Items for College can get expensive, but it doesn't have to if you stick to a budget. In this About.com video, learn how to create a college budget. Show transcript Hide transcript
Transcript: How to Create a Budget for a College Student
For many, college is the first time to make and live on a budget. The idea of suddenly living on your own combined with learning how to budget can be difficult. But with these easy steps any college kid can stay on track.
Make A Budget Before You Arrive to College
First, pull out that trusty calculator and figure out what your income is--whether it be from student loans, paychecks, or a little help from Mom and Dad. Once you've got that total, add up the expenses for tuition, books, and any other expenses college might throw at you. You should also make a budget for all the extra money you have left over once you've taken care of the essentials. Whether it's 30 bucks a week for pizza or 20 to go shopping, determine how much fun money you are going to spend and stick to it.
Get a Campus Job
If you find your expenses starting to outweigh your income, consider getting an on-campus job. Campus jobs are usually more flexible than off-campus jobs. Some jobs may even
be slow enough to get some of your homework done on the clock.
Use Your Student Discount
Also, take advantage of that student discount. Local restaurants and stores are used to having students around and often offer discounts with a student ID. IF you don't see a posted sign with the discount, don't be afraid to ask! That $5 in your pocket will be thanking you later.
Get creative. Check to see if you can buy used textbooks instead of brand new or buy some cheap groceries to avoid high prices at the dining hall.
Try to Avoid Using Credit Cards
You may already have student loans, but credit cards can lead to even more debt. More and more college students are getting into financial trouble with credit cards, so only use one if absolutely necessary.
Stick to a Budget
College is an exciting transition, but becoming independent and managing can be a little scary. If you start budgeting early and stay strong, you can spend your time thinking about the fun stuff, rather than how you will pay your bills.
Thanks for watching our video on how to prepare a college budget. For more information, check out About.com.