7 Money Saving Tips For College Freshmen

Aug 15, 2023 Paying For College

Managing money while in college can be challenging. Here are some money-smart tips to help you save.

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The best way to save money in college is to know the basics – understand your income and expenses, create a spending and saving plan, and then implement it.

Here are some tips to help you build your savings, buy the essentials, and have extra spending money.

Money Saving Tips

Save The Money You Have Already

If you don’t have one already, open a savings account. It’s not easy to set aside money, but it’s a necessary step to making smart financial decisions for the unexpected or future plans. Stay consistent and remember a little goes a long way.

When it comes to checking accounts – you have options. Keep more of your money by choosing a free checking account without monthly fees and increase savings by earning cash back.

Get A Job

If you’re disciplined in managing your time and putting your studies first, getting a job is a great way to start building your savings. In addition to part-time jobs, students can search for federal work-study programs and on-campus jobs. If you’re looking for something more flexible, don’t discount the value of side hustles.

Having an income allows you to pay for current expenses so you borrow less and/or better position yourself to pay off student debt after you graduate.

Student Discounts

Being a student really does have its perks. Carry your student ID on you at all times so you’re able to take advantage of student discounts many businesses offer. Make sure to ask at movie theaters, retail stores, and restaurants. Also, check out websites like StudentBeans and UNiDAYS for more ways to save.

Explore Textbook Options

Textbooks are a necessity but don’t be fooled into thinking you have to buy them new. Buying used or renting them is one of the easiest ways to save money. Explore the many online options, such as Amazon or Chegg, when shopping for books. Also, check with peers who took the same class to see if they still have their textbook or see if it’s available to check out at your school’s library.

There are several options to save money on one of the most expensive aspects of being a college student, so make sure you use them!

Transportation & Travel

If you need to get around campus, ride a bike or use free transportation whenever possible. Most campuses have free buses and shuttles to help students get from one end of campus to the other. Visit your local transit authority’s website to see if there are student passes or discounts available for off-campus travel.

If you’re traveling home for breaks, try carpooling with someone you know that’s headed in the same direction or, better yet, the same location. This way you both can save by sharing the expense. If flying, use one of the multiple travel websites to find deals – including Expedia, Orbitz, or CheapFlights.


While education is the priority, everyone wants to relax and have fun while in college. This is the time when you build lifelong relationships and begin networking for your future.

You can do all this without breaking the bank by attending free events on and off campus, using the campus gym, cutting cable for streaming services, and joining groups.

Use A Planner

A planner is good for more than just scheduling your day, week, or month. It can be used to help budget for planned events or ones you’re interested in going to. Write down the event and how much you think you’ll spend next to it. This allows you to see your expected costs and potentially spend less on certain events to save for other things.


It’s scary and exciting to be on your own as a college freshman. Money can be a source of stress for some, but these seven tips will help you get in the habit of saving. Establishing your savings and good money habits now will get you on the path to financial success.

Providers and products are mentioned for educational purposes only. This in no way constitutes an endorsement or approval by A+FCU. Refer to the external organization’s site for the most up-to-date information as their products and terms are subject to change.

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Life Guidance for:

Going To College

College might be the first time you have full control over your finances. Use our toolkit to arm yourself with financial tips for building a strong foundation during your college years.

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