Frugal Living Student

What Do Students Save on and Where Do They Spend Their Money?

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The majority of students are from ordinary families so they may have some difficulties with money. To avoid them, students must learn budgeting tips and manage their money wisely. There are almost no students who don’t face money issues. But despite all this, college time is great because it’s a period when teens become adults. College gives knowledge and teaches many important things that are useful in life. First of all, students learn to live independently, be masters of their fates, and manage their money. 

The last one is rather important: you can’t spend money on everything you want while studying; otherwise, you’ll lack money on essential things. Even finding a job doesn’t mean you have absolute freedom in choosing what to buy. If you’re a school graduate, you must understand that preparation for college means you have to do more than just master your admission essay, but also to learn about spending and saving habits for students. Let’s try to analyze students’ expenses.

What Do College Students Save On?

Sometimes it seems that college students try to save money on everything, and it’s partially true. Quite often, they deny themselves some essential things to save money and spend them on something important. But in most cases, they just look for cheaper alternatives. Let’s define the key things students try to save on.


It’s the largest part of the expenses; that’s why students grab every chance to find a cheaper room in a dormitory or an apartment for rent. By the way, those who prefer the latter option often rent together with someone to live in a good apartment but pay less. Living at home is also popular, but only among those who live near the campus. 

Eating out

It may seem it costs nothing to buy a cup of coffee and some snacks while going to college, but if students do it several times a week, they notice that a lot of money goes to it. That’s why they try to limit eating out as much as possible. It’s better to cook meals on your own than buy them in cafes.

Academic help

All students sometimes need professional assistance and just can’t do without it. As we know, it may be costly enough, especially if you need someone to complete the difficult assignment. That’s why students do their best to find a cheap essay writing service that can help them handle difficult papers and get good grades. Fortunately, the abundance of companies makes it possible to order law essays, marketing papers, and history essays. Find the information about the reliable service here.


We spend enough money on various subscriptions to streaming services, games, and software. Students need a lot of them, but paying money each month may not fit into the expenses. It’s always possible to find a free alternative to the paid program you use, and this alternative will have the same functions and may work even better. 

The number of things students try to save on is a lot bigger, but we’ve mentioned only the most significant ones. They buy cheaper products, get the advantage of student discounts whenever possible and manage to spend less money. 

The Key Students Expenses

No matter how much they try to save, some expenses are still inevitable. When you’re financially independent, only you’re responsible for your money. It’s one of the reasons why all students look for part-time jobs and side hustles. Here are the most significant parts of students’ expenses:

Student loan

Almost 70% of students in the US get student loans to pay for their studies. That’s why some money goes to monthly payments. It’s impossible to say how much this or that student will pay until we know the loan amount, interest rate, loan term, and prepayment. If you go to a public college, be ready to pay a lot.


The minimum cost of a new textbook is 50$. Sometimes textbooks can cost up to 100$. It’s okay if you need to buy one book, but students have 5-6 and even more. That’s why more and more colleges let students use e-books or purchase used ones. There’s no difference in what book you use: new or used, both of them are effective for studying. 


Students can’t stay at home all the time and do assignments 24/7, but academic load often presupposes it. They visit various events, concerts, gyms and other interesting places to entertain themselves and spend money there. If you think you won’t spend money on entertainment when you enter college, you’re mistaken. You’ll be busy with homework and dream about having a rest.


Students need to cook meals, so a lot of money goes to groceries. Each city has affordable grocery stores that are popular among the local students. If you’re a freshman, ask any graduate students you know about it. Even those who couldn’t cook at the beginning of their studies managed to find cheap and easy recipes and cook delicious dishes independently.

Public transport

Having an old car is popular among students. The gas prices are high enough for them, so public transport becomes the main transportation method for them. Having a car is convenient, but it needs to be filled. Moreover, car parking is also very expensive. Many students like public transport because it gives them some free time to prepare for classes once more.


We can’t omit these expenditures. It’s another one of the essential students’ expenses. It’s impossible to wear one t-shirt and trousers for several years, so students buy new clothes from time to time. In most cases, they purchase clothing in outlets or wait for the discounts to spend less money on it.


Those who often skip classes may be required to pay for them. A lot of colleges ask students to pay even when they are late for the class. However, it’s impossible to say that this practice is effective and all students stopped skipping classes. 

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