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Credit: Phillip C

This blog is directed mainly towards people who in my boat, working college students. As I’m working on finishing my last semester I’m looking for ways to help save money. Part I was about getting the most financial aid. This week’s topic is budgeting when you’re going to college.

I found the hardest part was figuring some basic scenarios. I went back and forth dividing it up by part-time and full-time. Then I decided to break it down by single, married, or have kids (single and married) .

I’ll go over the first scenario which is living with your parents with the minimum amount of obligations. From there, I’ll look at more and more complicated situations.

If you have any tips, suggestions, disagreements, or feedback, please leave a comment.

  • Pay ‘rent’. There are many students today who don’t pay for anything and receive money to support their spending habits. College is supposed to be a time of learning academic and life skills. A major part of life is to be able to support yourself. It also shows respect to your family who are supporting you financially while you make this long-term investment.
  • Save at least 15%. You’re at a very fortunate time in you life where bills are minimal. Take advantage of your situation and put at least 15% of your take home in a high yields savings account. A student working 20 hours making $6.50 and hour can save $1,681.95 in two years, before interest!
  • Use your own money for splurges. Don’t waste other peoples’ hard earned money. If you want something, earn t. It will give you the satisfaction of doing it on your own and build your self-esteem.
  • Think twice before getting a credit card. If you’re not able to completely support yourself, then getting a credit card can be a recipe for disaster. Many students will still go ahead and get a credit card, so my advice is to have a credit limit of no more $500. If they offer to raise your limit, ask them instead to lower your interest rate. That would be better for you. As you are well aware, pay the balance in full each month. Bad credit will haunt you long after graduation.

Here’s a sample monthly budget:

Income  
Job

467.21

   
   
   
EXPENSES  
Family

100

Groceries

100

Gas/fuel

137.7

Savings

93.44

 

431.14

   
 

36.07

It’s not complicated due to the relative freedom one has in this situation.