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Top Tips, Tricks and Tools You’ll Need to Stay on Budget in School

Published: December 23, 2019

When you’re in school, things can get very expensive. In addition to tuition and books and getting to and from your classes, you probably still have all your other bills too. Maybe it’s rent or a car payment or childcare; it all adds up! Keeping your finances in order can definitely be easier said than done. But we’re approaching a new year. Don’t you want to get on track with your finances? Here are a few tips, tricks, and tools that will help you save money and stick to your budget:

1. Use Technology to Budget While You’re in School

It’s the 21st century, so put away the pad, paper and calculator. Instead, use modern day tools to help you budget. There are apps that securely connect to your bank account so you can track your funds with just a click. You can also create multiple budgets, depending on the app, for necessities and non-essentials. Do you have some recurring payments? Set up autopay so they come directly from your account. That way, you won’t miss any payments and you’ll keep your credit history looking good. You’ll also avoid late penalties; so your money stays in your account instead of some nameless bank or credit card company.

2. Use Your Student ID to Save Money

Did you know that your student ID might be worth money? It’s true! Many businesses offer rate reductions and discounts if you use your student ID. For example, most major car insurance companies offer a student discount program, and some major cell phone carriers do as well. Museums and theaters often offer student discounts and some food chains and retailers do. Even some streaming services offer discounted rates to students. And check with your school for any local discounts. They may have arrangements with local businesses or know about “college night” rates.

3. Coupon to Stay on Budget as a Student

You don’t have to be extreme about couponing, but it can be a smart way to save some cash. Many grocery stores still use traditional paper fliers with cut out coupons. And most retailers offer coupons on their websites. You can also find deals through sites like Groupon, RetailMeNot, and Rakuten. The important part of couponing, though, is to use them! Once you find a deal on something you actually need, be sure to use the coupon before it expires.

4. Don't Spent Money on the Non-Essentials

About that idea of “actually need,” do you really need those fancy frappuccinos or luxurious lattes every day? You can save quite a bit of money in the long run by giving up or cutting back on non-essentials like expensive coffeehouse drinks, restaurant lunches and dinners, and impulse purchases. Instead of dining out at lunch, make a little extra dinner and use it for lunch. Brew your own coffee at home. Tuck snacks in your backpack or bag. Each time you reach out to pay for something during your busy day, ask yourself, “do I really need this?” Dollars add up to hundreds.  

5. Get a Roommate to Split Living Costs

The biggest expense you have may be your rent. But don’t you have a friend or two who would like to save money too? Why not rent an apartment together? If you split the cost of rent with a friend or roommate, you can put that extra money toward other bills or school necessities. And if you sit down to budget together, you can share the cost of all your living expenses. Wouldn’t it be great to pay half for your food, utilities, and even an occasional splurge?

6. Check Out Free Events

Do some social media sleuthing to find out what events in town are free to attend. Your college may also offer free events that will help you with your career. Have you gone to any networking events or career fairs? You can have some refreshments, while you meet people who can help you with your future career.


It’s not easy sticking to a budget—especially when you’re in school—but you can do it! Whether you’re already in college or just starting to explore programs, Charter College can help you plan for your future. Our enrollment team will also answer any questions you have about financial aid. Call today at 888-200-9942 to learn more.