21 Smart Ways To Save Money In College

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Are you looking for ways to save money in college easily? Well, this post covers 15 different ways you can save money in college!

Broke College Student Life Ain’t No Fun

Being broke in college really isn’t any fun I don’t care what they say. I mean eating ramen every other night and playing board games to pass the time is definitely not how to do college.

However, sometimes you really have no choice when you’re struggling in college with no savings.

Here’s how you could break that broke college student life cycle, so you can live your best college life!

21 Ways To Save Money In College

  1. Earn money on campus
  2. Get a job off-campus
  3. Monetize your hobbies
  4. Take advantage of free facilities
  5. Learn to love the great outdoors
  6. Avoid getting into debt
  7. Sign up for an affordable cellphone plan
  8. Reduce your bank charges
  9. Look for free entertainment
  10. Learn to say no to things you don’t need
  11. Look for online deals
  12. Shop with a purpose
  13. Start your night out at home
  14. Create a monthly budget
  15. Keep an emergency fund
  16. Create sinking funds
  17. Say yes to free money
  18. Live off-campus
  19. Plan your semesters
  20. Differentiate your wants from your needs
  21. Attend a college in-state to save money in college

1. Earn money on campus

The easiest way to save money in college is to increase your income. There are a wide variety of ways to do this.

For example, there may be different scholarship funds that you can take advantage of.

If not, your professors may be involved in different research projects, and they may have funding to pay for assistance and other expenses.

There are so many societies and other organizations that run competitions that offer prizes, some of which may be cash.

These are just three of hundreds of ways to earn money on your college campus.

2. Get a job off-campus to save money in college

There are so many ways to supplement your income while in college, part-time positions are longer to have to involve stocking shelves. You could even start your own blog or make money as a content creator.

You could become a city tour guide and even work with a recruitment agency.

There are so many online positions available, but be careful that you don’t get caught in the scam.

You could even get involved in a start-up with one or more of your college friends and see where it takes you.

Google, Facebook, FedEx, Reddit, and Snapchat are just 5 examples of college start-ups.

3. Monetize your hobbies to save money in college

You would be amazed how much money you can make from your hobby in college. I’ve read money stories of people who started batch cooking and selling food to their dorm mates as a side gig.

If you like computer gaming why not set up a Twitch account and see if you can get some followers.

Whatever your interests maybe you can take this hobby and potentially monetize on it, eventually, you could turn it into a full-time gig when you leave college.

4. Take advantage of free facilities

Most college campuses have a wide variety of free facilities. For example, photography clubs, dance clubs, gyms, and even archery clubs.

Therefore, take advantage of the services these free clubs offer by becoming a member.

Not only will joining these types of clubs help you network on campus, but these clubs help you save money especially since they help you develop valuable skills you would have to pay for otherwise.

Thus, save money in college easily, while you learn valuable skills that could help you make some money in college.

5. Learn to love the great outdoors

Join recreational outdoor clubs, anything that will find yourself out of the confines of your college and enjoying outdoor adventures.

These clubs are usually the most fun because of all the activities and field trips their leaders organize.

For instance, one weekend your club could be going hiking spending time outside, and having fun.

Then the following weekend your club could be camping, bounding around the campfire eating marshmallows, and telling scary stories.

So do your research and join a recreational outdoor club that organizes free activities you know you will enjoy doing.

You will be surprised by the amount of fun you will be having while you save money in college at the same time!

6. Avoid getting into debt

If you are trying to learn ways to save money in college, you need to avoid taking on credit debt in college.

Unfortunately, in college, you will be bombarded with credit card offers.

However, no matter how many offers you receive stay firm and avoid taking on credit card debt in college.

Trust me, while some of these credit card offers may sound amazing – in the end, they are not worth it.

For instance, some credit card companies may offer you zero interest rates to hook you but don’t fall for it.

Instead, say no and avoid credit card debt – don’t stack up debt or more debt in college.

