College comes with loads of extra costs. There are textbooks, travelling and so much more you must prepare for. Start budgeting for college and become the best sassy saver you can be.
Why is Budgeting Important for College Students?
Let’s be honest: college is expensive. A budget helps guide you to manage all the extra costs you have to pay for and helps you answer the following questions:
- Where does all my money go?
- Can I spend less?
- How will I handle unexpected expenses?
- Are there ways I can save and reach bigger financial goals?
Where to Start?
If you haven’t budgeted before, this may all seem a bit scary. Before getting started, there are some things you must clear out first:
- Who will be paying your college fees: Are you parents paying, do you have a sponsor or are you handling your fees? This will impact your budget.
- What expenses will you have to cover: Will you relocate to another city to study? Consider expenses like textbooks, rent, travelling and more.
- Credit cards and bank accounts: Do you have any credit card payments or are you thinking of opening credit accounts? Your monthly expenses will be influenced by this.
- Financial Aid and Taxes: Find out if you qualify for financial aid and apply before the due date. This will give you some extra breathing room in your budget.
How to Budget for College
Once you have identified all the important factors mentioned above, you can get down to business. Budgeting for college does not need to give you a headache! Use the tips below as a guideline:
- Calculate Your Income.
- List Your Monthly Expenses.
- Organise Your Expenses.
- Determine Average Monthly Costs.
- Make Adjustments.
Calculate Your Income
Determine how much you will be earning each month. Is your monthly income secure or will it vary? Consider this and be honest when budgeting.
List Your Monthly Expenses
Make a list of all your expenses. These will be things like:
- Debit orders
- Car payments
Organise Your Expenses
Determine what are fixed and flexible expenses. Fixed expenses should take priority in your budget.
Determine Average Monthly Costs
Once you have organised your expenses, calculate how much all of this will cost you on average. This will help you determine how much money you will have to spend on other things.
If you feel like your budget is not covering all aspects or you won’t be able to keep up with it, make adjustments.
If saving is on the top of your to-do list, have a look at our affordable study options. We offer financial benefits like:
- Study fast, pay less
- All study materials couriered to you at no extra cost
- Free access to online student support
College Budgeting Tips
Sticking to your budget can be difficult. Use the tips below to keep focused on your college budget:
Be realistic about your budget:
The more realistic you are about your earnings and expenses the more likely you are to stick to it.
Guess low for income:
In your budget, guess low for your income. If your income exceeds this number, then all the better!
Guess high for expenses:
When you guess high for expenses this gives you a little wiggle room in your budget.
Include savings as an expense in your budget:
Decide on an amount you want to save each month and put it under your expenses. This can be used in case of emergencies.
Keep all your bills and receipts organised:
Keep your bills and receipts to make it easier to file each month.
Pay cash for small transactions:
Give yourself a monthly amount of cash and use it whenever you can.
Review and recalculate your budget:
Review your budget every month to make sure you are still staying on track. Make changes where necessary.
Stay Frugal and Focused on Your Goals!
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