11 Ways To Save Money In College

Starting the college journey can be very exciting as you will get the opportunity to make new friends and connect with different people. But the “exciting” life in college is very challenging when it comes to saving money as a student.

Yeah, I know that as well as I was also in the same boat as you. It is very difficult to pay for rent, groceries, transportation and the list is on. Sometimes, I feel like the expenses are not gonna end at all because each day I need to buy something.

And that is really frustrating. I swear!!

So, what should you do to manage expenses and save money? Well, Today I will share 11 ways to save money in college that I have used and you can also try that to start saving money in college.

11 Ways To Save Money In College

Make A Budget

Starting your saving money goal with a monthly budget can be the best thing to consider. The process of budgeting gives a full picture of your overall income and expenses.

The concept of budgeting is very simple as you need to differentiate between your need and wants. For example, expenses like rent, food, and transportation are needs whereas shopping, entertainment, or parties is your wants.

When you understand the difference between both things, it can be easy for you to make a budget for your next month. And as a student, you need some emergency funds (not for 6 months of course).

I myself set aside two months of expenses per month to make an emergency fund. During my first year of studying, I lost my job, and it was becoming difficult to find employment due to my studies and classes.

You can make your budget using an Excel sheet, Mint, Good Budget or so on. The goal behind using these tools is to make a budget and stick with it.

Participate In School Events

Participating in school events can be hard for an introvert but it can bring great value to your personal and professional life. As an introvert myself, it was hard for me to even shout in class but joining college events frequently helps me a lot in building that confidence.

But how does it help me save money? Well, if you know or maybe getting emails from your college about next week’s event where you can participate.

These events have some prize tags of $10 to $100 depending on the work required. There are colleges/universities that offer a LinkedIn profile-building game where you have to make your professional profile and build connections.

You may think it’s of no use but do you know a Great LinkedIn Profile will help you get thousands of opportunities after your schooling?

Also Read: 20+ Strategies To Build The Best LinkedIn Professional Profile

So, try to participate frequently if not daily because as a student you need to look both ways to achieve our goals.

Sell/Buy Used Books

The first major expense of college/schools is the book which is heavily priced. But buying brand new books is not necessary as you can buy old used books at cheaper rates and sell them after your semesters.

There are used bookstores on every campus or student groups who are planning to sell their books online. In case, you didn’t find it in both places then try your luck at your college library as they will lend the book for 20 to 30 days.

After 30 days, you just need to go and renew it again so use it for next month. And in case, you have purchased a new or old book, you can easily sell your book online so you can get some of your money back.

Also Read: 13 Best Places To Sell Used Textbooks For Extra Cash

Food & Grocery

After your tuition fees, food is another major expense which sometimes exceeds the rent value too. I know it is very hard to stop yourself from spending outside at a fancy restaurant but it is not impossible to reduce it.

Adopting a “Do-It-Yourself” attitude can save you hundreds if not thousands. You can make a list of days when you allow yourself to eat outside(Don’t make it every day. HAHA!!).

After making this list, follow it because it requires self-control and discipline to achieve your goal. Even a lot of universities offer student discounts of 5% to 25% on foods and beverages if you buy them from your college.

For example, the University of British Columbia offers a discount called Meal Plan Dollars which offers a discount of 25% to students residing on the UBC campus.

Also Read: 6 Papa John’s Pizza Hacks To Get More Pizza


Renting a place is a crucial decision as you need to stay nearby your college and workplace for easy transportation. But if you are planning to rent an entire apartment or house then it will hit your expenses very badly.

As you know, renting one bedroom apartment will cost you anywhere between $1,200 to $2,500 depending on the location. Over that, you need to buy a bed, bathing essentials, furniture and kitchen items plus the tenant insurance, water and electricity bill.

Now after adding all these expenses, you will be paying anywhere between $1,350 to $2,700 every month which also depends on your usage habits.

So, here I highly recommend you to go to a shared place for the first year because you will be totally dependent on your monthly salary. But while staying in sharing try to find some way to passive money or ways to generate extra income every month.

Also Read: 6 Common Myths About Rental’s Insurance

Use Marketplace for Furniture

After moving to your own place, buying furniture can be a huge hit to your overall budget. Here, I strongly encourage you to use different markets to buy furniture.

You can check out the options available at your local store and if you like something then try to negotiate the price. Negotiating is the biggest hack to save money while shopping as a student.

Even sometimes making a cute face works while negotiating the prices. If still, the prices are not going down then you can check options available online on the marketplace like Facebook and Craigslist.


Shopping can be your biggest enemy if you are not able to differentiate between your needs and wants as mentioned in the budgeting section. Being a student you need to focus on getting maximum satisfaction with limited resources.

I know it is difficult to stop yourself from buying that shoe or wallet from your favourite brand. But as a student, you need to control your temptations and look your budget before making any instant decision in a shop or mall.

What you can do here is to look for brands who offer products at discount or else inquire with them about student discounts. There is nothing wrong with asking for discounts as maximum brands in the USA, Canada, Australia and UK offers discount all the time, especially to students.

In case you are not getting any discount, then you can go for different brands. Honestly speaking, no one cares about what you are eating or wearing at college and you don’t need to show your worth with expensive clothing.

Also Read: How To Get Student Discount In Canada


Entertainment is very important during student life because studying and working for hours without any break can be very frustrating. But it is not always about watching movies or going to parties.

You can go for extra-curricular activities like Photography, Graphic Designing, Hiking, Football and many more. This will help you to take care of your physical and mental health as well as save your money from parties.

I suggest you join your college/university club where you can join events or parties organized by your seniors or higher authority. It will allow you to create a social life with your seniors and juniors.

Also Read: 7+ Ultimate Ways To Get Free Internet Access

Use Public Transport

Public Transport can be your saviour if you are travelling for a longer distance for work or for fun with friends because it is fairly cheaper compared to your personal vehicle.

Many colleges and universities offer student bus pass for every semester and the charges for the pass will be cheaper than the regular pass price. In Canada, many universities offer bus passes (also known as Compass Card or Presto) to their student every semester.

Buy Electronic Items On Sale

If you are planning to buy electronic items for studies or for your apartment, then waiting for sale will be worth it. On different occasions, major companies like Apple, Dell, Microsoft, Best Buy, Walmart and many others offer huge discounts on electronic goods.

You can buy electronic items on such occasions to save money. It is always good to signup for their email marketing campaign to get the latest updates during ongoing sales.

Also Read: Is It Okay To Sell Notes To My Junior To Make Money?

Start A Side Hustle

Starting a Side Hustle during your college days can help you a lot with your expenses. As you know that there are thousands of expenses every day and managing each of them with your part-time salary can be very challenging.

There are thousands of ways which you can follow to make a few dollars at least to support your expenses which will surely gonna increase over time.

While being a full-time student, you can start working part-time as a food delivery guy for Uber Eats and deliver packages for FedEx or Amazon. The pay of these companies is higher compared with any other companies.

Also Read: 11 Best Side Hustle For Men With No Experience


To sum it up, I recommend you focus more on gaining college experience, looking for ways to save money on groceries and rent and look for a way to get an internet connection.

It will help you in understanding different aspects of life in terms of education, business, jobs and many more.

While being a student, your primary goal is to get the best education, save money to invest and not waste money on brands. If you have good savings then invest that money properly and keep on upgrading your financial habits by setting a goal to be financially free in your thirties.

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