Planning for all your college expenses

College expenses to plan for, and how to manage them.

Once you have your tuition covered, it’s helpful to put a plan in place to successfully manage your other college expenses. By getting a handle on these expenses ahead of time, you’ll have fewer surprises down the road.

Identify all college expenses

Non-tuition costs while in school can include:

  • Books and class materials
  • Food or meal plans
  • Dorm or rent costs
  • Campus events and activities, such as intramural sports
  • Trips with school and friends, and going home
  • A cell phone plan
  • Movies, eating out, and other miscellaneous expenses

Be thorough when making your list, and include all possible expenses you may encounter while in school, no matter how small. Having a complete list of potential expenses is the first step toward making sure you’re prepared to take care of yourself financially.

Make and follow a budget

Learning how to budget in college will help you establish good, long-term money management skills. To successfully create – and maintain – a budget, it’s important to know where you’re spending your money. Consider using a budgeting worksheet to keep track of all your expenses and income, including scholarships, loans, and income you earn from work. Creating and sticking to a budget gives you the power to track your spending habits and ultimately save for long-term goals, such as studying abroad or going on a spring break trip.

By filling out Wells Fargo’s My Money Map, you’re able to track purchases you make with your Wells Fargo credit card and checking account, and compare your spending trends to your set budget. This allows you to see where you have extra money to save.

Take a sensible and safe approach to spending

College is a great opportunity to start building good spending habits by actively managing your own debit and credit cards. The Wells Fargo Cash Backcard may be used to purchase your school and personal supplies and enables you to earn cash rewards. As with any type of debit or credit card, it’s important to consider fraud risk. Be sure to know the contents of your wallet in case it gets lost or stolen and carry only what you need.

Listing your expenses and putting together a budget to cover them can help make sure you don’t run out of money before finals.

Learn more about getting scholarships and grants for college funds.