How to Save Money in College

As a college student, I understand the money struggle. It’s real, and it’s stressful. Whether you are putting yourself through college, or you work during summer’s and ration your spending money throughout the year, these tips will help you to save money, or at least spend less than you would. Without further ado, here are my money saving tips for college students.

college, coffee, money, save money, student discount

  1. Familiarize yourself with places that offer student discounts. This is a pretty well known tip, but often times I find that people don’t use this tip as much as they could. I found this list of 100 stores that give student discounts to share with you. There are a bunch of places you can get student discounts; even if the store isn’t on this list, ask wherever you go, you never know until you ask! A couple of student discounts I take advantage of are through Spotify ($4.99/month) and at the movies!
  2. Make your coffee at home. I recently read an article on The Confused Millennial about what you could buy with the money you spend on coffee every day.ย You will save a significant amount of cash if you just make your coffee at home. I love the caramel macchiato from Starbs, so I buy some caramel sauce and vanilla syrup to make my own.
  3. Get water when you go out to eat! I don’t think I’m the only one that has noticed the ridiculous price of sodas at restaurants (like $2-3?!) That’s crazy, so as a rule of thumb, I always get water. If you’re really craving soda, by some from the store to drink at home (at my HEB, its $4.47 for a 12 pack of Dr. Pepper).
  4. Speaking of home, cook at home more often than you go out. Not only is cooking at home healthier (depending on what you make), it’s way cheaper. If you don’t know how to cook, create a recipe board on Pinterest. This literally saved me in college!
  5. Use coupons. I used to roll my eyes when my mom would ask me to cut coupons out of the newspaper. Do coupons really make a difference? YES. They do. Lucky for me, HEB has digital coupons, which I use all the time. The savings really do add up.
  6. Going out doesn’t have to be expensive, or cost any money at all. Go to a park. Go on a hike. Make a picnic. There are tons of things to do that don’t cost a penny. Also, check out your city’s website for a calendar of events (they’re usually all free, and actually sound fun.) I just found out my city has free yoga! Who woulda thunk?
  7. Take advantage of your school and apartment amenities. Why waste money on a gym membership when your school or apartment have gyms? Not only does my school have a recreation center, but they also offer group exercise classes, and for only $60 per semester, you can go to unlimited classes. My apartment complex (and my others) also has a gym, a clubhouse, and a pool.
  8. Shop at outlet malls. If you really need a new pair of shorts, or a shirt, try and go to an outlet mall rather than a regular shopping center or mall. You really do save money at outlets, just don’t buy more than you needย because you’re feeling like you are getting a good deal.
  9. Make a budget. This varies from person to person, but creating a budget for yourself puts you in charge of your finances. You know exactly how much you have, and how much you can spend per week and month. This is really important, so you don’t end up spending all of your cash before the end of the semester.
  10. Start a change jar. Every penny counts, literally. Start putting your loose change in a jar, and watch it add up. You’d be surprised how much change can add up to.

These are some things I wish I would’ve known before coming to college. I hope they help you, and I hope you saveย some money so that you can handle your money better, and maybe save up for something special!

How do you save money?

Chelsea KarrenBrock_Xoxo-2


  1. May 27, 2016 / 4:16 pm

    These are all such great ideas! I used to spend so much money on coffee, until I realized how much I would save just making it at home. It’s really made a difference. It’s surprising the amount of money you can save if you make small changes!

    • coffeewithchelsea
      May 27, 2016 / 4:54 pm

      Thank you! Right? I’ve just learned how to make some good old coffee at home ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. May 27, 2016 / 7:06 pm

    Most of these are great tips for anyone, not just college students! It’s amazing how much soda costs when you go out to eat.

    • coffeewithchelsea
      May 27, 2016 / 7:51 pm

      This is true! ? It’s crazy how little changes can save you so much money!

  3. May 27, 2016 / 7:27 pm

    Great tips, Girl! I love cooking at home as a way to save money! Going out every day and night really adds up!

    xo Mariam | The Petite Bijou

    • coffeewithchelsea
      May 27, 2016 / 7:50 pm

      Thank you ma’am! It really does save a lot!

