Tips to Saving Money in College-9 Key Tips

Finding the best tips to save in college can save you tons of money and stress.
The best tips can be hard to find but here I have listed some of the most useful.

Utilize these 9 tips including:

Create A Budget

Don’t Own a Car

Plan Meals Way More

Rent or Buy Used Textbooks

Always Try to Get Your Student Discount

Use Campus Gym

Do Not Buy Music by Using Free Music Resources

Use Budgeting Tools

Avoid Making Impulse Purchases

Using these tips can help make college way less stressful and give you more time to focus on your studies.

Through this post I hope to show you important information and tips to saving money in college and how significant the savings can become.

Create A Budget

Creating a budget is a great way to know where you financially stand and how much flexibility you have.

Calculate your Gross Income, Post Taxes Income and Total Expenses. Gross income is your total income before taxes while the post taxes income is the amount you have leftover after all taxes have been accounted for.

Gross income is achieved by taking your weekly income and multiplying it by 52. This will give you your gross income for the year.

Total expenses is calculated by reviewing all your major and minor expenses and adding them all up. Take some time and write down the ones that you know. Use your online bank statement to track down the rest of your expenses because these should be recorded on this statement.

Visit this tax calculator to quickly get your post taxes income for the year. This tax calculator resource will do the work for you and give you an accurate idea of what you will pay in taxes.

Use this calculator and enter your filing status, zip code and gross income. This resource is primarily focused on calculating the taxes for people living and working in the U.S.

Once you know what your post taxes income and total expenses are, you simply must subtract your post taxes income minus your expenses. This will give you your net income which is the money that you have after all expenses have been taken into account.

Post Taxes Income – Total Expenses = Net Income

When creating a budget, focus on your expenses for an entire year. Doing this will help you be prepared for all the expenses over a year and you will be less likely to get blindsided by a bigger expense.

If you want to learn more about budgeting, then read How to Create a Good Budget.

Black Car
Don’t Own a Car

Don’t Own a Car

Owning and maintaining a car is expensive and avoiding this expense while in college can save you a lot of headaches. There are gas costs but the real costs that can become very stress causing over time are the wear and tear expenses.

These wear and tear expenses may be costs that don’t occur for some time but they will be expensive once they occur. These expenses could be replacing brake pads or new tires and can be a big financial blow if you don’t have extra money saved up.

I had a car for the last year of college and I remember it was great for a very short period. Yes, it made a lot of tasks much more convenient but it cost a lot more.

There are so many free or reduced rate public transportation services available near most colleges. Using these public transportation services is going to be very useful for saving money.

Walking and riding a bike to campus is another way to save more and drive less. If you need a car for college but still want to save money, then try to walk, bike and take public transportation more. You will probably be surprised to see how much you can save when you stop driving as much.

You can even try borrowing a friend’s vehicle if you ever temporarily need a car. Owning a car is more expensive financially and more complicated and if you can find a way to not have one in college, then it will be great for saving.

Plan Meals Way More

Planning meals more is going to save you so much money no matter how much you eat. Everyone has to eat and being prepared with some food is going to be key for developing this money saving habit.

I have always been someone who eats a lot, which means that it is very important to plan out meals. In college, I quickly realized that the college meal plan was not going to be enough food to last for the whole semester so I had to become smarter with my spending on the food expense.

The more you focus on food preparation the more likely you are to save significantly.

Rent or Buy Used Textbooks

Renting a textbook or buying this book used is going to keep you from spending as much. Always check to see whether the book is absolutely needed for the class and where you can get it.

Most of the time you can rent the book from the college bookstore or buy a used copy. You can even try to find this textbook from other sources, such as a friend who already has taken the class or buying an older edition of that book.

If you want to learn more about saving money on textbooks, read How to Save Money on College Books.

Always Try to Get Your Student Discount

Always trying to see if there is a student discount can be huge for getting a reduced price. This could be reducing the price for movie tickets, bus rides, grocery store trips or restaurants. I was surprised at how many places would accept student discounts.

Carry your ID card at all times and ask your local stores and spots if they will give you a discount. The discount is usually around 10% but could be more in some places.

Some grocery stores have a discount day when you it will be 10% if you are a student and shop on that day. Once you know where it will get you a discount, then you can start saving.

