We’ve all been a part of the broke college student stereotype, haven’t we? It’s impossible to escape during those exciting four years of your life. You think you have tons of money in your bank account before opening it to see a measly $3. Rest assured, managing your expenses is the key to breaking that horrible stereotype. Rest assured, managing your expenses is the key to breaking that horrible stereotype.
Meher Gandhi, a fellow college student tells us all about how she manages her own expenses.
Name: Meher Gandhi
Major: Public Health
School: University of Massachusetts, Amherst
How do you pay for your tuition and monthly fees?
MG: My parents pay for my tuition and rent.
It always helps if your family or guardians are willing to help you with your finances. Especially if you live off campus, rent can be an expensive addition to an already expensive tuition. In the case where you’re struggling to juggle these finances, financial aid options, scholarships, or opting to live on campus may ease the struggles.
What are your monthly expenses?
MG: My monthly expenses are groceries, clothing, the electric bill, the WiFi bill, the water bill, gas, food, and laundry.
Depending on your living quarters or the various plans you may have included with your tuition, you’ll have a monthly spread of expenses that you’ll have to pay. If you live off campus, water, electric, gas, food, and WiFi are guaranteed bills that you’ll have to pay no matter what. If you have a meal plan, groceries or food might be taken care of. In addition, if your apartment or house has a laundry unit built in, you might not have to pay for laundry either. However, if you don’t have a laundry unit or a meal plan, you’ll have to take both of those factors into account for your expenses.
How did you spend your money last week?
MG: I did not spend as much money last week since I was on campus a lot, so, I spent money on food through my meal plan. I did not have to use my car and fill up gas. I had also done most of my groceries a week before so I didn’t have to buy too many this week.
One Week Expense Breakdown:
- $26 (Venmo for food from last week)
- $39 Stop & Shop (groceries)
- $31 Clothing
- $27 Electric Bill (monthly bill)
- $15 Dinner
- $15 Lunch
- $10 Laundry
Personal Care (laundry + clothes): $40
How do these breakdowns influence your spending habits?
I think I’ve gotten much better at spending since this is my second year living off campus and my third year in college. I’ve figured how to save money and cut corners so that I’m more financially responsible.
It’s important to get organized when it comes to your spending habits. If you can make breakdowns for yourself to keep track of your expenses, you’re much better off when you have to pay all those bills! Keep in mind what the best financial options are for you and your financial status. That way you can monitor for scholarships and programs that will help keep you afloat! Broke college student stereotypes begone!