Money Mentor



4 Tips to Surviving on a College Budget


By Samantha Bruno-Tello

Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

Besides having to pay for tuition, being in college means having to pay for textbooks, possibly parking, and other basic living expenses. A lot of you probably didn't even have a set budget in place for a very long time, so trying to survive on a budget specifically geared for generally low funds in college sounds a little intimidating, especially since college is super expensive. But if you keep these tips in mind, hopefully you (and your wallet) will suffer a lot less than you have to.


Think Before Using Your Credit Card

If you don't have one, only get one if you know for a fact you'll be using it properly and responsibly. That means not impulsively clicking "BUY NOW" on Amazon. Only get a credit card if you know you can pay back the money in a short amount of time so as to build up good credit. Otherwise, bad credit is stuck with you, and you don't need that getting in the way of bigger purchases in the future. 

Your Student ID helps!

Your student ID can get you discounts at multiple stores and other places you spend your money on. For example, if you're buying food, sometimes they give you a free drink  if you show your student ID at the register. You could also get discounts at places like the movies, or in subscriptions (like Apple Music or Spotify),

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Eat In!

Stop spending your money on food so much! It pays to skip Starbucks every day, or to pass on a night out. Limit yourself to splurging on food only once a week- or even better, once a month. Try making your food to-go at home before you leave, or maybe- if worse comes to worst- eat at cheaper places or during their lunch hours to snag those special deals.

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Only Take Out What You Absolutely Need!

If you're approved for a big sum of money in loans but you don't need all of it, don't take out all of it. It's important to only take out what you know you need, so you won't be paying such enormous sums off in the future for no reason,

Samantha Bruno-Tello, a High School Student

Samantha Bruno-Tello, a High School Student

Samantha Bruno-Tello