A student holding a home bank

How to Save Money in College

Here's what we'll cover

There is light at the end of the tunnel if you are having a hard time-saving in college. The following how to save money in college pointers will help you achieve what seems impossible, and have some extra cash.

Truth be told.

There comes a time when making ends meet in college proves difficult. It is challenging to stick to a budget when you have tuition fees to pay and daily expenses.

Therefore, there is hardly any cash left to save at the end of the school year. Fortunately, it is possible to stash some little money away for a rainy day if you take the following tips seriously.

Here is how to save money in college.

  • Avoid buying new textbooks
  • Carry your student ID always
  • Reduce the number of times you eat out
  • choosing affordable housing
  • Monitor your cell phone usage
  • Cut down on off-campus activities
  • Engage your local bank
  • Avoid buying a car
  • Use credit cards wisely
  • Focus on your education

Avoid Buying New Textbooks

Textbooks are costly, and students spend so much on them. You need to check if your school library has the manuals you want to purchase. Borrowing will cost you nothing, and you can save.


You can borrow books from classmates and friends if they have them. It is also possible to buy textbooks online. Ensure that you exhaust all the possible options before buying a textbook.

If you have to buy, go for second-hand options. There are still quality used books that you can buy from fellow students or book vendors.

These are certainly cheaper than brand new books. However, ensure that they are in good condition before purchasing. You do not want to invest in books that have missing and torn pages.

Carry Your Student ID Always

I know what you are thinking. How is my student’s ID going to help you save?

Let me explain.

You need to have your student ID with you all the time to enjoy various offers. Most service providers understand students’ financial struggles, and they try to make college life less expensive by giving them discounted services.

You can get discounts on clothes, electronics, stationery and many more items. For instance, Madewell offers reduced prices on clothing, while Adobe offers discounts on tech items.

You can also get discounted meals offers from restaurants that you like. You need to confirm the service providers that provide such offers to benefit.

Reduce The Number Of Times You Eat Out

Eating out can be thrilling because there is a variety of tasty foods to eat. Besides, you can avoid the hustle of preparing meals yourself, which is an excellent opportunity to mingle with friends. 


Buying meals can be expensive, especially if you order from costly restaurants. Therefore, consider preparing simple meals from your student quarters.

You can purchase a coffee maker and find the best coffee recipes instead of buying lattes every morning. Also, try preparing simple meals that only take a few minutes to cook. Most importantly, cook what you like as that will give you motivation.

If you have to eat out, do it once in a while or buy food from the school cafeteria where prices are fair.

Choosing Affordable Housing

Housing can be expensive, and you might live outside your means if not careful. Living in school dormitories is cheaper than living off-campus.

Most student apartments are expensive because of the extra facilities you might enjoy. However, you can book the best rooms on campus early and even split your costs further with a roommate.

You will be surprised by how much money you will have to save.

Monitor Your Cell Phone Usage

Monitoring your cell phone usage is essential to minimize your phone bill. You can use internet usage monitoring apps such as My Data Manager to know how much you use.

They also issue an alert if you go beyond your monthly limit. Likewise, understand your phone settings. If you are using weakened Wi-Fi, your phone might switch to data when unaware, and your bills might shoot.

Therefore, keep checking to avoid unnecessary expenses.

Cut own On Off-campus Activities

College life is no fun without a taste of different social activities. You can check out the various events such as movie nights and concerts and attend them as they are likely to be free.

Also, utilize the college gym instead of enrolling in other gyms that might require you to pay for membership and gym instructor fees. 

Engage Your Local Bank

Banks do offer students a range of incentives, and you should contact your bank. You need to know about the types of student savings accounts they have and what you stand to gain.

Such accounts usually have lower fees on transactions, and they do not have a minimum balance requirement. However, they are likely to have limits on the amount that you can withdraw within a given period.

That is helpful because you might be tempted to remove all your savings at some point. The bank is also likely to provide you with online banking facilities that you can use to check your balance or transact.

Avoid Buying A car

Owning a car can be expensive because you need to pay for gas, parking, insurance, and unexpected car repairs. Such expenses can render you broke, and you should avoid them.

It is better to use public transport, borrow a friend’s car if you travel for a long distance. You can also use a taxi to get around.

Use Credit Cards Wisely

If you choose to get a student credit card, select one with the lowest interest charges that you can afford. That will help you avoid late payment penalties and credit card debt.

You need a good credit record in the future, and settling your credit card bills on time can help.

Focus On Your Education

Many students spend a lot when they fail to complete a course within the given time. Any additional classes or papers will cost you a lot. Therefore, study hard and get extra tutoring if you have to so that you can complete your course at the right time.


This article gives pointers on how to save money in college. If you follow these tips, you can watch your savings grow throughout your college years.

How can I save as a student?

In order to save in college, make sure that you have a budget, don’t think of buying a car, avoid eat outs, avoid having pets, get affordable housing and always go for discounts

How much money should a college student have saved?

A student who does good saving should spend around $16,000 a year.

Scroll to Top