I am now out of school, but while in school I acquired less debt than most of my friends. Especially my friends, who like me, were doing it on their own. I was that person that worked through school, but I chose jobs that either allowed me to study, or pertained to my future career. Knowing my income I created a budget. I calculated how much I spent in bills, groceries, and gas for my car, whatever was left over, I used half for fun money and half went into a savings account. If I knew I wanted to go on a trip, I would set more money aside. For my tuition I set up a payment plan and it was calculated into my bills. I also started in a community college and took every class I could before going to an expensive university. I only took out in loans what I could not budget for. I did this by adding up my income verses bills for the year. I reduced my grocery bill by paying for the Sunday paper. I would go grocery shopping and only buy produce that was both on sale, and in season. I would look through the adds in the paper and buy only meat that was on sale and less than $2 per pound. I would then make bulk meals and eat basically the same thing for lunch and dinner that week. Breakfast was always a bowl of cereal. Also, check the adds for things you know you'll use, and stock up, you spend it now so you don't have to later. Don't be afraid to ask friends and family how they did, or do it. I didn't make this stuff up.