9 Easy Tips for College Students to Save Money

Updated on: 24 Apr 2024 // 5 min read // Credit Cards
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Life as a college student is not easy! You are always in a hurry to win the world and meet the desires of your heart. However, the instant money decisions could sometimes be heavy on your pocket, especially if you are staying away from your parents/ hometowns. It is always important for students to ensure that they are making the best use of resources directed towards them. Many a time: college life is the first touchpoint for financial independence, and thus you need to be extra careful with your spending decisions.

When you are away from your home, you will also have to save for occasional trips back to your home. Here are 9 easy tips for college students to save some money effortlessly.

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  • Build a budget and stick to it. This is the basis of any financial management plan. Budgeting is something that needs to be taught in our schools but is not, and most people have to figure it out the hard way. A budget is your way to tell your money where to go, or soon it will start telling you that you have to run around to get more of it. Make a list of all your expenses and map it against the money you will get. Once you have made your budget, stick to it. If you don’t, your financial planning can miserably fail.   
  • Buy insurance online:Yes, everyone needs medical insurance and vehicle insurance, including students. Most of the students tend to buy insurance from agents who have been providing insurance to their parents. This is the old and expensive method of buying any kind of insurance. Start looking at the websites which provide insurance, and you will find much better deals than you could have ever expected from offline insurance agents.

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  • Get a basic Credit Card. A number of banks offer basic entry-level Credit Cards like SBI SimplyCLICK Visa & Master Card. Some banks also provide Credit Cards specifically tailored for students in India.

State Bank of India Unnati Credit card is offered against Fixed Deposit and brings great deals for students. HDFC Bank also enables students to take Credit Card as an Add-On card to that of one of their parents. This card allows students to jump directly to a high category card, and once you have that, you can even try to get your own card on a ‘Card to Card’ basis. In this day and age of online shopping, a Credit Card can help you secure up to 100% value back benefits on your spends.

  • Use student discounts and online sales. Almost all Universities have stores for students and teachers that sell products at subsidised prices. Further, if you can get an international student Identity Card; it will ensure that you can get student discounts and educational market prices on many things. Student pricing in many places can be as low as 70% of what you would otherwise pay.

If you want to buy something online, it is best to wait for sales. Check out when your Credit Card is eligible for bank offers and use your card there. That will easily save you a pretty penny!

  • Explore Personal Loan for debt consolidation: Do you have some EMIs which are taking too much of the allowance you get? It is high time you should explore Personal Loans for debt consolidation. This will decrease your monthly outgo and even provide you better interest rate as compared to interest on Credit Cards dues. 
  • Move into a PG: A Paying Guest accommodation may not seem like a very attractive choice to people who are used to having their own rooms at home, but renting is always going to be much more expensive. Besides, when you rent, you also get a number of other attached expenses like security and damage cover, etc. Then you have to pay someone to do the cooking and cleaning. PG accommodation is a cheaper single-shot solution to the whole renting dilemma.
  • Share everything you can. Sharing is caring, and as a student, you should share as much as you can. You can save a lot of sharing resources with your friends. There is no limit to how much and what all you can share. Sharing can be as simple as sharing books and stationery to sharing Hotstar, Netflix, or Amazon Prime account to even sharing rooms. Sharing rides with your friends on your new electric bike is also a great way to show you care. Close friends can also share clothes! Sharing is up to you, share as much as you are comfortable with, but share you must.  
  • Attend student events and trips. All Universities and Colleges organise a number of events and group tours for their students on a regular basis. These events are a great way to save money when you want to travel to new places or have new experiences. These are also a great way to build a good social life and develop a friend circle that you will remember for all of your life. While most on campus student events are free, many trips also require only a minimum contribution from a student’s side so it’s practically free enjoyment. 
  • Get a part-time job. This is the universal truth and advice for college students. Get a part time job. You can find many freelance or part time jobs online. If you are learning computer science, you can start by taking up small software development or web development projects. If you are learning design, fine art, or communication, you can find small desktop publishing, video editing, or graphic designing opportunities online. You are only limited by your own choices, not by the opportunities that come your way. 

As a college student, life will teach you many lessons. Some of them may be easy or hard, but the money lessons you learn here will work for you, all your life.