Budget While in College, But Don’t Forget to Experience College

Six College Budget Busters Every Student Should Avoid

Excerpts:

a few simple budgeting steps and avoiding common money pitfalls will keep students out of the debt.

Especially during the first few months, it’s easy for students to fall into bad habits that can be hard to break

Deciding up front what you want to be spending each week (and what you don’t) makes it easier to get into routines that work for you and your budget

Set a dollar amount that you can afford to spend for each of these items … don’t get into credit card debt

That sandwich between classes and cup of coffee to make it through a boring lecture may seem like just a few dollars—but they really add up over the semester. Consider the math: $5 a day at Starbucks is $1,825, dinner out at $30 a week is $1,560 … That is a total of $3,385 … setting aside $10 to $20 a week for splurges, which allows students to space them out and stay in their limit.

students should study their schedule and recognize their eating habits to pick the most applicable meal plan to avoid over paying … your campus meal plan may not be the cheapest option

socializing and going out with friends is part of the college experience … everyone needs to know their financial limits … set aside a monthly limitation for weekend expenses.

Spring and summer vacations are the perfect times to get away, but students need to budget accordingly

**

The article makes some very good points about keeping spending in control and the need to “budget accordingly”.  Money can disappear quickly without discipline yet leave nothing to show for that spending.

But college is a unique set of years in one’s life where one has a combination of youth, some time, and relatively few life responsibilities.  While academics is paramount, college is also a time to have experiences that may never occur again.  Socializing, campus activities, spring break trips, and studying abroad can positively impact someone for the rest of their life.  Forfeiting opportunities merely and solely to divert associated expenses to paying interest on student loans or contributing to a savings account or simply to avoid spending money at all can in the grand scheme of life be pinching pennies at a very high cost of later regretting to take advantage of those opportunities.  When people are getting ready to die, they regret the things they didn’t do rather than the things they did.

Yes, college students should budget their money (and time) by avoiding frivolous and excessive spending, and they should save for the future.  But it’s okay if budgeting and saving in college is for the purpose of taking advantage of opportunities offered during that time in college.

One can always make up lost money, but one can never make up lost time.

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