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The Money Manual Asks: How Did You Save Money During College?

Joan Vinson
March 12, 2018
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Saving money is an art form, and there’s nothing like a desperate need to stretch a dollar to spur on some really creative saving methods. We wanted to unearth some of those creative ways you could tuck away some extra dough, so we asked people how they saved money as broke college kids.

Here’s The Response:

The Practical Ways

“Going to a state school, instead of private school for college.” ­–Lauren

“I would say that budgeting is a big factor in saving money. Being aware of your income, your monthly expenses, how much is left over each month, and what room that gives to build savings. Preparing meals at home, inviting friends over instead of going out, and buying clothes secondhand were small everyday ways I saved money during college.” –Becca 

“By working when I wasn’t in class or studying.” –Reddit user Kytoaster

“Living with my parents cause the college doesn’t force me to live on campus.” –Reddit user UndeadKurtCobain

“Not owning a car. I take the bus most of the time, but I also have a motor scooter. The insurance, gas, and maintenance is so much cheaper, and it’s better than having no motor vehicle at all because you have more freedom. I live close enough to campus that I don’t bother taking it to school, because I don’t want to pay for parking, but even if I did decide to take it to school, motorcycle/scooter parking passes are so much cheaper than car parking passes.” –Reddit user FourthDragon

The Inventive Ways

“I had a lockbox with cash so it wasn’t all on my debit card. If I was at a store and wanted a pair of shoes I couldn’t buy them because I had $100 on my card and the rest of my cash at home. It worked!” ­–Mikaela

“I buy this really tasty gourmet instant coffee that I’ll put into these disposable, biodegradable cups to take with me to school. I just add hot water when I need coffee instead of buying from Starbucks.” –Alejandro

The Offbeat Ways

“Sold plasma as often as I could.” –Reddit user SkyDogsGhost

“I used to walk to the nearby bodega shirtless and barefoot for their 3 for $10 Marcus James (wine) special.” –Dalien

“I lived in a housing cooperative where food and utilities were included.” ­–Sam

“I would wait a long time before doing my laundry.” –Heather 


If you’re looking for side hustles to make some money while in college, look no further.

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