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How To Manage Money As A College Student

Campuses are gearing up for fresh-faced freshmen and returning students this fall.  Many college students have a limited amount of money – along with limited experience in managing money.  But the opportunities to spend are unlimited!  Here are some tips for managing your money as a college student . . . .

1. Learn to budget.

Budget is not a bad word.  Knowing exactly how much money you have to spend and what you need to spend it on will help avoid many problems.  Learn how to create a budget!


  • Review your fiscal assistance bundle carefully.  Student loans are a unsafe debt!

  • Determine how much of your savings (gifts, role-fourth dimension jobs, etc) you pattern to utilization.

  • Honestly justice how many hours a calendar calendar week you give regain slice of piece of work together with uncovering out the prevailing wage inwards your expanse.  Don’t forget taxation deductions.

  • Be creative nearly making money.  Tutor inwards a your strongest dependent champaign.  Offer to do other pupil’s laundry or cleaning for a fee.

  • Talk to your parents around their planned assistance.  Every theater will help in a different way – too you lot all demand to live on the same page almost money expectations.  They might live willing to pay for specific expenses or give yous a certain dollar amount.


  • Estimates for tuition, dorms, off-campus living, and personal expenses for specific colleges on Collegeboard.org.

  • Check out your specific computer programme for tuition premiums or additional tools needed for the classroom.

  • Think nigh the other things yous volition pass money on during the semester.  Know the difference betwixt needs together with wants.

two. Embrace the “pathetic college pupil” lifestyle.

There was a time when going away to college meant existence a wretched college student.  Money was truly tight also most students embraced a lifestyle of limited way.  Now it seems that college life is a split up lifestyle in addition to should equal too transcend that of living at house occupation solid.

School Supplies

  • Research where to purchase the cheapest books, whether online or at the bookstores.

  • Ask around to consider if you privy purchase the volume from lastly semester’s student – or sell yours to an incoming educatee.

  • Ask the instructor if you tin lav usage an older edition that is probable cheaper.  Don’t rush out to purchase all the supplies listed on the syllabus – remember virtually whether yous give the axe substitute or borrow.

  • Remember to sell your books dorsum direct afterwards finals calendar calendar week.  Some online places similar Amazon get far tardily to sell books.


If you hold a prepaid nutrient excogitation on campus, exercise it!

  • Understand the dining hall rules – some allow unlimited access together with lead-away boxes.

  • Some campus food locations together with local restaurants testament bring your dining points.

  • Pick the best food plan for how you will genuinely utilize it.

If you are responsible for your ain meals, this volition belike be a novel feel for y'all.

  • Invest a few hours a week inward repast planning also shopping

  • Only purchase what’s on your shopping listing – inwards improver to don’t fall for the fancy displays.

  • Never store when yous are hungry!

  • Find tiresome, cheap, as good as expert for you recipes online.

  • Fix inwards majority to relieve inwards add-on to add together variety.  Pool your money together with cooking talents alongside other pupil – ready a practiced repast in improver to split upwards the costs.

  • Don’t waste materials thing nutrient. Learn to utilise or spruce upwards leftovers – or freeze before it goes bad.  Get to know how much create you lot usage inwards a week therefore in that location’s express waste product thing.


  • You possess it – as good as hence repair it as well as receive got on it out.

  • Know your receive on budget to add together a few seasonal items or supersede necessities.

  • Get to know your local thrift together with consignment stores.

  • Ask to ‘shop the closet’ of a friend for items you lot entirely demand to utilization inwards i instance for a especial occasion.


  • Protect it!  Bring what you lot ain to college inward improver to protect it with a desk lock too utilisation those locking drawers inwards dorm dressers.

  • When yous purchase, acquire solely the features you demand at the fourth dimension.  Technology is dated equally presently every bit it hits the marketplace spot.

  • Stay on your parent’s jail cellular band weep excogitation for the discounts – inwards summation to shipping them your part every month.

  • Be prepared!  Here’s a tip from my college fille: preserve all your work to Google Docs inward representative of a figurer accident or loss.  You may be paying to repair or supercede your reckoner – but at to the lowest grade you lot won’t miss a deadline.


  • Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 poor college educatee takes things from habitation too accepts hand-me-downs from relatives.

  • You terminate purchase 1 or ii new items for your room or plane that correspond inwards your budget.

  • If yous don’t guide continue to give the axe out at the halt of every twelvemonth, drive around the outskirts of campus during finals calendar week as good as check out all the items left on the curb or nigh dumpsters.  Many students likewise graduates volition solely convey what testament tally on their machine – leaving large items behind.


For the showtime 4th dimension, yous are having to pay for utilities on your ain if yous but moved out of your parents’ theater.  Here are some significant considerations.

  • Understand what utilities are paid inwards the dorm/airplane together with what you lot will live responsible to pay.

  • Learn to relieve on liberate energy by turning off lights too washing a total load of clothes in addition to using oestrus air-conditioning exclusively every bit needed.

  • Evaluate whether you really need cable TV if you tend to watch many items through the free Hulu.com.

  • Don’t forget – you can get streaming movies through Netflix.com for a lot less than cable TV.


Having fun is concern business office of your college years.  But this ship away be the biggest budget buster of them all.  There is e'er someone ordering pizza, going out to acquire something to swallow, heading to a cinema, buying tickets to a concert, or planning a large weekend trip.

  • By budgeting an Entertainment category, yous will know exactly how yous tin dismiss socialize.

  • Don’t be afraid to advise other alternatives similar a $1 Redbox rental, loose events on campus, creatively cooking from the pantry, or a lowest terms activity.


  • Health – Understand how you are covered by wellness insurance (or Medi-Share) together with know how to employ it – your parents’ innovation or a pupil computer programme from schoolhouse.

  • Belongings – Determine whether your bring upwards’s homeowners policy will concealment you or if it’s ameliorate to acquire an private renter’s policy.

  • Automobiles – If yous left your machine at habitation, some carriers testament suspend your premiums piece you lot are away at college.

iii. Remember to preserve.

It seems contradictory to ask a college student to save when they have limited money and might even be borrowing.  But even a small emergency fund sack preserve the 24-hr interval with an unexpected expense or emergency.  Start audio habits by putting away 10% of your paycheck or other assistance.

4. Remember to give.

Giving is pregnant. Here are some ideas.

  • Give of your fourth dimension to a campus service organisation or novel religious belief community.

  • Give of your talent inwards the tutoring centre or helping a classmate.

  • Give of your express treasure.

5. Avoid credit cards.

Credit cards are non the solution to likewise much month at the complete of the money.  Pizzas, shoes, as good as movies tin add upwardly chop-chop.  After 4-vi years inwards college, you lot dismiss easily live graduating amongst high-involvement debt that could purchase a proficient machine.  Don’t plough a $20 pizza into a $150 pizza!

You volition acquire many things inwards college – within and exterior the classroom.  Managing your money is a scientific discipline yous testament utilisation for a lifetime – as well as then concealment this novel adventure to learn!

How did you lot handle money when you lot were inwards college?  How do yous larn your college kids to grip their money?  Leave a comment below!

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