How To Safely Buy And Sell Online Locally
College Life |  Source: L. Smith, Shutterstock

How To Safely Buy And Sell Online Locally

A helpful skill to master.

Everyone has had items in their room that they no longer wear, use, or find entertaining anymore. Maybe the item wasn't ever used in the first place. There is always the option of throwing away the unused goods, but as college students, there is always the option of selling it online.

Be it textbooks, clothes, or games, everything has some sort of worth to give you a slight increase in income for the month. Websites like eBay and Craigslist allow for sales to take place over the Internet, but there are some doubts to just how safe they can be.

Selling things online is scary. However, there are some places that offer you to post items for local areas. While you still have to meet in person, you do not have to give out/receive addresses to mail if a location is too far, and the best part about selling locally is there are local places you can visit like a Starbucks, Walmart, or even small-town stores.

The places you would visit to complete transactions are close and familiar enough to both buyer and seller that they would both feel comfortable in the location.

One of the main places to sell locally is on Facebook Local Garage Sale Groups. You can type in the name of your town with "garage sale" and most likely you will receive several groups dedicated to safe and local buying and selling.

The majority of groups have a set of rules and perform checks on an individual's location before they are let in. You are easily able to post things to sell and even contact others if you want to buy something.

While this option may seem difficult, I have to say it is extremely easy. My mother has been using this frequently and has sold multiple things using our town's garage sale Facebook group. Both buyer and seller agree on where to meet, and the transaction happens in person.

This is by far one of the easiest options, but there is no guarantee that your options would be close enough for comfort for you.

Along with Facebook, there are several apps that also offer ways to sell and buy locally. VarageSale and OfferUp are just a few of the apps that you can easily download to sell locally. The apps use your current location, or you type in your zip code, and it connects you to "your area."

You can see items listed for sale in your area as well as add items to sell. These apps are simple to use and still maintain all of the benefits of local buying and selling. Its also fun to just scroll through the apps and see what is for sale, and see what good deals are available.

It's also great because you will see the names of the people who you plan to meet, and therefore won't be meeting anonymous strangers.

Even with buying and selling locally, it isn't always "danger-free". It's important to keep some things in mind before you set up to meet someone, even if you are both familiar with the location.

1. Before meeting with someone to buy, be sure to ask a lot of questions about the product to be sure they actually know what they are talking about.
2. Be skeptical of deals that seem to be too good to be true. Chances are, they are. It could be a scam or someone trying to cause harm.
3. Always let someone know where you are going to meet someone and who you are going to meet.
4. Do not share your personal address or sensitive information with anyone.
5. Complete transactions in public places - never in someone's home.
6. Always meet during the day.
7. If possible, bring someone with you to the meeting.
8. Trust your gut- if something doesn't feel right, you have the right to cancel the meeting.

Selling and buying locally online is an easy way to make extra cash if you are willing to take the steps necessary to protect yourself in the process. If you want to buy or sell online, you might as well do it in the safest way possible.

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Five Creative Ways to Save Money In College

Need. More. Money.

College is difficult enough as it is. Balancing a social life with extracurriculars and getting good grades is a challenge, especially if you're dealing with the added stress of a a bank account that's running low.

But, there's no need to worry about running out of cash. Here are five creative ways to keep from going broke in college, while still going out and having fun.

1. Bring cash out instead of your card.
When you go out at night, withdraw and bring cash instead of bringing your card. If you only bring a set amount of cash then once you've spent your allotted amount you can't spend any more.

When you're out having fun, throwing the bartender your card, it can easily feel like you aren't actually spending much money. Not only does handing them cash feel like you're spending more money, but that cash will eventually run out.

2. Recalibrate your zero.
Pick a number, any number, and tell yourself that that number is "zero". Whether it's 30 dollars or five thousand, tell yourself it's zero and when your bank account hits that number stop spending, as if you have no money left. That way, going "bankrupt" isn't ever actually zeroing out.

3. Categorize spending (and actually keep track of it).
It sounds like something that's just for adults who function in the real world, but college is a great time to budget. It may take a few months of trial and error (it's scary how few of us actually know where our money goes) but budgeting is a great way to save.

Once you determine how much you spend per month, figure out what you feel is a reasonable way to divide your monthly spending between different categories (food, clothes, entertainment, etc.). Once you've done this, keep track of your spending (there are plenty of apps to help with this). After a few months you'll be surprised where all of your money actually goes and seeing it broken down into different categories can help you determine which areas of spending you need to cut down on.

4. Clean out and sell (or swap).
We're all guilty of having closets and drawers full of clothing and items that we just never wear or use but for some reason won't get rid of. Selling these items is a great way to earn some extra cash. With the influx of websites and apps dedicated to doing just that, it's never been easier.

