5 Simple Ways to Save Money in College

We’re back to blogging, y’all! Gabby and I always promise to keep up with the blog but somehow it always slips through the cracks. As seniors this year, we’re even more busy than usual! But fear not. We’ve got some great content coming up, starting with this little post on the easiest ways to save money in college!

While I'm not going to show you how to *stop* spending money, there are little things you can do to save money in college. Let's start saving!

Trying to juggle schoolwork + extracurriculars + a social life in college is a delicate balance, made even more difficult by the possible addition of an on-campus job. It feels great to make money during the week, but still, it’s not like you’re raking in thousands of dollars a week.

Or, if you are, hit me up. I want to know what kind of job you have.

But anyways.

Whether you get your money through an on-campus job, from your summer job, or from savings / parents / family, chances are that money is tight. Between going out to dinner with friends, paying for club dues and t-shirts, or simply browsing Amazon, somehow the money always disappears. While I’m not going to show you how to STOP spending money (I’m still working on this myself, yikes), there are little things you can do to save money in college. Every penny adds up, so let’s start saving!

Sign Up for Ebates

I signed up for Ebates at the urging of my mom (moms are always right, right?). All you have to do is activate Ebates every time you shop at one of their affiliated websites, either by going to directly to the Ebates website or activating their web browser extension. For every purchase you make through Ebates, you’ll make anywhere from 1.5% – 6% cash back!

Almost every retailer offers cash back through Ebates (except Nordstrom, which makes me REAL sad). If you’re planning on making some big winter purchases (coats, boots), definitely go through eBates and start saving that dough!

If you use my Ebates link, you’ll get $10 right off the bat! That’s like 2 pints of Ben & Jerry’s or 27 entire cans of LaCroix(!!).

Yes, I’m obsessed with LaCroix. And yes, I’m currently sipping some Lime as I write this.

Make Your Own Coffee

I love myself a good cappuccino from Starbucks, but at almost $4 a pop with an extra shot of espresso, I just can’t afford to be #trendy every day. That’s why I love to make coffee using the Keurig in my room! If you save even $2/day on coffee by brewing it at home, that’s over $700 a year!

I’m not saying that I don’t EVER go to Starbucks and #TreatMyself to a fancy coffee or caramel apple spice (actually the best drink on the menu). BUT, if I’m just going to class or doing homework, regular drip coffee in my thermos works just fine! It’s one of the easiest ways to save money in college, AND there are tons of different K-Cup coffee and tea flavors that you’ll never get bored!

Always Ask for the Student Discount

It never hurts to ask if stores have a student discount while you’re at the register! A ton of stores offer 10-15% off, which can save you LOADS of money if you’re an avid shopper like me. My favorite discount is at J.Crew and J.Crew Factory, because you can apply your student discount on sale items!

And let’s be honest, I put my horse blinders on and make a beeline for the J.Crew sale rack when I walk in because ya girl cannot afford the $400 sequin blazer in the window display.

My other favorite student discount is on Spotify! Shameless plug to follow me, because I’m always looking for new music and I think I’ve made some fire playlists myself. Spotify is only $5 per month if you’re a student, AND NOW YOU GET HULU FOR FREE WITH YOUR SUBSCRIPTION. LIKE WHAT.

Spotify, you are my one true love.

And now I can watch Bob’s Burgers on Hulu for free, too? WOW.

Honestly, I think the worst part about graduating from college is going to be losing my Spotify student subscription price.

Sign up for Qapital

If you haven’t heard me rave about Qapital on the blog yet, you’re missing out. Basically, Qapital is an app that rounds up all of your purchases to the nearest dollar and saves that money. So if you spend $9.81 for dinner at Chiptole, Quapital puts 19 cents in your “Qapital Account” that you can access at any time.

Pretty soon, all that change adds up! It’s my favorite completely passive way to save money in college. I started using Qapital about 5 months ago, and so far, I’ve saved almost $150! Saving money every time I spend money? I’m all about it. Sign up for Qapital using my link and get $5!

Check out Local Food + Restaurant Deals

Eating out can get real expensive real quick. That’s why I love to check out the specials that local restaurants are offering! Whether it’s half-price appetizers or inexpensive late-night snacks, there’s bound to be some great deals near you. Get the squad together and go go go!

So those are my tips and tricks to save money in college! Money is probably always going to be tight, but a few dollars saved here and there can really make a difference. Did I miss any tips? Have you saved up for a big purchase in college? How did you do it? Sound off in the comments below! And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@theswirlblog) and Instagram (@theswirlblog, @_hancam_, and @photobygcw) for all the latest and greatest. See ya soon!

  • “it’s not like you’re raking in thousands of dollars a week. Or, if you are, hit me up. I want to know what kind of job you have.” LOL I laughed so hard at this. Love to have you back in the blogging world!