How to Save Money in University

One of my favourite parts of being downtown for the majority of the week is the location of Eaton Centre: literally steps from campus.

One of my least favourite parts of being downtown for the majority of the week is the location of Eaton Centre: literally steps from campus.

See what I did there?  As a person who loves to shop, having so many options around me for spending money is a double-edged sword.  And, I must admit, sometimes I spend money just because I have those options.  So before you have to experience this yourself, let me give you some tips for saving money while you are down here in the upcoming years.

Leave the debit card at home, and only bring cash


Especially if you are a commuter, leaving your debit card at home can be very effective.  Plan out how much money you want to spend each day (hopefully a minimal amount, unless paying for textbooks or topping up your PRESTO card), and withdraw the money, so that when the cash is done, so is your spending.  This also works because if you don’t spend all of your daily cash, you can roll it over to the next day when, perhaps, you’ll have a deeper craving to fulfill.

Walk to school 

Get some friends to walk to school with you (maybe skip the expensive drinks on most days though?)

Taking public transit can add up, so if possible, skip the streetcar or subway, and take a nice stroll to school.  I find that the temptations to spend money at the mall occur in the fall and springtime months, so walking outside instead of through the mall to get to school from Union Station allows me to get fresh air, and keep my bank account in check.  Recruit some friends to walk to and from school with you as well.  That way, you’ll be so immersed in the conversation that you won’t even realize that you are saving!

Bring your lunch 

lunch animated GIF

Currently gushing over this gif because the movie is so cute haha

It’s not as glamorous to bring your lunch to school, but it does help save money.  Get some versatile and long lasting lunch items and snacks, and make your meals yourself–some of my favourite lunches have been homemade salads and sandwiches.  And if you or someone you live with does some baking over the weekend, pop those brownies or cookies in your bag, to reward yourself for not spending the 4-6 dollars it would be at a coffee shop in the city.

Don’t get to school too early

Last week, I decided to go to school two hours early, so I could get some shopping in before class.  And as fun as it was, I wouldn’t recommend doing that all the time.  Leave your house with enough time so you’re there before class (while still accounting for any delays in transportation), but not too early that you need to pass the time at the mall.  Of course it’s totally fine if you’re meeting a friend or want to get to school early to do some studying.  But I think it’s important that as students, we try to limit our impromptu and even planned shopping trips, in order to save money for when we really need it!


How do you try to save money?

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