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Tips for Creating a Budget for Your College Freshman

Going to college is a fresh start full of opportunity and excitement. While the months between high school graduation and the fall semester should be filled with picking out classes and choosing clubs, discussing financial matters with your college freshman is one of the most valuable things you can do to help them.

In the United States, 44.7 million Americans find that they owe student loan debt by the time they finish school. This debt can be crippling for many, making it difficult to take big life steps like purchasing a home. The team at McCarthy Law knows the importance of avoiding a build-up of debt if possible, so we have compiled a list of tips for creating a budget for your college freshman.

Why Is a College Budget Beneficial?

It is no secret that college is expensive. Unless you have earned a full-ride, scholarships, or other funds, then budgeting is a crucial factor for ensuring you can make savvy financial decisions as you pay for school. While budgeting may not be the most fun activity, it is important and beneficial in making your financial goals a reality. Some benefits of budgeting include:

  • You will not have any surprise bills at the end of the semester
  • You can avoid overspending
  • You can accomplish financial goals you have set for your future, like buying a car or building up your savings account
  • You will build your money management skills for the future

The best part about getting good at budgeting now is that you can apply those financial skills to the rest of your life. Being able to stick to a budget will prove to be helpful for big purchases, travel, or other life events that involve money management skills.

College Budgeting Tips for Financial Success

Budgeting is not easy. Naturally, when you have money, you are going to want to spend it. Learning skills to manage your money will help you resist the temptation of irrational spending and help reduce your need for student loans in the future. The following tips will aid you in saving your money so you can fund college and have fun during what will be the best four years of your life.

Gather Your Money Details

Whether your parents are helping you pay for school or you have scholarship money to cover some expenses, you need to gather your money details to see what is left to be paid. If you have scholarships or grants, keep in mind there are often rules on what that money can be spent on. For example, some scholarships can only be spent on tuition or books, while others can be used for living expenses.

Figure Out What Expenses You Need to Budget For

The following are common college expenses to consider when budgeting:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Lodging
  • School supplies
  • Food
  • Gas and transportation
  • Clothing
  • Money to have fun with

How to Effectively Track Your Spending

Once you have budgeted out how much you intend to spend in each category, it is vital to actually track how much you spend throughout the semester to stay on track. The following methods help track your spending:

  • A spending app
  • A spreadsheet on Excel
  • A spending journal

Tracking your spending is key to having a successful budget to coordinate expenses during your time at school!

Consult with Dedicated Debt Settlement Lawyers

Sometimes, even with budgeting, student debt is still necessary to fund a college education. As with many people, those who have borrowed a significant amount of student loans may find that they cannot afford to pay back the loans they owe. That is where the trusted lawyers at McCarthy Law come in.

McCarthy Law knows that facing loans and financial pitfalls can cause difficulties in your life. Our team offers competitively low fees and dedicated care for each case, so you can trust us to help you through your case. Set up a free consultation by filling out our contact form or calling (855) 976-5777.

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Joe Panvini

Joe received his law degree from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University in 2010. On behalf of consumers, he has successfully briefed and argued complex consumer law issues in both individual and class action lawsuits. Joe is admitted to practice in Arizona and Washington, as well as numerous federal courts across the country, including the Ninth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals.