Going to college can be pricey, but being blindsided by unexpected expenses can be worrying. Here are some tips to prepare for those unplanned expenses, what they are, and how to make the correct budget choices.
Saving and budgeting: Budgeting takes planning and preparation. Its sole purpose is to create a spending plan for your money. Making sure you have money for the things you need while helping save for the long term is important. College expenses are tough but following these steps will hopefully help ensure that you will be prepared to choose what you maybe can and can’t afford. Lastly, make room to prepare for the important decisions.
- Food, dining, groceries- Yes, meal plans may be a part of your tuition and expenses, but every college kid orders pizza while late-night studying, goes on dates, and even buys groceries to cook for themselves. So budget out enough money each month so you don’t have to worry whether you can afford that night out.
- Laundry, clothing, and climates – Moving to a college, not having the particular weather you’re used to, you need to prepare to buy new clothes. Winter coats, new flip flops, or swimsuits can be expensive, so factor climate into your budget as well. Additionally, laundry isn’t always free. It may only be a few dollars each time, but it adds up fast.
- Traveling- Traveling home for major holidays or weekends can add up between flying home, checking bags, food, gas, and the ticket itself adds up fast. Definitely keep this expense at the front of your list because it’s an important one. Budget for these trips, or plan on making the trip less than you’d like.
- Electronics- Coming to college, whether you’re taking online classes or not, usually requires a computer to do assignments and other activities. So not buying the most expensive fancy computer can help you save big, and remember a cheaper one will get the job done and save you some money.
- Sorority and fraternity life- Greek life is something that so many college students participate in because it gives you opportunities to meet new people and have fun. But the costs for them are pretty pricy. Dues include chapter bills, new member fees, and averaging up to four hundred dollars per semester.
- Expect emergencies- Mistakes happen, and you can’t plan them. Whether you wreck your car, have an er visit, or get stuck with a bill, you need to have backup money to pay for these things. That’s why budgeting is essential, and having an emergency fund is crucial.
Now that you have all the information to succeed financially, it’s up to you to not only budget properly but decide what activities are essential to spend your money on.