No one really tells you how to manage money in college. Sure, your parents suggest budgeting and your freshmen orientation has a seminar on how to save on campus, but when push comes to shove we all make mistakes and learn how to be shrewd in college. Mistakes happen, but…
If you’re someone who focuses on just your studies and doesn’t have an economics sense of things, you could really suffer. This post will cover some cutting edge yet timeless strategies to make sure you’ve got enough in your wallet when the time comes to truly enjoy life.
Let’s take a quick look at all the costs a college student can face over the course of four years. Note that these may vary as you move around the country, study abroad, or have the opportunity to live at home and commute to college. It’s a fun four years, so make sure you try all of that!
Typical costs include:
- Room and board
- Food and resources
- Textbooks and supplies
- Extracurriculars (Greek Life, Club dues, Intramural sports)
- Athletics (Varsity, Junior Varsity)
- Health (Medical, prescriptions)
- Relationship expenses
There’s no one way to budget these the best – it will be case to case. However, there are budgeting strategies you can take into account, such as:
- Buy all your supplies at the beginning of the month
- Buy food once a week and avoid eating out or in large groups
- Make use of old textbooks and online learning
- Ask your school to subsidize club costs, explaining they are going towards your degree (which can even earn you credits!)
- Travel in groups or use a car share or discounted bus service
If you factor all of these five strategies in – early in your college career – the savings can be impressing. Who knows what you’ll do with all of them? Maybe take your family out to a nice dinner? Maybe hit the amusement park?
Post College Costs
After college, things get serious; if you failed to budget during college you’ll be really behind now. Yet, there are still strategies and best practices. Here’s your Honest College quick list:
- Make sure to work and live within the same 5 mile radius
- Take advantage of free services within your town
- Do you research on medical billing solutions, don’t get trapped by large costs
- Make sure your employer provides full health insurance
- Take advantage of online
- Don’t get in debt – borrow only if you have to
You’re not going to want much in the form of bills when you’re try to make it big time in your young career. Bills will crush you; take advantage of the free and innovate resources at your disposal!
Lastly, make good investments. There’s a long-standing quote that you can get wealthy by working hard and being a trustworthy professional – but you won’t get rich until you invest.
Take stock of when you can spend money on a good investment – like a home or a company or small business you’ve been eyeing – then go for it. You only live once!
As always, thanks for reading.
Greg – founder
Note: This post was written on behalf of PMG Billing Services. Browse their online library of references, or contact us at publishing AT honestcollege DOT com if you’d like your own featured at the blog.
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