the Guys

This suggestion isn't for the squeamish, but sperm banks pay good money for donations. You can search out local sperm banks over the Internet, but you may want to check out the phone book for clinics. Find somewhere you feel comfortable, and don't be afraid to check out more than one place. You must be 18 to donate, and there are strict health guidelines you must meet to be eligible. On average you could make $35-50 per visit, though you might have to wait six months for a second set of blood tests to be completed in order to be paid in full. The law protects you from any parental obligations, and you can choose whether to be anonymous or to allow any children to learn who you are once they are adults.

For the Gals

It doesn't take much to grow out your hair - wash, rinse, brush. If you have virgin hair that has not been touched by chemicals, why not donate it? Locks of Love and Beautiful Lengths (by Pantene) are always looking for hair. Because these are organizations, not salons, they cannot cut your hair directly. Instead, ask your stylist if he or she participates with these organizations: some salons offer discounts or even free haircuts to patrons who are donating their hair. Before you go, make sure your hair meets the length and other requirements for donation.

Now that you're in the giving mood, see why volunteering can save you money over spring break.

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