It can be stressful balancing school, work, relationships, family obligations, a social life, and especially finances. Money alone can be a big source of stress in itself and add stress to other areas of your life. Making a budget can be a simple way to reduce stress and help develop good financial habits along the way.
According to our recent survey, Perceptions & Realities of Paying for College, only 17% of college students reported they felt extremely confident in their preparation for all of the costs associated with college beyond tuition, but if you feel like the remaining 83%, don’t worry. Being prepared might be easier than you think.
You’ll want to refer to your budget frequently to keep track of your spending and how it may change over time. That semester off from working could decrease your income, or your landlord increasing your rent will create a hit to your checking account. You could even see a shift when school expenses are due, so it’s important to update your budget to reflect these big shifts. It’s important for students to keep closer tabs on what’s happening – you should evaluate your budget at least once a month
When we asked current college students earlier this year what they would have done differently to prepare for college, 67% of said they would have applied for more scholarships/grants.
Don’t forget that scholarship funds are available at all points of your college career and can make a huge difference on your annual budget and keeping your overall debt down.
Check our scholarship page for opportunities to get your hands on some free money!
If you’re reading this blog, you’re already taking advantage of resources that can help you learn and grow! However, don’t forget about these helpful resources.
We get it – money is tight. But if you find yourself with a little extra money at the end of the month, consider putting it away in a savings account to use when you have an unexpected expense, emergency, or simply want to reward yourself!
More than half of the incoming freshman we surveyed this year are preparing to work specifically to pay for college this coming school year. If you have or are planning to hold a job this coming school year, take a second look at your pay check to see if there’s an amount you can set aside for a rainy day.
With 72% of incoming and current college students believing 50-100% of the tuition and overall cost of college should be their responsibility, building a budget is the first step in owning this responsibility. For even more tips on how you can budget throughout the year, please watch out latest video, “How to Budget While in College.”
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