It's no secret that being a student is hard. One of the biggest complaints I hear from students is about money. College is a money sucker. When living away from home, expenses such as groceries, utilities, Internet and transportation can add up. On top of that, you have to pay for things like nights out, brunch with friends, and online shopping (we're all guilty of it). I'm going to share with you 18 lazy ways to save your money in college, so you can relax and actually enjoy your night out without worrying about the $5 cover at your favourite bar.

1. Download a spending app.

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I use one called Expense and it's been super helpful. You put how much money you have in your checking and saving accounts, as well as how much cash you have on you. Then, when you spend money, you put it in the app and categorize it (for example, entertainment or food). You can also record your income if you're making money. It shows you a nice visual of how much money you spend a month and in what categories you're spending. It's helped me become aware of my spending habits and where I've been spending too much.

2. Pay with cash.

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I try to pay with cash when I can. I know it's not always convenient, but I would recommend it. It helps you to avoid spending too much money because using a credit card can make you forget how much you're spending. Handing over multiple crisp bills at the cash registers feels so much worse than punching your pin into a machine.

3. Take advantage of student discounts.

Most places have student discounts if you show your ID. Capitalize on these places to save a little money. It adds up fast and can save you a lot in the long run. Plus, the food you buy will taste infinitely better when you know it cost less!

4. Make coffee at home.

One of the hardest habits for me to break was picking up a latte while I'm out of the house. I love coffee shops (especially Starbucks), but I realized the cost of the $6 latte I would get a few times a week was rapidly adding up. Save it as a treat for every other week and make coffee at home.

5. Skip the drinks with dinner.

I know, that Margherita pizza would go so much nicer with a glass of Pinot Grigio. But that drink is $11 that you could save! Unless you're eating out on your parents' dime (kidding but not really), skipping the drinks at dinner is an easy way to save your money. Drink when you get home! My favourite bottle of wine costs less than one glass at a restaurant does. 

6. Pre-make lunch at home.

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I used to spend a ton of money buying lunch on the go. Then I realized my daily salad was setting me back close to $10, which is crazy for a pile of leaves with some vegetables. I found some really fun recipes that are easy and tasty, and I try to pre-make my lunches every day. This is a super easy way to save money throughout the week and it's a lot of fun! 

7. Cut back on going out for dinner.

I know going for dinner with your friends once a week is fun, but it's also a quick way to spend a lot of money. Instead, try going out once a month, and for the other 3 weeks, have dinner at home! Try taco night! My housemates and I made homemade pizza one night, which made us feel like Michelin-starred chefs. Get creative with it.

8. Aim to get into clubs for free and don't drink while you're there.

Most clubs have some sort of guest list or cut off time where you can get in for free. Yes, I know it's hard to get to the club early sometimes, but you'll save a lot of money in the long run! When at the club, try not to buy drinks. If they're super cheap, then go for it, but here's a personal anecdote: I went to the club and ordered a tequila shot with my friend, and with tip, it cost me $10!!! For one shot!! Pre-drinking (responsibly) is your friend.

9. Don't buy anything right away.

If you go shopping and see something you like, don't buy it right away. Think about it for a few days and if, after a few days, you still really want it, get it. I've saved myself from a lot of impulse spending this way.

10. Set challenges for yourself.

For example, don't online shop for the entire month of November. Or try to go a whole week without eating out. Set little challenges for yourself to make saving money more enjoyable. You can even get your friends or housemates to join in and see who can resist spending money the longest.

11. Ask yourself "do I need this?!"

One of my favourite movies is Confessions of a Shopaholic. In the movie, the main character shared some words of wisdom that have stuck with me ever since. When you shop for basically anything, ask yourself, "do I need this?" and be totally honest. If you don't 100% need the item, don't buy it.

12. Cut back on the luxuries. 

This will mean different things to different people. For me, it means doing my nails at home more than getting them done. I still get them done on occasion, but not every 2-3 weeks. Figure out what your luxury is and try to cut back. 

13. Eat your groceries.

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It took me until now (4th year) to actually eat all the groceries I buy. It's super easy to buy food and then forget about it until it expires and you have to buy more food. Try buying just what you know you'll eat and then actually eat it—imagine that!

14. Go to the library.

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I know that buying books is super addicting and a lot of fun, but it's also annoying to spend $20 on a book you will likely read once and then shove on a shelf. Borrow books from your library, that's what it's there for. Even better, start a book exchange group with your friends and recommend novels to each other. 

15. Use your legs.

Ubering or taking a cab everywhere is expensive. Try walking more and you'll get the benefit of more exercise, plus money saved on an Uber! Set aside 30 minutes before your next night out, movie date, or dinner plans to take a nice slow stroll.

16. Share clothes with friends. 

My roommates and I love to raid each other's closets on a night out. This way, we always feel like we're wearing something new without actually buying something new. What else are roommates for?

17. Join rewards programs.

I am a proud gold member at Starbucks and a VIB Rouge member at Sephora. While I did have to spend a lot of money to get these levels, it ended up saving me money, because I get free drinks and lots of promos and sales at Sephora. Join some reward programs at your favourite stores! They're basically all free to join and will save your money in the long run. 

18. Just stay home.

You can save a lot of money if you just never leave the house. Stay in your sweats all day and watch Netflix! Why not? (I'm just kidding). But if you know that the movie you want to see in theatres is available online, why not have a cozy night in and save yourself some money all at once?

Those are 18 lazy ways to save your money in college. While you should always enjoy yourself in life, it doesn't have to be at the cost of financial stability.