When you go off to college on your own it can be difficult to manage your expenses, especially when you are paying for school yourself. In order to get a rough grasp on how much you would be spending in a school year, we’ve constructed a financial estimate on various areas of a college students’ life.
Unfortunately, every student has living costs that will vary slightly depending on their circumstances and the college they are or will be attending, so this might not accurately represent everyone. Regardless, here are the yearly expected living costs of a college student!
1. Food: $1500 – $3500
A huge chunk of a students’ living costs will be put aside and spent on food alone. Many students may choose to buy their own food and cook from home as this is usually the cheapest and healthiest option. For many students this is a good opportunity to control the amount of money they spend on food while personally choosing meals that are right for them. On a weekly basis at the grocery store a student can look to spend roughly $50.00 on food.
There are also students that choose to eat out for most of the week. A student may not have enough time to cook, and so may need to go out and buy something instead. This is more expensive than grocery store bought food, so they are looking at spending $60.00 to upwards $100.00 a week on take-out.
2. Books and supplies: $500.00 – $2000+
The most integral part of a students living cost is the amount of money they will have to spend on books and supplies for their classes. Depending on the course a student is taking, and the department they are in, their books and supplies may vary in value. Most students can spend $500.00 and upwards to $2000.00 on all the necessary items.
Some students buy their textbooks second-hand from a second-hand bookshop on campus or even online to save them some money.
3. Transportation: $80.00 – $125.00 (per month)
If a student is living outside of their campus, then chances are local transportation costs are also an add-on to their living costs. Fees vary from city to city, but a student using a student transportation card may spend an upwards of $80.00 to $125.00 monthly on transportation.
4. Clothing: $300 – $1000
Clothing is also an important part of a students living costs that will come at seasonal points in the year. As the seasons change a student would need to dress appropriately for the weather. Most college campuses are large, and so students tend to invest in some good transportational attire to enhance their comfort level. Durable comfortable shoes can go for as high as $100.00, whereas a quality jacket can go for double that.
In many classes a student may also need to buy appropriate attire needed for the class. These items of clothing are usually expensive since they can be specific to the needs of the course and can put a strain on a students’ finances. Having an emergency fund for clothing may be best in cases such as those.
5. Other: $800 – $2000
Having fun with friends is an essential component of a students’ college experience, and so setting aside some money for enjoyment is also an add-on to living costs. Going to the bar for some drinks or going out to to the movies once a week could cost about as low as $20.00 and can go as high as $100.00 on some occasions.
Other add-ons to a student’s living costs can vary from vehicle maintenance, vacation funds, dorm room equipment, to even pet expenses.