Back to School: The College Kid’s Guide to Money Smarts

It’s back to school season which means that plenty of young adults will be hitting the books once again. For those who are attending college, money can be a difficult subject to master. After all, in the early days of adult independence, there’s a lot to learn about how to save money and spend it wisely.

It’s critical for college students to have a money plan in place so that they can stay on top of their expenses and pay their bills on time. A budget is like a map for those who are trying to make their way to financial independence.

Plan out your route in advance and you’ll find it easier to go where you’re going. Go ahead and click on this link here for some tools and tips to stay on budget throughout the year. For those who are focused on saving cash while visiting the campus, here are some budgeting tips for the college kid. Read on.

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Work with Your Schedule

Plenty of adults use an annual budget system, though students might find it easier to work from a semester model. Consider how much money you typically earn during a semester. Don’t forget to include money that you receive through loans, bursaries, grants, and from other individuals like family members who provide financial support. Then, divide that amount by the length of your semester to get a sense of how much money you can spend each month.

Be Flexible

There will be some fixed expenses like accommodation, tuition, transportation cost, groceries, food, and school supplies. However other expenses will fluctuate from month to month. It might take a little time to get accustomed to the varied spending, but don’t worry, finding a budget that works and that is realistic might take a little trial and error in the beginning.

By setting a flexible budget for things like eating out, clothes, and entertainment, students can avoid running out of money before the semester ends and adapt their budget categories depending on the time of year, whether it be to save for things like spring fall break or any emergency expenses

Budget Categories

Whether this is your first college budget or your fifth, it never hurts to revisit the categories of your budget and observe where your money goes. Here are some of the most common expenses that college students will encounter. Do you know how much you can expect to spend for each one? Take a look:

Housing: Whether you live in dorms or in off-campus accommodations, this is likely to be one of the largest monthly expenses for a college student.

Books: Usually purchased at the beginning of the semester, books can add up to a little or a lot depending on whether students purchase them used or new. Prices vary, so you can expect this costs to change every now and then.

Utilities: Electricity, gas, water, cable and internet bills typically are covered for students living in on-campus housing, but those with their own accommodations off campus should tack these onto their list of monthly expenses. All students should also include that monthly cell phone bill.

Savings: The image of poor college students is a pervasive one, but it need not be true. Those who plan and budget wisely actually can save money while in school. Even if it doesn’t seem like much, it will add up and can make a big impact.

Back to School: The College Kid’s Guide to Money Smarts was last modified: by

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