Cost-Saving Tips for Off-Campus Students

When you start college, you may have to take on some additional expenses. Learn how to stay on top of your budget using these tips. 


Piggy bank next to a calculator on a blue table
  • Try to avoid buying new textbooks if possible. Rent or buy used books and sell your books back. Check with your professors and see if an older edition will work for the course.

  • If you're able, get a part-time job while you're in school.

  • Try meal prepping to spend less money on food.

  • Brew your own coffee or bring your own water bottle to save the money you might otherwise spend buying drinks.

  • Apply to scholarships throughout your time in college to cut down on any private loans.

  • Take advantage of student discounts. It never hurts to ask if a store or restaurant has one, so always bring your student ID with you.

  • Utilize the services that are covered by your student fees.

  • Make a budget for your semester and then track your expenses using a budgeting app. 

  • Keep the money that you don’t need right away in a savings account.

  • Apply for financial aid every year using FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

  • Consider using cash instead of a card to help you keep track of how much you’re spending.

  • Go thrift shopping so save money on clothes and household items.

  • Keep snacks with you during the day so that you’re less likely to buy food.

  • Consider leaving your car at home and using other transportation options. CapMetro is a great way to get around campus and the city. It's also covered by your student fees, so you just have to swipe your student ID to ride.

  • Avoid buying any unnecessary subscriptions. Every few months, take a look at any subscriptions you are using and consider how much you use them or if there is a comparable service with a lower cost.