Budgeting in College – Why It Doesn’t Have to Suck (Part 2)

Budgeting in College – Why It Doesn’t Have to Suck (Part 2)
  • Opening Intro -

    Let's continue our discussion on how best to budget for college.

    Reducing costs is one of the best ways to stay within budget.


continued from Part 1: college budgeting

There are many other ways which college students spend money such as eating out, shopping, and taking day trips. The goal of Part 1 was to simply wake the reader up to the fact that they carelessly spend and may not recognize it.

Lets Stitch Up That Wallet

First thing is first. You need to know how much money you make per month. Lets say a student makes about $800 per month or $200 per week. You still want to have fun with your friends and not be a hermit, so there is nothing wrong with spending on occasion.

Take that $800 per month and immediately subtract 20% ($160). That goes into a separate savings account. What is done with that money (Stocks, IRA, or just keeping it for a rainy day) is totally up to you, but it is not to be spent.

Next, lets cut unnecessary expenses.

If you are a coffee addict, that is fine. Make a one time purchase and get a coffee pot. A tin of coffee is far cheaper than a cup of coffee. If you have roommates, pitch in with them and the cost of coffee will be practically nothing.

Enjoy eating out? That is also fine. Learn to limit how many times per week you go out and do not be afraid to strike down plans if you are short on cash. Also, choosing a reasonably priced firm to eat at is something to always consider.

Still hungry? Go food shopping. A meal from the grocery store is far under half of what you would spend for one meal at a restaurant. Couponing if time is available is also a great option. Consider also getting rewards cards and membership cards as long as they are free or worth it to save.

About to go out for a night of heavy drinking? The pregame is the best time to get your buzz on without breaking the bank. A handle is anywhere from between $20.00 to $30.00 which should last you multiple pregames. Drink to your heart’s content (and your stomach) before going out to prevent excessive spending on drinks at the bar.

other valuable tips:


As a word of advice, always have money in mind whenever handling it. Is this purchase worth it? Will I actually use this? Once you get into this habit you will notice your bank account will be much more stable. It is better to save a dollar than spend a dollar but fun costs money so use the trade off wisely. That’s the good sense of college budgeting.

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Categories: College Budgeting