How To Manage Your Expenses On A Student Budget

As a student, an essential component for making college affordable is budgeting. But, many students failed to succeed due to a lack of tools. Remember that the key to monetary success is awareness of where and how you spend your money. Also, cutting all your bad habits. According to a 2016 study, 43% of students do not track their expenses, while 58% said they do not save money monthly. Consequently, a different study noted that 7 out of 10 students had been stressed due to their finances.
At the end of a busy day, which is filled with classes, projects, and exams, managing daily expenses is a good habit. Moreover, budgeting is crucial for your economic stability. Above all, you must ensure that you are not falling into debt after all your monthly expenses.
The budget of college students varies significantly according to what they are enrolled in, their institution’s cost, and from where they receive money. Students can have a happy life only by maintaining a balance between needs and wants.

Components of College Expenses

Students have some fixed and variable parts of expenses each month. Most importantly, while creating a budget, keep in mind what payments are covered by parents or guardians and subtract them from your monthly finances. Following are some monthly expenses for which a student is responsible:
Fixed Component:- These are some fixed components of any student’s life:-
· Housing:- One of the most significant monthly payments of every student is housing, whether one lives in a dormitory or an off-campus accommodation.
· Books:- Books are usually purchased at the beginning of the semester. Also, books can add up on monthly expenses a little or a lot depending on whether a student buys it new or used.
· Utilities:- Electricity, gas, cable, water, and internet bills have been covered in on-campus housing. But, if a student is living in off-campus accommodation, then all these come under their own monthly expense. Besides, a monthly cellphone bill is also included in every student’s expenses.
· Transportation:- Students with vehicles must consider various costs like auto loan payment, insurance, fuel, maintenance, and parking as their monthly expenses. On the other side, students who rely on public transport need to consider bus and train passes as their monthly expenses.
Variable Components:- The components which have not been fixed are known as variable components. Some of the variable parts of expenses are as follows:-
· Groceries:- The students residing in a dormitory used to buy microwavable meals or snacks as cooking is not feasible over there. On the other hand, the students who have a kitchen can purchase groceries and cook at home rather than eating outside.
· Dining Out:- Whether dining out with friends or picking up dinner, students spend a lot of dining out in college.
· Childcare:- Some students also have children. So, during the class of the student, children must need care. Consequently, the student may take advantage of on-campus child care or hire independent childcare. In both cases, childcare must be considered in monthly expenses.
· Entertainment:- Entertainment costs such as concerts, TV or music subscription services, movies, and lectures are also included in every other student’s life.
· Health or Medical:- Some students also include health or fitness club fees in their monthly expenses. Also, this category comprises insurance premiums, doctor’s prescriptions, etc.
· Clothing:- Changing from winter to summer clothes or vice versa is included here. Moreover, a unique outfit for an upcoming event adds up more in monthly expenses.
· Laundry:- Students need to pay for using washer/dryer units for washing their clothes, whether they are living in a dormitory or an equipped apartment. Moreover, the cost of dry cleaning may be a necessity for some students.

Tips for Saving Money in College Life

· Buy Old Books:- New textbooks can cost more than the used ones. But, while buying old books, one needs to pay attention to the edition and publication date, as the earlier version contains utterly different content from the one specified by the professor.
· Coffee Maker:- According to the studies, college students pay nearly $1100/year for coffee. So, instead of going to a coffee shop, think about the one-time investment of buying a coffee maker that will cut coffee’s monthly expenses.
· Take Benefit of Free Food:- Students may prefer to work part-time in restaurants as in addition to daily wages and tips; many restaurants provide free meals.
· Take Benefit of Free Discounts:- Hundreds of companies give a discount to students. In addition to clothing stores like GAP that offer a rebate, Amazon Prime also provides a six-month membership for students.
· Sell Useless Items:- Along with selling old books, students need to consider the old furniture, automobiles, or household items for sale if these items are useless for them. It will contribute to increasing the monthly savings.
· Membership Sharing:- Instead of having personal membership, students need to share the membership of streaming services like Netflix, Prime TV, Hulu, etc.
· Limit on Alcohol Spending:- Do you know that college students spend approximately $5.5 billion on alcohol each year? If you enjoy drinking alcohol responsibly so instead of spending tons at the bar, you can go to house parties.
· Be Strategic while Shopping for Groceries:- It is effortless to throw stuff at the cart, but it will contribute to increasing your monthly expenses. So, be strategic while going to a grocery store. Try to buy the things which are needed.

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