5 Tips to Save Money As a College Student

by Elisabeth Kleppinger

Managing money seems to be such a taboo topic for everyone. We constantly try and try, but saving money feels like it is so hard. It gets even harder for college students. As college students, we are in a middle ground of having part-time jobs, managing classes, and somehow trying to plan out finances to pay tuition and rent. Here are some tips to save money as a college student. 

Photo taken by author.

Acorns Account 

Acorns is a free app to download on your phone. It simply connects to your debit card and a bank account of your choice. When you purchase something with your debit card, it automatically rounds up to make it a full dollar amount and invests the remaining change into an investment/savings portfolio customized to your wants. You can customize this for long term savings or a quick and risky reward strategy without knowing anything about stocks. Also, Acorns allows you to set a recurring deposit into your account, so every week or every month you can have an amount of your choosing go into savings automatically. It monitors your account and will pause this if it sees your bank account get too low. This is a great way to save without having to put in too much effort.

Student Credit Card

College is the perfect time to start building credit for the future. Discover offers a great student credit card that gives you cash back on various purchases like groceries, food, and gas. Also, they offer cash rewards for getting good grades, so each semester you can input your grades through the app and get a bonus.

Savings Account with a Minimum Balance 

Setting a minimum balance of, let’s say, $500 ensures that you aren’t able to spend all of your savings. Also, just opening up a savings account is a great first step. Many banks have certain rules with savings accounts so money can’t be transferred out as frequently, which is helpful. Plus, you can gain some money from interest over time.

Unidays Account 

Unidays is a free app and website where you can use your college email to make an account. Your account will give you access to student discounts at hundreds of online stores like American Eagle and Dicks Sporting Goods. You can search through their site to see the various discounts.

Side Hustle 

Another way to save money as a college student is to create a side hustle. This could be creating crafts to sell on Etsy or selling old clothing on Poshmark. Be creative. We have all heard stories of students creating businesses out of their college apartments, so why not become one of them? By diversifying income, you will always have something to fall back on.

Saving money as a college student can be hard, but with these easy tips it doesn’t have to be. Also, writing down where you are spending money and keeping track of how much money you spend weekly is a great way to understand budgeting. Once you look at where your money is going, you can change your spending habits, like eating out less. The phrase “the small things add up” is true.


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