College itself is expensive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save a lot of money during your student years.
In this post, we’ll cover different ways you can save money without sacrificing having a life.
Take Advantage of Student Discounts
One of the best and easiest ways to save money in college is to take advantage of student discounts. Many businesses offer discounts to students on everything from food and clothing to entertainment and travel. All you have to do is show your student ID.
You might also be able to get free or discounted admission to museums, concerts, movies, plays, sporting events, restaurants, bars, clubs, hotels, spas, and more.
Another great student deal is Amazon Prime, which offers a 6-month free trial and then a half-price savings on the membership after that. You’ll get access to music, movies, tv, and so much more.
Max Out What You’re Already Paying For
If you’re like most college students, you’re already paying for a meal plan and a dorm room. So, you might as well make the most of what you’re already paying for.
For example, if your meal plan allows you to eat all-you-can-eat at the dining hall, then make sure you do just that.
Some college meal plans also include the ability to bring guests, if so, take advantage and dine with friends (that don’t have a meal plan) at the dining hall instead of spending money going out.
The same goes for your dorm room. If you have a private room, make the most of it by using all the amenities (like the cable) that come with it.
Similarly, you likely have access to a campus gym and health center as well as other campus amenities. So don’t buy workout equipment or go to urgent care unless those resources aren’t available.
Start Focusing on Your Finances Now
One of the best ways to save money in college is to start focusing on your finances now. Not only will it ensure you aren’t spending beyond your means, but it will set you up for future financial success.
Related: Best Banking for College Students
Build Up Your Credit
One of the best ways to save money in college is to build up your credit score. This will allow you to get better interest rates on loans and credit cards, which can save you a lot of money in the long run.
You can build up your credit score by making sure you always pay your bills on time and keeping your balances low. Also, try not to apply for too many new credit cards because they can hurt your score.
Start a Savings Account That Earns Interest
One of the best ways to save money in college is to start a savings account that earns interest. This way, you can earn money while you save. There are many options available, so be sure to shop around and find the best interest rate for your needs.
Our Recommendation: Sofi Money offers great interest rates to save.
Student Checking (free)
One of the best ways to save money in college is to open a student checking account. These accounts usually have no monthly fees and offer other perks, such as free ATM use and some penalty waivers if you make a mistake with your money.
Related: Best Banking for College Students
Make Payments On Time
One of the best ways to save money in college is to make payments on time. This includes everything from tuition and fees to your student loans. By making your payments on time, you can avoid late fees and penalties, which can add up quickly.
Don’t Overdraft Your Account
Over-drafting can lead to fees that can quickly add up. If you are worried about accidentally over-drafting, you can sign up for alerts that will let you know if your balance gets low.
Don’t Buy New Textbooks
Avoid buying new textbooks. You can save a lot of money by renting textbooks or buying them used. There are also many online resources that offer free or discounted access to textbook content.
If the campus bookstore is sold out of used books, see if the library keeps one on hand. Usually, you can’t check out the library’s textbook to take home, but you can use it at the library to get your work done.
Plan Your Purchases
This way, you can avoid impulse buying and make sure you are only buying what you need. There are many ways to do this, such as making a list before you go shopping or setting a budget.
One of the best things you can do to save money in college? Use coupons! Just make sure you’re only using them on items you were planning to buy already. Buying something just because you have a coupon isn’t really saving you any money.
Wait for Sales
One of the best ways to save money in college is to wait for sales. This way, you can get the items you need at a lower price. Many stores have sales throughout the year, so be sure to keep an eye out for them.
Shop at Thrift Stores or on Facebook Marketplace
This can be a great way to find items you need at a fraction of the cost. There are many thrift stores available, so be sure to find one near you.
Use a Budget
Learning to budget isn’t just a great way to save money, it’s a skill that will help you throughout your life. This way, you can track your spending and make sure you are not overspending. There are many budgeting apps available, so be sure to find one that works for you.
Walk, Ride a Bike, or Make Use of College/Public Transportation
One of the best ways to save money in college is to walk, ride a bike, or make use of college/public transportation. This can be a great way to save on travel costs. It can also be a fun way to explore the campus and local area.
Find Free Events on Campus or in the Local Community
One of the best ways to save money in college is to find free events on campus or in the local community. If you live on campus, dorms will often host movie nights and other fun events. This can be a great way to save on entertainment costs. And there is usually always something to see and do.
Don’t Buy Coffee Out
One of the best ways to save money in college is to make your coffee at home. This can also be a great way to save on breakfast or snack costs.
Sign Up for Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs can be a great way to save on food, entertainment, and other expenses. From grocery store loyalty programs, and gas stations, to Target circle, there are many options available.
Utilize the College Health Center and Your Parent’s Insurance
One of the best ways to save money in college is to utilize the college health center. Additionally, if you’re under 26 you can usually stay on your parent’s insurance. This can be a great way to reduce the cost of medical expenses.
Avoid Expensive Spring Break Trips
One of the best times to save money in college would be during spring break. However, this is also a time where students tend to spend more than they should. So, instead of going to Mexico or Florida, try to stay closer to home. You’ll still enjoy yourself, but you won’t end up paying too much.
The Bottom Line
There are tons of different ways you can save money while in college. By taking advantage of your student status, college amenities, and getting started managing your finances now, you’ll not only make the most of your college experience without breaking the bank but set yourself up for long term financial success.
What’s you’re favorite way to save money in college? Let me know in the comments!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you still have questions about how to save money in college? We’ve answered the most common questions below.
How much money should I save while in college?
This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on many factors such as scholarships, grants, and student discounts. However, it is important to start saving now so that you can reduce the cost of tuition, books, and other expenses. There are many scholarships and grants available, so be sure to explore your options.
What are some of the best ways to save money in college?
There are many ways to save money in college, but some of the best include taking advantage of student discounts, scholarships and grants, and finding free events. By taking advantage of these opportunities, you can make the most of your college experience without breaking the bank.
How much should I spend a month in college?
It all depends on what you want to accomplish with your time in college. If you plan on attending school full-time, then you will need to budget accordingly. But if you’re living on campus, you shouldn’t have too much need to spend money throughout the month except on potentially laundry machines, laundry detergent, a few other necessities, and gas for your car.
How much does living off campus cost?
Living off campus can be expensive depending on where you live. You may need to pay rent, utilities, and groceries. It also depends on whether or not you have access to meal plans.
Why should college students save money?
There are many reasons why college students should save money. The biggest reason is to learn to start managing their money and to set themselves up for financial success after college.
What are some clever ways to save money while in college?
Some clever ways to save money in college include finding free events, splitting costs with friends, and avoid unnecessary spending. For example. paying for a streaming service like Netflix if your college offers cable.
Does saving money during college actually make a long-term difference?
Yes, saving money during college can actually make a long-term difference. By taking advantage of scholarships and grants, and finding free events, you can reduce the cost of tuition, books, and other expenses. This can be a great way to reduce the overall cost of your education.