Not ready to completely let your stuff go? Organize a clothing swap between your friends who wear the same size. There's no reason to buy a brand new black skirt when your friend down the hall has the perfect one in your size that she's trying to get rid of.

5. Pick up small jobs for money.
There are plenty of ways to earn money in college without having a full time job. Many colleges have programs for students to tutor, or you can even try more out of the box ways to earn some extra cash. There are plenty of websites that pay college students to write (i.e. FlockU).

Another great way to earn some extra cash is to look into local focus groups. They often pay decent amounts of money for you to come in and test out and review their products. The jobs usually only take a couple of hours tops and often times they are specifically looking for college aged kids. Happy saving!

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College Life |  Source: goodamate

The Broke College Student's Guide to Shopping At Target

Stay away from the dollar section.

Raise your hand if you shop at Target. OK put it down, fool. If you're a college student, chances are you're short on cash and would love to shop smarter.

Everyone who has been to Target knows about its mysterious power to make you buy everything BUT what you actually needed. Speaking as a long-time Target regular and self-proclaimed Coupon Queen, here are some ways to save on what you already buy at Target. I can't, however, reverse the magical Target power that makes you buy ALL the things. We're all doomed there.

Use Cartwheel

Target shoppers, stop right now and download the magical, free, Cartwheel app. It features TONS of coupons and discounts for things that you buy at Target, including groceries, household items, and clothing.

It's simple: scan the barcodes of items you're buying and hit "ADD" once the coupon pops up to save it. You can also browse all coupons by category and add them manually. At checkout, present your barcode to the cashier, and all coupons you've added will be deducted. Coupons range from five to fifty percent off. I've been using Cartwheel for two years and I'm almost to $300 in savings. Cha-CHING.

Use Ibotta

Another free app similar to Cartwheel, but you can use it at other stores too. You use the app to collect rebates when you purchase certain items. It's as easy as unlocking rebates, scanning the corresponding barcodes from your items, snapping a pic of your receipt, and hitting SEND. Done.

Rebates start at $0.20 to $0.25, and I've seen some go up to $10. Ibotta adds up your saved rebates over time, every time you send in a receipt. Once you amass $20, you can cash out using Venmo, or purchase gift cards to places like Amazon and Starbucks.

Buy Target-Brand Items

Brand snob (n.) - someone who purchases only a certain brand of a given item, even if other brands of the same product are cheaper.

Brand snobs, STOP and educate yourself. Target features several store-brand lines, including Archer Farms, Simply Balanced, and Market Pantry. News flash, these items are the same as name-brand, and they're CHEAPER.

The Simply Balanced line features a lot of great healthy and organic options. Hit Up & Up for everything from sandwich bags to cotton swabs, and Market Pantry and Archer Farms for your food staples. PS - Cartwheel always has tons coupons for Target-brand items. Just sayin'.

Bring your own bags

Fun fact: if you bring your own reusable grocery bags to Target, the cashier takes five cents off your total for each bag you bring. It's not a lot, but hey, that's a few nickels back in your pocket.

Get the Target App

Since you've downloaded two apps already, a third won't hurt. In fact, this app helps. A lot. It includes weekly ads, even MORE mobile coupons, deals and clearances, a handy shopping list and online shopping features, a search tool that shows you prices for anything in the store, links to Cartwheel deals based on the items you search...what more could you ask for??

Get a Target RedCard

This is huge. Apply for a RedCard (either the Debit or Credit option) and you automatically save 5 percent off your whole purchase every time you use it at Target. They're basically begging you to save money on everything you already buy. It's a no-brainer, and it's saved me SO much.

Boom. Now go forth and bask in the glory of your savings, at least until you see the clearance sale on throw pillows that you definitely 100-percent need.

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College Life |  Source: YouTube (edited)

4 Ways To Protect Your Privacy Now That Our Internet History Is For Sale

Don't forget to use protection.

United States citizens should have been outraged when they woke up this morning. Pissed beyond belief. And yet, most people will carry on as though nothing happened today.

But something did, and it's huge. Yesterday Trump killed the FCC's Internet Privacy Rules with his tiny hands and the stroke of a pen.

Sure, Google knows everything we do already. For the most part, we've accepted that. So why is this a big deal? It helps to have a little understanding of how the Internet works. Nothing too complex, I promise. Just a nifty gif.

Not everyone uses satellite for internet, but the process for Wi-Fi is roughly the same as shown in the gif; it just requires different equipment. Instead of a satellite, just think of a little antennae-wearing box called a router that's plugged into your home.

Back to the concerns with this bill. Focus on where the data goes to the provider offices. You might know that term by a different name: Internet Service Provider, or ISP. This law will allow ISP companies to sell your personal data. And anyone can buy it: a spiteful ex, a potential employer, so on and so forth.

