College on a Budget

By Staff Writer Published on November 19, 2013

Finally:  you’re in college.  No matter what your situation is, college generally means that you don’t have quite as much expendable income.  While everyone’s circumstances are different, being able to pay the bills (and your tuition) is often a very real concern for college students.  Although it might mean some sacrifices, budgeting while you’re in college is a great way to save your money and to ensure you have enough to meet your needs.  Follow these tips to ensure you’re not missing out on ways to save money while in college:

Distinguish between Needs and Wants

Understand which purchases are essential.  Take the time to sit down and write out your needs, or things that you absolutely need to have to continue surviving and going to school.  Then add up how much they cost you and determine what you have left over.  This way you’ll gain an understanding of what spending might be unnecessary.

Save on School Supplies

It’s important to have the tools you need to succeed in your classes. Sometimes, it’s necessary to spend a little money to get the right backpack, binders, and pens. Luckily, at California College San Diego, we provide laptops to students for them to use in school and keep when they graduate. This can save you a ton of money, especially since modern technologies like a laptop are crucial for a college student. CCSD also includes most textbooks in tuition, and so that’s another expense you don’t have to worry about while in school here.

Shop at Thrift Stores

Many college kids have learned to cut down their spending by becoming familiar with the clothing selection at their local thrift shop.  While it may have been cool in high school to blow all your money on expensive name brands, an $80 shirt will probably seem like a waste of money in college.  Learn to expand your clothing style by thrift shopping to keep costs down.

Pay with Cash

Cash endows you with a real sense of how much money you’re spending.  Make a point of withdrawing whatever money you need at the beginning of the week and it will make it easier to see how much you are spending.  If you rely on a debit card you can often spend more than you realize, and with a credit card you might find yourself going into debt; the last thing a college student needs.

College can be a great time to learn more and get a degree, and the last thing you need is financial concern distracting you and taking your focus away from where it should be.  Stick to these tips to ensure that you stay within your monetary limits while in college.