5 Expensive Habits All College Students Should Avoid

College can be a time of freedom to explore. But sometimes this exploration can lead to picking up bad habits. Read this blog to find out what habits you should stay clear of that will not only help you save money, but will be better for your health.

how to break expensive habits

Habits to Avoid if You Want to Save Yourself Some Money

Being a student, on your own for the first time, lets you break out of your parents' mold. You can find yourself and rebel against what you've always been told to avoid. And even if you're not rebelling, you likely have picked up habits that you didn't have before college. The following are a few expensive habits that you should avoid.


While this isn't a habit necessarily, it is something that students tend to get once they are of age. No longer seen as a taboo treatment of your body, tattoos can represent your personality, passions and beliefs. However, tattoos (when done by a proper professional) do not come cheaply. A small, pre-made design can cost about $50, and many custom tattoos go up to $500 and beyond. Yes, you'll have the tattoo forever, but it could cost you a job at an interview (there are still many companies out there that don't allow visible tattoos). Now that's expensive!


Once students are on their own, they no longer feel the pressure to follow their parents' rules. Smoking is one of the worst habits you can pick up while in college. Not only because it's unhealthy, but it will cost you a lot of money. Depending on the state in which you live, cigarettes can be up to $10 a pack. The nicotine found in cigarettes is addictive and will not be an easy habit to break once you begin. Along with losing your money, it can also do a lot of damage to your body (even if you're a social smoker).


Unless you're 21, you shouldn't be drinking. The average college student doesn't reach the legal drinking age until they are part way through college, so this habit will be picked up in the second half of your program. If you aren't of age, the cost will be extremely high when you're caught. You could be thrown out of school, arrested and/or have your driver's license taken from you, not to mention the fines.

At any age, alcohol is poison to your body, and used in large quantities, could cost you your life. Done in small qualities, it can damage your liver and your heart over time; so this is definitely something you don't want to become a habit. If you are of age, regular trips to the store for a case of beer can be twice as expensive as a case of soda, so you'll blow your budget faster.


Though we all love our daily fix of coffee, going to the local coffee shop can cut into your budget by at least $4 a day. Even if you only splurge on your caffeine addiction three times a week, you're still losing about $50 a month! Instead of hitting up that local coffee chain on your way to class, brew some coffee in your own room and use a travel mug. Not only will you save money, it's also eco-friendly (landfills are full of those little plastic cups).

Fast Food

Fast food means more than just McDonald's and Burger King. It also includes quick meals like ramen noodles or canned raviolis. Students love to grab a quick bite while studying, but it could cost you more than you realize. Ramen may seem cheap (heck, you can usually get a 24 pack for under two bucks!), but the sodium packet that comes with it can cause high blood pressure, constricted arteries and a lack of oxygen to the brain (causing poor concentration). This also goes for fast food menus and other quick eats. Even dollar menus (when adding desert and a drink) can boost the price.

It's in our nature to spend money. But see how you can avoid spending extra while in college.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. Next »