Budgeting for College Students
Updated: May 5
While budgeting can be extremely difficult while in college, if you just follow a few steps, getting out of college with little to no student loans can actually be a reality. Surprisingly, budgeting properly can be much easier than you think if you do it right.
Step One: Make Sure College Is Worth It For You
I am not saying that everyone should or shouldn’t go to college, but what I do know is this. College can be expensive, and if you are getting a meaningless degree, getting out of student loan debt will be a prolonged process.
Just make sure that you are going to a college that isn’t too expensive for your needs and understands your potential earnings after college upon attaining your degree.
Step Two: Write All Your Expenses Down
If you haven’t been paying attention to your budget, this one might really stress you out, and that’s normal considering how much money is probably going out the door. However, this is probably monumental towards understanding where you need to go from here.
Step Three: Figure Out How To Make Money In College
Once you understand how much money is going out the door every month, now it is time to find a way to bring some of that money back in.
Here are a few ways to do so…
Apply For A Job
Upon entering college, I have begun to realize just how much free time I have. It is easy to waste this time if you do not have anything else planned, but if you get a job, I have realized that it makes me more productive as well as it helps me bring in some additional cash each month.
Apply For Scholarships
I know this seems cliché, but I don’t think people realize how many scholarships college actually gives out. Many people pass up these opportunities, which gives you even a better chance of getting some of these scholarships.
Attend A More Cost-Effective College
Now, this one is not for everyone. There are certain colleges where you will be benefitted greatly by going to a more renowned school. However, the additional cost of these colleges might not be worth it for the degree you’re attaining.
Step Four: Stay Disciplined to Your Studies
This step is a huge reminder. If you do not stay disciplined towards your studies, all this extra work will be worth nothing. You need to make sure that you are getting good enough grades and taking the time out of your day to finish homework and study for tests.
Where To Go From Here
Getting through college with little debt is simple, but it is definitely not easy. However, following some of these steps might take some additional stress of you and make the whole process just a little bit easier.
Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor, so please review all of this advice with your CFP or financial advisor first.