Tips for Saving Money in College


Change JarWhether or not you’ve realized it yet, one of the trickiest parts about college (and living on your own in general) is saving your money. Unfortunately, this proves to be a difficult task when it seems like the only way to get out and have fun with your friends involves spending money in one way or another: going out to eat, catching a movie, seeing a concert downtown, etc. However, after a few years in, I’ve figured out some ways to save money here and there, and to spend money wisely when I do spend!

1.) Ask for gift cards!

When your parents approach you this holiday season for gift hints, don’t be afraid to let them know that gift cards will always be appreciated! You’ll come to realize that a nice dinner out, new clothes, etc. are sometimes luxuries you can’t afford in college. However, with a few gift cards to your favorite restaurants or stores, you get a free pass!

2.) Find free fun!

Getting off-campus during the weekend doesn’t always have to be a wallet clean-out! Finding free fun is as simple as taking a hike, spending the day at the beach or a local park, or staying in and making a nice dinner instead of going out. Once you start investigating your options, you’ll be amazed at what fun new things you discover!

3.) Spend carefully!

Get the rewards card at your CVS, make shopping lists to make sure you’re only buying what you need on those tempting trips to the grocery store, and remember to present your student ID for discounts at places that provide them! Finding these little strategies here and there will add up, and getting into the habit of spending carefully is a huge step towards saving efficiently in college!

What are some of the ways that you save your money in college?

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Claire Cavanaugh

Claire Cavanaugh

Claire is a rising junior at St. Michael's College, a small liberal arts school in Colchester, Vermont, where she studies Media Studies, Journalism, and Digital Arts. You can find her frequenting Smuggler's Notch Ski Resort and blogging for the St. Michael's College Founders Society. Back home in Newbury, Massachusetts, Claire is a lifegaurd at a local YWCA. She loves writing, photography, skiing, and exploring new places. Check out her St. Michael's blog ( as well as her Instagram (@claire_cavanaugh) to keep up on her college experience in Vermont!