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30 Financial Tips for College Students in 2023

When it comes to finances, it is never too early to start planning about it. Therefore, it is imperative to learn financial tips for college students.

Most students find themselves deep in debt with the majority not knowing how they got there. The fact is, most students in their college years are being in charge of their finances for the first time and as such have no idea how to manage and keep funds without falling into depth.

Most students not being the source of their finances don’t understand the basics of how to manage these funds and maximize the funds at their disposal.

This article is here to guide you as a college student on what to do and what not to do as it pertains to your finances. These 30 financial tips will guide you on how to be a bit more conservative as a student, helping you save more and avoid the deep ends of debt.

We would also talk about why you should care about your finances as a student. So, without waiting any further, let’s get right into it. 


Why Should you Care about Money While in College?

As a college student, it is no surprise that most people, if not all, have once or twice maxed out credit cards in a matter of days with no concrete memory of what they spent all that money on.

Not caring about your finances or money would leave you in a situation where you have emptied your credit card, overdrawn from your bank account, totally wrecked your credit score, signed leases for apartments you are not able to afford, and have no dime whatsoever in your emergency savings. You could be working a series of student jobs and still never have enough at the end of it all.

Do you want to know what you are doing wrong? Well, the fact probably is you don’t care about money as you should and trust me you should.

So below, we would be writing down some tips for you to see where you have been getting it all wrong all this time and help you figure out a pattern that works for you and would set you on the right track. 

Below, we will discuss financial tips for college students.

30 Financial Tips for College Students 

#1. Don’t Buy New Textbooks 

As much as possible avoid buying new books. They only rake in cost and most of the time it is very unnecessary. Old textbooks can be borrowed from colleagues that are higher up in class or from libraries.

The fact is, there are just some textbooks you don’t need to bother owning and, in that case, just borrow them from the library and read as much as you can and when you are done you can return them.

You would never really realize how much books cost until you stop buying them and instead of saving funds that would have been used to purchase textbooks that you might end up needing for just one semester. 

#2. Take Advantage of Campus Activities 

A lot of activities going on in the school which you can attend for leisurely purposes. Are you thinking of going to the mall to see a movie? Why not save up and rather go for a campus movie night at the auditorium?

Also, you can skip the clubs and paid entry parties and just attend regular frat parties on campus. Don’t get me started about the balls and dances. You can have all the fun you want from free college activities. So, we would advise you to look out for them. 

Read Also: 30 Effective Tips for Success in Law School

#3. Make your Own Coffee 

If you can, and you do coffee, then it’s about time you start making your own coffee and stop those trips to the coffee shop.

You can easily get yourself a cheap coffee machine and start brewing your own coffee every morning and you get to save those little changes you feel don’t matter what you usually spend on coffee. 

#4. Be Smart with Credit Cards and Checking Accounts 

Owning a credit card comes with great responsibility. You might have noticed that a lot of credit card companies have their booths situated all over the campus because fact is, college students are easy targets.

Now, we know that having a credit card, being responsible, and having a good credit score can be very challenging but trust me it can be done.

You need to use your credit cards only for emergencies and always try to pay them off as soon as possible not letting them accumulate. If possible, always try to pay more than the minimum due. 

This is one of the financial tips for college students.

#5. Test Out of or Transfer as many Classes as you Can 

A single college course can cost as much as thousands of dollars in tuition alone, whereas a similar course in a community college can cost way less.

First of all, if you have done a similar course in a community college, ask the registrar about transferring that course in but if you haven’t and it is possible to transfer the course from a community college, then what are you waiting for?

You can go over to a community college and enroll in the same course for a cheaper rate and have it transferred after you are done with the course.

Also, if there are requirements that include something you already know, then you can choose to ask about testing out of it and save the funds required to do the course all over again. 

#6. Don’t Buy Music 

Yea, We know that getting all that exclusive content from iTunes can be great but is not all worth the hype.

You can opt for services on Spotify and pandora without going for the premium, and get to jam to all your favorite tunes without the extra $1.29 for iTunes. Then, if need be, for purchases, you can save them for days when you have a gift card, then you can purchase away 

#7. Apply to become a Resident Advisor 

If you are responsible enough and looking out for some way you can make a couple of bucks while in college, then applying for the resident advisor isn’t a bad idea.

In some colleges, RAs get free room and board which would save you a truckload of money. You are responsible for keeping an eye on those living in your hall and maybe organizing a few events here and there over time. You may be charged with other responsibilities depending on the situation at hand. 

#8. Go Generic 

For most people, this might seem like a fashion suicide when you aren’t always dressed in Fendi or Chanel but the fact is the generic brands would give you just about the same quality without the overpriced brand. 

#9. Save your Spare Change 

You might have heard the saying “a little goes a long way”, well that applies to your finances too. As generous as you would like to be with the tips, always remember to set some aside for later.

One day you would never know what all these tiny drops of rain would do for you on rainy days. Also, you might be at a vending machine and need those extra loose changes for a drink or snack, instead of breaking $20, you can easily pull out some loose change and save up the rest. 

Read Also: 100 Informative Speech Topics for College Students

#10. Fill your Birthday Wish List with Needs 

If you get to have a birthday list, then we advise you to use it wisely. When the opportunity presents itself, do your finances a favor by filling your list with only things you need and not things you want.

That would help you save a lot in the long run cause well; you won’t get to buy those needs anymore with your own funds. 

