College Student Monthly Budget Example

College life is fun for everyone because you will start getting rid of many restrictions that were there in school life. You will make new friends and start feeling like an adult when you enter this stage. So, college is a symbol of transition in various ways and directions.

It also marks the pre-career stage of your life because most students go to college for acquiring skills that will help them fetch a good job or even for higher studies. Let us explore some of the powerful College Student Monthly Budget Example through this article.

Besides studies and other entertainment, it’s also important for you to learn finance management because it is one of the most important skills that you need to do well in life. Unfortunately, this subject is often overlooked in the college curriculum.

For college students also, it is mandatory to create a monthly budget and stay dedicated to it. This will help your entire life because that is what you need to do after college as well for making your life better financially.

If you are a college student and don’t manage a monthly budget, then you may face several financial surprises at the end of each semester. Finance may seem to be a boring subject and thereby creating a budget can feel like a tedious task to commit. However, it is the main thing that can enable you to succeed financially.

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How Much Money Does A College Student Need Per Month?

In the US, the amount of money that college students may need vary from one to the other. But, we can always go for an average estimate on how much money does a college student need per month. This will help you to know and plan accordingly before entering college life.

Expenses of a college student can be divided into two categories basically –

  • The essential expenses of the college students include academic requirements, rent, food, and other utilities.
  • The second one is obviously the non-essential expenses like some kind of shopping, watching movies, visiting cafes, going on dates, etc.

Let’s now see the average estimate of college students in the US!

  • If a college student spends money moderately, then the average monthly expenses stand at roughly $2100. This makes the yearly expenses roughly 25K dollars. Please note that this includes moderate spending on non-essential expenses as well.
  • However, if one chooses to follow a restricted budget, then the yearly expenditures can be cut down to more than $7k. Hence, the monthly requirement for a college student here stands out to be around $1500. In this case, you need to significantly decrease the non-essential expenses mentioned above.

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College Student Monthly Budget Example

In this section, we have presented a more realistic budget for a college student. We have interviewed one college student from the US who has just passed out from college. He had provided us with his average monthly budget that seemed pretty decent to us.

Just spare some time to take a look at his budget below!

Realistic Budget for College Students

Field of Expense Money Spent Per Semester (6 Months) Monthly Budget
Tuition fees $3600 $600
Books and supplies $600 $100
House rent $3720 $620
Internet and utilities $420 $70
Food (groceries/eating out) $1800 $300
Clothes $120 $20 (when needed, not every month)
Entertainments $450 $75
Total $10,710 $1785

Hence, you can very well see that the average we have mentioned earlier is quite true. The normal expenses of a college student stay in the range of $1500-$2100 per month. Please note that the student here has lesser tuition fees expenses because of the scholarships that he used to receive. Else, the entire picture could have been different because it could even go well above $2100 monthly.

We would like to present one more example of an out-of-state female student who graduated from the University of Delaware whom we have also interviewed. Through the interview process, we found out that her monthly budget stood at around $1500 per month except for the tuition fees. It’s because she utilized the scholarships, took loans, and also some help from her parents to pay the tuition fees.

Her college tuition fees were around $35k yearly that she used to pay through $6k scholarships, $5k of Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and nearly 24k dollars from her parents’ savings.

Except that, her monthly budget was in the following manner:

Monthly Expense Table

Type of Expense Monthly Budget
House Rent $700
Utilities and supplies $50
Internet $20
Food (groceries and eating out)  $400
Ride Shares and Entertainment $120
Medical Expenses $50
Miscellaneous $100
Total $1440

Hope that these two realistic examples have made the picture clear to you!

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What Do College Students Spend The Most Money On?

We have highlighted two real-life budget examples of two college students in the US. From there, you may have already got some idea about the field of expenses. Still, if you want to know specifically, then roll over your eyes through the below bullet points to understand what college students spend their most money on.

  • The major expense of a college student is the college and tuition fees that are often charged at the beginning of each semester.
  • Then there are the school supplies such as books, textbooks, and other items.
  • After these expenses, another major expense is the rent of the apartment where he/she will stay during the college years.
  • Food is the next expense that college students need to bear.
  • Transportation is the next expense though that can be optional if you stay in an apartment that is just within walking distance from your college campus.
  • After the essential expenses, there can be a few non-essential expenses as well. Although they are categorized as non-essential expenses, these are mandatory as a part of life. That may include shopping/clothing, and a few entertainment activities.

These are the major expenses that college students need to bear. Apart from that, there can be some other optional items like college students may need some money to spend for their hobbies or learning some extra-curricular activities.

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The Procedure of Tracking Your Expenses

For maintaining a budget properly, correct recording of the various expenses is also necessary. There are two ways through which you can track your spending.

  • You can follow the traditional method like jotting down all the expenses in a notebook. Here also, you can maintain an excel worksheet because that can make your calculation easier.
  • Secondly, you can use the various digital advanced tools available online. It removes the manual interpretation and thus makes it quite flexible and easy to track the spending.

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It’s Time to Create Your Budget

We have discussed enough budgeting for college students throughout this guide. All the important aspects are pointed out that you may require along with realistic examples.

Now that you have gained so much knowledge, you should start implementing it. This will work like magic to make your life happier even after graduation when you will step into the job life.

So, there is nothing to wait for anymore. Start creating a budget from today only!

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