The cost of a four-year university degree can run students between 20-50 thousand dollars a year. These fees include:
- Classroom Supplies
Many universities provide supplemental financial assistance for those who can not afford it or show great potential in academics or sports. Financial aid in the form of a scholarship, grant, or student loan can help cover a significant cost of tuition and school-related fees. In some cases, it can even cover a portion or all of a student’s housing.
However, even with financial assistance, a student still needs to have enough money to buy food, enjoy activities, and pay for vital services that create a comfortable and nurturing learning environment.
To ensure enough income to cover all of their bills, students often get a job outside their regular school hours. While this income can be beneficial, many students do not have the necessary skills to budget wisely and ensure that they have enough money to stay in school while supporting their most basic food, shelter, and clothing needs.
This is why every student needs to make a budget and spend their money wisely. Students who fail to adequately budget could be putting their educational success at risk.
Consider the following five ways to spend a student budget wisely so that you can have the life you want without interfering with your ability to learn.
# 5 – Use Self Powered Transportation
One of the most expensive items a student can have is a car. With insurance premiums for individuals under 25 at an all-time high, and the ever-increasing cost of gas, having a car as a student can break the bank.
Instead of expensive upkeep and maintenance costs, consider switching to a self-powered mode of transportation such as:
- Skate Boards
These modes are usually free or require minimal investment costs. They also save a lot of money and hassle should repairs be needed.
Additionally, check with your university to see if they offer discounted public transport passes for students. This can be an excellent way to get around without having to spend much money.
# 4 – Cook At Home
Often when one thinks of a university student, they imagine stacks of empty pizza boxes. However, what they do not think about is the cost per pizza. If a student orders a pizza every night of the week, they could be looking at paying over 300 dollars a month. For most, this amount would mean sacrificing a critical bill or service just to eat.
Instead, consider cooking at home with friends. The cost of cooking a meal is usually far more affordable than ordering takeout or going to a restaurant. Additionally, cooking at home is a great way to boost your culinary prowess and impress your friends.
If you don’t have the budget to pay for all of the food you want to cook, consider hosting a weekly potluck. This way you can eat from a variety of dishes without having to spend any money whatsoever.
# 3 – Get A Roommate
The rising cost of rent around the USA makes it impossible for most students to live independently and afford to go to school. Getting a roommate is a great way to reduce rent and utilities, giving students the extra breathing room they need each month to pay all of their bills in full.
#2 – Order Used Books
On average, students in the USA spend over 1200 dollars a semester on books. This fee wouldn’t seem so bad if it weren’t for the fact that every semester will have new prerequisite textbooks that need to be obtained in order to complete a course.
Usually, these textbooks are purchased new at a local university store. However, used textbooks can be ordered online for a fraction of the cost of new ones.
If you can not find the textbook you need online, consider swapping and exchanging books with students who have just completed the course.
#1 – Budget-Friendly Entertainment
Partying and having a good time with friends in university is part of any student’s life. However, excessive partying can have severe consequences on your budget.
Instead of expensive concert tickets or pricy drinks at the bar, consider more budget-friendly activities such as:
- Free Concerts
- Game Night
These activities are either no cost or low cost and can easily fit into any student’s budget. Additionally, many entertainment businesses offer student discounts on tickets, meals, and drinks. Remember to always keep your student ID with you to save money and stick within your budget.
Every student needs to make a budget so that they can live within their means and avoid any disruptions on their educational journey. Talk to a financial advisor for assistance with creating and sticking to a budget.