14 Ways to Stretch Your Dollar in College

You work hard for your money, and when you’re a broke college student, you need to save just about every cent of it. But cutting costs in college doesn’t mean you’re locked away in your dorm or holding out on the things you want. Saving money as a college student doesn’t have to be difficult. There are plenty of easy ways on saving money as a college student. Here’s fifteen ways you can do it.

Set a Strict Budget

A budget is made to tell your money where to go. Use an online or paper one to track your expenses and keep you on track. No more overspending on things you don’t need!

Embrace Minimalism

Who needs things when you can have happiness and contentment instead? Check out a book on minimalist lifestyles and declutter ASAP. Sell what you don’t need and bank the money instead.

Cook at Home

Stop buying cookies in the cafeteria by spending a day meal planning and cooking for the week! By making your breakfast in your dorms or cutting down on snacks, you could save hundreds or thousands a year on meal plans.

Embrace the Free

College is basically a gift for us frugal people. There are tons of free things. Hit up a free play. Score concert tickets to a student show. Make a date at an after-hours event.

Bank On Your ID

Go off campus for freebies and discounts as well. Most colleges have programs where your student ID will get you things like discounts on movie tickets or a percentage off your daily coffee break.

Use Shopping and Coupon Apps

Ebates gives you cashback for your online shopping trips (even for school supplies). And Ibotta can put money back in your wallet when you pick up some groceries. A couple of cents here and there can really add up!

Avoid Spending Triggers

Admit it that you shop when you’re stressed or you use things to hide your sadness. This is normal and referred to as a trigger. Knowing what makes you want to get out the credit card can help you stay clear in the future.

Know When to Shop

Did you know stores like Target discounts certain items on certain days? Ask a store when they put clothes on clearance or when they restock the pantry aisles. That’ll give you a schedule.

Keep Applying for Scholarships

Don’t miss out on money that’s still out there! With contests like OCM’s Room Goals, you can win $1,000 in tuition credit for simply submitting a picture of your room! That’s like instant cash for a few minutes of work.

Buy Everything (or almost everything) Used

Used textbooks, refurbished computers, consigned clothes, trade-in phones. There’s something exhilarating about making one man’s trash another man’s treasure (especially at pennies the original cost).

Throw Your Parties at Home

Nightlife should be reserved for special outings. Instead of getting bored going to the same old places, impress your friends by showing them you can do it better right in your dorm room.

Limit Your Data

Check your phone’s data usage. More than likely, you’re not using all that you can (or nearly as much on unlimited). Shop around to see if you could save by switching to a more limited data plan or with a budget carrier that uses the same cell signals.

Sell the Car

Even if it sits at home, you need to insure your car, pay for repairs, and gas it up occasionally. Why bother when you can sell it, save it, and get a better car when you graduate!

Recheck Your Fees and Statements

Pick a day each month to comb through your billing statements for mistakes. You’d be surprised to see how many have mistakes in them that would normally cost you tons over time. That’s savings any college student could get behind.

Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the US—for FREE!



Lender Rates (APR) Eligibility
Sallie Mae logo.
2.62% - 12.97% Variable
3.75% - 13.72% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Credibe company logo.
1.29% - 12.99% Variable
3.15% - 14.75% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Lendkey company logo.
Undergraduate and Graduate
Ascent company logo.
1.75% - 10.54% Variable
3.22% - 13.09% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
College Ave company logo.
1.29% - 12.99% Variable
3.22% - 13.95% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
1.66% - 6.21% Variable
2.94% - 7.15% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Earnest company logo.
2.09% - 11.69% Variable
3.47% - 13.03% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
1.86% - 11.52% Variable
3.20% - 11.99% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
College Raptor is not a loan lender and does not assume responsibility for suggesting a loan to a user who may not be eligible for it. Rates, terms, conditions, eligibility, approval, and other considerations are the decisions of the lenders and may vary depending on which lender or marketplace the user selects. We urge users to carefully consider and review all loan options and terms before committing to taking out a loan.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.