The Real Deal: Setting a budget for college expenses
Many colleges start their semesters in August, so now is the time to start thinking about coming up with a budget for expenses outside of tuition costs.
News 12’s consumer reporter Janice Lieberman gives you The Real Deal on how to tackle that conversation with your teen.
Whether you, or your teen, are getting ready for college, there are expense that you need to think about before you overspend.
Going back to college as an adult, or leaving home for the first time is exciting, but costly. Experts say you need to set a budget and stick to it with tools you can use to see what you are spending.
“It's a process of going through, making a budget, doing some simple things. Use a tool like Mint.com. Use a tool like Papaya. There's so many apps out there and we know our kids love to spend time on their phones. Put them to work. Give them a certain amount of money you can Venmo it to them and say, ‘Here's what you get,’ sort of an allowance, but with a little bit more, tangible stakes in here,” says Jaqui Kearns of Affinity Credit Union.
Set the allowance and when it is gone, it is gone.
“The costs add up. So whether we have that habit of driving to the Starbucks and getting our favorite latte every day, make sure that they know how much it costs. Sometimes it's easy to swipe and go and there's no real cost to that. They think it was free, but we know it actually costs money, especially if we're giving them that money to spend,” says Kearns.
If you are going back to school later in life, you have other hurdles to work out. Experts say figure out if financially going back makes sense.
Lastly, experts say set up an emergency fund for car issues, entertainment and supplies. A summer job can help cover some costs.