save money in college

As college students it’s easy to find ourselves short on cash. With a little planning and strategy, however, we can take small steps toward bettering our bank accounts. In addition to making a budget, here are five easy tips to help you save more money for that designer clutch you’ve had your eye on.

If you have a job or other source of income, deposit half of your pay check right after you receive it.

I can’t stress this enough–if you make money, and if you keep that money with you, you will spend it. You think you won’t, but you will. Speaking from experience, the best way to prevent blowing a pay check is to put some of it out of sight. The more, the better, but start with fifty percent.

See something you want but hadn’t planned on buying? Sleep on it.

One of the biggest causes of debt in the United States is impulse buying. Sure, that hot pink raincoat seems adorable now, but will you still want it in a day? A week? A month? Waiting to buy something reduces the chances of wasting money on something you want in the moment, but might not be what you really need to buy.

Make a shopping list to prevent impulse buying.

This tip goes along with number two. If you’re going to the mall, and you know that you’re looking for jeans, a pencil skirt, and some new wedges, write out a list just as you would if you were going to the grocery store… and actually stick to it. You won’t believe how much money you’ll save.

Keep a jar for all your loose change.

Simple, yet brilliant. I have a change jar on my desk, and every time I come home, I empty all the extra change I have into it. Then, once the jar is full, I take it to Coinstar and cash it in. This method is a good way to save for a trip or something else specific–you can label the jar with what you’re saving for to keep you motivated, too.

Go generic when possible.

Cereal, households cleaners, tissues–pretty much everything can be found in generic form these days. And the off-brands are usually a dollar or more cheaper. If you can stand the switch, I highly recommend it.

What Do You Think?

Are there any other ways you know to save money? Leave us a comment and share with us!



  1. avatar Loud Sounds Co. says:

    I love your tip about saving half your paycheck. When I have money, I’m so tempted to spend. When I’m making less, I do just fine. Tomorrow, I’ll be posting a tip on my blog about how to save money. Instead of thinking about the cost of an item in dollars, think about it as hours worked!

  2. avatar Liz says:

    @Sharon, if you bring coins into your bank they’ll accept them. You might have to roll them yourself though. Or many banks are getting coin counters and don’t charge the fee if you have an account with them

  3. avatar Sharon says:

    @Rin what would you suggest instead of Coinstar?

  4. avatar alyssa_2011 says:

    i use generic stuff all the time it is uch better, and i have my check direct deposit so i only allow myself so much per week and thats it

  5. avatar Rin says:

    I won’t use Coinstar because it charges 8%. Therefore, if you bring in $20 worth of change, it will only give you $18.40. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but I want every penny I have.

    Also, a tip on generics: most generics are actually made by brand name companies. They are cheaper usually due to cheaper packaging and marketing. Most of the time (though not ALL of the time), they use the exact same ingredients. However, sometimes, there is a SLIGHT difference.

  6. avatar Jessica says:

    I use these tips all the time! They really do work. It’s all about how much willpower you have, I guess. Saving a little now is a great habit to have!

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