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How do I correctly start up a budget for college? I was told this is the best way to succeed, is this true?

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Sylvia’s Answer

Hi Tabitha,every pleasure to answer your question.I can share my experience with you, I studied and got a part-time job when I was study in college, I need to pay the tuition and need to pay everything in my life .To be honestly,I studied in my country and lived with my parent ,so , I need no to pay the rent and I have a good chance to find the job , I know get part time job may not to pay the whole tuition and the costing of my life,so ,I try to get work hard and find more and more part time job and then change the work to earn more money. I'm glad to say that is I finished my college life ,I earn so many work experience and also saved the first bucket of gold in life.I thought I can handle it ,you also can do it as well.I hope my experience can help you have an inspiration to have a good budget for your college.

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Luke’s Answer

This is absolutely crucial for your success in college if money is a constraint! Mapping out the costs associated with housing (if not local), food, supplies, books (can be expensive), etc will allow you to know the final cost for attending a particular school. This might also help you better forecast the debt you'll have, and one you have all the forecasted costs mapped out you'll be able to make the most educated decision and reduce the risk of "getting surprised" by the cost of college like some students. I would first create an excel worksheet where you put all the expected fixed costs you would experience during a given semester (as mentioned above the housing, food, etc). Next, continue to make this out for as long as you expect to be in college.

Some things to consider might be if you have AP credits or plan to take classes/semesters at a community college, you might be able to cut costs or even graduate early! This would certainly save money and help with your budget. Additionally, you may look into being a resident assistant or being a student worker during the year. This would be a "cash inflow" and may provide some income to better support yourself while in school. As an example, I worked as a resident assistant for 1.5 years and received free housing, free food, and some work experience to add into my resume. In doing so, I saved approximately $4,000 in housing and $2,000 in food a semester, which resulted in over $18,000 expenses saved just by working a flexible job on campus! I didn't need a car as I lived and worked on campus, so that actually yielded further savings.

Get creative, map out everything you can think of, be mindful of the budget you have to work with, and I'm sure you'll set yourself up for success!