#11. Always Ask About the Student Discount 

Now, a lot of stores and service centers offer amazing student discounts especially if their target population for the commodity is students. Why have you been missing out on these discounts? Well, you have never quite asked.

So, when the time you go to purchase at a convenience store, maybe one on-campus or off-campus, and close by, do well to ask if there are any student discounts. 

#12. Get a Part-Time Job 

To make those extra funds, you would need to get a part-time job you can work with while studying in school. A part-time job can earn you as much as $12 per shift. This can go a long way to boost your financial freedom as a student. 

#13. Set a Budget 

Setting a budget would help you plan how to manage your funds. Allocating different funds to different tasks would help you keep track of what you are spending on and how much you would be spending on it. 

#14. Track your Expenses 

Keeping a track of how much money you spend is a good financial tip that would help you keep an eye on your finances as a college student. Pay attention to how much you spend and what you are spending on. 

This is one of the financial tips for college students.

#15. Open a Savings Account 

Opening a savings account would help you a lot as a student. It would help you in saving up your funds and keep them out of hand which would make it hard to spend.  

#16. Start Building your Credit Score 

You can never go wrong in building up your credit score which plays a huge part in apartment renting and buying cars amongst other things. Always try as much as possible to pay off loans as soon as possible or make down payments on loans little at a time 

#17. Cook on a Budget 

Forget the fancy food and the luxurious meals. Try cooking on a budget in which way you get to save on meals. Maybe once in a while, you might decide to spoil yourself a little bit and cook something fancy but try not to make a habit of it. 

Read Also: How can I become a Loan Officer very Fast? Training, Licenses, Salary & Cost

#18. Create an Emergency Fund 

Try to keep aside some funds for emergencies. You won’t want to be trapped in a dicey situation and have no way out. So, if I were to be in your shoes, I would set aside some funds, maybe once a month or a week, which would be strictly for emergencies. And if the emergency happens to occur, do well to build up your emergency funds again in case something off-plan happens. 

#19. Have a Debt Payoff Plan 

If you have debts, you should also have the plan to settle those debts. Having a debt payoff plan would go a long way to keep you out of debt and your debt at a minimum. 

#20. Start Investing Now 

You can pick a great project and invest in it. Maybe you can look out for stocks or bonds that have a lot of potential. Purchase as much as you can and leave it long-term to appreciate. You would be grateful when these investments pay off. 

#21. Use Credit Wisely 

First, the thing to always keep in mind when you have a credit card is, it’s not your money. It’s basically a loan you would have to pay back. If you fail to pay back your credits it acquires interest and fees and you, we more.

So, if you do have a credit card be mindful of what you spend on and also try as much as you can to pay back on credit as soon as possible.

This is one of the financial tips for college students.

#22. Protect Yourself 

Now, you might be used to leaving notes of cash lying around, but the fact is this habit has to stop. You would need to be more particular about cash, especially around roommates and classmates or others who may want to borrow money or bring up great ideas on ways you could spend yours.

Also, look out for identity theft when shopping online to avoid falling prey to online scammers. 

#23. Look for Ways to Spend Less 

Always take advantage of student discounts, check online for student traveling deals, and check for student food, books, clothing, or entertainment deals. Keep tabs on your free coupons before a shopping trip and always stick to the generic stuff 

#24. Take Control, and be Responsible  

With great power comes great responsibility. It’s about time you own up to your financial responsibilities and starts taking care of them. It’s left for nobody else but you.

You should always try to be more intentional especially when it concerns your funds. 

#25. Be Smart about your Student Loan Refund 

Student loans most of the time are necessary to finance higher education, if you are part of this crowd then you might also be expecting some student loan refund after payment of tuition and loans.

Now, what you do with this refund should matter, don’t go buying clothes and accessories you don’t need rather you should send the refund back to your loan servicer in that way you don’t borrow more than you need. 

#26. Stay Away from Meme Stocks 

The development of fintech apps has made day trading easier than ever. You might find that it is easier to get stuck up on meme stocks which can take away all your money because they lack the fundamental basis behind stocks.

If you wish to invest early, always choose concrete stocks with long-term potentials that are not as volatile. 

#27. Beware of School-Sponsored Bank Accounts 

Over the years, it’s been observed that School-Sponsored Banks have very high fees on their bank accounts and as a college student, this should be a major red flag.

The key is to save money and not have the bank take away the few funds you saved. Try to always go for the choice of banks with the least or no fees at all. 

This is one of the financial tips for college students.

Read Also: 30 Effective Tips For Success In Law School

#28. Get Organized 

Organization would go a long way in helping you save your funds. The more organized you are the fewer unplanned expenses you incur. 

#29. Entertain on a Budget 

When your friends say they are coming over. Don’t go and break the bank just to entertain them or feel the need to throw an all-out party just for their entertainment.

Also, try and entertain on a budget and try not to exceed the said budget you would be thankful for it. 

#30. Don’t Always Eat Out 

Try as much as possible to avoid eating out, especially in luxurious restaurants. Take some time out and cook something at home instead. You can make healthier cheaper food at home by yourself than throwing all that cash for just one meal at a restaurant.


Keeping an eye on your finances while you are in college would do you lots of good, not only when you are still in college but also afterward. It would help you cut down on debts and help you start on the right path post-graduation.

So, do make sure you abide by a few of these financial tips as a college student then come thank me later. 

These are the financial tips for college students. We hope you enjoyed reading through it.


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