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7 Easy Ways to Keep Your College Student Budget Under Control

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7 Ways to Keep Your College Student Budget Under Control“College” and “saving money” aren’t always the best of friends. Eating on the go, Friday nights out with the crew, that unlimited data phone bill, all those Spotify, Netflix, and Amazon subscriptions. We get it – they’re all must haves. Or so you think. Our friends at Barnes & Noble College’s blog, the College Juice, shared a few ways you can keep your college student budget under control. A few nips here, a few tucks there and, poof, your spending habits will be on track in no time.

1. Outline a quick budget – and stick to it.
Let’s start with the most obvious. Don’t know how to budget in college? You’re about to. Before you run away, hear us out. Budgeting doesn’t have to be long, tedious, or difficult. Keeping track of your spending is as easy as downloading an app like Mint and using their easy-to-follow instructions and tips.

2. Opt for cheaper alternatives.
Look for ways to cut costs and keep your less-than-robust college student budget under control. For example — you can brew your own morning coffee rather than stopping by your local cafe each day, walk to class instead of spending money on gas, switch back to the ad-version of Spotify, or purchase store brand products rather than those costly name brands. [Check out 5 Easy Ways to Save Money at the Drugstore.]

3. Seek out student discounts.
Did you know your student ID is a gateway to savings? Many companies offer student discounts – everything from clothing stores, restaurants, gym memberships, and more. Our Student Discounts page and Pinterest board have more great offers and deals for college students.

4. Recognize your wants from needs.
Do you want that extra large pizza pie with countless toppings and three sides? Probably. Do you need all of that food in order to feel full and satisfied? Probably not. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself every so often, but it shouldn’t be an everyday occurrence.

5. Limit the amount you go out to eat.
Speaking of pizza, it’s very tempting planning dinner dates with friends or picking up the phone and ordering delivery to your dorm room. But spending habits like that add up, so stick to dining hall swipes and cooking your own meals as much as you can.

6. Share with your roommates. 
Aside from splitting rent, there are other ways your roommate can help out your college student budget. Maybe you’ll cancel your Netflix subscription and share with your roommate. Or, you can alternate who purchases common household items — like groceries, toilet paper, etc.

7. Scope out coupons and promo codes.
This doesn’t have to be like one of those crazy episodes of Extreme Couponing. Sites like Coupons.com and RetailMeNot offer loads of free coupons you can scope out. Or, try a Chrome extension like Honey, which will automatically apply any applicable coupon codes to your cart during online orders. Cha-ching.

What are your budgeting tricks and favorite ways to save money? Meet us on Twitter or Facebook. Then head over to the College Juice for more great advice and tips. 

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