Smart spending and saving

By Laura Hancq
October 6, 2010

Students living on their own at college are constantly tempted and pressured to spend money. All the basic college essentials such as food and books can cost intimidating sums. A strong social life also does not come without a hefty price tag.

Everything from food, gas, books, clothes and going out can make students quickly run out of money. Even those who save for the year during the summer find that the well runs dry rather quickly.

One way that students can save is by taking advantage of pre-paid activities run by the school. Many colleges and universities realize that a majority of students do not have excess funds. The institutions try to assist by having strong activity planning committees that provide outings and events at little or no cost to the students directly. However, most colleges do have an activity fee as part of tuition, so it is still coming at some cost.

At Cabrini, students are lucky to have a strong activity planning committee. The Campus Activities and Planning Board (CAP) is committed to offering fun and interesting events to students during the week, as well as on weekends.

Emily Fiore, CAP Board vice president, along with the rest of the committee, has been hard at work planning affordable activities and trips for this year.

“All of the events we run on campus, with the exception of events where we serve a dinner, are free,” Fiore said. “Most of the trips we run require students to pay a discounted rate.”

Fiore also said that the events that are free usually get a higher attendance. This proves that the money aspect of an activity is of high importance to students.

Cabrini’s office of Student Engagement and Leadership offers discounted movie tickets, as well as comedians, musicians and even trips to Broadway. They also assist students in finding cheap off-campus activities on their website. Visit

Students who want to make sure they have enough money for all the things they want to do, need to make sure to keep track of their accounts. Often college students do not follow up on bank statements or keep track of receipts, but having control and knowledge of the account leads to smarter decisions.

“Balance is really important when it comes to spending money at college,” Mark Grubb, freshman communication major, said. “You can have a social life but it’s really important to make sure you have enough money for the necessities. If you spend it all on the weekends, you’re going to be really unhappy when you have nothing left for things you want or need in order to get by during the school week.”

Students who are looking to save on campus essentials in order to have more money for a social life have many options available.

The bookstore offers the option of renting texts and buying used books instead of buying full priced texts. Taking the time to sell books back to the bookstore or on a website can result in extra cash at the end of a hard semester.

Specifically at Cabrini, the campus shuttle runs to many places in the surrounding areas so students can save on gas money. For those who prefer to drive, carpooling is a great way to save because it alternates whose gas is being used.

“I have my car on campus and almost all of my friends do too,” Courtney Haugh, sophomore education major, said. “We try to take turns being the drivers, so the same person doesn’t always have to use their gas. It leaves us with more money to spend when we get there.”

Food can be a money pit for hungry college students. However, Cabrini students are very fortunate that meal exchange is offered. Students can get $3 for breakfast and $5 for lunch and dinner. This means that if a student can’t make it to the marketplace for a meal, it is not necessary for them to spend extra pocket money at Jazzman’s or Sandella’s because the meal plan can still be used.

A popular off campus restaurant is Peace A Pizza with locations in King of Prussia and Wayne. A plain cheese slice costs $2.39 while a 16-inch pie costs $12.49. If you go with a bunch of friends, it makes much more sense to get the pie and share. It’s cheaper and will provide leftovers.

Many local eateries such as Domino’s, American Pie and Campus Corner supply menus to Cabrini that come stock full of coupons specifically for college students. Taking advantage of these as well as making smart decisions when being out can lead to a larger savings account.

Follow the classic motto of spend less than you earn. College students want to avoid debt at all costs. Don’t have the mindset that you’ll pay it off after college because in a tricky job market, there are never any guarantees.

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Laura Hancq

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