Featured Image

Infographic: Budgeting 101: Saving Money in College

Are you stressing out because you never seem to have enough money to pay your bills and have fun in college? Don't worry! We've got tips for you to master budgeting and save some of your cash.

College is not cheap. Even with scholarships, there’s still a lot of pay for: housing, books, groceries, gas; plus, you shouldn’t overlook spending some money to have fun.

One thing almost all college students have in common is not having enough money, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With some diligent financial planning, a little creativity, and a bit of effort, students can live comfortably on or off campus without having to worry about where their next meal is coming from.

Related: How to Figure Out Your College Costs

Follow these practical, easy-to-implement tips for the three cornerstones of financial survival in college: setting up a budget, saving money, and earning extra cash. Even students with one or two years under their belts may find something new to help them spend more time on their studies and less time worrying about finances. 

Some of these tips are rather easy, such as calculating expenses and sources of income. The most challenging aspect of financial survival is usually saving money. Nobody likes to cut back on discretionary spending, especially when it comes to food, drink, and entertainment. And while an important part of college is socializing, if frivolous spending is creating an endless financial hangover, those social activities won’t be nearly as much fun.

So get saving with these ideas about how to manage money and get the most out of your college experience.  

college budgeting infographic

By ValoreBooks.com

How to create a college budget

  1. List all your monthly expenses, including tuition, room and board, textbooks and school supplies, transportation, personal spending, and frivolous spending.
  2. List all your monthly sources of income/cash.
  3. Make sure your expenses do not exceed your sources of income/cash.
  4. Track your expenses as they add up.

Related: Money Management: The Best Budgeting Templates for Students 

Tips for saving money at school

  1. Buy or rent used textbooks.
  2. Make your own coffee or tea.
  3. Take advantage of free meals offered on campus.
  4. Don’t use your credit card unless you have to.
  5. Pay your credit card bill in full every month.
  6. Pay all of your bills on time.
  7. Buy food and drink items that are on sale.
  8. Shop around before renting an apartment.
  9. Find the least expensive cellular plan that fits your needs.
  10. Use your phone only when necessary.

How to earn extra cash 

  1. Sell your used textbooks.
  2. Become a tutor.
  3. Babysit, house sit, or dog sit.
  4. Become a driver for Uber, Lyft, or other driving services.
  5. Get a work-study job on campus.
  6. Sell clothes you don’t wear anymore on websites like Ebay or Poshmark.

While you’re working on your budget, use our Scholarship Search tool to find extra money for college!

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Tags:
budgeting tips college planning financial aid financial planning money

About ValoreBooks

ValoreBooks is a marketplace solution for students to buy, rent, and sell college textbooks online. The ValoreBooks platform also offers stores an avenue to sell or liquidate excess textbook inventories at market rates and gives textbook sellers access to more customers.


 

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Cameron Lee

Cameron Lee

High School Class of 2022

I used CollegeXpress to search for colleges. It helped me narrow down the schools on the West Coast and which schools had Construction Engineering programs. I made my decision to go to OSU and I am so excited about it.

Lydia Huth

Lydia Huth

Student, Campbell University; CollegeXpress Student Writer

I discovered CollegeXpress while embarking on my college search journey as an excited—but scared and way confused—high schooler without a counselor or college-bound sibling to give me advice. Let me tell you, I’m so glad that I stumbled on this community! CollegeXpress helped me find potential colleges and keep application deadlines straight. It gave me a great list of scholarships, and the blogs and emails made me feel like I wasn’t going it alone. Almost three years later and with freshman year of college down, I still love the CollegeXpress vibe so much that I’m writing for them. I’d recommend this site to anyone!

Carlie Cadet

Carlie Cadet

High School Class of 2019

CollegeXpress has helped me learn about an abundance of scholarships available to me and my situation. I was able to do research for colleges in my best interest with your website. I've had multiple colleges email me and offer me multiple scholarships and things of that nature because of this website! Thank you so much for uploading scholarships I didn’t even know existed, even if my life took a huge turn and I wasn’t able to go to college straight out of high school. CollegeXpress helped me a lot in high school to be even more motivated to get into my dream college (which I did, by the way). I'm looking forward to using the materials CollegeXpress has kindly provided me for free to look for scholarships to help pay for college.

Rhiannon Teeter

Rhiannon Teeter

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2012

I have spent a lot of time aggressively searching for scholarships. It was a long and frustrating process until I found the CollegeXpress network. This site made my search so much easier. With the simple check of a few boxes, the site sorted out scholarships I was eligible for and led me directly to the correct websites. Winning this scholarship has definitely given me and my family some financial relief, and CollegeXpress has allowed me to improve my chances of winning further financial aid. Thank you so much!

Asia Stockdale

Asia Stockdale

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress helped me overcome a huge hurdle. Because of the small town I live in, I felt like I would never achieve more. I felt like I could never go beyond because of costs. I feared I wouldn’t be able to find scholarships. I had no idea of where to start. With CollegeXpress, I easily found scholarships—they came to me. It was a helper, and I was instantly matched with opportunities to go above and beyond educationally.

College Matches