How to Save Money and Enjoy College Life

This is a guest article from UCLA student, Catherine B., who blogs at Get Rich In College, and is passionate about living an inspiring, “rich,” successful and abundant life.

Catherine UCLA Holi Festival

One Done…Three To Go! I just finished my freshman year at UCLA, and while it comes with a hefty tuition for an out of stater — I was able to experience so many out of this world opportunities.

Most events, places and opportunities are free (or included in tuition) as a student at any college where in “real” life, it can cost a lot!

Here’s a picture of me while attending Holi, a festival of colors, for an Indian cultural event at UCLA.

What I Learned

The number one piece of information I learned from college was that you have to make use of everything the college offers. This way you’ll get the most of your money, spend less and the tuition won’t feel as costly.

Although I’m paying for tuition, food and housing, I still have other expenses like extra food, fees, recreational trips, shopping, insurance, dates, transportation etc. However, I found myself only spending about $200 extra a month.

Now, $200 isn’t cheap but if I wasn’t in school, I would be spending way more than that for other expenses.

I would be paying for things like:

  •  a gym membership (Average: $50/month)
  •  more gas (Avg: $100)
  • movie tickets (Avg: $30)
  • recreation (Avg: $100)
  • concerts (Avg: $100)
  • extra food (Avg: $150)
  • clothing (Avg: $100)
  •  etc

BUT in college, I get things like this for FREE:

  • 24 hour access to gym
  • movie premieres and screenings
  • student services
  • concerts
  • cultural event
  • giveaway clothing & items
  • giveaway food/drinks
  • etc

Just some of these together are over a thousand dollar value per month! And I spend NOTHING!

Learn to Save Money & Enjoy College

You already pay tuition, that’s a fact, but you can save a boatload on extra expenses by using your college’s resources.

Not to mention that so many events are constantly going on, so you’ll get your “fun” fix somehow or another — and you’ll find yourself paying less money to do fun things.

I was even able to attend a celebrity event for free! Find out I did it and how you can do the same at Get Rich in College.

See, there’s so much you can do at college. Take advantage of it, have fun and in the end you’ll save money!


Compare Catherine’s cost of living above with an International Indian student’s cost of living at Cost of Living Breakdown.


  1. abhijit kadam on July 11, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    its seems pretty good ….thanks for this post…

  2. sai on July 5, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    i am getting laugh by reading this post ..thanks …I am following HSB from past 2 years and this post is ????
    comparison—>a gym membership (Average: $50/month) = 24 hour access to gym
    movie tickets (Avg: $30) = movie premieres and screenings
    more gas (Avg: $100) = student services
    concerts (Avg: $100) = concerts
    extra food (Avg: $150) = giveaway food/drinks
    clothing (Avg: $100) = giveaway clothing & items
    etc = etc…..

    i will suggest find PT ASAP ….otherwise u will stepout from ur room only at the time of ur school. or if u want to reduce ur cost of living just increase ur roommates that is only the option to save money …

    Buying a $5 value item with 5 people costs $1 each, but buying the same item by 1 person cost $5 ….
    Finally, itz easy to live in the country like USA ,if u show ur effort..

    • HSB on July 5, 2012 at 11:47 AM

      Sai – this post was written by an American student. She just completed her Freshman year in UCLA. Reason I asked her to include her typical cost of living is for the exact same reason you have posted your comment/questions.

      Lifestyle choice and preferences vary between students. Unlike students in F1 visa, American’s can work any where and earn money. Just like what you can do in India. She’s run her blog to make money and document how students can get rick while in college.

      Your suggestion of having multiple roomates, part time jobs, buying $5 with 5 people will work for students from India.

  3. Manisha on July 4, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    I agree. If we make the most of facilities at college, living in USA won’t be as costly as it seems.

  4. Mayur on July 4, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    Hey Catherine I am not able to see any of your posts in your website .

    • HSB on July 4, 2012 at 12:09 AM

      I just checked her site and its up. You have to either sign-up or say No at link bottom of the page.

  5. Swathi on July 3, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    A really good post! Most of us are so worried about the huge investment, we forget that this is probably the last time we face student life (Atleast the grad students). Need to make the most of it! 🙂

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