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5 Best Ways for Saving Money in College

I'm also studying in college. Here are my favorite ways to save money in college.

Save money, increase opportunity!

Save money, increase opportunity!

Every student ignores the best ways to save money. During school, I used to spend a lot of money unnecessary. But when I started college, I used the following methods to stop this problem and save money which proved to be very effective for me. I have written this article to introduce you to the measures that you can use to save money easily.

Best Ways for Saving Money

The budget gives an overview and provides restrictions.

The budget gives an overview and provides restrictions.

#1. Set up a Budget

When I came to college, I set a budget which is the most important part of setting my spending plan, which will be my income per month. Whether it is money taken from my parents, student loans, or at best a part-time job. I had it ready in only 20 to 30 minutes. We should do this at the beginning of the semester or quarter.

My actual income may change from month to month but the most important part is that I will have a general outline to follow. How much I want to spend on food, entertainment, textbooks, transportation for the semester, I have noticed all these. Once I have seen everything together, I have seen what I can deduct to save a certain amount.

If you are a freshman living in dorms, you will need to buy a dining hall meal plan. This will make your spending plan a little easier. But one thing that I wanted to keep in mind is how much I go out to eat. Because friends join you soon after entering your college. You will eventually be on your own and be responsible for your finances. Take this time in college when you have limited income to make a good habit.

When I started my semester I kept tracking my spending on my phone or paper against my budget line-item amounts. So that I can make sure that I am doing well at my expense or not.

What isn't measured isn't managed–Peter Drucker

#2. Don't Buy New Books

I ideally do not buy books from college bookstores. I always rent old books, borrow from a friend, or find a free PDF version. You can save $ 100 every semester or quarter by renting or purchasing each textbook. I use the library the most to avoid heavy textbook fees at my college. I prepare notes in the library, taking photographs of the book's chapters when needed.

However, if you are a library hater, don't worry, I have some other options for you. You can befriend someone in the class and go 50/50 at the cost of the book. Additionally, you can opt for e-books to avoid printing costs of textbooks and save some money.

Stop depending on others' income.

Stop depending on others' income.

#3. Do a Part-Time Job

Getting a part-time job while in college is a great way to improve your spending plan. This is a method that I have not yet used, but many of my friends do. A part-time job provides you with extra income to do fun things with friends, go out to eat, travel on weekends, and more. Working in your school is the most convenient. On-campus jobs are perfect for students because their jobs are usually more flexible with your school schedule. You can find on-campus jobs in your gym, bookstore, restaurant, dining hall, or grading for professors.

Another option that you can consider may be the Resident Advisor (RA) for the doors of your school after your first year. It is a great option for students wanting to save money on room and board. Most schools give you free accommodation and exchange to be an RA which can easily save you $ 10,000 for the year.

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#4. Avoid Credit Card in College

Steer clear of tempting credit cards offered by banks on my campus. Although it is important to use credit if I am trying to buy a car or apartment waiting till I graduate college. If I am likely to have a monthly income, then using a credit card would be the best decision for me. But it is important to realize that wherever I spend with a credit card, there is no free money. I have to pay for it at the end of the month.

The difference between a debit card and a credit card is that the credit card bills me at the end of the month while the debit card is linked to my bank account and the money is withdrawn immediately.

If you use your credit card and maybe buy a meal each month and you always pay it off then awesome, you will build credit and won't gather any fees or interest payments. But many students go overboard since they don't have to pay the money back immediately.

#5. Avoid Spending Money on Your Looks

In college, many students start spending a lot of money on their looks and if someone is in a relationship, this expense becomes higher. Students start spending money on clothes, shoes, cream, perfume, etc., which is useless. You might not believe that since I came to college, I spend only 2 percent of my monthly budget on my looks while in school time it was 10 percent. You must have realized from this that this is a sector where you can save huge amounts easily. To make such big savings, I looked at the following parts and reduced them:

  • Unnecessary parties,
  • Facials,
  • Expensive haircuts,
  • Shopping for unnecessary shoes, eyeglasses, bags, clothes, perfumes, etc.

In my opinion, the look is not as important for a college student. We should focus on our studies and not on looks. After college, we will have the rest of our lives to focus on our looks.

A Sample to Reduce Expenses

This is a sample of the budget, not the actual. This can be changed from person to person, college to college, location to location.

Actual Cost/monthBudgeted/monthTips




Increase the budget of groceries so that you can reduce the extra expenses of eating out.

Eating out/coffee



Having groceries at home will reduce eating out.




Use the library, take photos of topics, borrow, use the 50/50 rule, find PDF, buy ebooks




On budget




Use bicycles for short routes, avoid unnecessary travel, use the online cab as a group for long routes then divide the cost.




On budget.




Avoid unnecessary parties, clothes, shoes, perfumes, goggles, bags, etc.




On budget.




Out of this, try to save for your college trip.






Students should implement good spending behavior early because no one is going to learn finances for them. You can start with these financial tips.

Bonus Tip

A final tip is overlooked by young people because retirement feels so far away that they do not start saving as soon as possible. Remember that if you add $ 1000 to your retirement account at the age of 20, it will be worth about fifteen thousand dollars, if the market does well.

But starting early allows that compound interest to grow even faster. The stock market is another major proposition for students to increase their finances and funds at the time of retirement.

The simplest way to save for personal finance and retirement is to use the 80/20 rule, 80% of your earnings on the bill and 10% for long-term savings, and 10% on your own.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Prince Kumar

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