College years are one of the most crucial years of a student’s life. The children in their college years learn how to sustain themselves alone in society.
Adapting to this new change might initially seem difficult. One of the major problems that students face while studying at college is managing their financial expenses.
These new years of freedom might lead them to ashtray or might burden them with added stress. It is necessary to teach them the art of managing their financial expenditure to relieve them from added stress.
An average college student spends most of their money on living expenses, college course materials, electrical gadgets, books, and stationery. Other than these, they also spend money on food, entertainment, clothes, personal care products, and friends.
Other expenses get added to this amount. This huge pile of expenses gets imposed on the prospective student which might lead to student loan debt or credit card debt.
At a very early age, the students get stuck in the loop of paying interest on their credit card debt. There are some plausible remedies to relieve the students from such problems.
1. College Students Spending Statistics
According to Kanan. Co., the average college tuition fees can be below or above 20000 euros per year depending on the country. The living expenses may vary between 9600 and 14400 euros per annum depending on the country.
The average grocery bill is nearly 27000 euros per year. Clothing and entertainment expenditures may reach up to 3490 euros per annum. So, an average college student spends nearly 65000 euros per year, excluding extra expenditures like transportation costs.
2. College Students Spending Behaviour
Due to social media pressure and lack of proper understanding about money most college students spend money on a lot of unnecessary things, as a result of such unnecessary expenditures, personal expenses increases. This can also include food expenses and internet access. Such expenses should be stopped.
Tuition fees or tuition costs are considered beneficial expenditures. However, some expenditures create a negative impact on a student’s life. Here is a list of some students’ spending habits that lack positive benefits.
2.1. Shopping Spree
There is a group of typical student who love to enjoy their newly found financial freedom. These college students buy and love spending money on superficial objects like trendy clothes, cosmetics, and fashion accessories.
Such a college student should be guided properly so that they can create a monthly budget. It is extremely necessary to make them aware of their spending power.
2.2. Binge Drinking
Binge drinking means consuming a huge amount of alcohol in a short period. College days are a time when students love to explore their newly found freedom.
This might lead to binge drinking. Excessive alcohol consumption not only hampers their studies but also takes up a lot of money.
2.3. Spending on Friends, Parties and Entertainment
In the case of entertainment, college students get a lot of discounts in various places when they show their student cards. The idea of entertainment and fun varies with people. For some, going to bars and parties is an ideal form of entertainment whereas some people enjoy solitude.
These introverts love spending time in their cosy room and watching shows or reading their favourite novel. As there are a variety of choices in the case of entertainment, therefore the cost of expenditure also varies.
Most students, during their academic year, plan their entertainment budget, including cinema tickets, OTT subscriptions, eating out during college breaks, etc.
2.4. College Expenses
Other than room and board an average expenditure of most students goes on college expenses. These include course materials, average college meal plans, gadgets books, and other stationery products.
During their school year, parents cover the expenses of all the school supplies. But as soon as a student steps into college, they are all on their own. Since it is an age of advancing technology, students are compelled to spend money on gadgets like smartphones and laptops. Also, the college education and the price of course materials vary with the choice of subject major.
Students majoring in subjects related to science, like health majors and mathematics majors, have many extra expenses. These extra expenses might add up to their course materials and make them more expensive than other subjects like literature or history.
According to romaniaeducation.info, in countries like Romania, international student living expenses are extremely affordable. An apartment of 50 or 60 square meters is available for 350 to 400 euros. A student planning to room and board in dormitories will only have to spend 100 or 200 euros. The maintenance cost is paid separately and costs nearly 40 euros.
An average college student spends only 160 euros on groceries in countries like Romania. The public transportation costs are extremely cheap in Romania. A person needs to spend a minimum of 16 euros on transportation. It takes up only 21 euros for entertainment. All in all, a college student should spend only 650 euros per month, excluding the college expenses in countries like Romania.
3. How to Spend Money Wisely During College Life
The university period is the time when students gain practical experience in finance. An average college student spends money on many extra items which cannot be considered as a wise expenditure.
This is also a period to gain knowledge about personal expenses and find a way to earn extra flow of money. While planning to earn their monthly budget, many students seek easier sources of cash flow or earn money through unfair means. Here are some ways to spend and earn money wisely.
3.1. Reducing Off-Campus Eating and Other Expenditures
Students should learn to make their meals or stick to the college meal plan. The meals served in the college canteen are extremely affordable. Making your meal will surely help them save an extra penny.
College students love making new friends, and often, they plan to eat out of campus. This can be counted as an extra expenditure if they eat out of campus often. Reducing this extra expenditure will surely help them save money.
