Tips to help college students save money

Kreg Bale
Kreg Bale May 11, 2021
Updated 2021/05/11 at 3:16 PM
Piggy bank with a cash note and a few coins

Are you a college student? Are you suffering from a financial crisis? Would you like to manage your finances better?  Then you are in the right place. On this website, I am going to discuss ways in which you, as a college student. Can be able to manage your finances better. On-campus, temptations to spend extra money are always there, you will often feel the urge to go over budget. That is why you need a plan to avoid misusing your funds.

Why do you require a budget?

Many students think that budgeting is overrated. They say that budgeting is for people with households, people with families. Well, this is the worst notion to have while on campus, especially if you have limited amounts of money. Many students know they need to budget, but the need for constant change leads to them avoiding this process.

The process of budgeting, though a lengthy one, can save you a lot of money. Micromanaging is another name for budgeting for your household. Involves writing down everything you require for about a month and then assigning each item the required money. Doing so helps you visualize the way you will spend your money. It helps reduce cases of going over budget. Also missing some items when you have already spent your funds on some other, not so important, items.

So to build a good budget, you require to have a goal.

Define your goals

Let us focus on the strategy and tactic involved in creating a budget. In high school, you are taught three management levels that form the corporate structure. They are

  1. Tactical management
  2. Strategic management
  • Operational management

We can use the same management levels to manage our finances better. Students, just like businesses, have expenses, income, and goals. Even though the intensity of each attribute is not as high as the business one, they are still more alike.

Strategic management

It is what controls the entire business. Without a good strategy then a business does not succeed. Businessmen often ask themselves, where did we begin? Where have we reached? And what is our current destination? Such questions steer the business in the right direction ensuring it does not drift away from its purpose.

Tactical management

Tactical management focuses on finding means to achieve the set goals and accomplishes the strategies. Businessmen often face questions such as, how shall we accomplish this task? How will we meet this years’ target? Such questions are answered by coming up with tactics to help solve the problems at hand.

Operational management

They are used to make sure the company does not drift away from its cause.

How the three management levels relate to our life

The strategy

Take into account the amount of money you have. Try to find ways to make it sufficient to suit all your needs.


Come up with ways to manage your money better. Budgeting is a good place to start.


Check on how you spend your money. Make sure you maintain your cash flow. Align your expenditure to your tactics and strategies to better manage your finances.

To have a successful tactic and operation, you require a rock-solid strategy.

Your goals should also align with your situation. For example when on campus, set goals that will help you study better, manage your finances and have a bit more extra cash. You can then deal with the student loan later.

In short, try to be realistic but also optimistic. Doing so will help you set goals that make your life better while also not stressing you out.

Take a personal financial survey

As a student, you probably face instances that force you to go over budget. To help reduce such occurrences, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What are my weaknesses?
  2. What are my strengths?
  • What are my opportunities?
  1. What are my threats?

Take your time to answer each of these questions. You can then create a list containing information on how much you earn each month. How much money you spend per month, and how stable your income is.

Another tip I would highly suggest you implement is listing all your expenses. Doing so will help you cut off unnecessary expenditures, like Netflix subscriptions.

Build money pipes

Visualizing your expenses helps you manage them better. And what better way to visualize them than through a money pipe diagram. It is a diagram that describes money flow in terms of an intake pipe with a drainage system. The intake is the money coming in, while the drainage is the money going out.

The money going out is money used to-

  1. Repay debts
  2. Monthly expenses
  • Invest
  1. Save the money


However, the pipe does not state the actual amount to spend, but it paints out the cash flow.


University life requires a lot of budgeting. Without a budget, students spend all their money at once and end up suffering later. It is hence crucial to plan on how you wish to spend your money.

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