7 ways how I save money on everyday expenses as a student

Taksh Goel
7 min readMar 15, 2023

As a student, I understand the struggle of trying to manage my expenses on a tight budget. Between the cost of tuition, textbooks, and other school-related expenses, it can be difficult to make ends meet. In my blog, I aim to share some of the most useful tips and tricks that I’ve learned over the years to save money on everyday expenses. I’ll cover a wide range of topics, including budgeting, meal planning, shopping second-hand, and taking advantage of student discounts, all of which are relevant to students of all ages and backgrounds. I believe that everyone, including students, should have access to practical and actionable advice when it comes to personal finance. Whether you’re struggling to make ends meet or looking to reduce your overall expenses, my goal is to provide you with the information and resources you need to succeed.

How I save money on everyday expenses :

Make a budget :

Making a budget is a great way for me to save money on my everyday expenses. By creating a detailed plan for how much money I have coming in and going out each month, I can identify areas where I may be overspending and adjust accordingly. This allows me to see exactly where my money is going and make conscious decisions about how to allocate it.

To start, I need to track my expenses for a month to get a sense of my spending habits. Then, I can use that information to create a budget that includes all of my regular expenses, such as rent, utilities, groceries, and transportation. I also include a category for discretionary spendings, such as eating out, shopping, and entertainment.

By setting limits for each category and sticking to them, I can avoid overspending and save money. For example, if I notice that I’m spending too much on eating out, I can set a limit for that category and cook more meals at home. Or, if I see that I’m paying for subscriptions I don’t use, I can cancel them and redirect that money toward other areas of my budget.

Cook at home :

Eating out can be expensive, especially if I do it frequently. By cooking at home, I not only save money, but I also have more control over the ingredients and the nutritional value of my meals.

To start, I need to plan my meals for the week and make a grocery list based on those meals. This helps me avoid impulse purchases and ensures that I have everything I need to cook my meals at home. I also try to buy in bulk whenever possible to save money on pantry staples like rice, beans, and pasta.

Cooking at home doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. I can start with simple recipes and gradually build my skills and repertoire over time. I also try to meal prep whenever possible, which saves me time and ensures that I have healthy meals on hand throughout the week.

Shop second-hand :

Instead of buying new items at full price, I can find gently used items for a fraction of the cost. This includes clothing, furniture, and household items.

To start, I need to do some research on where to find second-hand items in my area. This could include thrift stores, consignment shops, and online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. I also make a list of items I’m looking for and set a budget for each one.

When shopping second-hand, I make sure to inspect items carefully for any damage or wear and tear. I also try to negotiate prices whenever possible to get the best deal.

Shopping second-hand not only saves me money, but it’s also better for the environment. By reusing items instead of buying new ones, I’m reducing my carbon footprint and promoting sustainability.

Buy in bulk :

Instead of buying small quantities of items at a higher cost, I can purchase larger quantities at a discounted price. This includes items like non-perishable food items, cleaning supplies, and personal care products.

To start, I need to make sure I have enough storage space for the items I’m buying in bulk. This could mean investing in some extra shelves or containers. I also need to be mindful of expiration dates and make sure I’m buying items that I will use before they go bad.

Buying in bulk can be done at wholesale stores like Costco or Sam’s Club, or even online through retailers like Amazon. By purchasing in larger quantities, I can often save up to 50% on the cost per unit compared to buying smaller quantities.

Not only does buying in bulk save me money, but it’s also more convenient. I don’t have to make as many trips to the store, and I always have the items I need on hand.

Buy generic brands :

These items are often just as good as name-brand items but cost significantly less. This includes items like food, cleaning supplies, and personal care products.

To start, I need to do some research on which generic or store-brand items are available at my local grocery store or retailer. I also make a list of the items I need and compare the prices of the generic or store-brand options to the name-brand options.

When shopping for generic brands, I make sure to read the labels and compare the ingredients to the name-brand options. Often, the generic or store-brand items are made with the same ingredients as the name-brand items, but cost much less.

Shopping for generic brands not only saves me money, but it’s also a smart financial decision. I’m able to stretch my budget further and have more money to put toward other financial goals.

Plan ahead for big purchases :

Planning ahead for big purchases is a great way for me to save money on my everyday expenses. By taking the time to research and plan for big-ticket items, I can often find better deals and save money in the long run.

To start, I make a list of any big purchases I anticipate making in the near future. This could include things like a new appliance, furniture, or electronics. I then research different options for each item, comparing prices and reading reviews to find the best value for my money.

Once I’ve identified the item I want to purchase, I look for sales and promotions to get the best deal possible. I also consider waiting until major shopping events like Black Friday or Cyber Monday to take advantage of even bigger discounts.

Another way I plan ahead for big purchases is by saving up for them over time. I set a savings goal for each item and put aside a small amount of money each month until I have enough to make the purchase.

By planning ahead for big purchases, I’m able to avoid making impulse buys or overspending on items I don’t really need. I’m also able to take advantage of better deals and discounts, which can save me hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the long run.

Rent instead of buying :

Renting instead of buying is a great way for me to save money on my everyday expenses. This includes things like housing, transportation, and other big-ticket items.

When it comes to housing, I’ve found that renting is often more cost-effective than buying a home. Renting allows me to avoid the upfront costs of a down payment and closing costs, as well as ongoing expenses like property taxes and maintenance. Renting also gives me more flexibility to move as my needs change, without the financial burden of selling a home.

In terms of transportation, I’ve found that leasing a car is often a more cost-effective option than buying one. Leasing allows me to drive a newer car with lower monthly payments and fewer maintenance costs. When the lease is up, I can simply return the car and get a new one without the hassle and expense of selling a used car.

Renting instead of buying also applies to things like tools, equipment, and other items that I might only need for a short period of time. Renting these items allows me to save money on the upfront costs of buying them outright, and I can return them once I’m done using them.

As I come to the end, I am reminded of the importance of personal finance and the role it plays in our lives. Managing money can be a daunting task, especially for students who are already struggling with the high cost of education and living expenses. However, with the right mindset and strategies, it is possible to save money and achieve financial stability. I have shared some of the most useful tips and tricks that I have learned over the years for saving money on everyday expenses. I have emphasized the importance of making a budget and sticking to it, cooking at home, shopping second-hand, buying in bulk, choosing generic brands, planning ahead for big purchases, and renting instead of buying. These tips are practical, easy to implement, and can make a significant difference in reducing expenses. While it may take some time and effort to implement these strategies, the benefits are well worth it. By saving money on everyday expenses, students can free up resources for other important areas of their lives. They can invest in their education, pursue their passions, and build a better future for themselves.

In conclusion, managing personal finances is a crucial skill that everyone should strive to master. By adopting a frugal mindset and making smart choices, students can achieve financial stability and reach their goals. I hope that this blog has been helpful in providing practical and actionable advice for students looking to save money on their everyday expenses. Remember, it is never too late to start taking control of your finances, and every little bit of saving counts towards a better future.

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Taksh Goel

Finance and economics student writing about personal finance.