Assessing the Unexpected Costs of Being a College Student

posted 9/12/2013 in General

As the new college year has begun, we've been touching on a number of financial topics that impact college students and ways they can be more financially successful while on campus. 
Things like school supplies and textbooks can really add up fast.
When students and their parents think about college expenses, they most often look at what the school is charging for tuition, room & board and activity fees. However, what they often forget to account for are the additional costs that go along with living and being a college student.
These expenses include everything from gas used when getting to and from class to cash for occasional meals out and entertainment. In an article from U.S. News and World Reportabout budgeting for college, one financial expert estimates that for a college that costs $14,000 a year, you should plan for an additional $1,500 to $3,000 in expenses.
Here's a look at some of the most common college expenses students and parents forget about and how you can avoid them:
Gas- it's hard to nail this down since the price fluctuates, but it does get pricey week after week. Solution: walk or bike to class, drive home only for major holidays and events.
Meals out- this is an expense that can be largely avoidable, but is a pitfall for so many students. Solution: limit meals out per week and learn how to cook for cheap!
Textbooks- one 2011 study found students are paying as much as $175 per textbook and $900 per year on average. Solutions: search for used editions, buy from Amazon or other online book retailers, rent textbooks or use e-books.
Academic and living supplies- planners, pens, paper, bath mats, towels.they all cost money and while small, they can stack up quickly. Solution: buy academic supplies in bulk and make tradeoffs when it comes to fashion over function.

Recognizing costs and finding savings where you can will help to decrease the amount of impact these expenses will have on your financial life. If there is any way Lincoln Savings Bank can help, please don't hesitate to get in contact with us. Good luck and happy studies to all the college students!

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