Nine Ways to Save Money as a College Student

As a college student, it sometimes feels as through stress comes from every direction, to the point of almost perfect imitation of an unbalanced compass. Between classes, work, and socializing, life can get overwhelming very quickly.

With piling high responsibilities, money can rank low on one’s list of priorities; saving is a struggle that plagues many college students. For this reason, here are nine practical tips to help you keep money in your pocket.

Eat Fewer Meals Out
The easiest way to save money is to curb how often you eat out. Even if it’s the occasional fast food purchase, it adds up faster than you think.
By either eating on campus or buying your own groceries instead, you can keep those extra dollars for when you really need them. If you choose to eat out at a restaurant, stick to lunch or happy hour when meals are usually at a discounted price

Use Your Student Discount
So many places offer student discounts—both retail stores and restaurants—and many students neglect to ask about them. Buffalo Wild Wings, Burger King, American Eagle, Nike, Hulu Spotify, Bed Bath & Beyond and many more all offer student discounts. If you’re out to eat or shopping and unsure if there’s a discount, just ask!

Download Rewards Apps or Sign Up For Rewards Programs
It’s likely your favorite fast-food restaurants and stores have apps or programs where you can rack up points and cash them in for rewards. Signing up for these programs for places you typically frequent allows you to accumulate points quickly, thus saving you money every now and then on free items.
Dunkin’, Starbucks, Wendy’s, Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, McDonald’s, Target, and Sephora all have some sort of rewards program, which can end up saving you a great deal of money in the long run. It never hurts to download something for free and get freebies for doing so!

Use The School Gym (and other facilities)
Included in school tuition are a number of campus facilities available for your disposal. The one that has the potential to save you the most money is likely the school gym. Yes, it can be extremely awkward, maybe even borderline embarrassing, to work out in front of your peers, but if money is tight, it’s never a bad idea to cancel that private gym membership.
Additionally, printing on campus when possible saves you from buying a printer. Finding out what other amenities come included as a student at Monmouth is a sure way to save some extra money. Use what you’re already paying for!

Buy a Filtered Reusable Water Bottle
If you’re someone who tends to buy plastic water bottles, buying a reusable filtered water bottle is a great alternative. Not only do you save the planet by limiting your plastic waste, but you save quite a few dollars each month depending on how many bottles you drink. A junior communication student, Nicole Chamberlain, admitted that she wasn’t always a fan of reusable water bottles until recently.
“I found that I ended up spending a considerably less amount of money each month just because I didn’t need water bottles anymore.” A filtered bottle is a great option to ensure you can safely drink water from anywhere for one flat cost.

Rent or Buy Used Textbooks
Everybody who’s a student knows that textbooks can get very expensive. Rather than buying new from the University’s bookstore, especially for a book you’ll only use for a few months, consider exploring other vendors next time you need to purchase texts for class.
Sites such as Amazon and Chegg sell and rent used textbooks for a fraction of the cost of new ones. Returns are a breeze, and the money you save with this method can sometimes turn into hundreds of dollars each semester.

And, if you are assigned to read a novel for an English class, your local public library just might have it on the shelves.

Consider Thrifting
Though thrifting vintage clothing is now trendy, it’s actually a great way to save money and promote sustainable shopping. Sometimes amazing finds pop up, allowing you to get name brands for a fraction of the cost.

Megan Kelly, a junior communication student, loves thrifting. She said, “It makes me feel good that I’m saving clothes from ending up in a landfill while getting them for a much cheaper price, too.”

Nonetheless, thrifting isn’t the only way to save money on clothes as stores like Marshalls, T.J. Maxx, and Saks Off Fifth sell name-brand clothing items at a discount. Even Target offers trendy clothing for cheaper than the average competitor. This allows you to clothes shop while saving money in the process.

Get a Part Time Job On Campus
If you don’t already have a job or want a convenient way to earn some extra spending money, a part time job on campus is one of the best options. Integrating your work schedule and your class schedule ensures that times don’t conflict. Whether you are a commuter or resident student, you save gas money since you don’t have to make a separate commute for work. Though it’s not the most competitive pay, it’s still a simple way to get some more money in the bank.

Create A Budget
Creating a game plan of how much you’re allowing yourself to spend almost guarantees that you don’t overspend in the long run. By dictating a set amount that you’re allowed, you can still give yourself room to impulse buy— but with limits.

To help you stay on track, consider using your banking app to put a daily restriction on your debit card. This halts transactions that go over your predetermined amount, which really makes sure you don’t spend what you don’t have.

Saving money is a stressful endeavor to undertake, especially when you don’t know where to start. Hopefully, these are some practical solutions you can integrate into your everyday routine to effectively save some money.