9 Typical College Student Budgeting Tips You Should Know About

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How should you manage money as a student? It’s not that difficult actually. If you have managed money in the past, by way of a part-time job or something relatable before attending college, then you should know the importance of managing your money.

In this post, we’ll be discussing the typical college student budgeting tips every college students should know. This will certainly help you as a college student save money, which means less stress on you and more focus on the things you need to focus on like your studies and enjoying college as you should.

Let’s get started.

College can be a great experience, especially if you know how to budget and save money. Check out these 9 budgeting tips and be stressed-free!

Well first and foremost, I want you to agree that you will start budgeting RIGHT NOW. I want to make that clear with you because this is something important. It will be difficult and even hard to manage your money, but in the end, it leads to a lot of blessings in the future you may not know about. Spend on what you can but not on all that you want.

Typical college student budgeting tip #1: Always make a budget

I wish I started this earlier which would’ve helped me practiced budgeting a little better. It will help you understand where your money is going and how it will be spent.

If you don’t budget then you won’t know where your money is going. You won’t know how much you need to pay for this bill or that bill. Budgeting may even seem scary because you may have multiple things to pay for but with practice and diligence, you will get better.

This brings me to the next tip.

Typical college student budgeting tip #2: Identify the amount you’re going to spend each month

Because a budget is important, find out first how much money you’re going to be spending each month. If you’re working part-time in school, then you should know how much you’ll be getting paid each week, biweekly, or monthly. This is the same as with your parents. If your parents are going to be giving you a certain amount each week or so, make a list of things you’re going to spend on. Make sure it is from the most important to the least.

Typical college student budgeting tip #3: Open a savings account

I wish I had a savings account. This would’ve helped in college and even after college. Open a savings does not only help you but a certain amount of money in your account, but it can also increase by a percent each or so year. Check your local bank or even your parent’s bank and ask them about opening up a savings account.

When you do start a savings account, putting in a certain amount of money each month is good for your money to increase. Furthermore, if you have an emergency, then you can use your savings account money for that.

On the other hand, if you’re disciplined (and this is just my opinion if you don’t want to open a savings account), put an amount each month into a special envelope and don’t touch it. Buy yourself a special safe that has a lock that only you know, not anyone else. This can also be an option for you.

Typical college student budgeting tip #4: Save with coupons

I like coupons but every I buy doesn’t include coupon savings. However, that shouldn’t stop YOU from utilizing coupons. Many websites provide you with coupons so you can save money. Check your local grocery stores,,, and even All these websites ALWAYS have coupons that you can use and may also save you money.

Typical college student budgeting tip #5: Use Ebates

This is also a famous website that can help you save AND earn money. All you have to do is register on and shop through their website. From Target, Ulta, Kohls, and even TOMS, they will have your favorite store. Click here to register for Ebates and start earning money by simply shopping!

I think this is a good way of saving money because if you do shop for something you like/love (they also include deals and sales), you’re earning money at the same time. Now each store has different cashback percentage but overall, I do believe it’s a win-win.

Typical college student budgeting tip #6: Make a substitution

Who hasn’t bought a Starbucks coffee before going to school or work (raising my hand)? Or who hasn’t bought a chick fil a sandwich at the student union instead of making their lunch (still raising hand)? I think it’s okay to spend on food when you don’t have the time to do it yourself, but if you have the time or you’re too lazy to cook your food (also guilty of that!), then you’re wasting money, a LOT of money.

So if you do like your coffee in the morning, why not just buy yourself a coffee maker? That way when you’re getting ready for school, you already have that coffee running. By the time you’re done, you’re grabbing that coffee cup along with your favorite breakfast and you’re on your way to class.

Typical college student budgeting tip #7: Start a side hustle

For you to save money, you got to make money. And to do that, you got to look for a part-time job in or out of campus. Another way for you to earn money is by starting a side hustle. I had a part-time job and took surveys’ when I was attending college. My favorite surveys’ I took in my college years earned me a pretty decent amount of money such as paying my phone bill and some groceries.

Here are surveys’ that I took that helped me a great deal:

  1. Swagbucks – Earn money by watching videos, taking surveys’, play games, and more!
  2. Inbox Dollar – My favorite part about this website is that you can even earn money as you open your email! You can d surveys’, play games, and watch videos too!
  3. Pinecone Research – This is my favorite survey website. You can tell them how many surveys’ you want to come into your inbox, and cash amount you can receive is a much as $5!
  4. Opinion Outpost – This one is a great survey website too. I received $30 by the end of the month (which is also the maximum cashout)! This amount helped me pay my phone bill on time, which I was so grateful for.

All these surveys’ website have awesome rewards you can choose from. From restaurant gift cards to even buying yourself a coffee maker, they have it all! All you have to do is do the activities, earn points, and choose the rewards of your choice! All of these surveys’ worked well for me and I know they can work for you too. All you need is persistence, motivation, and discipline.

If you have a special skill that you want to provide to your local peers, then do that. If you can braid hair, babysit, make crochet beanies, or even cook a meal for your peers can help you earn money which would also lead to saving a bit on the side.

Another way to earn money is by starting a blog/website. If you have a particular subject you love talking about, then why not start a niche website? You can help people speak Spanish, talk about finance, or even talk about books! The possibilities are endless! If you’re interested in writing about a particular subject, join Wealthy Affiliate. With them, you learn how to design your website, write effective and helpful contents, structure keywords to get traffic on your site, and more! I joined them a year and a half ago and I like it. Give Wealthy Affiliate a try for only $49/month (everything I mentioned and more is included)!

Read more: Wealthy Affiliate Review

Read more: 29 lessons I learned in college

There are so many opportunities to earn money. You just got to find what works for you.

Typical college student budgeting tip #8: Don’t spend too much on your refund

Oh them refunds! I love me some financial aid refunds but when you’ve spent all of them, they’re gone! And you just wish you didn’t spend it all! (trust me, been there and done that). So don’t use too much of your refund! Payback your school or open a savings account and add your money in there. If you do get refunds, think about the ways your refund can help you in your during your education and after.

Typical college student budgeting tip #9: Get on your parent’s phone plan or prepaid plan

When I attended college I paid for my phone. It was specifically a prepaid phone. I used surveys’ and other side hustles to help me pay for my phone, and it helped a lot! If you can’t afford a phone right now, use your parents plan until you can find a way a part-time job or other ways to make money. It’s better than not having a phone at all!

There you go!

These budgeting tips or money-saving tips were the things I learned and practiced during my years of attending college. I hope at least one of these tips helped you recognize the importance of saving money, as well as earning money too.

What are some of your college budgeting/savings tips? Let me know in the comments below! I respond to every comment so don’t be shy!

Until Next Time,

Simply Alia

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