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Surviving College on a Budget

Posted by : Premraj | Posted on : Sunday, February 15, 2015

When Should You Start Saving for Your Child’s College Fund?

Navigating the everyday hurdles that your average college student faces almost daily is hard enough. Doing it while also broke is darn near impossible.  After experiencing the warm financial pillow that is afforded to most kids in high school the shock of suddenly being thrust the burden of financial independence can be almost crippling.  While surviving college on a budget, regardless of circumstances, will bring about its share of struggles, there are a number of precautions that any student can take that will make college life exponentially easier.

First and foremost when applying for schools every student, regardless of financial situation, should explore every scholarship opportunity available to them. Now, that doesn’t mean that you just ask your local guidance counselor what sort of scholarships are available, no, I mean go home, fire up the old google machine, and do some serious research. I’ve explained this to every prospective college student met through work, family, or otherwise, the first savings any college student should seek is off their tuition check. It’s a common misconception that most scholarships have very involved and complicated application processes, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Examples of scholarships with easy applications are many, all it takes is a little bit of research and persistence.

After securing as many scholarships as possible, the next step in securing ones financial success during the college years is simple, budget, budget, and then budget some more. Take every vital bill that must be paid each month, this means rent, electricity, and a modest food budget, add them all up, and then tack on $25. By overestimating monthly expenses a student will ensure that at the very least their basic needs are being met each month. Which brings me to my next point, needs come first…always. I don’t care how awesome the new Madden game looks or how much fun a local concert sounds, if you’re not keeping a roof over your head and food in your belly you’re not living within your means.

The final and arguably the most important tool in surviving college on a budget is keep unnecessary spending to a minimum, particularly on food and beverages. Students spend more than $11 billion yearly on food, snacks, and beverages. By using resources available to students such as university meal plans and avoiding easy but expensive options such as fast food and daily lattes can save a student thousands of dollars over the course of the academic year. Even if a meal plan is not readily available simply cooking one’s own food purchased from a grocery store will still save a student big bucks in the long run. By keeping these simple guidelines in mind any student can find success in college whether they must adhere to a strict budget or not.

One comment on “Surviving College on a Budget

  1. Ben Shepard on said:

    The brand new tuition schools that have a big variety
    of students usually tend to develop differently.
    Most importantly no one would like to see them like that.
    For better or worse. And the students who need to really
    feel higher about them self and better schooling as an
    entire will handle that. Even the http://athenatuition.co.uk/ Faculties and KD Put together talked about that.

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