Managing finances

College can be very stressful for many reasons. One reason could be the classes you are taking but what causes most of the stress is money. The tuition  plus the cost of the books every semester adds up. Some receive more than enough financial aid but others don’t. So to help with this stress, here are ways to save money while you are on campus.

1. Use MataMoney Card

It is smart to get a MataMoney card as a CSUN student. MataMoney card acts like a debit card in the campus. It is also free. You just have to put money in it, minimum is $5.00 and you can use it anywhere at CSUN. This gives you 10% off for any purchase you make in campus.

2. Don’t buy books until after you meet the professor and buy used books

When buying used books, you can go to or just go to CSUN Facebook page. Usually in the beginning and end of the semester there are tons of student who are selling their book for a really cheap price. If you can’t find the book you need you can post a status on the page asking if anyone has the book you need and there are people who will answer you.

Another thing that will make a student save so much money is buying used books. First of all, don’t buy books until the first day of school. Wait until after the first class because sometimes professor have websites where you can buy books that is way cheaper than the books in the bookstore. Also, sometimes professor will actually tell you that you don’t need the book shown in your portal.

3. Stay in apartments instead of the university dorm

An apartment found across CSUN student housing

CSUN dorm is very expensive. It includes the meal plan that you pay for when you sign up, and the dorm room has no kitchen. Renting an apartment for a year is better than staying at the dorm. First, it is cheaper and can be shared with friends and you can divide the rent. A dorm can cost around $700 a month plus the meal plan that cost around $300 compared to a shared apartment that can be as cheap as $300 a month depending on what you want and number of people sharing the rent.

4. Buy parking permit for F10 parking lot


CSUN offers different types of parking permit for students. There are permits that cost $396 for the academic year and $196 each semester which allows the student to park anywhere on campus but there is also a parking permit that only allows the student to park at F10 parking lot which is across the dorms which only cost $198 for the entire year. F10 parking lot may be a little bit far which requires you to come early in order for you to not be late in class. If you are thinking about the amount of walk from F10 parking lot to the campus, don’t worry. CSUN offers a free shuttle that picks you up from F10 and brings you to campus.

5. Take advantage of free stuff


Who doesn’t like free stuff in college? No one! So, make sure to be updated on events in campus. Usually in the beginning of the semester there are events everywhere in the campus which offers free school supplies such as water bottle, shirts, planners, etc.., During midterm weeks or finals there also places in the campus that offers scantrons, pencils, highlighters, and post it. Sometimes they even give you free food. Make sure to take advantage of that as well.

If you are a sports fan, you can also go watch the match for free just show your student ID and sometimes they have free shirt, pens and food too.


CSUN offers more ways to save money and scholarship for its students. The five things listed above are just the simple ways to save money. Look around the campus and be more involved and you’ll find more ways to save money. Hopefully these tips will help you!


Gyana Cezanne

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