There are few things more expensive in life than getting an education. Even with countless student loan options to help you make ends meet, the chances are that you’re going to be dealing with debt for a good portion of your life after going to college. Of course, that doesn’t mean that getting an education isn’t worth the cost. The more you learn, the more you can wow potential employers with your resume and earn a bigger paycheck.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that if you know what you’re going to have to pay for when you go to college, you can also take steps to reduce your risk of over-spending too. Here are just some of the things to budget for as you prepare for college, and how you can make the most of every penny.
You might not need to pay your student loan back every week when you’re in college, but you will need to think about the cost of other loans. For instance, you might have taken out a personal loan so you can afford the furniture you needed for your new student accommodations. You may even have considered a loan for a new car.
Make sure that you can afford to make your repayments every month on time so that you can begin to build your credit score up as early as possible. To keep the costs of your loans low, look for ways to save money on the amount you need to borrow. Consider getting a second-hand car or looking online for second-hand furniture for your dorm room. Or if you do need credit, make sure you use a site like MoneyWorld.co.uk to get a great deal.
Common Course Costs
The tuition fees that you pay at the beginning of each year will cover some of the typical costs associated with your course. However, they won’t cover everything. You’ll also have some extra expenses to think about too. For instance, check the syllabus online if you can and find out if you have any trips to go on with your class. If so, you’ll need to pay for those as well as getting to and from your course every day.
Remember to look into the price of other things that might be essential for your course too, such as a new tablet or computer, and books that are relevant for your education. Consider buying those books second-hand or borrowing them from the library when you can to keep costs as low as possible.
Unless you’re staying at home and your parents can afford to feed you while you’re getting your education, you’re going to need to think about how you’re going to afford food. The truth is that it is possible to eat a normal and healthy diet as a student, but you’re going to need to do some planning. If you’re sharing a house with multiple people for instance, ask everyone to chip in for group meals.
When you do make food for yourself, think about investing in some Tupperware. This will allow you to make extra, so you can freeze extra meals for later. This way, nothing will get wasted, and you’ll have a back up plan if you’re tempted to order in after a long day of studying.
When you’re living on a tight budget as a student, it can seem as though entertainment is the last thing you should be worrying about. However, just because you don’t have a lot of money doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be doing your best to get the most out of the complete student experience. Although you might not be able to afford to go to every concert or party that you’re invited to, you can at least set some money aside for a few social events.
Give yourself a break by allocating some of your budget to having fun. Don’t be afraid to look for cheaper ways to have a great time too. For instance, find out if there are any free events on in your area on the weekends that you can invite your friends to.
Utilities and other expenses
Finally, even if you’re staying on campus, you may still need to pay for your utilities, such as gas, electricity, water, and broadband. This is the case if you’re going into private housing. Make sure that you can afford to pay for these extra expenses every month, or you’re going to have some serious issues. Additionally, don’t forget about the other little expenses that you’ll need to consider too, such as:
- Cell phone bills
- Travel expenses (public transport)
- Insurance for your belongings
- Toiletries and clothes