Easy Tips to Develop a Frugal Mindset as a College Student

It’s a rare student who doesn’t need to think about money in college. With tuition fees going up by the day, more and more students try to figure out ways to save more of their or their parents’ hard-earned dollars. Unfortunately, in reality, a good many young people find themselves unable to keep track of their budget and spend confidently. What’s more, failure to manage money properly is the reason why most students cannot make ends meet. This is a common problem, and not only among students. Money management is an art that requires a specific mindset and well-honed skills. So, if you’re discontent with your current church mouse status or just want to get rid of some wasteful spending habits, check out some useful tips to learn how to develop a robust frugal mindset and get through college without going broke. 

Be Responsible 

The first step to becoming a more frugal person can be made only after you assume full responsibility for your financial situation. Of course, your first year in college will likely be the most difficult. Chances are you’ll experience difficulty finding a balance between spending and saving during your freshman year. You’ll need to learn how to properly allocate money to tuition, bills, transportation, academic support from Rapidessay, etc. Still, over time you’ll be able to develop essential frugal skills that will help you solve possible financial problems logically or even prevent them from happening.  

Taking responsibility means not blaming other people or circumstances for your inability to keep track of your expenses or economize properly. Not only should you keep a lid on your expenses but also have access to your financial information. This is critical for keeping tabs on your income and spending, as well as making sure there is no suspicious activity or unauthorized transactions on your bank accounts.  

Get a Job 

As a college student you might think that your primary duty is earning a degree, which is no doubt true. Still, if you weren’t born into a family of millionaires, the odds are good you’ll need to get a job at some point to alleviate the financial burden your studies might have imposed on your parents. And even those students that don’t experience any financial difficulties normally find a job to get to know the real value of money. Once you start earning your own money, you may feel more reluctant to part with it. Plus, spending more time at work might leave you with less time to devote to meaningless shopping. Overall, joining a workforce can be beneficial not only to your wallet but also your mind. Working students are much smarter with their money and less prone to overspending than their jobless counterparts. 


Much has been said about the importance of budgeting but few actually heed this sensible recommendation. Creating a budget is a great skill that can save you a lot of trouble down the line. When making a budget, you encourage yourself to predict your spending and take measures not to go overboard with it. Thus, you won’t neglect any fixed expenses and stave off impulse buying. Budgeting is a win-win option for those students who want to be confident about their financial situation and don’t want to be afraid of running out of money in the middle of the month. 

Learn to Say ‘No’

The ability to say ‘no’ is part of being a responsible person and an important step towards developing a frugal mindset. 

It might be excruciatingly difficult to say ‘no’ to your roomie who’s asking you to lend them a $300 or decline your friends’ invitation to hang out. But if you’re short on money and realize that spending an evening in your favorite bar or helping out your broke roommate might leave you penniless, you must be able to say your ‘no.’ You also need to be comfortable saying ‘no’ to your momentary cravings and desires, which may help you get out of the habit of buying things without planning in advance.  

Fight the Consumer Mentality 

Today, lots of people are obsessed with things and material well being. And some students are no exception. They strive to show off their status (even if they don’t enjoy one) by purchasing things they might not even need merely to elicit their peers’ envy. But this is the last thing you need if you intend to be not only a frugal person but also a responsible and environmentally-conscious consumer. What’s the point in buying another dress or a pair of jeans when you already have plenty? What’s the point in being obsessed with new designer clothes when you have a great second hand store at the corner of your street? Why spend extra money on using a commercial clothes dryer and waste lots of energy when you can take the time and hang dry your laundry outside? Well, once you find correct answers to these and other similar questions, you’ll manage to overcome your consumer mentality and take another step towards living the life that matters most to you. 

Hopefully, these simple tips will help you become a more frugal and happier student!