Last week we talked about text books, technology, and medical expenses for your child at college. Let’s get into a few other areas that can break your budget.
While freshman typically have to live on campus, other year students may not. Compare the cost of these options:
- Renting a bedroom in a local residence
- Sharing an apartment or house with multiple roommates.
- Being a dorm resident advisor (see if it will reduce rates).
Bed and Bath Items
Many stores right now offer back-to-college shopping lists. Start one of your own so nothing gets forgotten. You may want to consider areas such a:
- personal toiletries
- linens and towels
- kitchen and laundry needs
- supplies for studying
- entertainment needs
- storage containers/bags
Check to see if there are chain stores near campus. If there are, you can shop there instead of lugging everything from home. All this requires planning ahead.
Access to Spending Money
Last but not least: money and finances. Your child will need to have access to cash and you want to be proactive here. Look into which banks are on campus, so your child won’t lose money on ATM fees for withdrawals. It’s more important that it’s convenient for him than you.
With today’s banking, you can link his account to yours so that you can put money into his account when needed. Don’t assume he’ll know what’s appropriate.
- Discuss needs versus wants
- Be clear on what expenses you’re willing to cover and what you won’t cover.
- Never doubt that your child will spend as much money as you give him. It’s too easy to overspend money with no guidance.
Planning ahead will save you a considerable amount of money. Now is the time to make these additional college expenses fit into your budget.