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Making ends meet as a student is everything but easy. You have a lot of fixed expenses such as tuition, housing, and other fees, but there are also many optional costs that might tempt you to spend more than you actually have.

It is impossible to determine the average cost of college life, but it can go well above $40 thousand per year in some cases. However, there is one thing that’s even harder than living on a student budget. If you are wondering what can be more difficult than that, here’s a simple answer – it is saving money while studying.

This seems like a mission impossible for most students, but I know almost anyone can do it if they follow a good plan. In this post, I will show you 15 smart ways to save money while studying. Let’s take a look!

1. Set a Savings Goal

People function better when they see a clear goal ahead. This is why you should set the savings objective and determine the bottom line under which you don’t want to go. For example, it can be to accumulate $3 thousand or $5 thousand by the end of the semester. Always quantify the target because it will make it easier to track progress.

2. Stick to the Weekly Budget

As a student, you probably know your weekly expenses by heart. In such circumstances, you can quickly craft a weekly budget and reduce it to the acceptable minimum. Stick to the budget long-term and neglect it only in the case of an emergency.

3. Save Money Aside

Now that you’ve got the whole budget figured out, you should start leaving some money aside and gradually grow your savings account. If you don’t feel too enthusiastic about it at first, just wait for a few weeks and you will realize that things are getting much better very quickly.

4. Use a Personal Finance App

If you don’t know how to handle money, perhaps you should check out some of the best personal finance apps. The Internet is flooded with interesting solutions, but here are some of the most efficient platforms for students:

  • Mint
  • Tycoon
  • Wally
  • You Need a Budget
  • Acorns

5. Repay Your Loans on Time

If there is one thing every person should know, it is to repay loans as soon as possible. Every loan comes with an interest rate and the longer you stretch it, the more you pay eventually. Make sure to repay the loan on time and it will pay off in the long run.

6. Pay Your Bills on Time

Another thing you should learn is to pay your bills in a timely manner. First of all, you will have to pay for it sooner or later. Secondly, you might even face a late payment penalty, which only makes things worse budget-wise.

7. Don’t Go to the Store Hungry

A popular saying claims that no one should go to the grocery store on an empty stomach. Why is that so? According to the research, being hungry amps up your desire to acquire things. Therefore, going to the story hungry will make you buy more items and spend more money than planned.

8. Sell Textbooks You Don’t Need

As you keep advancing and passing exams, you can get rid of unnecessary studying materials. Try to take it to your advantage by selling the textbooks you don’t need anymore. It’s a good way to free some space in your room and earn money at the same time.

9. Quit Smoking

This tip is reserved for smokers only, but I have to mention it because it represents a huge budget booster. Instead of wasting money on cigarettes, you can quit smoking and contribute to the personal budget. Besides that, your health will benefit from it!

10. Don’t Pay for Cable TV

A typical student has so many plans and tasks to fulfill, so I encourage you to ask yourself one simple question: Do I really need to pay for cable TV? The answer is probably “No,” especially if you know that the majority of the same content can be found online easily.

11. Avoid Impulse Purchases

Are you aware of the phrase “impulse purchase?” If not, you should definitely learn what it means – an impulse purchase  is an unplanned decision to buy a product or service, made just before a purchase. It usually means that you are buying things that you don’t really need, so make sure to avoid impulse buying.

12. Look for Discounts

Why would you buy something expensive if you can acquire the same thing much cheaper? Discounts are an excellent tactic to save money while buying all the things you need. Almost every retail chain offers discounts and coupons that you can use to minimize spending and maximize savings.

13. Use Public Transport

If you have a car, you must know how expensive it is to buy gas, register, and maintain the vehicle. You can eliminate such costs if you sell the car and begin using public transport. Mix it with longer walks and you will save some money every day.

14. Find a Roommate

We all appreciate privacy, but is it really so hard to live with a roommate? A friend to live with will help you to cut costs by 50%, which means you can add the rest to your savings account.

15. Sell Everything You Don’t Need

I already advised you to sell old books, but why stop there? You can do the same thing with every other item you don’t need. That way, you get an additional benefit from each thing you own but don’t need anymore.


Almost every student feels tempted to spend the entire budget on leisure time activities, but some of them still manage to refrain from it and leave a few bucks aside from time to time. I believe you should do the same thing because it will serve a higher purpose once you are done with exams. In this post, I showed you 15 smart ways to save money while studying. Do you want to give them a shot?