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Figuring out how to start saving money as a college student is a wise move. Students, more often than not, struggle with debt. Still, there are a couple of things to do to enhance your financial health. With these tips, you can also lower the amount of debt you accumulate while studying. 

From learning the basics of budgeting to taking on a side job and getting clever with your bills. Here are our best practices for how to start saving money as a college student.

How to start saving money as a college student?

It’s critical to note that unless you embrace a saving mentality, it’ll be tough to cling to any of these tips in the long run. Being wise with your finances means revising your spending in all areas of your life.

For instance, let’s say that you begin saving money when grocery shopping. In that case, you could also expand the number of meals you prepare at home using cookery utensils you purchased second-hand. Being thrifty is a perspective. So, if you’re open to it, you can begin saving a terrific load of money.

Nonetheless, this doesn’t suggest you have to be rigidly strict. If you restrict yourself, you’re probably going back to your initial over-spending habits. Rather, it’s all about striking the proper balance at all times.


#1 Plan the meals in advance

By planning your meals ahead of time, what can you achieve? Well, you can get a sound calculation of how much those ingredients will cost. Because of this, it’s more manageable not to go over budget as you go shopping. It also suggests that all those ingredients you purchase, you will utilize. 

A mind-boggling amount of household food waste is tossed away each week. Why? Well, this happens because of poor meal planning. Begin to correlate throwing away unused food with tossing away cash. By doing that, it’s much easier to see how having a meal plan can save you a lot of cash in the future. 

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#2 Never go shopping on an empty stomach

Are you going grocery shopping on an empty stomach? If yes, this is a great way to confirm you will kill your weekly shopping budget. Are you often allowing your stomach to give orders for what you put in your basket?

If so, that means purchasing excessive ready-to-eat junk food as you walk along the store. That can drastically grow your overall grocery spending. So, before you run to buy groceries, make sure to eat something! 


#3 Embrace a minimalist lifestyle

Enough about food! Now, speaking of saving cash in college, less is more. Moreover, embracing a minimalist philosophy can do marvels for your bank account. In other words, living a minimalist life suggests owning fewer things. You just purchase things that are truly essential.

You do this to avoid the pitfalls of a materialistic society. What happens with being more deliberate about purchasing? Well, you’re much more likely to spend less as you acknowledge that the items you thought were essential aren’t at all.

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#4 Same old budgeting

Do you want to get serious about enhancing your overall financial health? If so, one of the finest ways to save cash in college is to learn budgeting skills. This suggests having a trustworthy recap of your monthly income streams and costs. The same goes for optimizing your spending. Then, you can start setting some funds toward achieving your goals.

There are numerous budgeting apps out there that can assist you to take command of your finances. Nothing defeats the sense of financial freedom. So, learning how to budget while in college allows you to have a better future. 


#5 Take on a side gig

An ideal way to save money in college is to take on a gig or two. Yes, a significant deal of your time will likely be spent with your nose plunging into a book. Yet, you can probably afford to spend 15 hours a week making a few quick bucks on the side. 

There are many side jobs that you can try out as a student. Let’s dive into some of them:

  • Freelance writing
  • Virtual assistance
  • Selling things on Etsy
  • Transcription
  • Programming
  • Becoming a brand ambassador

#6 Admire your possessions

So, how to start saving money as a college student? Another solid tip is to look after the things you already own, by all means. Are you tossing things away at the first and smallest indication of wear? Instead, put in a bit of extra effort to fix them so you can utilize them for longer.

This stops you from pointlessly purchasing new items when the original is still in solid condition. Moreover, it earns you some eco-friendly points at the same time. For instance, this could imply:

  • Fixing a broken phone screen rather than purchasing a new phone
  • Stitching up a spot in a jumper instead of tossing it out
  • Paying to get your laptop fixed rather than buying a new one 
how to start saving money as a college student

#7 Purchase things second-hand

What is the invisible cost of being a student? Well, it is the number of textbooks you’re required to purchase at the start of each semester. The soundest way to save some cash here is to purchase your books second-hand. Later on, you can resell them. The same goes for purchasing clothes and furniture, by all means.

It’s much more affordable to buy second-hand. Moreover, there are some fantastic deals just waiting to be burst up! With a sharp eye and a bit of patience, you could make some substantial savings.

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#8 Think about shared living space

What about the next solid and practical way to save money in college? Surely it is to live in a shared house or flat, instead of living alone. By splitting your rent, you’ll save a considerable amount every month.

What’s more, you will even be able to split the utility bills. The same goes for the price of any shared furniture. Simply with this, you can even save more cash each month. Of course, it’s always best to split the rent with your friends. There are some people who simply don’t feel comfortable living with strangers.

Note: Many people would love to know if they can save money on gasoline. Still, what if we told you there are ways to make money with your car? It’s a great opportunity to try!


#9 Take benefit of your student discount

One of the most fantastic perks of being a college student? Your magical student ID! This card allows you to grab deals in a broad assortment of retail stores, cafes, and cultural associations.

Not only that, but it can also get you great reductions on tech products from Apple and Microsoft. Utilize your deals wisely and you can save even more! This may be the most important thing on this list. Don’t overlook it! 

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#10 Cut down on excessive expenses

No wonder, cutting down on your spending on excessive things will save you a ton of cash. So, make sure you know the distinction between needs and wants. Are you familiar with the 50/30/20 rule?

Needs are the things you need in order to survive. That could be food, housing, and attire. Wants are what you need for fun, amusement, or comfort. It’s important to offset your “wants” and “needs” to be sure you’re covering the essentials.

After that, concentrate on the “wants,” and make sure they are worth their value. It’s crucial to look at nominal buys that you may not even catch draining your bank account. Music or Netflix subscriptions could be draining short amounts of cash per month. This truly goes without saying!

Even a cup of Starbucks every morning before class counts. These types of payments can impact your credit if you’re not adequately paying them off. What if you see these types of investments taking a toll on your credit card? Try looking into credit rebuilding options. But let that be your ultimate option.

Final words

So, we have reached the end of our guide. Hopefully, now you have a clearer picture of how to start saving money as a college student. As you can see, some of the ways are relatively easy and everyone can do them. We hope the tips in this guide were helpful in your money-saving journey!