a pink pig coin bank on a brown wooden table

Budgeting Tips for College Students

College isn’t just tough on the brain. For many Americans, college expenses represent one of the biggest allocations in the budget. For some, the budgeting troubles don’t even stop after graduation because of their student loans and debt.

In short, college is expensive, whether we’re talking about academic expenses or living expenditures. We’ve been there — and we’re here to help.

By following a few simple spending and budgeting tweaks, you’ll be on your way to a fuller coin jar and bank account. Read on to learn our money-saving tips for college students on a budget!

Budget Realistically

Budgeting is like exercise — it only works the longer you keep it up. You should be looking for a sustainable way to save up.

When budgeting sustainably, start by tracking your expenses. From here, categorize them into needs and wants. Keep spending on the “needs.” As for the “wants,” either stop spending on them or cut down.

Either way, you’ll have just a bit more left over — all without the feeling of deprivation.

Get a Job or Start a Side Hustle!

When you’re trying to save money and improve your budgeting, your ability to do both depends on the money you either have or have coming in. The more money you have coming into your bank balance, the more you’ll be able to save.

Now there are two ways for you to bring in an income before you get your degree. The first is getting a part-time job. Not only will a part-time job bring you some extra money after each month. By working, you can have something on your resume after graduation.

Maybe you don’t have time for a job. If so, start a side hustle. Starting a small business gives you a passive stream of income. It can be anything, from online tutorials to exercise programs. Just pick something you can and would love to do.

Cook Your Own Food and Make Your Own Coffee

Learning to cook simple, nutritious meals on a budget is a valuable skill that will save you money in the long run. The same is true for coffee. Making both at home saves you money from going to a restaurant or coffee shop.

There are other benefits to cooking your food and making your coffee. Doing both helps you stay healthy. After all, you’ll know what goes into your food and coffee when you prepare them yourself, so you can work around any allergies you have or track your macronutrients.

Save on Textbooks

Textbooks are a necessity. However, that doesn’t mean you need to buy them. Instead, look for used textbooks that you can buy or rent. You could also check if your college library has copies of the required textbooks available for borrowing.

If your library isn’t fully stocked, take to the internet. You can take advantage of e-books and digital resources, which are often cheaper than physical copies.

Budget Like a Boss!

By mastering the art of budgeting, you’ll become a money magician, conjuring up savings and financial success. All you need to do is stay disciplined, make saving a habit, and look for ways to make extra cash.

Your future self will thank you!