Top 8 Ways to Save Money in College

Thursday, April 28, 2022

College is expensive. You probably already know that. 

Finding a way to pay for all your college-related expenses is difficult, but that doesn't mean you'll starve while in school. After all, many other people have passed through college on a budget, just like you.

We've done the heavy lifting for you by finding the best tips to help you spend smartly in school. So, whether you're saving for college, or trying to learn frugality, here are easy tips you can incorporate into your daily life.

1. Prepare a student's budget

An excellent way to start any savings goal is to draw up a budget. Unfortunately, many students don't like analyzing how they spend their money, and that's one sure way to spend unnecessarily. 

Drawing a budget from the beginning helps you track your expenditures. While drafting your budget, make it as detailed as possible because that's the key to knowing where your cash is leaking from. Once you've found that, the next step would be seeking the best possible means to plug up the leaky holes (the tips below can help).

2. Buy used textbooks and e-texts 

A significant part of every student's expenditure goes to purchasing textbooks. You don't have to spend that much money on textbooks. A good way to cut down costs is by buying used textbooks and reselling them when you finish. Used textbooks are always cheaper than new ones, and you'll always find students that are willing to sell theirs. We recommend being careful while using these textbooks, as roughed-up books will hardly have any value when you want to sell them. 

Another alternative is to check for books that are available online. Many college books are available for free as e-texts. And these books are mostly the same as their paperback counterparts.

3. Hunt for freebies

We often hear people say there's no such thing as a free lunch, but that's not true for college students. As a college student, you can lay your hands on a whole lot of freebies with just a little effort. 

For starters, always look out for freebies sites and promo campaigns for students on campus. Surely, your numerous applications will amount to something. Besides, some of these sites offer detailed info on how to make money in college

However, while applying for freebies, be careful about your information. Be sure that you are not giving out more personal or contact details than you should. 

4. Make a habit of taking packed lunch to school

University canteens and cafes are generally cheaper than most others, but you'll still spend money. Irrespective of how cheap it may seem, preparing your food would always be cheaper. So it's essential to make efforts to get up early enough to make yourself a tasty, packed lunch before school time. At first, the savings from this may seem tiny, but it'll amount to much if you calculate how much money you can save throughout the semester.

5. Use public transportation

Public transportation is a blessing for college students. One of the best strategies you'll hear about when saving for college is to use public trains, buses, and metro services. Using these options in place of cabs and rides can be the difference that helps you save money. If you're not a fan of the hustles and bustle that comes with using most public transport systems, you can choose to walk to your destination. After all, it's another great way of exercising.

6. Cut out unnecessary subscriptions

Let's face the fact - there are so many websites and platforms we subscribe to that are not entirely necessary. Unfortunately, we pay for most of them from time to time. 

We often advise students to regularly check their subscriptions to cut unnecessary payments. You could also check for cheaper alternatives to the services you are subscribed to. 

7. Ask about students' discounts

One of the perks of being in college is the access you'll get to numerous discount vouchers. There's no shame in taking advantage of these vouchers where you can. So, whether you're out for a cup of coffee or in a mechanic shop, it won't hurt to ask whether there's a provision for students' discounts. 

8. Save up on room décor

Yes, we understand the need for comfort and luxury. But there's a thin line between paying for comfort and being extravagant. You don't have to overdo your décor, especially since you'll only stay there during school sessions. As long as you can keep your room tidy, it'll offer you enough comfort and tranquility for your stay in school. 


There you have it, a detailed look at how to save money in college. We've tested these tips, and we can tell that they are very effective for saving money for college. Another interesting saving strategy is to search and apply for scholarships and grants. For example, the NSHSS offers programs to connect students to scholarship opportunities, college fairs, internships, and career opportunities. You can apply for membership today to get unrestricted access to resources designed to make budgeting for college students easier.