45 Easy Ways To Save Money In College
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Student Life

45 Easy Ways To Save Money In College

You probably haven't considered some of these easy fixes.

45 Easy Ways To Save Money In College

College is expensive. Don’t spend more than you should be. Follow these easy tips below!

Save on School

  1. Save on textbooks! Never buy them brand new and from the bookstore; that’s a freshman mistake. Get them used or, even better, rent them. Chegg is a great, cheap place to buy them. You can also go to Facebook to buy them from upperclassmen for cheap.
  2. Check scholarships, there’s tons to apply to year round at every university. Your college's career center will surely be able to help you.
  3. See if you can graduate early; if you don’t mind losing out on one year of college, you could enter the workforce sooner and start making money instead of losing it.
  4. Consider what school supplies you need. I typically just carry my laptop and a folder. There’s no need for thick binders or notebooks for many classes
  5. Ask your clubs if you can get a discount on membership. Some clubs let you try them first for free to see if you like them, or give you a year’s membership free if you volunteer for them. If you can get on eboard, you would also likely get free membership.

Funding Food

  1. Cook at home. Buying a week’s worth of groceries would save you way more money than going out to eat every meal.
  2. Take advantage of dining dollars and meal swipes if you have them (don't have any left at the end of the year).
  3. Sneak food and fruit from the dining hall into tupperware for you to eat another time.
  4. Always bring home leftovers, don’t waste the money you spent buying it.
  5. Check Facebook for free food; some colleges (like USC) have pages specifically dedicated to that.
  6. Go to club meetings when you’re available if they’re offering free food.
  7. Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. You'll end up buying more than you intended to.
  8. Make a grocery list before you go to the store. You'll be more likely to stick to what you need.
  9. Use smaller plates and you’ll eat less, so your food will last you longer.
  10. Don’t pay for bottled water. Tap water is safe, or if you want a better taste, buy a filter.
  11. Collect coupons for your local grocery store.
  12. Don’t eat late at night; you’ll eat impulsively, wasting money and the calories will be harder to burn if you’re going to sleep right after.

Thrifting on Things

  1. Check out free things to do around your campus. Every college has tons of articles on things you can do.
  2. Utilize Tinder and Bumble (especially if you’re a girl) to explore the city while meeting great people and probably not having to pay much.
  3. Don’t pay for watching shows. Check if your school gives free Showtime and Hulu memberships, and most movies and shows can be found for free on the internet anyways.
  4. Don’t buy alcohol. If you try hard enough, you can find free alcohol all over the place if you look into parties, tailgates, and friends.
  5. Quit smoking. It's an expensive and deadly habit.

Living off Less

  1. Consider housing options outside of University housing or expensive apartments around campus. They would be less popular, but likely cheaper.
  2. Consider being an RA for free housing.
  3. Turn off your lights when you’re not there to save on electricity bills.
  4. Take shorter showers to save on water bills.
  5. Keep the temperature set high in summer and low in winter.
  6. Be careful when removing decorations and don’t stick thumb tacks in the wall; many places charge for damages.
  7. Don’t pay an expensive moving service to store your things over the summer; split one storage garage with your friends and the cost will be lower.
  8. For the ladies, get a menstrual cup; they're reusable and saves you money that you would’ve spent on pads and tampons.
  9. Don't pay for condoms. Most colleges will give out free condoms at their health center or dorms.

Make Money

  1. Become an online freelancer on Fiverr or Upwork and sell your skills.
  2. Get the work study option on FAFSA which helps you get a job on campus.
  3. Check for paid research studies you can do at your school.
  4. Sell textbooks and things you don’t need online.
  5. Create a product and sell to incoming freshmen through Facebook; they’re usually super enthusiastic about it.


  1. Don’t get a car. Most of the time, college students don’t need cars to get around; it just adds expenses.
  2. Consider getting a motorcycle over a car. With a motorcycle, you basically would save on gas, wouldn’t have to pay for parking, can weave through traffic, and would look badass. Just remember that the insurance costs more because it is riskier.
  3. Utilize free Uber, Lyft and campus ride programs if your university offers them.
  4. Don’t forget about bus and shuttle systems.
  5. Take the metro if you’re going longer distances.

Tools and Tips

  1. Pay credit card bills (and all other bills) on time to avoid late fees.
  2. To budget money better, track every transaction you make for a month and at the end, see where most of the money is going to cut that category most.
  3. Save spare change in a jar.
  4. See if there is a Facebook group for your university that allows you to trade textbooks, event tickets, sell items, or scout free food.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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