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12 Ways to Save Money Every Day in College

College is undoubtedly one of the most important times in your life, but its also be one of the most costly.

Luckily, with a bit of budgeting and some clever hacks, you can save a ton of money.

Student discounts are your new BFF. But make room for buying used. And don’t forget picking up a side hustle.

Here are the top 12 ways to save money in college that you might not have considered:

1. Flash that Student ID card.

This is as easy as you can get. From Metrocards to groceries, you can save a ton with your student ID.

If you’re located in a metropolitan area, chances are you can get a student rate on transportation (buses, subway, you name it), which can be a lower flat fee or a significant discount on weekly tickets.

In New York City, students can save up to half off.

Practically anywhere you go, your student ID can get you discounts: museums, attractions, restaurants and even groceries.

2. Get on the Amazon Prime bandwagon.

If you don’t already have an account, get one. Amazon Prime Student is a college student must-have.

From free two-day shipping on thousands of items to grocery delivery to Prime Video, you definitely get the best bang for your buck.

College students can get a six-month trial at no cost. After the six months is up, students pay half off the regular Prime monthly cost.

Even better, you can also save an extra 10 percent on sale items and get exclusive discounts at Whole Foods.

3. Sign up for UniDAYS discounts.

Love online shopping or need new tech?

UniDAYS has you covered.

The free service asks you to simply verify your school email, and then you get access to discounts at a variety of stores, from tech companies and restaurants to fashion and beauty brands.

It gives you access to unique codes to use online at all your favorite stores.

4. Shop local with secret student savings.

Chances are your favorite local digs have student discounts they may not advertise.

Just ask, and you can usually get at least a 10 percent discount. 

5. Join forces with friends.

Spotify Premium for half off and a free Hulu subscription.

They’re both great deals for students, especially if you split the cost and subscriptions with friends or roommates.

You pay half (or less!) and get access to even more.

Look at you being all thrifty!

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6. Work out online.

Don’t want to pay for a gym membership?

Check Eventbrite listings or the Facebook accounts of local gyms and yoga studios for no-cost workout sessions. They’re a great way to meet new people while getting a workout in from an credentialed instructor.

7. Buy used school supplies.

Purchase used items like class supplies and materials when possible.

Amazon and similar services rent textbooks to students for a lower cost provided you take good care of them, but be sure to check with your school’s library or bookstore before purchasing. They may have digital copies available online as well.

8. Try thrifting.

Buying used doesn’t have to end with textbooks. 

While it may be TikTok trendy, thrifting is also a great way to find unique pieces for low prices while (bonus!) helping the environment. 

Some thrift stores offer discounts on certain days, and you can find everything from clothes and furniture to dishware and household items for cheap.

9. Start investing… small. 

OK, so this one isn’t necessarily a discount and may counterintuitive, but consider investing in stocks.

Start small, of course. Even $10 can be doubled or tripled if you make a good investment, and it teaches you about money management and the stock market.

It’s a worthwhile investment to learn about the economy, and you could potentially make a bit of extra cash.

10. Pick up a work-study job.

If work-study is an option at your school and you’ve got the time, take advantage of it.

You can work on campus and make money to pay off student loans (some loans have work-study as a requirement).

There are usually a wide variety of options available for working on campus, and you can learn more about your school and environment as well.

11. Snag a side hustle.

Consider opening a business on Etsy, selling clothes on Poshmark, tutoring local kids, walking dogs via Nextdoor or delivering food for a food delivery service.

These can be great ways to make a little extra cash and are fairly reliable sources of income. You can set your own hours, receive tips and pick something that you actually enjoy.

People need these services now more than ever, so jobs are definitely in demand.

12. Take advantage of your parents.

But not in a bad way. Just see if you can stay on your parents’ phone and data plan.

It will save you money whether they don’t ask you to pay at all or if you just pay your portion, because your rate will most likely be much cheaper than if you have an individual plan.


It takes a little bit of creativity and good intentions to save money in college.

And while the savings might seem measly, a few bucks here and there can definitely add up.

It’s just up to you how much you save and then where you’re going to spend… err save it. Definitely save it.

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Author: Sierra Warshawsky

Cece is a college student pursuing a degree in social media management, public relations, marketing, and branding. She hopes to one day work in the entertainment industry in the field and she enjoys spending time with friends, traveling, cooking, and listening to true crime podcasts.