How To Save Money In College: An Easy 10 Step Guide

Most people who have gone to college have been in the situation where they could really use a few extra dollars and wish that they were smarter about their spending habits. Figuring out how to save money in college is a key to making sure you have enough money by the end of the semester. These tips can help you keep some extra money in your pocket throughout the semester!


1. Honey

Honey is an awesome Chrome extension that will apply coupons for you when you go to check out at most of the large online shopping retailers. When you get to checkout it will find coupons that will work best for your cart. It is free to install and can save you a lot throughout college and once you graduate.

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2. Amazon Prime Student

Having Amazon Prime Student is going to be one of the most important things that you do while in school. Amazon is the best place to shop for items that you need for class or your dorm. Amazon Prime Student allows for free two-day shipping, which will be a huge benefit! Signing up through the banner below helps to fund our writer and website expenses!

3. Buy Used Textbook

This is one of the best ways to save money in college. By using the “Class of 20XX” Facebook group or your friend group to get textbooks will save you thousands. Many of the older versions of textbooks include the same material, other than some graphs and minor updates, so check with the professor and use an older version when possible. I know so many people who used older versions and paid $40 instead of $250-$400 for a book.textbooks ways to save money in college

4. Be Careful With Your Food Spending

I know sometimes you just cannot handle another day eating food from the cafeteria, but watching how much you spend when you eat out is a huge factor for your budget. Most college towns have specials, like a BOGO Wedneday or 10% off for students on Mondays. Finding these deals and taking advantage of your cafeteria food is a must for eating good meals and saving money.

College Cafeteria how to save money in college

5. Get A Coffee Maker

This goes along with #4 and is extremely important. If you are a big coffee, tea, or hot chocolate drinker you should invest in a Keurig or something else that can make your favorite drink. It is a little costly up front, but will save you in the long run. You can use Keurigs to make soup, oatmeal, rice, and pasta too and it is easily accessible in your dorm or apartment.

how to save money in college as a student coffee maker

6. Avoid Cable If Possible

Once you move off campus and have the opportunity to decide what services you pay for in your house you have to discuss cable with your housemates. Cable is an expense that is reoccurring every month and can be swapped with an Amazon FireStick. There are several different types depending on the quality of your TV, but the one linked here is only $29.99. It can play Prime Video, Hulu, Showtime, Netflix, NBC, Sling, ESPN, HBO Now and more!

7. Use Your Student Discount

There are a ton of places that will give you a discount with a student ID (even after graduation). These places include Amazon, News Outlets, Eddie Bauer, J.Crew, Toms, Banana Republic, Ralph Lauren Rugby, Charlotte Russe, Sally Beauty Supply, Kate Spade, Apple , HP, AT&T, Subway, Chick-Fil-A, Waffle House, Chipotle, and Many More! Take advantage of your card and ask at all places if they offer special discounts for being a college student.

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8. Limit Spending On Alcohol

For those of you who are 21: this might be a tough thing to hear in college, but alcohol can drain your wallet very fast. When figuring out how to save money in college, this is an expense that can be controlled pretty easily. You should find a cheap drink that you like (cheap vodka and lemonade, Natty Light, or a $5 bottle of wine) and learn to love it. When you are spending a few extra dollars every weekend, you can end up spending enough to pay for your senior year spring break trip!

alcohol how to save money in college tips

9. Invest In A Reusable Water Bottle

A lot of colleges are trying to be more “green” and reduce the amount of waste that they create. In the past few years there has been an increase in the amount of water fountains that also have a refill station. There are a ton of great ones to use, like the Swell Stainless Steel Hydro Flask or the Under Armour Beyond 10 oz. Bottle. You can also buy a Brita to have filtered water in your dorm.

how to save money in college with a reusable water bottle

10. Avoid Debt!

You want to come out of college as close to debt free as possible. By avoiding debt through credit cards and loans you avoid digging a hole that you struggle to get out of. Find a good credit card that has cash-back rewards and lenient pay periods to help you build credit and stay out of debt.

how to save money in college by avoiding debt


By following this guide on how to save money in college you will be able to keep some extra money in your pocket. This mindset will also help you once you graduate and need to be more responsible. College is a time to learn, meet new people, and make memories that will stay with you forever. By making sure that you are smart with your money and choices, you can have the best four years of your life!

If you are going into your first year of college make sure you have these 7 essentials!

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