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Managing Your Finances As A College Student: 5 Ways To Save While Still Having Fun

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hofstra chapter.

Starting college comes with a lot of new obstacles. The biggest struggle that most people face is finding a healthy way to manage your finances. It can be difficult having a low paying job (or no job) and being so close to New York City. It’s so tempting to take the train into the city and just do fun things every weekend. However, over time having fun all the time without facing the realities of being a young adult and having to fend for yourself can take a huge hit on your bank account.

Don’t think that you have to be all work and no play in order to save money, though. There are still ways to have fun while growing your bank account.

Take advantage of the free events on campus

There are so many events on campus, sponsored by clubs and OSLE that are completely free. Every week they have fun movie screenings, workshops, plays, concerts and (before restrictions from COVID-19) they even planned events and experiences in the city that were free for students such as Broadway shows and museum visits.

Take advantage of what is offered instead of spending money to do the same things. Make sure to keep an eye on the Hofstra Events Calendar to stay updated on what is happening around campus and you’ll have more opportunities to save money while still having fun.

Keep an Eye Out for Coupons, Discounts and Sales

Make sure to pocket any coupons you receive and try to shop sales if you get an itch to go shopping. If a store advertises that they’re having a sale, take the opportunity to go out and shop instead of just going at some random time when there aren’t any discounts or sales. 

Also, take advantage of student discounts where you can. So many stores and restaurants have some sort of student discount and all you have to do is ask.

Cook A Meal

It’s easy to get sick of campus food and want to go out to eat for a change. Instead, try cooking a meal with your friends. This can be so much cheaper especially if there are a few other people to split the cost of groceries.

Make it fun by getting dressed up as if you’re going out and set the mood in your own living room, common area or outside!

Limit Yourself When Going Into The City

It can be so tempting to go to NYC every weekend, but it really starts to add up. Give yourself a schedule depending on your own specific financial situation. When you are in, really make use of your time in the city!

Walk as much as you can instead of taking the subway and do things that don’t cost a lot of money. Try a picnic in Central Park or taking advantage of student discounted events. Giving yourself a budget can really change the game as well. Allot yourself a specific amount of money you can spend and stick to it!

Go Thrifting

Instead of going to the mall, go to some thrift stores! You can get fun clothing, while keeping it on the cheaper side and keeping your closet sustainable (which is only an added bonus.) Thrifting can be fun, do your research beforehand and find a bunch of locations near each other so as not to spend too much on transportation. Then, make a day of it putting an outfit together and taking pictures with friends!

Saving money in college isn’t as hard as you think, it only takes a few minor changes in mindset and habits and you’ll find yourself saving money without thinking too hard about it eventually.


It can be tricky learning how to save while still having fun in college. However, it is possible! Emptying your wallet is not a requirement for having fun. There are so many other things to do that are fun, but will keep your money where it belongs- safely in your bank account.

Hello! I'm a Sophomore at Hofstra University, double majoring in Journalism and Dance. I love coffee and peanut butter with a passion. I have lots of opinions and love writing about pretty much anything, so I hope you enjoy what I've got to say!