The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Quick cash opportunities abundant in area

A common issue many college students face during the school year is a lack of cash flow. Those who choose not to attain permanent jobs throughout the school year often find themselves searching for any and every possible source of income.

“Money is tight when you’re a college student. You have to pay the bills and pay for rent and tuition,” sophomore Mike Pattison said. “Any extra cash really helps out.”

But what many students don’t realize is that there are several easy ways to make that extra buck right here in Eau Claire.

Sell unwanted items
Some students have found that an easy way to make quick cash is to sell unwanted items from around their dorm rooms or homes. A popular method of doing so is selling clothing and accessories to consignment shops like My Best Friend’s Closet, or DVDs and video games to places such as Toy-Riffic.

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My Best Friend’s Closet, 2738 Mall Drive, offers cash or in-store credit for used clothing items. According to a store employee, the store looks to purchase name-brand, gently used clothing items. Payment differs based on condition and popularity of an item, and the pay out is higher for more “in-style” items that would typically be found in stores now.

Toy-Riffic, 1029 W. Clairemont Ave., offers cash payments for used X-Box 360, PS3, Wii, Nintendo DS and PSP games. These payments range from $1 to $30, according to an employee. In-store credit is offered for any used DVDs or old console video games.

Another popular method to sell unwanted items is online through sites such as eBay or Craig’s List. Anything from old jewelry to unwanted books can prove to be excellent sources of income.

Senior Jack Timms has used this method in the past, he said.

“(I sell) a lot of stuff that just sits around my room that I never use,” he said. “I’ve sold everything from old cell phones to a box of Rogaine I bought for my dad as a joke on his birthday. I’ve never regretted selling anything because it’s truly stuff I don’t use.”

Donate plasma
One of the more popular ways students earn extra cash is by donating plasma. BioLife Plasma Services, 1262 W. Clairemont Ave., allows up to two appointments per week and offers $20 for the first and $30 for the second, BioLife Assistant Manager Charity Rygiel said. Each donator receives payment in the form of deposits to a BioLife Visa debit card, she said.

“In order to donate, you first must be at least 18 years old,” she said. “Then you must undergo a physical to determine your overall health, and you must weigh at least 110 pounds.”

Each appointment can last up to an hour and a half, so students should be careful to schedule appointments to fit within their own schedules, she said.

“It gives me an extra $200 a month to spend,” sophomore Andrew Chiapuzio said. “You just sit there for an hour, and it gives you time to do your homework or check your e-mail.”

When asked what to do in preparation for appointments, Chiapuzio said, “Just be hydrated and healthy to donate.”

Appointments can be set up by calling 715- 836-9496.

Recycle aluminum
Recycling and turning in aluminum cans is a surprisingly easy and environmentally friendly way to earn extra cash.

U Can Recycling, 2318 Ridge Road, is a service that pays for and recycles aluminum cans. By saving up cans instead of throwing them out or simply placing cans in recycling bins, students can earn money from something that would have otherwise been tossed aside.

“We accept aluminum cans and other scrap metals,” said owner Bob Johnson, “and we pay $0.25 per pound.”

Sophomore Clay Theiler has been using this method, he said.

“We’ve been saving all the cans from our house since the beginning of the year,” he said. “Now we have over ten garbage bags full in our garage just waiting to be turned in.”

Ben Fedor is a senior print journalism major and guest columnist for The Spectator.

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Quick cash opportunities abundant in area