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There are hundreds of articles and calculators geared to get college students to plan and stick to a budget. The bottom line is: running out of money stinks. Unfortunately, too many students have to experience this firsthand before they learn how to budget in college. Don’t let this be you. We recommend including these college costs in your budget. Here’s some college budgeting tips and basics.

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Planning Today Saves Headaches Tomorrow

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Do you have a job? Are your parents giving you money? How much financial aid is going to living expenses? Do you have to stretch out your financial aid lump sum for an entire semester?

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Know your monthly income

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Keeping a record of everything you are buying will help you know where you can save and what you really want to splurge on. There are several online tools to track your spending.

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Track and inspect your spending

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How much is your rent, utilities, phone, internet, car, and other fixed monthly payments? Know the number you need to live on at the bare minimum.

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Define your fixed monthly expenses

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Once you are tracking your spending you can truly see how much money you are spending on things like dinners out, clothing, groceries and other costs. See where your money is going to determine where you can save.

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Estimate your other expenses

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Do you really need your daily $4 coffee? Can cooking at home save on food costs? What are your real essential expenses like rent and what are things that are nice to have?

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Figure out your needs and wants

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Without a budget and guidelines it’s easy to spend on things you might want but not need. If you set up rules for spending you can keep on track and save for thing like vacations or a new car.

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Set rules for expenses

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There are many apps to help you track monthly spending. They also help college students set up and keep to a budget plan. See budget app recommendations from Forbes and Nerdwallet  

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Track your expenses on an app

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We recommend you have an emergency fund set up for unexpected expenses like medical emergencies, car accidents etc.

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Save for emergencies

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Credit and debit cards can be invisible money. Paying for things with cash can help make you keenly aware of how much money you have.

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Pay for everything in cash

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Consider the big picture when calculating college costs

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College Costs

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Learn More

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Starting to save for college as early as possible can make a huge difference.

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Saving for College

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Why go to college? Why stay in NM?

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Plan Your Future

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Planning Today Saves Headaches Tomorrow

There are hundreds of articles and calculators geared to get college students to plan and stick to a budget. The bottom line is: running out of money stinks. Unfortunately, too many students have to experience this firsthand before they learn how to budget in college. Don’t let this be you. We recommend including these college costs in your budget. Here’s some college budgeting tips and basics.
Style E
Hand with coins illustration

Know your monthly income

Know your monthly income

Do you have a job? Are your parents giving you money? How much financial aid is going to living expenses? Do you have to stretch out your financial aid lump sum for an entire semester?

Bar Graph Illustration

Track and inspect your spending

Track and inspect your spending

Keeping a record of everything you are buying will help you know where you can save and what you really want to splurge on. There are several online tools to track your spending.

House illlustration

Define your fixed monthly expenses

Define your fixed monthly expenses

How much is your rent, utilities, phone, internet, car, and other fixed monthly payments? Know the number you need to live on at the bare minimum.

Calculator Illustration

Estimate your other expenses

Estimate your other expenses

Once you are tracking your spending you can truly see how much money you are spending on things like dinners out, clothing, groceries and other costs. See where your money is going to determine where you can save.

Coffee Cup Illustration

Figure out your needs and wants

Figure out your needs and wants

Do you really need your daily $4 coffee? Can cooking at home save on food costs? What are your real essential expenses like rent and what are things that are nice to have?

No Shopping Icon

Set rules for expenses

Set rules for expenses

Without a budget and guidelines it’s easy to spend on things you might want but not need. If you set up rules for spending you can keep on track and save for thing like vacations or a new car.

Mobile Phone Icon

Track your expenses on an app

Track your expenses on an app

There are many apps to help you track monthly spending. They also help college students set up and keep to a budget plan. See budget app recommendations from Forbes and Nerdwallet  
Umbrella Icon

Save for emergencies

Save for emergencies

We recommend you have an emergency fund set up for unexpected expenses like medical emergencies, car accidents etc.

Dollar illustration

Pay for everything in cash

Pay for everything in cash

Credit and debit cards can be invisible money. Paying for things with cash can help make you keenly aware of how much money you have.

Style G

College Costs

Consider the big picture when calculating college costs

Students studying at table with computer and books

Saving for College

Starting to save for college as early as possible can make a huge difference.

Piggy Bank with Hat and glasses

Plan Your Future

Why go to college? Why stay in NM?

NM road with mountains and sky