Seven simple tips to help you save money while in school

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: SEB_RA
Follow these easy steps to save a few bucks.

While being a student comes with a number of expenses, there are a number of ways that you can save money while on a minimal budget. School is expensive and there are endless opportunities to spend your hard-earned income or student loans. By making some small changes today, you can save yourself a lot of money over time.

1. Rent your textbooks or buy used books. There are some fantastic online resources where you could rent textbooks for the semester and return it once you’re done. Or if you do like to actually possess the physical book you could always go get one from the Fanshawe Student Union (FSU) Used Book store if it’s available. The Fanshawe Student Union runs a consignment book shop during the first two weeks of the Fall and Winter terms so get a copy for yourself real soon. Find out more at

2. Make a budget and STICK to it. Making a budget is the easy part. Next, you need to put it into action. But remember: a budget is not a permanently fixed thing. On the contrary, it is meant to be dynamic. So, update it when things change.

3. Make your own coffee. If you buy one regular coffee a day it could cost you an average of $2 to $3. That will end up costing you $600 over the school year. That’s a month of rent just spent on coffee. Instead, you could buy a really good travel mug, buy your beans in bulk and make yourself a good warm coffee because you’re going to need it.

4. Coupons, flyers and loyalty cards. Get your hands on as many coupons as you can, and use them to reduce your grocery bill. Keep an eye out on your mail because some of those coupons and flyers can be a real money saver. Also, if you can sign up for free loyalty cards at retail outlets then make sure you sign up for them ALL.

5. Cook at home. Limiting the number of times you eat out each month can save you huge amounts of money. Cook big meals and put the rest in Tupperware containers. Bring the leftovers with you to school and heat them up to save money on meals.

6. Ask about student discounts. While many stores offer discounts to students, these deals are not always advertised. Don’t be afraid to inquire with a store employee. Have your student card ready. Ask and (sometimes) you shall receive.

7. Resist impulse purchases. Always ask yourself if you need it or want it. The answer may not be what you want but it’s more practical. And practical is what you need to be right now. Make sure to make purchasing decisions on the spot without thinking about the consequences.

Keep in mind that the key to financial health is being aware of how you’re spending your money and cutting out the unnecessary expenses wherever possible.