Be Sure To Include These Overlooked Expenses In Your College Budget

Are you almost off to college? Would you like to fund your children’s education one day? Regardless of the case, here are some expenses you should remember to include in your budget.

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The costs of college extend well beyond tuition, books, and housing. Even if you have grants, scholarships, and student loans helping you financially, other costs could require money out of your pocket to stay afloat.

What extra costs must you account for when planning for college? Here are a few, and it’s worth noting that they may increase from year to year, so keep that in mind:

1. Furnishings

Whether it’s a dorm room or an off-campus house or apartment, you’ll probably want to spruce up your living arrangement to make it feel like home. This can cost up to thousands of dollars, so allocate some cash for it.

If you don’t want to buy a new, more comfortable bed, nicer carpets, or other decorations, you could visit Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace to see what people are giving away for free.

2. Food

A campus meal plan can cover breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but what about snacks? Or what if you don’t like the food that’s offered?

If you’re a picky eater or like to stock up on extra food, this is an area where you’ll incur additional costs.

3. Transportation

Some college towns are condensed, making it easy to get from point A to B without a car. Others, however, may be more spread out, which can lead to high transportation costs.

Buying a car, bike, or scooter may be in order, or you can take the public transportation (or shuttle) route instead of Uber and other ride-sharing apps that can cost a pretty penny.

Regardless of what you choose to get around in, you’ll need to account for it in your budget.

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DO YOU NEED FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Stop! If you need financial assistance such as money to pay bills, a personal loan, or debt relief. See what resources are available to help you today.

4. Your Major

Some majors are more expensive than others, especially if they require costly equipment. Your scholarships or grants may cover some of these costs. Others may extend past that coverage, however, which could put you in a bind if you fail to plan for them.

What’s an example of a costly major? Engineering is one, while aviation is another that is in a whole other ball park when it comes to expenses.

Before deciding on a major, take a closer look at the department you’re in. Take a tour of it and ask other students about their costs and experiences too. Don’t forget to take a trip to the financial aid office, either, to get the lowdown on what you’ll be expected to pay.

5. Entertainment

Your entire time at college probably won’t be spent studying. To get the full university experience, you may want to participate in extracurricular activities such as intramural sports and the like. Some of these come with costs, and they won’t be covered by financial aid.

What’s one additional activity that goes hand in hand with the college experience? Joining a fraternity or sorority to make new friends and create future networking opportunities. While living the Greek life has its perks, it can have costs that rival tuition.

To avoid sticker shock with Greek life or any other extracurricular activity, do your research before jumping into it.

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