Birch table with calculator, pen, plant, and notebook with Money Savings Tips on

Top 5 Back-to-School Money-Saving Tips for Students

It can seem hard to save money as a student, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are the top tips to manage your money and save more around back-to-school time.

College is expensive—there’s no way around it. But there are ways to save money as you gear up for another school year and put some aside to help you pay for your higher education. From finding scholarships and grants to cutting costs on everyday expenses, here are some tips to help you save money as a student this year.

1. Find scholarships and grants

One of the best ways to save money while in school is to find scholarships and grants to help cover the cost of tuition and other expenses. There are many different types of scholarships and grants available, so do your research to see what you’re eligible for. You can start by checking out dedicated websites like CollegeXpress, which offers different back-to-school scholarships and contests each year—all of which can be found using their Scholarship Search tool. When searching for scholarships, make sure to specify your location, field of study, and other relevant criteria to narrow down your results.

Related: 6 Quick and Easy Ways to Find More Scholarships

2. Cut costs on everyday expenses

There are plenty of ways to cut costs on everyday expenses as a student. For example, you can cook at home instead of eating out, take public transportation instead of driving, and buy used textbooks instead of new ones. Also keep an eye out for back-to-school sales, promotions, and coupons at your favorite stores for clothes, school supplies, and more. Every little bit can go a long way, so always make a point to save anything you can on your everyday expenses.

3. Get a part-time job

If you have some free time, consider getting a part-time job at the beginning of the school year to help offset the cost of college. You can work in a variety of places, from retail stores to restaurants or even online. There are many job opportunities available these days, so find one that works best for you and your schedule. A part-time job also gives you great experience to put on a résumé for future endeavors.

Related: Part–Time Jobs and Money-Making Ideas for Students

4. Take advantage of student discounts

Many businesses offer student discounts, so be sure to take advantage of them when you can. This can include discounts on clothing, food, travel, and more. All you need to get money off is a valid student ID, so be sure to bring it with you when you shop. We also recommend checking out Student Universe coupons, where you can find discounts on clothing, food, travel, and more right on your computer.

5. Create a budget

One of the best ways to save money while in school is to create a budget—and stick to it. Figure out how much money you have coming in and going out each month, then adjust what you’re budgeting for as needed. This will help ensure you don’t overspend and end up in debt. If you know you have $500 in monthly expenses but only $400 in monthly income, you’ll need to find ways to cut costs or bring in more earnings. Creating a budget is a great way to keep track of your finances and make sure you’re making the most of your money.

Related: Budgeting Best Practices All Students Need to Learn

Saving money in high school or college can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Students just have to use a little discipline and utilize their planning skills to do it. By following these tips, you can minimize your expenses and have a great start to the new school year.

We’ve got a lot more advice on earning extra cash and creating a budget where that came from. Check out the “saving money” tag to learn more!

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

back to school finances money saving money student expenses student finances student life

About Charlie Waters

Charlie Waters

Charlie Waters has worked in the online content world for over 25 years as a freelance writer, translator, and transcriptionist, covering different topics such as finance, energy, and sustainability—a great and long-awaited field. When he's not writing, he has learned to enjoy long walks, play chess, and how to sleep at night. 


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
Maria  Fernanda

Maria Fernanda

High School Class of 2023

CollegeXpress is always telling you with time to spare when to apply for certain scholarships, what they require, and if you’re eligible or not. They also provide helpful tips for both incoming college students and current college students, such as what to absolutely have in your dorm.

Sarah Armstrong

Sarah Armstrong

High School Class of 2022

I am a deaf student, and I had always dreamed of going to Gallaudet University. CollegeXpress helped me search though other qualified universities. They helped me know for sure that Gallaudet University was the right choice for me!

Elizabeth Stafford

Elizabeth Stafford

High School Class of 2021

As a UK student moving to California due to my dad's job in the military, when I first signed up for CollegeXpress a few months ago, the college process ahead seemed daunting and incredibly stressful. That all changed after I started to explore what this website had to offer. Not only was I helped by the vast array of resources available to me, but through being a CollegeXpress member, there have been so many more benefits. There have been emails with college tips—all of which I found incredibly helpful—as well as invitations to events and notifications of scholarships that'll make college possible for me. Overall, I'm very grateful to CollegeXpress for all of these things and more. Not only have they helped me grow my understanding of the college process, but they've also helped me to grow as a person, giving me new skills that I can take with me through life.

Sadie Hartmann

Sadie Hartmann

High School Class of 2021

I'm a senior in high school, and CollegeXpress has helped me in so many ways this year in trying to navigate the process of deciding and committing to a university. The COVID-19 Student Resource Center has helped me many times with the most up-to-date and accurate information, along with financial aid and student life [advice]. During these uncertain times, CollegeXpress has been a great recourse to relieve the stress as a senior. Along with the COVID-19 Student Resource Center, I'm constantly using the extremely helpful tools off the site to aid me during this stressful process. Tools like the lists and rankings of universities have been the most beneficial. I've also used the site to receive expert advice on topics like financial aid. Finally, CollegeXpress has helped me easily apply for several scholarships. I'm thankful to be given the chance to win a scholarship to lessen the burden of my college debt.

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.

College Matches

Colleges You May Be Interested In