Spending hacks for Golden Eagles


Fatima Rosales

Knowing spending hacks is a great way to save money.

Will Baker, Social/Multimedia Editor

Inflation has most people shrinking their spending. With students taking on hefty expenses and debt at the start of the semester, every dollar can make a huge difference. Here are a few spending hacks to save money while at Cal State LA.

  1. Buy your soda at El Pollo Loco or a vending machine. If you want the most bang for your buck, buying your fountain drink at El Pollo Loco will get you the best value. A large sized drink costs just over $2.00. When buying a soda in a bottle, try to find a vending machine as it will be $.50 cheaper than any bottles sold in other areas on campus.
  2. Price-match your textbooks/utilize the library. Amazon is an easy crutch to rely on when ordering books, but sometimes you have to get that book in your hands an hour before class. Our campus bookstore will price-match books shipped and sold from Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble; plus, you won’t get behind in your course waiting for delivery. If that still is too costly,  the library on campus may have a copy of your textbook on reserve; find a time to go and use it. While you may not have a physical copy to use at any time, you will save money by going to the library and utilizing that resource.
  3. Eat at the dorms. If you have the time, getting to the new dorms can be a more beneficial food option. There is a flat price of $9 which allows you a plethora of options: Sandwiches, burgers, salads and many other special dishes. You can eat, study and socialize in the cool air conditioning offered.
  4. Commute. Time is money and sometimes, if you arrive after noon during the week, you may find yourself snaking through the parking garage hoping for a student to leave and snag their spot. Commuting is a more affordable option compared to the parking passes and daily parking costs.

Daily parking costs $8 a day, where a semester parking permit can cost about $220, compared to a U-pass, which costs$125 and it doesn’t require you to fill up your tank. The California state average price of gas, $5.24 a gallon. 

5. Get a Golden Eagle One Card. This card can unlock many deals you may not know about.        Retailers may offer different discounts at checkout but require you to show your student ID. Discounts range from 5% to 25% and include retailers like Aeropostale, J. Crew, and AMC Theatre; always asking at the time of purchasing will ensure you get the best deal. In addition, using student discount apps, such as Unidays, can help you score even more discounts. At the Golden Eagle One Card Office, you can customize your ID with one of four different designs.

6. Look for events on campus. It may seem like the first and last week of the semester have tons of programming, but there are tons of events offering complimentary food, prizes and entertainment throughout the semester. Even school-sponsored activities off campus are a unique way to show your school spirit and meet other Cal State LA community members. Cal State LA Night at Dodger stadium is a fun event that offers a free hat and bobble head to ticket buyers. Tickers are $42 and are sold by the Alumni Association. 

7. ASI Tickets and Resources. You already pay a student fee of $137.50 when you pay for tuition and fees so, you might as well get what you paid for. ASI is the Associated Students Incorporated, and its office is in the University Student Union. ASI provides discounted tickets, as well as other entertainment options. Visit its office to see what else it may have. It also offers free scantron and blue books, textbook scholarship opportunities and locker rentals.

8. Laptop loan. Getting a computer can feel like a significant investment- thankfully, you don’t have to make that purchase since the Dean of Students’ office is working with the library to get technology to any student who needs it. Check out the laptop and hotspot loan program if purchasing a laptop may be unrealistic while still in school.

9. Join a club or student org. Getting involved on campus can seem intimidating, but it offers more than social anxiety. Student organizations are a great way to get involved and to be able to experience unique and new aspects of Los Angeles.

10. Visit the main walkway. In addition to getting some more steps on your pedometer, walking on the main walkway on campus can benefit any Golden Eagle. Not everyone on our campus is asking for signatures for a new petition; sometimes, vendors or school/student organizations are tabling to offer different services or items to students. It is often a good bet to check out the main walkway and investigate for yourself what’s best.

     11.) Don’t Miss Deadlines- Golden Eagles who are getting ready to leave the Cal State LA nest, can apply for graduation until October 15, before having to pay a $25 late fee. Graduation application costs $30, and failing to meet the deadline brings the total up to $55. Go on your MyCalStateID account and set up an appointment with your advisor, and make sure you know when you are set to graduate, then you can fill out your application and avoid paying the late fee.

If you have more tips on how to save money, submit and share with your fellow Golden Eagles by emailing us [email protected], or messaging us on Instagram @CSULA_UniversityTimes