Dumbbells in Gym
Use Campus Gym

Use Campus Gym

Use the campus gym instead of going to a private gym off of campus. Most colleges have a gym that has tons of equipment that you can use for free or a reduced price.

Some colleges do not have as much in the way of a gym. But if you do have one on your campus, then it will likely be very affordable to use as a student.

This gym could have other resources for free and you simply need to ask the help desk there. Some campus gyms have climbing walls, turf fields and tons of free weights that you can use as a student for free.

The hours of availability for these gyms can differ significant. Spend some time researching what they are to find out if it will make sense for you to use these gyms.

Do Not Buy Music by Using Free Music Resources

There are many free music resources so don’t spend extra money on music. Many of these free music resources have a very low price that you can pay for more music if you really want more.

Check out Amazon Music, Spotify or Pandora for music options. Spotify and Pandora have tons of music for free and if you ever want to upgrade, it will not be too expensive. I used Pandora for years and it was easy to create new stations to find songs. After a few years, I then started using a combination of Amazon music and Spotify.

Spotify makes it easy to get new songs and find old songs for free. Amazon music will be available to people who have an Amazon prime account and there is quite a lot of benefits for using this part of your Prime account.

Use Budgeting Tools

Using budgeting tools can be effective for saving money on most of your expenses. Taking some time every other week to calculate your expenses can be a great way to check in for where your at financially.

Doing this consistently will help you make sure that you’re not spending too much. Some budgeting tools could be any of the following:

Any of these tools could help you track your spending habits more or give you new ideas for how to spend money better. There are very easy to use simple budget spreadsheets that are a part of Microsoft Word or Numbers for Mac computers. These spreadsheets can be great for quickly calculating and tracking your expenses.

YNAB is a website that is dedicated to helping people track their spending better. They want to help you get in control of your money and provide free trials for 34 days. If you use this service for the full trial period, then you will be required to pay a $12 monthly fee or an $84 yearly fee.

ThePennyHoarder website is always a resource that has valuable information about budgeting effectively. They have endless tips for how to save money better while being a college student, budgeting money better and much more.

Avoid Making Impulse Purchases

Avoid making impulse purchases and you will find yourself having much more money. I always create a list whenever I go shopping because this prevents me from spending extra money.

Creating this list at home will allow you to stick to this list and not get persuaded to buy other stuff that you don’t need. If there is something that it is tremendous deal but it is not on the list, then I don’t buy it.

Impulse purchases can be quite expensive but consistently creating a list will allow you to be much better with your spending. Focus on buying what you need and not what you desire.

You Are Now Much More Prepared to Save!

You are now much more prepared to save and this is going to help you have more money. Use these tips to get better deals and rates for most of your expenses.

I really hope that you enjoyed this post and found valuable information and tips to saving money in college.

If you have any questions, please leave them below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

8 Replies to “Tips to Saving Money in College-9 Key Tips”

  1. These are very useful tips, especially since I am currently in college! However, I am in military college so things are different, haha. But there are still some tips here that apply, so thank you!

  2. This article was really well written and really packed with useful information that surely all students can apply in their lives! Planning meals ahead of the week is so important. I often found myself impulse buying food because I didn’t have the time or motivation to prepare meals during the school week. I definitely think I’ll start preparing food ahead of time now (and using those student discounts!) This article is really valuable, all students should know these tips! Thank you!

  3. Good tips! I wish my daughter had these tips when she went to college. I still can’t figure out why those books are so expensive. She did save some money on the books that were electronic, those are usually cheaper than the physical books. Her big problem though was having a paid for meal plan for meals at the college cafeteria but still spending money eating out all the time.

    1. The books are expensive but at least you can rent them now.
      It can be hard to stick with the meal plan while you are pushing yourself in college. Finding a balance is key to not paying too much going out to eat. Finding a balance for not going out to eat too much while pushing yourself in the college environment can be challenging.
      I am happy that you liked this post!

  4. Hey brother very cool article. I am a college graduate myself and I wish I knew now what I knew then. This can definitely help people who struggle with having financial literacy. I myself didn’t have a car in college my first two years so I saved in that area. Another great thing I like about your page it that you have a formula we can use to calculate our budget, If you want to spend your money wisely that is very useful knowledge to have. Wonderful read!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *