Simple strategies to Save Money in College

Simple strategies to Save Money in College

[My buddy Fiona, a.k.a The Millennial Money Woman is a financial ninja! She graduated college debt-free by working 50-plus hour weeks (on top of her regular class and study work) and earned a Master of Science degree in Personal Financial Planning. She’s also a CFP®, and now helps others take control of their financial lives and achieve financial freedom early in life!

All you college students out there — or parents sending their kids off to college — check out Fiona’s tips below to save money as a student!]

10 Strategies to Save Money in College

I do know all people says that college could be the best 4 years of your life… nevertheless I really feel they’re mistaken. 

For my part, your years in college could be hard-working, money-saving years in order so that you could assemble the perfect years in your life. Interval.

So how do you set the inspiration in college to assemble the perfect years in your life?

The first tip is solely don’t get into debt.

Now that being talked about, I perceive how exhausting it could be for the widespread college pupil to graduate with out debt. At the moment 7 out of 10 kids need a pupil mortgage on account of college costs rather a lot money (contemplate me, I’ve been there – executed that). 

So let’s say you’re not the lucky college youngster who each has super-wealthy mom and father to pay your tuition or who purchased a free journey scholarship. What now?

Beneath are my excessive 10 options to economize in college – and the perfect half? 

I’ve really used every money saving tip beneath, so I can inform you these cool college life secrets and techniques and strategies really work!

Let’s try it out:

1. Save Money With Meal Prep & Meals Budgeting

Have you ever ever ever heard of the Freshman 15?

Do you have to haven’t – it refers again to the additional kilos of weight an incoming college pupil normally gives on of their first 12 months of discovering out.

Why do they positioned on rather a lot weight?

Because of colleges normally require school college students of their first 12 months to purchase a meal plan. And school college students have at it!

To be very reliable – I moreover was a type of school college students who fell sufferer to the scrumptious meals served by the school campus. I ate each half. And certain, I gained weight.

Nevertheless proper right here’s the unhealthy half: Do you have to fall sufferer to the freshman-15 in your first 12 months – and start coaching fairly unhealthy consuming habits – how will these habits translate to your second 12 months in college? 

And that’s the place they get you: In your second 12 months in college, normally school college students nonetheless must eat out at any time, anyplace on campus. 

And which may be costly – significantly when you’re on a curtailed mannequin of your meal plan.

In plain English: You will need to pay rather more per meal in your second 12 months in college versus your first 12 months – and consuming out can considerably add to your residing payments.

So how do you steer clear of spending rather a lot money on meals?

Proper right here’s what I did: I meal prepped every single Sunday night for all of the week. 

Every Sunday, I invited my college associates over and we really made a small dinner party the place all people helped me put together dinner this gigantic meal for the week. 

  • I divided my meals up based mostly totally on lunch and dinner meals
  • Each portion was labeled 
  • Each meal I positioned inside the freezer and I took out the meal the day sooner than

Is it quite a lot of work? Sure.

Was it boring and by no means very thrilling to eat at residence every day? Unquestionably.

Nevertheless did it save me money? Fully. In actuality – at my college, meal prepping saved me spherical $12 to $14 a day. That’s $84 to $98 each week.

Had I not meal prepped my week, my monetary financial savings account would have been screaming at me for spending an extreme amount of money on going out to eat. Start good spending habits early!

2. Buy a Bike to Save on Transportation Costs in College

My college campus was gigantic – it really had over 40,000 school college students attending. That’s correct – 40,000. 

So many school college students decided to purchase a car. I decided to buy a motorcycle.


Check out the benefits of shopping for a motorcycle whereas in school beneath:

  • Saved money on commutes
  • Low worth (my bike worth me $115)
  • No annual parking cost (autos worth over $360 per 12 months for parking)
  • No car maintenance costs
  • I purchased the practice I needed to cut down on my freshman-15

Now, inside the circumstances I needed to journey residence from college (which was about 50 miles away from campus) or simply journey open air of the campus bounds, I did the following:

  • Vehicle pooled with associates
  • Used a car taxing platform resembling Uber or Lyft
  • Rented a car for the day – which worth me $15 per day 

To be reliable though, I rarely used a car whereas in school. The whole thing I needed was correct on campus. 

Skilled Tip: Try and make associates with any person who has a car and seems to be ready to give you a elevate sometimes. Perception me – it actually works.

3. Save on Textbooks by Renting or Sharing With Buddies

Textbooks are such a rip off in college (in my humble opinion). 

I really didn’t discover out about this tip until it was too late. 

Proper right here’s my story: I went to an economics class and on my first day, the professor inform us that we should buy her information from the bookstore. That exact same day, I went to the campus bookstore and acquired her economics information. Mannequin new. Massive mistake.

That was $850 that I am going to not at all get once more. And to make points worse? I solely used that economics information as quickly as. Ouch.

So how are you going to steer clear of spending a ridiculous sum of cash on 1 information – like I did?

  • Firstly of sophistication, try to find out who the accountable kids are 
  • Technique them and ask in the event that they’re planning to purchase the class information
  • If certain, proposed that you just simply go to the bookstore and minimize up the worth of the information – by renting the textbook not by searching for

After I found my cruel lesson, I utilized the knowledge above and they also labored like clockwork on account of no pupil must spend a number of of {{dollars}} on a textbook. 

The necessary factor proper right here is that this: You should definitely ponder renting and by no means searching for a textbook. Actuality learn, I didn’t even know we had the selection to lease until I fell lure to purchasing the $850 textbook. 

  • On a regular basis ask if renting is an alternative sooner than resorting to buying at a college bookstore
  • If renting should not be an alternative, ask if searching for used is an alternative
  • Apply all additional money you saved to pay down your pupil mortgage!

4. Ask Magnificence College School college students to Cut back Your Hair (for Free!)

Significantly for women, chopping your hair may worth you a reasonably penny. 

For example, in my case, I normally stroll away from the hairdresser $30 to $40 poorer. And I reduce my hair about as quickly as every Three or 4 months. So, we’re talking $120 to $160 yearly in payments merely to cut my hair – with out coloring or each different fanciness. 

As soon as I spotted how rather a lot money I was spending on hair maintenance, I decided it was time to check out some alternate choices.

And that’s what I found: My school had a magnificence school and sweetness school college students are always motivated to look at their latest and greatest hair reduce tips on others… look ahead to it… Without charge!

As soon as I stumbled on about this trick – I really feel my world modified.

Sure, you not at all really perceive how your haircut comes out – it might probably be lop-sided or it might probably be utterly utterly totally different from what you outlined to your hairdresser. However it absolutely really could be distinctive – and one factor you’ll doable at all times bear in mind.

Even larger? It could stop money – and that money saved can go repay your pupil mortgage debt or each different debt it is doable you may carry.

5. Skip Out on Spring Break / Winter Break

Who proper right here wishes of going out, partying collectively along with your college associates all through Spring Break or Winter Break?

Although the breaks are superior and are the correct time for faculty college students to benefit from their youthful lives with totally different college kids – Spring Break and Winter Break may even doable have a pretty big have an effect on in your funds.

I suggest, let’s check out the costs of a Spring Break / Winter Break:

  • Journey costs
  • Lodge preserve costs
  • Meals costs
  • Alcohol costs (and this will perhaps be the most important part of your funds)
  • Miscellaneous costs

I suggest, on widespread, college school college students spend roughly $1,500 to $2,000. And that’s a bit of money that would probably be used in the direction of paying off your pupil loans, financial institution card debt – or – look ahead to it – college classes supplied all through Spring Break or Winter Break!

That’s correct. College classes.

And also you perceive what – that’s what I ended up doing: Taking extra college classes all through Spring Break and Winter Break on account of these classes are normally discounted and can help me graduate sooner (which they did). 

Skip out on the gratifying now – use the money you save instantly to assemble your future tomorrow.

6. Make Money at College by Turning right into a Library Aide 

That’s perhaps the one choice I ever made. 

Turning right into a library aide may sound large boring – nevertheless you perceive what? It’s really pretty superior – check out my causes, beneath:

  • You earn money! (It’s minimal wage – nevertheless it’s nonetheless money)
  • You meet pretty fascinating people (significantly late at night)
  • You even have adequate time to assessment in your classes

And that closing bullet stage is what made me large keen about becoming a library aide: You are paid for primarily discovering out for sophistication. 

How rather a lot higher can discovering out get?

The simplest events to work as a library aide normally are in the middle of the night time hours or the early morning hours – the place there’s not rather a lot distraction so you could have the prospect to get some discovering out in – whereas getting paid. 

As soon as extra, it will not sound like the perfect half time job on this planet, nevertheless it really will get some money flowing to your checking account.

7. Break up Netflix With Your Buddies

In college I was usually generally known as “The Splitter” – and by no means in a relationship sense.

I was acknowledged to truly minimize up each half – with out shame and with out guilt. Proper all the way down to the aim of splitting the worth of Netflix with my Three totally different roomies.

And guess what?

Although my roomies thought I was a bit crazy saving money really wherever the prospect launched itself, I really feel they appreciated it too – on account of in the end, I moreover helped them in the reduction of month-to-month payments.

We minimize up the worth of each half from:

  • Netflix
  • Grocery purchases
  • Lavatory paper
  • Taxi rides

Stage being: Break up as rather a lot as you might, when you possibly can. 

Skilled Tip: Rather more – whenever you assume you have to, write up a contract along with your mates to make sure all people adheres to the paper contract. Certain, you may get some raised eyebrows thrown your means, nevertheless written contracts normally are an efficient method to make sure everybody appears to be held accountable. 

