How to Save Money as a Student Without Working: Using the Roundup Method

Do you wish you could save money as a college student? You just want to know how to save money as a student without working at all. And you need to do it while socialising, buying text books, and affording food.

Well, I’m about to give you one tip to help you save money as a university tip. It even involves spending your student budget!

It’s All About the Roundup Method

This is actually one of my favourite ways to save money, even now. After all, it works for almost every single purchase that we make. You can also work it in different ways, depending on how much money you need to save and how often you spend.

The roundup method works with in-person and online spending. With in-person spending, you will need a piggy bank. With the online method, you’ll need to be strict to log into your online banking and move money right away – or keep track to move it at the end of the day – into a savings account.

What is the roundup method?

how to save money as a student without working

Save Money with the Roundup Method

The name of the method explains exactly what you do to save money. You’ll roundup to the nearest pound or nearest £5/£10 for every single purchase that you make.

For example, you get the £3 meal deal from Subway, so you round the spending to £5. The extra £2 is put straight into a savings account, so you don’t even miss it.

Another example is that your most recent text book cost £19.99. You round the spending to £20, and put the 1p in a savings account.

Sure, there are cases where you only put a small amount of money into a savings account or a piggy bank, but it really does all add up! You may only save £1 a day, but you have £365 by the end of the year. That’s £365 more than you would have had if you spent your pennies on junk!


Little Princess Piggy Bank

How to Save Money as a Student with the Roundup Method

The practice of the method is the hardest part. I’ve got to admit that there have been times I’ve bought something because I had the change in my purse. I didn’t need the item, but I felt like I had free money because it was the change from the last purchase I made.

That may not make sense to those who are excellent at saving, but it worked for me as a university student. It held me back for saving money.

The process has been made harder with more debit or credit purchases. We no longer end up getting physical change, so it’s easy to just see a purchase as its actual price. Rather than rounding that £14.49 purchase up to £15, it’s just £14.49, and there is an extra 51p just sitting in our bank accounts.


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To make this work, you need to keep track of your purchases. I find this much easier by keeping hold of receipts but you can also use a tool like Trello, Evernote, or just Google Docs on your phone – or even a notebook!

Pop in the purchase and then include the roundup amount. At the end of the day, go through your receipts and your notes to see just how many pennies you saved. Put that money straight into a savings account. Anything that you paid by cash, the change goes straight into the piggy bank. If you spent the change, you’ll need to put the money from your bank account into a savings account instead, keeping the roundup method in mind for those expenses.

Use the Roundup Method Everywhere to Save Money without Working

Whatever expense you have, use the roundup method to your advantage. This isn’t just about lunch and coffee costs. Round up for your rent to nearest £5/£10 and round your utility bills and phone bills up.

Just a £1 a day will give you £365 that you wouldn’t have really missed, since you’d have left the change lying around anyway!

Are you ready to save money as a university student? Share your top tips for saving money in the comments below.

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