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10 Great and Easy Money Tips for Broke College Students

September 07, 2023

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Money tips to save on your expenses.  From textbooks, supplies, and tuition to going out with friends and experiencing practically anything in the city you’re in; you need to organize your finances as a broke college student. Unfortunately, college is expensive! 

While it may seem like you are drowning in debt and it’s impossible to save money, there are many easy things you can do to spend successfully and responsibly.

We’ve got 10 easy tips for you and your college buddies to use and manage your money while studying.

Money Tips

 1. Budgeting to save money 

money tips

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Create a budget for your money and track how much you spend on everything each month. Tracking money gives you a clear picture of the things that are possibly bleeding you dry.

Seeing this can help you make a saving budget for yourself as you limit your spending on certain unimportant things. 

Money saved is money earned! A great way to do this is through a budgeting app, such as Mint or Goodbudget.

2.  Replace unnecessary spending


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After creating a budget that works for you and your needs, you can replace areas of high spending with low-cost alternatives!

For example, instead of eating out three times a week, limit yourself to once. Start cooking at home with your friends.

Hey, maybe you discover a new passion or talent in the kitchen. If not, cooking with friends or a vibey playlist is always fun!

3. Prepare your meals in advance


Food illustrations by Storyset

Hey, some of us enjoy cooking! If you’re one of the people who like being in the kitchen, the next tip is a game changer for you. Meal prep, or preparing meals for a few days at a time can save hundreds of dollars a month! Imagine! 

Deciding at the beginning of each week what you are going to be eating for those days requires a little more mental effort than physical!

On Sundays or whichever day you have relatively free, sit and create a meal plan that consists of 2-3 different breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners.

For example, one rotation can be oatmeal, a grilled chicken salad, and a tofu scramble.

Then, shop for those specific grocery items and prepare them. Store them safely by freezing until eating.

You’re going to be surprised by how much money you can save just by buying only the items you need for the week!

4. Build your savings as a student


Food illustrations by Storyset

To truly be financially stable, you should always have a well-filled savings account to be able to fall back on. This can really help you out In the case of emergencies too. 

Start setting aside a weekly or monthly amount not to spend. Save it; you’ll thank yourself, and us, in the future!

5. Use public transportation to save money as a student


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We may not realize it, but the costs of owning and maintaining a car or Ubering around add up quickly! The American Public Transportation Association suggests that in major cities, taking public transportation over using personal vehicles can save up to $10,000 a year! 

This is a big reason why colleges often make public transportation accessible in the area.

It incentivizes students to not just save money, but also help build a more sustainable future.

Moreover, prioritizing the use of public transport helps you stop worrying about gas, parking, and maintenance!

6. Save money by using discounts and coupons


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College students really do get a lot of discounts, you just have to know where to look. D

id you know, Apple Music and Spotify give nearly 50% off to verified college students? Not just digital products, students can save money on airplane tickets, gym memberships, and a lot of great subscriptions! 

Additionally, use any grocery store discounts when shopping; they add up too! Next time you get a coupon, don’t just stash it away or throw it.

They really can help students like you save thousands of dollars a year.

7. Visit the campus library for cheap or free books


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Visiting your campus library has many benefits. But the best one is that you can likely borrow all the expensive textbooks your professors have been pestering you to buy.

Maybe you’re not in a position to spend $200 on a single book you won’t ever use once the course is over; we know we weren’t. 

Save easy money by borrowing books from your local or campus library.

If you don’t find what you’re looking for, ask your seniors for their second-hand copies! Either way, it’ll be much cheaper.

8. Pay your bills on time to avoid additional charges and fees

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No one likes to see a bill with an added late fee. Keep those at bay if you don’t want extra charges piling up for you. The simplest way to do this is by simply paying your bills due asap! 

If needed, using the money from your savings account is better than simply letting the bills go unpaid.

Many studies show that students suffering from financial stress are likely to see their grades drop or even drop out of college.

No extra charges are worth you giving up on intellectual growth or your dreams. 

Keep track of your bills and pay up!

9. Take a financial management course


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Ultimately, you are at college to learn. Take advantage of the opportunity!

Enrolling into a financial management course either at college or online will teach you the ins and outs of budgeting, investing, and decision-making.

Moreover, it will make you confident and show you how to make sound financial decisions comfortably. 

Some financial knowledge never hurt nobody!

10. Take up part-time jobs (online or on campus)


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A part-time job could mean a steady source of income. This can help you with everything, from slowly paying off any student loans, to chipping in for meal prep.

It can be added to your weekly budget and give you some wiggle room, something we all enjoy! Not to forget, working gives you a sense of independence as well as teaches you the value of money.

No one can truly teach you that except yourself.

As you can see, there are many ways to reach financial stability in college. Struggling to survive is not your option, despite the expenses that may be hurled at you!

We hope our tips help! Do you have a budgeting trick that helped you recently?


Dana Kohn Student - Business Development Assistant at VisitMind


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