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5 Ways to Save Money While Attending College

how college students can save moneyCollege. The word makes me think of a few things hard work, amazing relationships, fun, and the dreaded college budget.

While college is (and should be) a major learning experience it’s also the time where you learn how to pinch pennies, get creative, and manage your money.

If you’re struggling to keep your college budget in check here are five ways to save.

Buy Used Books (And Sell Them When You’re Done)

The cost of college textbooks is absolutely insane. It’s enough to break any budget. Luckily, there are ways you can save on text books – like buying used and using digital copies.

I prefer buying used. You can check places like Amazon, eBay, and even your university’s book store for used copies. Make sure to keep those books in good shape and resell them when you’re done.

You’ll walk away recouping the majority of your money back.

Pick the Right Cell Phone Plan

Cell phone plans can be the arch nemesis of anyone’s budget not just college students.

But since you are away at college you’re most likely going to need a phone especially since you can set up reminders, take notes, and create to-do lists just by downloading a couple of apps.

In order to get the most bang for your buck look into pay as you go phones as well as contract phones. In my opinion the price and features of Republic Wireless makes it one of the best cell phone plans for college students.

Get Creative with Your Food Budget

Food is obviously another thing you can’t live without but is also an area that can wreak havoc on your budget (and if you’re not careful your health too!)

Set up a weekly food budget and then get creative. Stock up on easy but healthy meals and fight the urge to order pizza every night. Your food budget will go so much further when you do your shopping at an actual grocery store.

Live with Roommates

The more roommates you have the cheaper your housing will be.

While you may have no other choice than to live in the dorms your freshmen year your options are wide open after that.

Find a house close to campus that you can rent and fill it with responsible roommates. Splitting rent with two to three other people will help you drastically reduce your portion of the bill.

Don’t Use Credit Cards

It’s tempting, I know, but you need to turn down those credit card offers you’ve been getting.

Taking out a credit card while you’re in college can help you build credit (if used right) but it can also cost you hundred or even thousands of dollars in interest.

Do yourself a favor and don’t buy anything unless you have the cash saved. This is a smart way to develop good money habits right from the get go.


Living on a college student’s budget doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. In fact, creating a budget, sticking to it, and looking for creative ways to save is actually a freeing process.

Plus, you’ll develop the habits you need to create financial stability far into your future.

What tips would you give college student’s looking to save?

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1 Comment

  • I saved a TON in college by not buying the textbooks for most classes. Very few of them actually needed the book because the professors would lecture with slides, and the slides usually had all of the material in the textbooks that we needed. I also earned a ton by using credit cards – so the opposite of what you say but I had a cash back card and could pay my tuition with it, and then just pay it off.

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