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Ready for College?

By Will from Holland

Good... But Is Your Spending Budget Ready?

Know a big reason students drop out of college? Money issues. That's why thinking about a college budget right now, before you hit the campus, is a very smart thing to do.

Developing a budget doesn't have to be rocket science, either. Here's a plan:

First, learn how to budget properly. Our FoolProof Solo program can help you! Register an account and work through our "Burning Money" module.

Second, find a program that can help you manage and track your budget. Google "online budget calculator" and find a program that you like. I like and use it to track my budget. It's free and easy to use.

Next, do some research on the types of expenses you'll face while in college. Don't kid yourself, either. College is always loaded with unexpected expenses. Google "unexpected college expenses" to help you develop a good expense list. Then, detail your income and expenses for (at least) your first quarter or trimester. If your budget says you're in the "black," excellent. Stick with that budget!

These tips can help:

  • Always record what you spend. Simply listing expenses slows down many people's spending. Download a phone app for budgeting ( has one), or simply use the phone's notepad. Transfer those daily expenses to your online program.
  • Don't spend if an item isn't in your budget. Impulse buying is a budget killer!
  • Get a library card. Virtually every library has free WiFi, really cheap DVD rentals, and passes to museums and other attractions. And coffee at a library cafeteria is always less than coffee from a coffee chain.
  • Set up a "price book." Price books let you track the cheapest place to buy repeat items. Google "setting up a price book."
  • Learn how to find and use "good" coupons. Good coupons are free money, the best type of money! Bad coupons are scams. There's a skill to finding the good coupons (and many of the good ones are downloadable.). Google "using coupons effectively" to hone your skills.
  • Search for legit student discounts. Google "student discounts in (your city)," for instance. Or search by topic: "student discount (topic). Research any discount offer before spending tho! Google, for instance, "problems with (topic) student discount."

Well, that's about it. Sticking to a budget in college is a survival skill, not an option. Start practicing that skill now!

Additionally, we have many more articles on budgeting and saving. For instance, try one of these articles:

Hope this helps getting started!

Cheers, Will