  4. michelle mink
    May 27, 2016 / 8:21 pm

    In college I used to take advantage of the free recreational activities through the on campus recreation. free canoe trips and hikes and all. i also went to free movie nights too! I always used my meal plan too so i wasn’t wasting money

    • coffeewithchelsea
      May 27, 2016 / 8:36 pm

      Those are all great ideas! You can definitely do a lot for little to no money, it just takes a little creativity ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. May 27, 2016 / 9:35 pm

    Making a budget makes the biggest difference ever! Great great advice!

    • coffeewithchelsea
      May 27, 2016 / 9:36 pm

      Thanks for reading, Deynece ๐Ÿ™‚

    • coffeewithchelsea
      May 27, 2016 / 10:19 pm

      Thanks for reading, Cynthia! ?

  6. May 28, 2016 / 7:25 am

    I seriously love your site.. Great colors & theme.
    Did you create this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m planning to create my own personal blog and want to know where you got this from or
    what the theme is called. Appreciate it!

    • coffeewithchelsea
      May 30, 2016 / 11:54 pm

      Thank you! I purchased it from pipdig. The theme is called Aruba Nights. It’s awesome, and totally customizable!

  7. May 28, 2016 / 2:18 pm

    Love these1 I do a lot of these even though I am no longer in college but they sure do help save a little money here and there.

    xoxo, Jenny

    • coffeewithchelsea
      May 28, 2016 / 4:06 pm

      Yeah, they’re definitely applicable to a lot of people! Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. May 28, 2016 / 6:54 pm

    Amazing advice! I have my older son who is planning to attend community college this Fall. I would like to share this with him before leaving for college. I’ve pinned this in my Pinterest ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for sharing!

    • coffeewithchelsea
      May 28, 2016 / 7:20 pm

      I hope he finds these tips helpful! Thanks so much, Joyce ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. May 28, 2016 / 7:00 pm

    These are all fantastic tips! I wish I had paid more attention to money while I was in college.

    • coffeewithchelsea
      May 28, 2016 / 7:20 pm

      Thank you, Desirae! Little things add up!

  10. May 28, 2016 / 8:43 pm

    These are wonderful tips for today’s college student. We must educate them about mindfulness and money.

    • coffeewithchelsea
      May 28, 2016 / 8:48 pm

      Thank you for reading!

  11. May 29, 2016 / 12:27 pm

    Great tips, making coffee at home is always a huge $ savor for me. And I always ask for gift cards for Christmas and Easter and other silly holidays so I can still go every once in a while!
    xx, Lauren {}

    • coffeewithchelsea
      May 29, 2016 / 4:09 pm

      Gift cards are always a nice treat! Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. May 30, 2016 / 3:08 pm

    Coupons are great! Currently addicted to Target’s Cartwheel app and I wish it was around when I was i college!

    • coffeewithchelsea
      May 30, 2016 / 3:17 pm

      Ooh I’ve never heard of that! I’ll definitely have to check it out ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks Chels!

  13. May 30, 2016 / 7:22 pm

    Those are some really fantastic tips that anyone can put into their daily life. I have a change jar and it really adds up!

    La Belle Sirene

    • coffeewithchelsea
      May 30, 2016 / 11:51 pm

      I’m glad you find them helpful! Change jars are a great way to save up a little extra cash!

  14. May 30, 2016 / 9:25 pm

    My little brother is in college. I’ll have to share your post with him.

    • coffeewithchelsea
      May 30, 2016 / 11:51 pm

      Awesome! Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. May 30, 2016 / 10:15 pm

    These are wonderful tips or college students and anyone trying to pay off student loans. When I go to a restaurant I usually get water cause I don’t drink soda but if I want an “Adult beverage” then I try to limit it to one a restaurants because the markup is ridiculous. I also don’t understand why people have gym memberships when they live on campus or their apartments have them.

    • coffeewithchelsea
      May 30, 2016 / 11:52 pm

      So true! Alcoholic beverages are definitely way too pricey for what you get, so it’s good that you limit it! Thanks for reading, Dia!

  16. May 31, 2016 / 3:16 pm

    As someone 5 years out of college, let me say that all of your tips are still relevant! I may not get student discounts, but a good sale is my BFF. Haha

    • coffeewithchelsea
      June 1, 2016 / 3:32 am

      SO true! Thanks for reading, Elise ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. June 1, 2016 / 5:31 am

    My college used to offer free or reduced fair like $1 for movies that were a couple months old. Great way to catch a movie with friends for cheap.

    • coffeewithchelsea
      June 1, 2016 / 5:35 am

      That’s so awesome! I wish my university did something like that.

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