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How to save money as a student

November 28, 2022


I know that some individuals want to purchase all of their textbooks listed in the syllabus or on the course catalogue before the start of the school year to get a head start, but I would advise waiting. I know it seems strange, but some professors will say on the first day of class that the textbook is not necessary for the course but rather an additional resource if you need help comprehending the material. Additionally, the textbook edition could be indicated incorrectly in the course catalogue or the syllabus, so it's always a good idea to double-check with your professor before purchasing expensive textbooks. If you're lucky, some professors will provide you with readings from the textbook or other sources. However, if it is required that you purchase your textbooks, I have supplied some suggestions. You may put your used textbooks in an Ontario Tech Facebook group and sell them to other students, which is advantageous because you can make some money. Additionally, you may hunt for used textbooks for your courses and save money by purchasing them from other students. 

Click here to find out more about Ontario Tech Used Books Exchange

Additionally, purchasing textbooks from the campus bookstore is always a great option, but it can be costly. There are other ways to get textbooks, such as asking former classmates or friends, looking for the book on Amazon and buying a used copy, or even obtaining a digital copy, which may be available for a few dollars less than the original price.


I advise you to make a budget for yourself and keep track of your monthly spending. For instance, if your monthly salary is $400 and you spend the entire $400 in one go, leaving you with nothing to cover your costs for the month, or if you spend so much that you have credit left over each month after paying your bills, this is terrible. This will lead to the accrual of interest fees and bad credit.

My father taught me this; at first, I was not too fond of the idea, but now I love it, and I'm so appreciative that he did this with me. Since I consistently worked, I had money coming in each month. Although I didn't blow it all or spend it all at once, my money began accumulating in my checking account. He advised me to set aside a savings account and transfer a particular amount of money into it each pay period so that it would remain untouched. For example, if my monthly income were $400, $150 would be automatically set away in a savings account. I wouldn't spend this money, but if I wanted to, I could invest it in stocks to increase its value. My dad made a valid point when he said that if I left it up to you or any individual, they would think about their monthly expenses each month before setting that money aside. Still, if the payment goes away automatically to the savings account, you don't have a choice. With a financial advisor's assistance, I could get these payments done each month automatically.

Credit cards are also an excellent way to establish credit, but they may damage your credit if used excessively, cannot be paid off in full, or are forgotten. I have all my bills set up to automatically be deducted each month and go directly to the credit card bill because I tend to forget things easily and think I have more time than I do. As a result, the bill is paid off automatically, and I don't have to worry about paying the bill every month. I suggest you do the same, as this is a game changer.

Learn to budget and track your expenses! I'll admit that I'm just as guilty of doing this as anyone else, but ever since I installed Apple Pay on my phone, I carelessly tap it wherever I go because it's so convenient, and I act as if Apple is paying for everything without even noticing that each tap deducts money from my account. Hence why I use Scotiabank, and I can see how much money I spend each month and what services and goods by using the mobile banking app. The app also offers a budgeting option where you can create a monthly budget for things like food, shopping, and other expenses to help you keep tabs on your spending. Another related suggestion is examining your suppliers to see what you are paying for against what you are utilizing. For instance, if you pay for Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, and Disney Plus but only use one of these services while paying for the rest, I advise stopping this as it is a waste of money.



Everyone likes brands, but brand names might not always be your priority if you're a student on a tight budget. Instead of buying what's trendy or in season, which will be out of style the following season or month, I recommend investing in a few high-quality statement pieces that are reusable and can be matched with various outfits. You can create more outfits by purchasing essential items that can be styled in multiple ways.  When you frequently purchase clothing things that aren't adaptable, you could feel as though you have nothing to wear since nothing goes with anything or because the products aren't staple standard pieces that can be mixed and combined. Also, shop at thrift stores! Thrifting is a great way to shop on a budget and find adorable items. Additionally, if you own clothing you rarely wear, you may donate it, sell it online, or bring it to a shop like Plates Closet to get a little extra cash.


Coupons, Flyers, Rewards

For a better offer, check out flyers! Don't buy your groceries in one spot; instead, go around for deals on various things at several stores. Shop where you can earn and redeem points; for instance, Shoppers Drug Mart frequently has sales where you may shop and earn points that can be later redeemed for savings!

You can receive specific student discounts on particular things, another perk of being a student! Below, I've provided blogs that provide examples of deals you can get as a student to save money! 

Click here to find out things you can get student discounts on

Click here to find out Money-saving perks for students

Click here to find out Discounts for Ontario Tech students



Gas is expensive, and maintaining a car is costly. For these reasons, you should aim to use public transit whenever possible as your tuition includes this cost; carpooling with friends covers it so you can share the expense of gas and take turns, or even cycle or walk to your destination to save money!


Eating out vs Meal Prep

I wholeheartedly agree with the phrase "treat yourself," but it should only be done occasionally. When I went to school and worked, I used to buy coffee twice a day for a whole week. Now, however, I prepare my coffee the night before, make cold brew, and leave it, making my morning task easier. While you would think that paying $2 for a coffee isn't much, if you do it every day for a week straight, it comes up to about an hour ($15), which is ridiculous! When you prepare coffee in bulk, you might find a new passion, learn how to prepare coffee to your preferences, and save money. Additionally, there are other methods to prepare your meal, like the recently famous Tiktok mason jar salad or soup, which is more transportable and convenient. There are many inexpensive, healthy, and cost-effective meal alternatives for different meals that may suit your taste on YouTube, Tiktok, and Pinterest.



I enjoy giving presents, and I do it to let others know that I care about them when they are unhappy, upset, going through a breakup, etc. However, I think sentimental presents are essential, and the value of a gift is less important than the thought that went into it. Therefore, if I know that a friend who loves flowers is having a bad day, I'll bring them some flowers or create a handmade paper flower bouquet. There are many inexpensive, considerate, and budget-friendly gift suggestions on YouTube, Tiktok, and Pinterest for birthdays and anniversaries!


Hanging out on a Budget 

To have fun when hanging out, you don't necessarily need to dine at a fancy restaurant every time. My friends and I like inexpensive hangouts, ranging from organizing a potluck at someone's house and relaxing while each contributing a little dish to having car conversations over coffee dates, cafe dates, or even strolls around the park or lake. Additionally, I prepared an article on fall-themed dates that include inexpensive activities you can do with your significant other or friends, including hiking and baking. Simply having wonderful folks around you may make for a pleasant time—it doesn't have to be an expensive day!


Overall, I put all of these suggestions to use in my daily life and strive to save money whenever possible since I think it's essential to do so and be financially responsible. I sincerely hope these pointers become helpful to you as well!

By Sarah Haiyaat