The Categories Every College Budget Spreadsheet Needs

Chegg Life is Chegg’s “guide to the real world,” a platform that offers advice aimed at students via blogs and newsletters. Money is one of the areas that Chegg Life covers, along with life skills and health & wellness. This article on college budgeting by Ashley Broadwater offers tips for students living independently for the first time.

Hallie Kraus, financial planner at the Humphreys Group, weighs in with her expertise throughout the article. She points out that “most universities have some sort of estimated student budget on their website,” and notes, “It’s just a guideline, of course, but I’d recommend students and parents use it as a starting point as they’re getting their finances in order for the school year.”

An often unaccounted for area of expense is transportation, with commutes to various places via multiple modes of travel being an often unavoidable part of the college experience. “Chances are good that you’ll have a lot of irregular expenses. Things like your car registration and oil changes don’t happen every month, but they’re important to prepare for,” Kraus says. By this logic, transportation is a category of budgeting where it would be smart to pack in an extra bit of money, which you can roll over every month depending on how unpredictable your travel may have been.

Other categories of budgeting that this article highlights include:

– Study-based expenses, like subscriptions, programs & software beyond the expected laptop & materials.

– Food, which can be considered through a meal-plan, or accounted for with groceries, delivery, and going-out expenses.

– “Fun and games,” including media subscriptions for music & TV streaming, entertainment, grooming services & general outings.

– Other unplanned occurrences beyond vehicle-related expenses, like lost and broken items.

– Rent, whether in a dorm or off-campus.

– Decor and materials for inside your living space.

– Health & wellness services.

– Phone bills, with an average monthly cost of $152.

The Humphreys Group is a women-owned and women-operated wealth management firm based in San Francisco, California. The firm offers highly focused financial planning and disciplined asset management to a range of clients. Their expertise is helping women in transition navigate their particular challenges — such transitions as marriage, divorce, widowhood, inheritance, or that first stock option grant. Their passion is helping their clients take control of their own financial lives and get smart about money.

 

Diane Bourdo, CFP®
Diane Bourdo, CFP®

Diane Bourdo is the President of The Humphreys Group. Diane has dedicated her life’s work to helping women make smart financial decisions. For nearly 30 years, she has developed investment management and financial planning strategies that allow her clients to create lives that reflect their values. Diane was named an InvestmentNews 2020 Women to Watch and has been recognized in Forbes, SF Chronicle, NY Times and more for her work and writing.

Diane Bourdo, CFP®
Diane Bourdo, CFP®

Diane Bourdo is the President of The Humphreys Group. Diane has dedicated her life’s work to helping women make smart financial decisions. For nearly 30 years, she has developed investment management and financial planning strategies that allow her clients to create lives that reflect their values. Diane was named an InvestmentNews 2020 Women to Watch and has been recognized in Forbes, SF Chronicle, NY Times and more for her work and writing.

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