Related: Reasons To Avoid College Debt

7. Sign up for an affordable cellphone plan to save money in college

As convenient as some contractual cellphone plans may seem it’s just one more unnecessary cost college students don’t need in their lives.

Plus, paying these expensive fluctuating cellphone bills at the end of the month is just no fun at all!

All in all, there are so many prepaid cellphone plans you can take advantage of.

So choose to keep your cellphone bill low by opting for one of the many low-cost prepaid plans.

Apart from a lower cost, there are other benefits you can enjoy by just opting for a prepaid cellphone plan.

For instance, suspending your service is easy since you are not contractually obligated, or you can easily take advantage of better-prepaid phone deals to fit your college lifestyle because you’re not hooked to a contract.

So before you choose a contractual cellphone plan, think of what you could do with the extra money you can save using a prepaid cellphone.

8. Reduce your bank charges

Some student bank accounts offer free checking accounts with no monthly maintenance fee which is great!

However, to reduce your bank charges even further, so you can save money in college, avoid paying:

  • Late Payment Fees
  • ATM Fees
  • Overdraft Fees
  • Non-Sufficient Funds Fees
  • Money Transfer Fees
  • Bank Statement Fee

9. Look for free entertainment

In college, it is all about finding free ways to have fun especially when you’re on a tight budget!

So pay attention to your college emails and notice boards around campus for information about free entertainment!

You may be surprised by what you will find! With any luck, you may find inexpensive entertainment every night of the week.

How cool would that be? Fun right?

Imagine going to a dance recital, sporting event, theater production, art exhibit, film festival, or music performance – all for free!

Therefore, habitually stay informed about what free activities happening on campus and also off-campus to help you save money in college.

10. Learn to say no to things you don’t need to save money in college

One of the greatest difficulties new college students face is wealth disparity. Some students in college will appear to have endless resources and while others are just scraping by.

Sadly, that’s the reality.

So it’s not uncommon to feel pressured into getting the latest gadget just to fit in.

However, if you are on a strict college budget, don’t be afraid to say no and stick to your decision.

Remember your top priority in college is paying for your tuition and living expenses – everything else can wait.

So if your classmates are all running out and buying the latest smartphone, you don’t have to follow.

All in all, if it’s not financially viable to make a purchase then don’t.

Instead, learn to be patient and wait for when the time is right for you.

Overall, practicing this will help you save money in college easily and you will feel good about your decisions to wait.

11. Look for online deals to save money in college

Before you ever eat out for lunch or go to the movies search online for a better deal.

Nowadays many businesses crating to college students are creating online stores. Therefore, finding online deals for college students is becoming easier.

Thus, it isn’t uncommon to find college discount sites with several of these businesses regularly offering over 30% off a variety of college student services and products.

For example, you may find huge discounts on college supplies, college textbooks, gym clothing, fast food and so much more.

So before you pay for anything in college look for college student discounts first.

12. Shop with a purpose to save money in college

Never go shopping without a list and don’t purchase anything that’s not on the list.

Every one of us can remember the time we went out to buy some toilet paper and returned with four or five impulse purchases and forgot to buy the toilet paper.

It happens – that’s life for you.

All in all, if you know you are easily distracted during your shopping trips make a list. Then use a pen to check off the items after adding them to your shopping cart.

Over the years I have been using my shopping list.

I am not going to tell you it was easy because at first, I was struggling but now I no longer get distracted.

So, create a shopping list before your shopping trip and use it.

You will save so much money on things like groceries you will never look back.

13. Start your night out at home

Start the party out home before you head on out with your friends.

So that means, organizing your meal and drinks at home before you start any night out.

This will help you and your college friends keep hundreds of dollars in your pocket easily.

If you want to save money in college partying, this is one of the most reliable ways to do it.

You can save big especially once you consider how expensive meals and drinks are at restaurants and clubs.

Don’t worry if it sounds like doing extra work just to party, because you don’t have to be the one doing all the work!

In fact, the best way to do this is to have everyone bring one dish and a few drinks and voila it’s time it party!

