You’ve added the cost of college tuition, textbooks, accommodation, meals, and transportation when creating your budget for college but is that everything? Are you sure you are not forgetting something?
Calculating college costs accurately is crucial so that you can allocate your funds in such a way that they will take you through the semester without having to borrow more money. The more money you borrow, the further into debt it will push you.
While creating your budget, don’t forget to factor in these other expenses:
The tuition fees are just one part of the overall cost of college. There are several other incidentals that need to be considered depending on the program you have enrolled in. For certain courses, you may need to pay additional fees apart from tuition fees towards the use of the lab and lab equipment or to buy materials for certain projects. These can add up significantly and absolutely need to be factored into your college costs.
Underestimating how much to keep aside for textbooks can be a huge mistake. New textbooks are expensive. You can cut down on this expense by buying used textbooks from senior students but you will still need to calculate the cost of your textbooks when creating your college budget.
You may have calculated your rent and your meal plan into your budget but you will still need to spend a significant amount every month on items not included in the cost of rentals and meals. You are going to need groceries, toiletries, bedding, snacks, cleaning supplies, and other knick-knacks. While some of these costs are one-time, many will be ongoing. Fruits, snacks, and toiletries can take up a major part of your monthly budget.
You can save a significant amount if you just leave your car at home and use public transportation or cycle but if you absolutely insist on taking your car with you to college, you must factor in the expense. You’ll be surprised how much parking fees can add up to every semester. In some areas, you may even find metered parking.
Even if you decide not to use your own vehicle, you will still have to consider the cost of transportation if you live off-campus. Whether you carpool to college or you take public transportation, it will cost you and it will add up in the end.
This is one expense many students tend to overlook. Unless you intend on piling up your laundry and taking it home at the end of the semester, which by the way is not a good idea, you must budget for laundry. It may be just an insignificant amount per trip to the laundry, but considering laundry needs to be done at least twice if not thrice a month, it can eat into your budget if you are not careful.
Some expenses may seem insignificant enough to not factor into the calculation but small costs can add up. Watch those cents and the dollars will take care of themselves.
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