Education is expensive and is often considered necessary to obtain a career in today's economy. Going to school requires studying hard for exams and spending hours working on class projects. With studying and classes, finding time to work a full or part-time job becomes difficult. Student loans are an investment that provides income to pay for the cost of schooling. Student loans have different stipulations; some provide you with the funding for housing and food.
Make a food budget based upon the allotted amount of money from your student loan for groceries. Divide the amount by the number of months the loan covers to obtain your monthly grocery budget. Make a meal plan that allows you to eat three meals a day, per month, without spending over the monthly budget.
Write down the amount of money your loan provides for miscellaneous living expenses. This will cover essentials such as toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap and personal care. Divide the amount into months and make a purchasing plan to fit into your budget.
Buy in bulk. Purchasing your food and other living supplies from a wholesale store will cut your cost of living. Divide your grocery list up into basic ingredients and purchase large quantities of your living essentials. A single trip to a wholesale store can cover one month of living.
Split housing costs with a friend or roommate if you do not live on-campus. Most student loans will cover on-campus housing only, however some will cover other living arrangements. If the allotted amount does not cover monthly rent, splitting it with one or more people will help bring it into your budgeted range.
Limit yourself and do not allow overspending. While eating out and buying luxuries is tempting, you should save any money left over to pay off your loans later.
Never spend your student loan on anything not specified by the contractual agreement.
- "Navigating Your Freshman Year: How to Make the Leap to College Life-and Land on Your Feet"; Students Helping Students; 2005
- "Knack Dorm Living: Get the Room--and the Experience--You Want at College"; Casey Lewis; 2010
- "Surviving Your Student Loans"; Nancy Mitchell; 2006
- student image by Ivanna Buldakova from Fotolia.com