7 Money Saving Tips for Students

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Tuition and transportation and food and school supplies and more. There are so many expenses that can put a strain on your budget. But as a student, you have enough to worry about. You don’t need to stress out over your finances, too. The good news is: you may not need to. With a little planning and some money-saving tips, your budget can look better.

1. Track Expenses

To start pinching pennies, you need to take a look at where you spend your money. Make a list of all your monthly expenses. Include rent, bills, groceries, and small expenses like that daily latte from the local coffee shop. Now see what your spending patterns are. Do you spend too much on coffee and eating out? Do you buy more non-essential items, such as clothing, DVDs, or gaming apps than you can afford? This will give you an indication of where you can cut back.

2. Negotiate Bills

Did you know that even big companies sometimes bargain? Reexamine those monthly bills and to whom you pay. Are you an excellent tenant who never misses a payment? During COVID, some landlords lowered their rents to keep good tenants. Find out if yours is willing to negotiate. Same goes for phone and cable bills. Revisit your plan and contact your provider. You might be surprised to learn that you can get the better service for less money. And maybe a regular monthly utility bill would fit better into your budget than one that fluctuates with demand. Where can you shave off a few dollars? Can you cut cable altogether and split the cost of a streaming service with a friend or family member? Are there expenses you handle alone where sharing might make sense? Over time, every dollar saved can add up.

3. Cook at Home

Save money by preparing your own meals instead of buying fast food or takeout. It’s better for you and your pocketbook. And you can use dinner leftovers for your next day lunch; double savings! The same is true for that morning coffee. If you add up the amount of money you spend on your fancy frappes and lattes every day, you’d probably be shocked at the total. In the long run, it’s way cheaper to make your own cup of coffee at home and take it to go.

4. Use Coupons

Coupons are a great way to save money on groceries. Most grocery stores offer weekly fliers that list the items that are discounted or on sale, and they often include a coupon or two. You can also visit their websites, look for sale items, and print out available coupons. If you’re really into couponing, visit sites like Groupon or Rakuten to get coupons, rebates, and deals on both grocery and non-grocery items.

5. Look for Free Entertainment

It can be tempting to purchase every streaming app available, but that’s an expense that can chew a hole right through your budget. Instead, look for free entertainment. Your local library has a collection of DVDs for you to check out as well as video games and good ‘ol fashioned books. They also host free events for the community and offer discounted passes to museums. And check the websites of those local museums and entertainment venues to find out what free events they plan to host in the coming weeks.

6. Shop Off Season

Sometimes, you really want to purchase something, but if you wait, you’ll save money. For example, there are lots of post-Christmas sales and off-season bargains that can save you money. Buy winter boots at the end of the season for next season; same for summer clothes. Those adorable sandals will look just as good next year. When you shop for in-demand items when everyone else is doing the same, you’re likely to pay a premium price.

7. Walk or Ride a Bike

During the quarantine, you probably had a chance to see how much money you can save on gas when you don’t drive. To keep saving those dollars, walk or ride your bike whenever you can. You’ll get some healthy exercise, a lot of fresh air, and extra money in your pocket. It’s also great for the environment.

You know how to save money on textbooks and transportation, but how about tuition? You can fill out a FAFSA to apply for federal financial aid, which can help you pay for one of the career programs offered at Charter College. Fill out the form on this page to learn more about our programs, as well as our resources for financial literacy.