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20 Creative Ways to Save Money in College

College life comes with tons of costs and not an enviable income. So, thinking about saving money can seem like a mission impossible. But is it?

There is always a way towards what you want. So, if you want to pay off your debts faster, go on a trip, take a year off after college, or achieve any other goal, resorting to saving is the answer. However, you need to get creative.

With the help of the following tips, you’ll learn how to become more aware of your expenses and manage your money efficiently. The best part is that these ways of saving can teach you how being mindful about your budget can help you achieve all your goals.

1. Make your own coffee

Spending around $3 for a cup of coffee may not seem much. However, when you drink it daily, that adds up. Just think about the fact that if you buy just one cup of coffee every day (and it’s usually more) for a year, that’s $1,095 worth of expense.

2. Take advantage of campus amenities

Dig deeper into the amenities that your campus offers. If they have an open gym or free exercise classes, library, discounted healthcare, or anything else that you might need, make the most of it.

3.  Make your own gifts

Whether you need holiday gifts or birthday gifts, it’s time that you rely on your creative abilities. There are tons of ideas online for inexpensive gifts you can make on your own.

4. Don’t go grocery shopping when you are hungry

A hungry tummy asks for it all, and the overpowered mind can’t fight back. Don’t go grocery shopping hungry since you’ll end up with a cart full of food you don’t need.

5. Purchase discounted food and freeze it

When you come across a big discount, purchase more items, and freeze the food. Putting any type of food in the freezer (baked goods, butter, cooked meats, soup, berries, etc.) will keep them fresh.

6. Buy or rent used textbooks

No one can argue that you need textbooks, but do you really need new ones? Buy used textbooks or rent them. When you consider the number of textbooks you buy for several years in college, you notice that it is a good save.

7. Turn to stores that offer a student discount

Whenever you can, purchase from stores with student discounts. You can find the list of these stores online.

8. Find additional classes you want to take online

The internet community offers us a wide pool of choices for less amount of money. If you want to learn a new language or start doing yoga (for example), look it up online. You can find free or cheaper solutions for online classes.

9. Become a resident assistant

Being a resident assistant can get you a free or notably discounted dorm room. Get informed whether there is an R.A. position in your college dorm and how you can apply.

10. Prepare your meals at home

If you aren’t on meal plans, you can spend a lot of money on eating out. Cut that habit (if you have it) and start cooking your meals at home. Also, prepare your meals if you’ll be out all day.

11. Stop paying for cable

Thanks to streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu, the cable is no longer a necessity.

12. Split costs on memberships

Do research on memberships that several people can share, such as Netflix. You can split the cost with your friends and use the same account.

13. Use a bike for transportation

Rather than regularly spending money on a bus or gas for your car, make a one-time investment – buy a bike. “When I bought the bike and stopped using the car, that’s when saving started for me. A bike gives you an expense-free means of transportation, and you get some exercise along the way,” shares a senior writer at SupremeDissertations, Hanna Partridge.

14. Cut down on expensive products

It’s time to revise the beauty products you use. Makeup and beauty products can be quite expensive. Find more affordable substations and use coupon codes.

15. Sell what you don’t use anymore

The miraculous world of the Internet can help you sell anything. If you have clothes that you don’t wear, decorations that you don’t need, or similar, put it on websites such as Craigslist and sell it.

16. Open a savings account

Credit unions can have great savings options with fewer fees. Get a savings account that earns interest, so you’ll practically be making money with your savings.

17. Join the zero waste movement

Replacing the disposables with reusable items is both eco-friendly and budget-friendly. Start using reusable bottle waters, shopping bags, cotton pads, dish towels, etc.

18. Go to movies in the afternoon and skip the snacks

You still need entertainment, even when you are on a budget. If you like going to movies, opt for a matinee showing. Night showings are usually more expensive. Also, skip on the overpriced snacks.

19. Replace expensive spring and summer trips with volunteering

Volunteering can be a valuable life experience. You can travel around the world, help others, and save money by not going to spring breaks and summer vacations.

20. Pay the bills on time

Slacking with your monthly bills comes with late fees. Put your priorities straight and pay bills on time to avoid these fees.

Final Thoughts

Start applying these tips as soon as you can. Don’t even wait for tomorrow, start now! With the best saving tips for college life on your hands, nothing is holding you up from building that savings pile. Get more student discounts here.

About the Author

Daniel Carter

Daniel Carter is a senior writer and editor at CouponKirin. His work has been featured by The Associated Press, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, and Reuters. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. When he’s not writing about money, Carter enjoys traveling around the world.