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How much money for personal expenses in college?

Cjesusinme1Cjesusinme1 Registered User Posts: 110 Junior Member
I am currently a high school senior who got accepted to college. I am working in a local restaurant to save money for my college personal expenses such as laundry, and things like that. I am not planning on getting a job for my first two years of college because I highly anticipate to work my tush off and get a perfect GPA for my grad school acceptance chance. I am pressuring myself on saving much money. After paying all your college expenses, how much money do I need to spend for small things like going out for a drink or something per month? Do I really need to stress about this? Thanks!

Replies to: How much money for personal expenses in college?

  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 26,417 Senior Member
    How much you need for personal expenses depends on your spending habits, and the cost of living where you study. Things to include in the budget estimate include laundry (how many loads do you need to run each week?), transportation (will you be walking, taking a bus, driving your own car?), shampoo/soap/toilet paper, clothing, snacks/drinks/pizza/meals out, etc. How cheap are you?

    My advice is to keep squirrelling away as much as you can so that you have more options in the future, but do remember that with your restaurant experience you can find decent-paying work just about anywhere on very short notice. That is a handy skill set to have.
  • privateIDprivateID Registered User Posts: 205 Junior Member
    Another point I would add is that many kids in college are in the same situation as you. In fact, you might have a leg up on many by just trying to save before college. There are always ways to do things economically in college. For example, kids seem to know what events have food at them. Good luck.
  • Cjesusinme1Cjesusinme1 Registered User Posts: 110 Junior Member
    @happymomof1 , I am a very cheap person who does not spend much. I can afford $50 per week. I will also take the bus to get around. I am very good at spending money and I also Do not have that much clothes. Do I need money for extracurricular? Do you think $50/week is too cheap, or enough?
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 66,618 Senior Member

    My kids worked during college for all discretionary spending money. We asked that neither of them work during their first term...but both found little once a week jobs even that term.

    It is very very possible to work 8-10 hours a week in college and still make the deans list. My kids both did that.

    I think you will find you have plenty of time to attend classes, study, and also work up to ten hours a week. Remember, you won’t be IN school from 8-3 everyday.

    There are some studies showing that kids who work actually budget their time better than those who don’t...and also have good grades.

    In addition, work experience is a plus, and something you can also include on those grad school applications.
  • Cjesusinme1Cjesusinme1 Registered User Posts: 110 Junior Member
    Very good suggestions on this topic! I need more information on this cause I have been stressing a lot about this topic.
  • jumpermomjumpermom Registered User Posts: 83 Junior Member
    depending on where you will be going to school, $50 a week is more than doable. My daughter survives on $100 a month
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 65,919 Senior Member
    Extracurricular costs can vary from free (e.g. hike around a nearby trail) to expensive (e.g. ski trip with transportation, lift tickets, equipment). Some can have variable cost (e.g. going to religious services may be no cost, but how much do you donate?).
  • mommdcmommdc Registered User Posts: 9,751 Senior Member
    Make sure to work in the summers.
  • NorthernMom61NorthernMom61 Registered User Posts: 3,207 Senior Member
    If you live on campus and have a meal plan, $50/week seems very doable. My very frugal the daughter gets by on $50 a week with buying groceries. She has an apartment style dorm where she cooks her own meals. She and her roommate share food expenses and cook together a lot. They are not living on ramen, the pictures of their meals are amazing. She seems to have enough for other expenses too. (Though we do fund her books).
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 66,618 Senior Member
    edited March 13
    Are you an international student? If so, your visa type could very well limit the number of hours you are allowed to work while attending college here.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 31,751 Senior Member
    Are you including books in that? It does depend on where you are going to school.
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