8. Ask for Useful Birthday and Trip Presents

As soon as I used to be a highschool pupil, I always requested for the perfect and latest gadgets for my birthday or totally different trip occasions. 

These reward requests included a cool new mattress room cowl, a pleasing robe for a ball, and a cool laptop computer laptop cowl and show protector.

These are cool points to ask for (significantly if you find yourself 15 or 16 years outdated). Nevertheless as you become older, I found that asking for additional wise and useful gadgets is likely to be going to keep away from losing you some big money down the road.

Certain, I’ve talked about it: I’ve turn into boring.

Beneath are only a few of my wise reward requests which have helped me get financial financial savings:

  • Financial help in the direction of my car insurance coverage protection bill
  • Financial help in the direction of a medical bill
  • Financial help in the direction of shopping for new car tires

See? Pretty boring. 

Nevertheless… these wise reward requests did help me save a number of of {{dollars}} and nonetheless had my associates be pleased with the gadgets they gave me. 

Win, win!

9. Grow to be Your Private Vehicle Mechanic

Okay, I am not going to lie – I’m really a reasonably good car mechanic.

In actuality, I found my car mechanic experience from my dad.


I wanted to find methods to get financial financial savings and by no means must spend an outstanding $50 per oil change go to or one different few hundred {{dollars}} when my brake pads started to supply means.

Think about it or not, I can change my very personal car brake pads, I can change the oil in my car and I found only a few totally different nifty car mechanic ideas from dad (and YouTube). 

And also you perceive what?

I saved rather a lot money – and may eternally get financial financial savings on account of I’m not at all letting one different car mechanic contact my car till it’s obligatory. 

Although I didn’t basically have a car whereas in college, I did have a car graduating college – and these mechanic experience have served to be invaluable by saving me quite a lot of cash.

10. Choose Pupil-Nice Banks & Credit score rating Taking part in playing cards

The ultimate 2 components that helped me get financial financial savings in college was selecting student-friendly banks and financial institution playing cards.

Think about it or not, there are institutions in the marketplace that may must lend a serving handy to a youthful college pupil (and updated college graduates).

Nonetheless – to take full advantage of the student low price, you may need to be taught the efficient print and make sure you don’t go over the boundaries.

As a pupil, I believed-about 2 a number of forms of financial institution playing cards:

  • Uncover it Pupil Cash Once more Card
  • Uncover it Pupil Chrome Card

Every taking part in playing cards have the following:

  • $Zero annual cost
  • 0% intro APR on the first 6 months of purchases
  • Actually helpful credit score rating ranking of 630 for card utility
  • Nonetheless – you don’t must have a FICO historic previous (and I had no FICO historic previous)

Finally, I went with the Chrome Card – nevertheless every have been good picks for me, personally.

As a result of it pertains to the perfect pupil low price banks, there have been quite a lot of to pick from:

  • Chase
  • Monetary establishment of America
  • Capital One
  • Uncover
  • U.S. Monetary establishment

Merely to name only a few.

I decided to associate with Chase on account of on the time, they supplied a college checking account (and I really feel they nonetheless do) and they also didn’t price month-to-month expenses whereas in college – for as a lot as 5 years. I assumed I was getting the most important bang for my buck with Chase – and 6 years later, I’m nonetheless with them to right now.

Whichever institution or financial institution card you resolve to determine on in your non-public state of affairs, make sure you do your evaluation appropriately sooner than committing. 

Closing Concepts on Minimizing College Debt

In summary, there are so many other ways to keep away from losing (and make) money whereas in college. 

I went by the use of an on a regular basis school to assessment for a stage (promoting and advertising and marketing) that I not at all as soon as extra utilized in my life (since I’m a non-public finance blogger). So certain, I am residing proof that anyone can go to highschool or to highschool, look at and graduate with a stage, and nonetheless end up being worthwhile in a really unrelated topic.

This state of affairs happens all too sometimes.

As you start your college occupation – whether or not or not it’s your undergraduate or your graduate occupation – it’s important to keep away from losing as rather a lot money as potential so that when you graduate college, you acquired’t have to stress about debt despair. 

Perception me, dealing with pupil debt can get pretty overwhelming. 

Do you have to play your college taking part in playing cards good, chances are you acquired’t be spending the perfect years of your life on the school system. Nonetheless, it’s very doable that you just simply’ll start coaching these healthful money habits that may assemble a secure financial foundation in your future – which might be the best method ahead in your life.

Start implementing these 10 college saving options now and your monetary establishment accounts will thank me later!

What totally different creative and suave college saving options do you could have?


Fiona created The Millennial Money Woman to supply once more and help others work within the course of financial freedom early in life. Check out her weblog for additional good information on side hustles, saving money and debt paydown strategies!