Save Money in College

By Ariel Ornelas | Contributing Writer |

It is evident that college can be extremely taxing and hard on our wallets. However, there are several ways in which students can save extra cash to make their debt a little lighter.

According to data on a Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study, “Among undergraduates who were enrolled full time, public 2 ­year students had the lowest average total price of attendance ($15,000) The average total price of attendance was $23,200 at public 4­year institutions and $29,300 at for-profit institutions. Undergraduates at private nonprofit 4­year institutions had the highest average total price of attendance ($43,500).”

The cost of attendance itself is pricey, and this does not include other factors such as food, books, parking, and living costs.

“It’s really hard for me to save money during college because everyone always wants to go out, and so do I. But I need to learn how to maintain a better budget so that I don’t feel so broke all the time.” says CSUSB student Monica Rosales.

The expenses of college lead to many stresses for students that some joking about dropping out altogether.


There are multiple posts made by college students that make fun of their brokeness such as how they eat Ramen on the norm.


One important thing to do while in college is to act like a college student on a college budget.


Going out and spending a lot of money should probably not be in the books for those who are trying to save.

“The best way to save money for school is really to sacrifice your social life. You can’t be going out to eat 24/7,” said Cal State University Student Crystal Avila.

Cal State University of Fullerton student Nhu Dang had some very helpful tips on how she likes to save up some extra cash.


The Mint App is an app used to manage money and personal finances and is very useful in creating a budget plan.

Many students also put aside a savings to ensure that they are not over spending.

CSUSB student Elise Richardson stated, “I’m a server, so I save all my tip money in a jar at home. I only spend and use my actual checks as spending money. I like to make sure I always having a savings just in case something comes up that I need to pay for.”

Rewards programs and coupons are another great way for students to save money on food and other resources.

Lucy Roireau speaks on about the importance of couponing while saving money in college.

“I love rewards programs like Starbucks. You get free drinks after 125 stars. I also take advantage of coupons that come in the mail and PDF copy books from the library. That way I don’t have to spend extra money on expensive books,” said former UCR graduate Amelia Moreno.

Many students are jumping on the “not buying books” bandwagon and utilizing the libraries free resources instead.



Another big expense while in college that can be greatly decreased is the cost of food.

Nick Castro and Ruth Moran stated some helpful tips on how they save money during college which involves preparing their own meals.



According to a 2015 Visa Lunch Spending Survey, Americans spend an average of $2,746 per year on lunch alone. Buying food and preparing it in advance decreases the amount of money one would spend on meals eating out.


Living expensive are amongst one of the most expensive parts of college and can cause students to rack up much more debt than those who live at home.

Co-operative living is a smart option because it allows for students to split up the costs of an apartment without having to pay the costs alone.

College is in fact an investment, however with the proper precautions, it does not have to be as expensive as one would assume.