Understanding Money, Debt, and Everything in Between

artwork by Helen Tadesse

Dillon Carr, Staff Writer

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   With college comes more responsibility.You are getting your first real taste of adulthood, and along with adulthood comes financial struggles. Here are some tips to keep your head above the water in college.

  According to a website about managing finances, one of the first things you need to do is have the dreaded “money talk” with your parents, guardians, or whomever will be supporting you financially through your college career. With the start of each year, make sure to have a conversation to decide if your family will be paying, if you need to rely on financial aid, or if you will need to get a job to support yourself for your upcoming college career (nerdwallet.com).

  Another thing you need to keep in mind about attending college is all the other expenses, like transportation. One way you can get around this is to make a list of all the expenses you will most likely have and have a discussion about who will be paying for these added expenses (nerdwallet.com). According to another website about college financing, you should take into account all of the following so that you have a good idea of what exactly you’ll be spending money on — your car, food, gas, living space, and most importantly, the cost of having fun. The list will basically be comprised of everything you will do while you’re at college (CollegelnColorado.org). Anticipating your expenses will help prevent financial stress during the next four years.

  Textbooks and school supplies will eat up a large portion of your college budget. It is estimated that the price of books and supplies for an in-state student, living on campus, at a public four-year institution can cost up to 12500 dollars,  according to the College Board (collegeboard.org). The cost of textbooks and other materials adds up quickly, so make sure to keep it in mind when creating a budget (nerdwallet.com).

   When you are spending money in college, remember your future. Money doesn’t replenish every semester. You need to remember to keep money around for the years that are ahead of you, even if it is your last year of college. You may graduate with a college degree, but just because you are now well educated doesn’t mean you are going to find a high paying job the day after you graduate (nerdwallet.org). The most important thing is to understand how valuable money is, and that smart spending has to begin in college.  “The way I’m going to budget for college is by attending two community colleges, because they are cheaper to attend rather than a university,” said Senior Alondra Borja.

  The trick to completing college on a budget is to stick to your goals. Don’t stray too far away from them and you’ll do just fine keeping a budget and saving money. Start saving as soon as possible and save as much as you can before you get to college. Above all, keep your head on your shoulders and keep in mind that you have four years to really get a hang of budgeting and saving money. It’s not the end of the world if you blow a couple 20 dollar bills, but just make sure that you’re willing to suffer through the consequences. Top Ramen and granola bars, anyone?

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