One of the top things that you’re going to need to consider when it comes to college is your expenses. Sure, there are a lot of important benefits of college. But if you can’t afford to stay there, what’s the point? You always want to think about the cost of everything while you’re in school. Even if your parents are paying for it, you want to have a good idea of how much everything is costing anyway. Some parents ask that if their kids aren’t going to finish, that they work out a way to pay them back for all of the expense.
If you’re taking control of your college costs on your own because it’s all on you — we totally understand. We were on our own in college, and nobody really talked about college costs with us at all. Even if you have loans covering everything, remember that you are going to have to eventually pay everything back.
When it comes to college costs, make sure that you’re asking for everything to be itemized. If you don’t recognize a fee, ask about it. Ask what it covers. Ask if there’s any way for it to be reduced. A lot of colleges used to just hope that students wouldn’t really care about the cost, because college is so very important. But as the market begins to decline, students are really curious about what college is going to cost them, and whether or not it’s going to be worth it. The college bubble is something that just has to be pursued and handled on your own. You have to seek information and not just expect for everyone to hand it to you on a silver platter.
Housing is one of the top costs that you’re going to have while you’re in school. If you can get away with living off campus cheaply, you might want to do that. This can help your studying because you’re not going to be distracted by other people that just want to party and have a good time. Trust us, we did our fair share of partying in college, but there was a time where we had to buckle down and study. You might have some other people that are talking to you about everything that you have going on, but the reality is that it’s up to you to figure out exactly what you need to do for yourself. Everyone is obviously going to be different.
Another point that you want to think about is food. Sure, at first it’s cool to be able to hit the cafeteria 7 days a week. But if you’re really not into the food, why pay extra for something that you’re not going to use. Learn how to cook and invest in a good slow cooker. Because it’s an enclosed unit, most dorms will even let you have a slow cooker available to you. It’s just a matter of picking up good recipes. You can indeed do more than just hope everything will line up, you know!
Don’t forget that eating out also has to be calculated. If you have a job while in college, chances are good that you’re going to want to hang out with your friends. You have to walk a fine balance between spending too much money, and missing out on the fun.
College is an experience that really can indeed change your whole life. You don’t want to believe that if you overspend you’re going to be fine, but you don’t want to be so frugal that you miss out on everything. Good luck!