College comes with all sorts of lessons and learning experiences. Not only must one learn how to adjust to an accelerated academic life, but they also must adapt to living on their own. Paying attention to your spending habits will only pay off in the long run. And if you go to college in a city, you must learn how to practice self-control.
Read on to get a glimpse into the life of a Drake University student’s budget. You might just learn a thing or two.
Major: Double majoring in magazine media and digital media productions and minoring in rhetoric, media and social change
College: Drake University
How do you pay your tuition and fees?
With Drake we have the tuition guarantee thing, so most of it comes from scholarships and that tuition guarantee thing. And then also I have a loan taken out through Sallie Mae, and that typically covers the rest of the tuition that I need to get covered and books and stuff like that. Oh, and FAFSA is my best friend.
What are your monthly expenses?
$65 for phone bill, $108 for car insurance and credit card bills vary monthly.
How do you pay your expenses?
Typically, I work more than I would this year. I work a Hot Topic and that pays $10 an hour. Usually, I would work like four days out of the week, but because of my internship this year it’s taking up most of my time in the week so right now I’m only working two days out of the week, Friday and Saturdays, and those are usually like five to six hour shifts. I usually just rely heavily on those paychecks, and then if I need any help my mom is one to help, but that’s like a very last resort just because she also has her own bills and everything.
What are your budgeting plans after graduation?
Definitely trying to put more money aside in my savings. I was doing good about that, and then I went to Florida, so I kind of used a lot of my savings. But I think it’s nice to have a rainy-day fund, especially since I’m used to seeing my mom and my family live paycheck to paycheck. So, to get the privilege to make a savings account is really important to me, so I want to put more into that and invest in my future because I want to live in a city after graduation and those apartments are not cheap. So, I want to try to save up for that, and then in the event I don’t get a job straight out of college, that way I have money just in case things go wrong.
How did you spend your money last week?
Sunday, October 23
Nothing, dinner was paid for
Monday, October 24
$10.70 at Starbucks (coffee and sandwich)
Tuesday, October 25
$6.89 at Scooter’s Coffee (Red Bull infusion)
Wednesday, October 26
Thursday, October 27
$30.01 for gas
Friday, October 28
$85 for credit card bill
$13.70 for coffee and food
$24.78 for sweatshirt
$72.51 for groceries
$35 for pizza
Personal Care: $24.78
Household essentials: $72.51
School supplies: $0
How does seeing this influence your spending habits?
Seeing that definitely opened my eyes. I’m aware I spend a little bit more out of my needs, especially right now because I’m not working as much, but seeing that I was like, ‘Oh my God, I’m spending a lot.’ So, I’m already trying to fix that a little bit. I’m trying to be mindful of like if I go out to eat, like just the small stuff that I probably shouldn’t be spending on that I can like not spend on. So like coffees. I’m typically trying to make my coffee at home now, that way I don’t spend like $4 on a Starbucks drink.
Disclaimer: This interview was cleaned up for clarity and succinctness.