As students, saving money and living cheaply is a constant challenge, especially with rising living costs that strain even the most carefully planned budgets.


Adela Belin from Writers Per Hour suggests several strategies that students can use to stretch their dollars and maximize their limited resources.

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“The key to living cheaply as a student is to be mindful of your spending habits and prioritize your needs over your wants,” says Adela.

She shares five budgeting and saving tips for students:

Embrace Frugal Living

“One of the first steps in living cheaply is creating and sticking to a budget,” Adela explains.

    • Start by listing all sources of income, such as student loans, part-time job earnings, and financial support from family.
    • Categorize your expenses into essentials (like rent, utilities, and groceries) and non-essentials (like entertainment and eating out).
    • Track your spending to identify areas where you can cut back.
    • Use budgeting apps to simplify this process and help you stay on track.

Minimize Housing Costs

Housing is often the biggest expense for students.

    • Consider living with roommates or in student housing to reduce your rent.
    • Look for apartments slightly farther from campus, as they tend to be more affordable.

Optimize Transportation

Transportation is another area where students can save.

    • “If possible, use public transportation, walk, or bike to campus instead of driving,” Adela suggests.
    • Public transportation passes are often discounted for students, and many universities offer free shuttle services.
    • If you need a car, carpooling with friends can help share fuel costs.

Meal Prep and Grocery Shop Wisely

Food is a significant expense, but you can reduce costs by cooking at home rather than dining out.

    • Buy groceries in bulk and prepare meals in advance to save money.
    • Look for discounts, use coupons, and shop at budget-friendly stores.
    • Adela recommends joining a local food co-op or participating in food-sharing programs, which are usually available in university towns.

Leverage Student Resources

Many universities offer free or discounted services for students.

    • Take advantage of campus health centers, counseling services, and recreational facilities to save money.
    • Buy used textbooks or rent them instead of purchasing new ones.
    • Utilize online resources and free academic databases.
    • Make use of the university library, which often provides free access to required reading materials.

Final Reflections from Adela

“Living cheaply as a student requires discipline and creativity,” says Adela. “But by being mindful of your spending, you can not only survive but thrive on a student budget.”

The key is to prioritize your needs, seek out cost-saving opportunities, and embrace a frugal mindset.

“With a little effort and determination, you can navigate the financial challenges of student life and emerge with valuable money management skills that will serve you well in the future,” Adela adds.