The 10 Expenses I Didn’t Budget for College

by Keny A.

Whenever I got into college, all I thought about was paying for food and washing my laundry. Any other bills that came up were things that mommy and daddy would have to worry about. At least, that's what I thought. I was sorely mistaken. I had a ton of other expenses hit me all at once, and my parents pretty much said "Good luck." That's it. In order to help you avoid the same shock I went through in college, I thought I would make a list of some important expenses I didn't think about at first. If you can prepare for these, you can feel confident about your ability to get through school debt-free. Here are 10 expenses I never thought about in college…

Car Insurance This is one of those "duh!" moments, but I totally didn't have a way to pay for car insurance when I got into college. My parents paid for it until then, and they basically told me that it was my car – my problem. I had to tweak my policy a bit to get a rate I could afford, but eventually, I figured it out.

Gas Gas prices are far from cheap nowadays, so allot about $50 a week to spend on gas if you have your own car. If you ride the bus, you obviously won't have to pay that much.

Water Campus tap water sucks, no matter where you go to school. Plan to pay for some Dasani, Ozarka, or something else along those lines. Trust me. It's worth the $5 you have to pay for a 24 pack.

Books Books are super expensive in college, like $300 for one book…! I learned to rent my books every semester to save money, so you might want to check out a program like that. Otherwise, say bye to your leftover financial aid.

School Supplies Pens, pencils, paper, and the like all add up over time. Unless you manage to "borrow" a bunch of stuff from your mom's work, you may have to pay a pretty penny to keep yourself going in college.

Printer Ink You may not spend money on ink if you print your homework at the library, but you will at home. That stuff is expensive as all get-out, so you just need to be ready for the cost.

Life Insurance If you start paying for life insurance now, it will actually be worth something when you retire. This may not be at the top of your priority list, but it really should be. My life insurance rates are pretty low, so I know you can find an affordable policy. You just have to look around a bit.

Cable and Internet You'll rely on the web and your TV to keep you entertained in college. Plan to pay for your connection service because that will become a necessity for you.

Faxing Fees If you have to fax something from school, expect to spend a couple bucks per page. I actually got a fax machine of my own because of the costs I was going through. If you never send faxes, you may never have to worry about this.

Food I expected to eat in college, but I never expected to eat so dang much! I remember one week, I went through $150 in fast food, and I only made $300 a month at that time. Talk about stress! Plan to put away a ton of money for food until you learn the wonders of Ramen Noodles. Your money isn't going to go far in college, so start saving now. The more money you can put away, the better prepared you will be for the unexpected.

This post was written by Keny A.

Keny A. is a writer that loves writing about anything and everything. 

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