This blog post might be rich coming from me: a coffee lover who spends roughly $5 twice a day on coffee which leads to $300 a month. Pretty much a huge chunk of my earnings goes towards coffee and food at the coffee shop. If you don’t believe me on my coffee shop obsession, read my blog post here on about my love for coffee shops haha. In addition to that, I feel like I’ve learned from this past couple of years on how to save money and budget accordingly. I’ve moved out for 2 years now, lived by myself for a year, and have pretty much become financially independent, except for my phone bill and car insurance. I’ll be frankly honest, it’s a bit hard but now I have a decent savings account (define decent, right? Haha).
How To Save Money In College
College is hard and your diet probably includes eating ramen and spam each night. Trust me, I went through two weeks of that and I have never felt so sluggish in my life. With bad eating diets, came with feeling sluggish every single day.
Every Day Expenses
There’s a bit of tip and tricks to everything on how to save money in college. A popular necessity in my option is Chegg. While you’re not technically allowed to share Chegg, let’s be honest, we’ve all used our friends account or at least shared them. A couple of friends and I have decided to split a Chegg account, and instead of paying $20 each month, I split it with two other people and we all chipped in $7 each month. This goes the same for subscription accounts like Netflix, Hulu, etc. Such a great way to save money and split the cost!
Another tip is buying in bulk! Costco is such a great place to shop. If you have friends who have a Costco card, hop along and go shopping with them! Whenever my mom’s in town, we’ll go into Costco and stock up my fridge.
If you’re a coffee lover like me, having a regular coffee maker isn’t enough. Invest in an espresso machine! Fancy schmancy but if you break down how much mocha I’ve spent a month versus how much an espresso machine is, I’d probably be saving money by then. Besides the coffee, I love going to coffee shops and working. It’s slightly a bit expensive getting coffee all the time. A simple tip would be to purchase the cheapest item (tea) haha. If you’re not much of a tea drinker and prefer not to work at home or the library, maybe consider going to co-working office spaces. Such as Deskhub! I love Deskhub here in Old Town Scottsdale. They have different packages and plans for whatever you need.
Feel free to mention my name if you decide to schedule a tour!
One of my favorite apps is Flipp. This makes everything so much easier when shopping for groceries at grocery stores. Most grocery stores have price match so you can pull up Flipp to show the cashier items other places are charging so you can price match. Another tip I learned from my mother is that some stores will have larger items, such as avocados, so go to the store that has large avocados and price match the stores that have smaller avocados (not sure if this made sense, haha).
Being a student has its perks. Most stores will have student discounts. Check out My Uni Days. They have student discounts for Urban Outfitters, Nasty Gal, MAC, just to name a few. It doesn’t hurt to ask if the store offers student discounts.
Textbooks can be a HUGE expense when it comes to attending college and university. One textbook can cost roughly $300! Which is crazy. Use local Facebook groups to find other students who are selling their used textbooks. Let’s be real, why spend hundreds of money on a new textbook that you’re only going to be using for a semester. Check out Barnes and Nobles for used textbooks.
In addition, you should try renting out books instead of buying them. Also, beware of when you have to return them. Keep a reminder of the due date and set it a week before it’s due on your phone so you do not forget. I am guilty of late fees when I was renting out a book for a class. Oops, haha.
There are so many scholarships out there and there is basically scholarships for EVERYTHING. Some scholarships do not require essays either. You can simply google “scholarships for ___” insert in your major, ethnicity, etc. They even have scholarships if you are a certain height, which is crazy! Apply for as many scholarships as you can and this will be a huge help in saving money in college!
Saving In College For The Future
This might be a little tricky.
For me, when I get a paycheck, I immediately put 20% of my check into my savings account.
Though some students might be living paycheck to paycheck, so 20% might be a huge chunk. Try to put as much as you can to your savings account with the best interest rate as possible. I currently have a savings account with Chase and the interest rate is 0.01%. Not that high but maybe you can find something better!
If you are interested, one of the most famous finance gurus is Dave Ramsey. He has many books and courses online that you can enroll in, such as Financial Peace University. A huge tip Dave Ramsey talks about is how you should pay off your student debt first before keeping the money in your savings account. This is due to the interest rates. Interest rates on your debt are significantly higher than in your savings account. You’re basically paying to save money if you don’t try to pay off your student loans!
A tip I learned: “Instead of focusing on reducing your expenses, focus instead on increasing your income. Increasing your income – not by you working harder, but by spending money that then works hard for you.” Read more about it here. That is all I have for how to save money in college. It’s hard but don’t be a victim of massive student loans debt!
Read my other blog post here!