5 Ways of Saving Money in the U.S. that People Refuse to Share

by Su Hsiang Yu | In Financial Empowerment | 13 June 2019 | Updated on: November 3rd, 2022

It’s never too late to think of ways to save money as an international student studying in the U.S. These tips may not leave you rolling in money, but at least your wallet will stay a bit more full during your studies. Before reading these secret money-saving methods, make sure you read the must-know points about daily life in the U.S.; once you know how to live in the U.S. you’ll be more informed on how to save money as an international student.


1. Make more money by being a cash-back member for FREE

Lots of shopping apps offer money back after you make a purchase. Depending on the app, you can earn money through cash, a check, gift cards, or an online payment app. This is a must-learn way to earn extra money in the U.S.

Some platforms also allow you to earn cash back both for in-store and online purchases through a referral bonus to customers. For example, with Ebates’ referral bonus, you can get US$25 referral bonus for every friend you refer who makes a purchase. That’s a lot of money for students who are struggling with expenses in the U.S., and this is definitely a win-win situation. If you refer 10 people, you can get US$250 just by sending the referral links to your friends. This kind of referral bonus takes place in lots of different apps, from order out apps to credit card applications. 

At MPOWER Financing we also offer the opportunity for you to earn rewards. When you refer a friend to apply for an MPOWER loan, you will receive a reward when they complete the application process. The referral amount is typically US$300 (and US$100 for your friend!). 

Figuring out these referral programs can help you earn extra money, so don’t lose out on your chance to sign up for them.


2. Cut your own hair

This might sound like an impossible task if you’ve never thought about it before, and it may only work with people who don’t have very long hair. However, cutting your own hair can save you hundreds of dollars each year.

Normally, haircut prices vary from US$20 to more than US$100, depending on which hair salon you go to. If you wear your hair short, that means you have to get it cut more often. This is a skill that can be learned by watching some YouTube videos, and even if you mess up a little bit for the first few times, don’t worry – your hair will grow back!


3. Stay smart with your food shopping

Food will be one of your biggest costs, so it’s worth finding ways to reduce your spending. Buying generic supermarket-brand products rather than well-known brands, checking for sale items, and using a cash-back app when paying are some of the simplest ways to save money.

You will also save money by making your meals instead of dining out. Even buying only a sandwich every day can lead to overspending issues. Try to make your meal plan in advance, and do a cost-effective grocery list at the start of each week.


4. Keep track of your spending

This is a cliche you are likely to hear a lot if you are looking for ways to save money. It might not be the most exciting job, but keeping track of your finances is the best way to make sure you don’t overspend and get yourself into trouble. Managing your checking and savings accounts is an easy way to keep track of your spending, so you will be able to see exactly how much you have available to spend each month. Sticking to your limits has never been easier now that you can check your balance at any time using your mobile banking app.


5. Apply for scholarships

The tuition fees at U.S. colleges and universities can be very high for an international student, and that’s where scholarships to study in the U.S. come to your rescue! While applying to study in the U.S., you may want to check out whether you are eligible for various scholarships or apply for a student loan. There are some options for international student loans, but many of them have limitations. Check out which one works best for you before you start your program.


The cost of studying in the U.S. can be overwhelming. However, that should not prevent you from having the unique opportunity of being an international student. Keep these tips in mind, and you can save more than you expected. Feel free to share your secret tips with us below and also share this awesome blog with your friends!

Author: View all post by Su Hsiang Yu

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