10 Tips to Being a Spending Savvy College Student

10 Tips to Being a Spending Savvy College Student

Being a savvy spender in college isn’t difficult. It’s all about spending money wisely and using the right resources.

Here are a few tips and tricks to saving money while you’re going to school:

Budget and track your money.

This is the first and most important step.  Budgeting and tracking your money can show where your money is going and makes it easier to make adjustments. Luckily, there are budgeting tools to make this step even easier.

Check out the student discounts.

There are TONS of student discounts for college students. Whether its electronics, restaurants, insurance, or even clothing stores –you just have to ask or check out online lists!

My suggestion: Make sure you always carry your student I.D on you. Some merchants will ask for proof to give you the discounts!

Buy in bulk.

You may not think you need a 10 pack of deodorant or 4 tubes of toothpaste, but buying in bulk at places such as Costco or Sam’s can save money and eliminate the hassle of getting them during the school year.

Take advantage of free entertainment.

Whether your university is hosting a movie night, you’re playing in an intermural sports league, or your college town has a local fair – take advantage of the free entertainment available.  Doing this not only saves you money, but will get you out for a fun night!

My suggestion: At my university, there are free late night dinners during busy weeks such as finals. Check on your school website so you can catch a free meal!

Borrow or rent your textbooks.

Textbooks are a huge cost, but fortunately there are ways to cut the costs. Ask your friends from a previous class, rent your textbook from the bookstore (if available), or look online.

Car pool!

If you live off campus, find someone who has a similar class schedule as you and car pool. Not only will this help you both save on gas money, but it will also help reduce some of the dreadful college parking.

Get cash back.

Take advantage of opportunities to earn cash back. There’s nothing better than spending money and getting money in return. Check out options such as Purchase Rewards (Visa Debit), and the best thing about it is, it’s free!

Use the dollar store for little things.

For school supplies, you shouldn’t need anything fancy.  Purchase your notebooks and pencils/pens from the dollar store.  Also, you can check out other necessities such as cleaning tools, etc.

Shop secondhand.

Buying things second-hand can be cheaper, whether you’re going thrifting or you’re buying it from a friend, it’s something to consider.

My suggestion: Don’t just assume something is worthless. I purchased most of my furniture at thrift stores or garage sales and refurbished it all to fit my taste. It looks like I bought it new!

Get a job!

Some people say you should focus only on your studies in college, which is nice if money allows. But it’s usually not that easy. Consider working a part-time job.

My suggestion: I’ve had a job since I started college, and I think it is very beneficial. Not only do I earn extra cash, but I’m learning how to manage my time (which is a huge thing). Being able to balance work and free time is something everyone needs to learn for the “real world”.


Between adjusting to living on your own for the first time and essays/tests, money doesn’t need to be added stress. The more you save, the better off you’ll be!

Do you have any tips or tricks to saving some cash in college? Let us know in the comments below!

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