Maybe for some of you, that's not a concern at all. For me, it is a concern. It's a huge breach of privacy. Whoever searches my history will probably think I'm always pregnant because I constantly browse baby name sites for fictional characters. Joke's on them: I'm going to have a dog, not children.

But there are a handful of ways to help protect your privacy.

1. Visit sites with https, not http.

That one letter makes a huge difference in internet safety. The "s" in https ensures that the data you sent over a site is encrypted. This means the information you send over the web is protected. Unfortunately, the majority of the web does not use https, but http.

But fear not! For those of you who use Chrome, Firefox, or Opera, simply install the HTTPS Everywhere add-on. It'll alert you if you're about to load an http site, and in some cases, make sites that use http switch to https. However, ISPs will still be able to know your browsing history.

2. Stop Googling. Use Duck Duck Go.
As much as I love Google, the company is notorious for hoarding your data and selling it off. DuckDuckGo is a solid alternative search engine which doesn't track you or sell your browsing history. You can even install it on Google Chrome.

3. Get a VPN.
VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is probably the best bet for protecting your privacy. VPNs are usually used for getting around websites that are blocked in other countries. For example, Facebook is banned in China. But you can set up a VPN to "trick" your computer into thinking you're somewhere else. VPNs can be risky, especially if you're not purchasing one. Please research and compare VPNs before getting one.

4. Download Opera.
A better choice than buying a VPN might be downloading Opera. It's a web browser that has a built-in VPN and an ad-blocker! No need to download ad-blocker extensions like you might on Chrome or FireFox.

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College Life |  Source:

You're Invited To Eddie Lacy's Garage And Moving Sale

Anything and everything must go!

If you're reading this message, you have an invitation to Eddie Lacy's garage and moving sale.

That's right, you -- a normal sports fan who does not know Lacy on a personal level -- can go to his garage and moving sale on Friday and Saturday if you don't mind taking a trip to De Pere, Wisconsin.

Lacy is having this sale as he is getting ready to pack up and go west. The 2013 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year signed a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks last month.

The sale will be held over a two-day period, April 7 from 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. and April 8 from 8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. All proceeds and the remaining items will be donated to charity, and the exact location of the sale will be announced via social media on Friday morning.

A few questions now pop into my mind...

1. Is he selling any of his awards from his rookie year or his playing days at Alabama? And if not, what price can I convince him to sell them to me?

2. Inviting random people to your house? Isn't that a bit...strange (even though he's selling that, too, probably)?

3. Is the house for sale too? Will the last thing up for grabs be the house itself? Will there be some sort of mini-game to get the property ownership?

4. Wouldn't this be better done auction style?

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College Life |  Source: L. Smith, Explore Clarion

Time To "Pick" A Show To Let Go Summer Boredom

One man's trash is another's treasure.

I recently held a yard sale at my house. We had big items that we expected to sell easily and quickly.

However, that wasn't the case.

Smaller items that my mom and I never thought would sell came to fruition. Which included a highly used Louisville Slugger plastic bat my mom wanted me to throw away in the trash.

That's what I like about American Pickers, a show on the History Channel where two guys, Mike and Frank travel across the country to salvage antiques and items that most people would throw away.

Then, they travel back to their native state Iowa and resell all items they picked at their antique shop, Antique Archaeology. The items will either be sold at their shops in LeClaire, Iowa or Nashville. Sometimes, they'll donate the items picked to a museum or keep an item for their personal collections.

Most of the items they pick are items that most people would throw away or didn't find any value in. Mike and Frank will pay whatever price necessary to own the item they find value in. Their quest to turn trash into treasure shows their dedication to preserve the past.

Like me, Mike and Frank have their collection niches. Mike is into motorcycles while Frank collects lamps and cast-iron toys. Despite their personal niches, they manage to portray knowledge and interest in all items they pick.

Therefore, American Pickers is a show for everyone. Yes, some episodes do cater towards people who are motor heads and to those who collect porcelain signs. However, their picks have included items from Americana, western, music and taxidermy.

I find it amusing to see two grown men in their late 40's or early 50's crawling through piles of debris. The show makes people relive their youth through the vintage items they find.

American Pickers also taught me how a rusted sign with chipped, faded paint can be worth over $300.

To me, Mike and Frank dumpster dive into junk like its an Olympic sport. The people they pick from would easily win gold medals in hoarding.

As a yard sale enthusiast and bargain hunter, American Pickers is a show that entertains the dollar sense inside. It is truly a show that can lead to cleaning out your closet and selling items this summer.

Maybe something you see in your closet as trash, someone else might see it as treasure.