3.2. Utilize the Available Free Learning Resources
During university days, most of the expenses are spent on course materials, books, and gadgets. What many students never realize is that there are many effective yet free course materials available on the internet. Students can use these free course materials to save money and gain extra knowledge.
One of the biggest instances of extra expenditure on course materials is seen mostly in technical fields. With the advent of Chatgpt, students are spending a lot of money and allotting themselves to many expensive courses to learn this new form of technical art. What most students don’t know is that to gain initial knowledge regarding chat, they can join a course by Andrew NG, which is free yet better than most courses that take money.
3.3. Healthy Spending Habits
The newfound freedom of university students leads them to spend money recklessly. However, a student can learn to ask some introspective questions; then, he or she can control the unhealthy spending habits of college life and maintain a monthly budget.
Some introspective questions to control extra spending.
- Do I need this item?
- What if I don’t buy this?
- How much will I save if I don’t purchase it?
- If I don’t purchase this item, will it hamper my general course of life?
- In how many ways will it profit me if I choose not to buy it?
College students can also maintain a monthly budget sheet and analyze their extra spending at the end of each month. This can help them to maintain their healthy spending habits.
3.4. Financial Aids
Many students dream of attaining higher education from a university but can’t afford the high educational expense. These national or international students can seek financial aid from their dream university. This will help them reduce their educational expense and will help them take a step to attain their dream.
Here are a few steps you can follow to ask for financial aid from your college.
- Step 1- Choose a proper university.
- Step 2- Write down your educational qualifications and collect letters of recommendation and certificates of achievement. Prepare a proper portfolio.
- Step 3- Be specific with the reason. Tell them why you need a scholarship or financial aid.
- Step 4- Politely ask them if they can help.
- Step 5- Mail the content to the university and wait for their reply.
Essential Financial Support for Learning Access
“As someone with a Master’s degree in Education & Leadership who has worked for various traditional higher-education universities, ed-tech startups, non-traditional colleges, and specialized boot camps, it is absolutely essential for institutions to offer financial support to students.
One of the most common reasons people do not attend school is because they cannot afford it.
Throughout my career, I’ve worked with [a lot of] students who are highly motivated to continue to learn, [but the] financial barrier has been an issue.
[In] regards to addressing the quality component, quality education doesn’t necessarily mean it is expensive because ‘expensive’ is a relative term depending on one’s financial situation.
Therefore, someone who cannot afford any form of education would absolutely need financial resources to attend any [type of] continuous learning program.”
3.5. Part-Time Jobs
Private tutors, research assistants, internships, babysitters, marketing, etc, are some of the part-time jobs university or college students can apply for. These jobs will surely help them to earn extra money.
4. Some Well Known Recommended Books on Finance and Expenditure for College students
During college life, an easy book on finance will never go to waste. This will not only create a habit of reading among the students but will also teach them how to handle and spend money.
These books can act as a guide for students who have little or no idea about finance. Such easy and helpful books are easily available online. These are some of the easy yet helpful books on finance that students can easily download for free.
4.1. The Richest Man in Babylon by George Samuel Clason
Do you steer clear about finance? Do you wish to get a grip on your daily expenses? This book by George Samuel Clason will surely make finance an easy deal for any student and adult. The book upholds the ancient Babylonian culture on how to deal with money. ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’ can successfully and easily guide anybody on how to set a monthly budget.
One of the easiest tips suggested in this book to set up the monthly budget is that 1/10 of one’s earnings must go into savings. 7/10 must go on livelihood, which includes food, clothes, etc. 2/10 of the monthly earnings must be kept for the repayment of debt. By following the easy guidelines presented in this book, a student’s living expenses can be easily sorted out.
4.2. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
Students must learn about investments from a very early age. Robert Kiyosaki’s book ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ can act as an easy and inspiring guide about investments for students.
After reading this book, one can easily distinguish between what can be considered as an asset and a liability. If Richest Man in Babylon teaches us about how to save and spend money, Rich Dad Poor Dad is a guide on how to start a golden stream of money easily.
4.3. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Money and morality, wealth and contentment can walk hand in hand. This is the main concept of this book by Napoleon Hill. This book intends to teach us that one can attain all happiness, success, and wealth if we keep our thoughts in check. Thoughts are like a blueprint that leads us to action.
‘Think and Grow Rich’ guides us on how to keep our thoughts in check. Many international students tend to sink into depression while they are away from their families. This book will not only act as a guide on finance but will also teach its readers how to deal with failures and depression.
College or University days can be tough on students. They not only have to focus on their studies but also need to set minds regarding daily expenditures.
This article intends to act as a guide that will make finance a little easier for these new adventurers who are struggling hard and patiently waiting for their life to unfold.
Guest Author: Saket Kumar