By Nick Valentin
Throughout life, there will be countless moments where budgeting is vital. One of the most notable moments where budgeting is essential is during one’s college years. The transition to college life is challenging in its own way, but what many see past is how finances and budgets make college significantly more difficult for a student and their families. From tuition to books to groceries, there is no shortage of financial hardships students face while embarking on this new journey. Although there are many challenges to face financially in college, there are various ways to make things easier for yourself regarding budgeting. Here are a few budgeting tips to make college life a bit more manageable.
Once reaching college, many students stop looking for scholarships. However, students can qualify for different scholarships throughout their tenure in college. Students must continue seeking scholarships to avoid the burden of being in debt with loans. Yes, completing an application can be pretty time-consuming, but the reward can be very fulfilling.
Apart from what you and your family are paying for in college is a meal plan. That said, there will be times when your university cafeteria can become quite repetitive and unsatisfying. Because of this, many students choose to go out with friends to eat or stack up on groceries. What they fail to realize is how fast your finances deplete when you spend more than what you really need on unnecessary fast food. Learn to say no to friends when asked to go out. A meal plan is what you are paying for, so use it!
Job / Work Study
At some universities, a work-study package is offered. A work-study is a job on campus that you can be paid for while earning money towards your tuition. It is a win-win for students and their families. A work-study is a game-changer for a college student, so if it is offered, find time, no matter how busy you are. However, if a work-study program is not offered to your financial package, getting an outside-campus job is just as crucial. Numerous places are searching for new employees all the time.
Moreover, many businesses would be happy to be flexible with college students’ schedules. Find time for a job. The income will be important to your future after college.
Set Money Aside
Piggybacking off the last tip, it is important to set money aside when finding another source of income during one’s college years. Whether in a savings account or a good ole’ fashioned piggybank, the money you earn while in college will be important to help with whatever debt you might have once you graduate. Do not impulsively buy things that are not necessary. Setting money aside for future college plans and plans after college will benefit a student more than they can imagine.
As many students know, the cost of books can be absurd. However, there are a few ways to avoid that cost. For starters, do not get books for classes until you know for sure that you will need them. Some courses will have books listed as required, but once you get into a class, you realize that you don’t need that book. Furthermore, if you seriously need a book, look for alternative websites outside the school to rent or buy books. Chegg is an excellent alternative website to rent textbooks from at a lower price. Lastly, ask around with friends to see if they have a book you need, then you can borrow it without worrying about the cost.