My college friends did this all the time and we always had so much fun!

14. Create a monthly budget to help you save money in college

Budgeting is not the complicated number crunching experience that many college students think it is.

In fact, one of the best ways to save money in college is to manage your expenses.

You can start by using a simple Excel sheet or download a budgeting app for your phone.

By creating a monthly budget and sticking to it, you can easily get rid of unnecessary spending.

Plus, you can easily keep track of your monthly expenses by listing your fixed expenses such as rent food transport, etc.

However for this to really work, make sure you set aside your cash for your budget and start a month with your budget ready to go – don’t start your monthly budget in the middle of the month.

15. Keep an emergency fund

Once you set your budget, and you understand you’re fixed and discretionary expenses it’s time to plan for your financial future.

The habits you create in college will stay with you for a lifetime so start keeping an emergency fund.

All in all, this is one of the best financial habits you can develop in college.

Once you are fully able to manage your emergency fund while living on a monthly budget in college you will begin to gain more control over your spending habits in college.

So start your college emergency fund by stashing 10% of your monthly allowance and or income in your emergency fund.

16. Create sinking funds

After creating your emergency fund the next step is to develop the habit of creating sinking funds for expensive purchases.

For example, create a sinking fund for your spring break trip or your Christmas break trip!

Developing this habit will help you gain more control over your money even when your graduate from college and start your first job!

17. Say yes to free money

Say what? People refusing free money!

Yes, you will be surprised by all the college students who shop on amazon weekly but still don’t have an Amazon student prime account.

Or worst college students who shop online weekly but still don’t have a Rakuten account

If you’re one of the students break that habit and open your own Amazon Student Prime account and Rakuten account now.

You will easily save money in college on online shopping by doing so. I know I have.

18. Live off-campus

Living on campus is fun and convenient but girl it is expensive!

After one year of living on campus, I had to move off to save money.

Now I must admit at first it wasn’t an easy decision.

But let me tell you after I calculated all the money I would be saving and all the dormitory rues I won’t have to follow anymore I moved off and never looked back.

Moving off-campus may not be something you want to do and it’s not advisable for everyone.

However, if you can make it work, it could easily be a financial game-changer in college.

19. Differentiate your wants from your needs

This one here is big! The earlier you learn this the better your life will become financially.

Too often we develop bad spending habits by buying things we don’t need or things we never end up using.

That’s why it’s extremely important to differentiate your wants from your needs especially in college.

Developing this habit will help you become frugal and by default help, you save money in college even when you don’t have much money.

20. Plan your semesters to save money in college

Planning your semesters in advance will not only keep you on track it will also help you save money in college and here’s how.

Most upper-level college classes require prerequisites that must be completed before you can enroll.

But the thing is some of these prerequisites are not offered every semester – sometimes the college might only offer them once during the school year.

So if you don’t plan your semesters properly you can easily end up adding additional years to your college education without realizing it until it’s too late.

For instance, if you were unable to register for a prerequisite in a particular semester then by default, the following semester will now be spent completing that prerequisite if it’s offered instead of the upper-level college class.

Now, if you are not careful, you can spend thousands of dollars on school fees and living expenses just waiting around for when a certain prerequisite will be available so you can complete your last college class to graduate.

Don’t be that student – it’s draining and expensive to be that college student.

So always plan your semesters in advance by making it your business to know all the classes required for your college degree program and most importantly when those classes will be offered.

Help yourself save money in college the easy way.

21. Attend a college in-state to save money in college

Another big one! Attending a college within your state is major – this could easily help you save thousands of dollars.

Don’t let anyone pressure you to attend out-of-state colleges especially if you don’t have the funds to pay for it in cash!

Better yet attend a college in your metro near your home where you can commute.

Overall, if you’re serious about saving money in college it can be done.

Yes, you will have to make a few sacrifices here and there but it’s better than graduating from college owing a private bank or the federal government thousands of dollars.

Read: Best Ways To Pay For College

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