How to Pay Bills & Go to School

Going to college can be an expensive investment in your future. If you have other bills on top of the tuition, books and fees, it can be even more difficult to afford to go to school. Utilities, rent, car payments and insurance can stretch your finances to the limit. However, with some sound financial planning it is possible to go to school while still being able to pay your other bills.

Budget your money carefully. Track your spending for a month and determine where all your money is going. Remove unnecessary spending from your habits and use the savings to pay bills.

Buy used textbooks instead of new ones when possible. Sell them back to the school or bookstore at the end of the semester.

Get a roommate to split the cost of housing expenses such as rent and utilities.

Work at least a part-time job. Supplement your scholarships, grants and loans with these wages. Remember that even a small paycheck coming in every two weeks will help make it easier to pay any bills that your financial aid and loan packages don't cover.

Go without a car if possible. Note that many times your classes and labs will be within walking distance of your residence; if they aren't, public transportation is usually common around college campuses. Use the money you're not spending on car payments, fuel, maintenance and insurance to pay other bills.

Pay the bills that you have on time. Avoid late fees by paying bills as soon as they arrive. Remember that any money spent on a late fee for one bill is money that you can't apply to paying any other bills.

Avoid credit cards unless necessary and pay the full balance every month if you do have one. Don't end up with an extra bill to pay each month because you are carrying a balance on one or more credit cards.


  • Ensure you have some savings in case you run into an unexpected bill or a bill that is larger than you expected.