Campus Life

5 ways to save money at school

by Miriam Mohamadi

Who wants more money?

Got money on your mind? You’re not the only one. Chances are that your classmates and friends are also thinking a lot about their finances. It’s expensive to be a student. Many of us are struggling to juggle student debt along with living costs and travel expenses. At IGNITE we get that the struggle is real, which is why offer financial services to try and help you out. You’re paying a lot for your tuition already, so why have to spend more than you need to?

Here are 5 ways that you can save money at school:

Rent your textbooks

We’ve all had it happen to us; it’s the first day of class and a professor tells us we have to buy the textbook to pass. The semester ends, you look at that expensive book, and realize that for the $150 you spent on it, you only ended up using four chapters. I think we can all agree that although some textbooks are great, others just aren’t worth the cash it costs to buy them.

One solution to this issue is renting your textbooks. Renting your textbooks can save you an average of 50% or more, and you won’t have to go through the tedious process of trying to find someone that wants to buy your textbook after. It’s a win-win!

Cat licking paw and flipping through pages in a textbook

Take advantage of free tutoring

No matter how much time and effort you put into some classes, sometimes a subject is  just not making sense to you. Getting a tutor can be expensive(cost up to $80/hour!) and take up lots of your free time since it’s likely off campus. Luckily, we know how you can save your hard earned cash and time.

Humber offers free peer tutoring on campus, which makes getting help easy, affordable, and convenient. If you don’t need a tutor and just want a bit of extra help throughout the semester, there’s another solution for you. Humber has free math and writing centres for all Humber and Guelph-Humber students. These centres offer one-on-one help and resources to help you make sense of your writing and math  dilemmas.

With all this help available on campus, you can improve academically without having to shell out the extra bucks.

Cartoon boy showing off his "A" mark on an assignment by with a paper full of stars

Get a job on campus

Its hard to save money if you aren’t making money. Having a job on campus is great because they work around your school schedule and help you gain relevant work experience. Best part? Majority of the time you won’t have to work evenings or weekends. Sounds like a great gig right? Trust me, I’d know (I’m writing this from my part-time job at IGNITE!). IGNITE hires many students for part-time position during the school year, check out our jobs section for openings. Humber also posts part-time job opportunities for students on their job portal.

Office worker wearing a horse mask turns in his chair while shaking his head

Do your research

Between daily morning coffee runs, snack breaks, and lunch, spending cash on campus can add up pretty quickly. On days when you’re in need of a caffeine boost or when having to get up a little earlier to make your lunch seems unbearable, take a look at all your options on campus and compare the prices. While small variances in price may not seem to make much of a difference, over time they will add up! Being a savvy consumer is all about doing your research and making smart decisions with your money. You’ll be surprised by how much money you can save just by cutting down your beverage budget!

Trying to save up for something? An easy way to save a little more is by ditching those morning coffee runs. Check out 5 ways to stay awake without coffee.

Man with magnifying glass looking through it

Track your spending

Keeping track of your spending will help you stay within your budget. Set a budget for how much you can spend at school, and track your spending. Whether you want keep track of your spending in a notebook or through technological device, make sure that you’re consistent with your tracking.

There are a number of apps that will help make budgeting easy for you. Check out the 14 best budget apps to help you find an app that’s right for you!

Man in suit making a snow angel in stacks of money on the floor


Its expensive to be a student. The good news is that there are many campus resources that will help you budget, save and help you earn money. Could use a little extra cash? Apply for an IGNITE bursary – applications are now open!

Need some more help on saving money? Check out 6 back to school money-saving tips.