7 University Costs that You Must Have a Budget ForFebruary 13, 2019

You were about to make peace with the (rising) cost of the university until you learned about the seven university costs that you must have a budget for. It won't be a movie ticket, even if it would be a critically-acclaimed local film. You're not a huge fan of theatre as well. And it won't be the iPhone XS (or Huawei Mate 20 Pro). You were a sixth-form student when someone told you about these seven costs. You didn't take it seriously, as your father taught you about being money savvy. You wish there's a course for it.

You were too young to figure out that there would be unexpected expenses at university. And it could make you give up on the money that you allot for food. (You can't imagine a month without a burger or barbecue.) No need to worry, as you're about to find out what are the (university) costs that put most students into trouble. You better read the list, as it may turn out to be different from what you have learned.

Unexpected Expenses to Look Out for

Joining clubs and societies (and the huge expense you incur from it). Clubs and societies are a big part of a student's life. Your new mates would provide you with the support you need whenever you're struggling with the pressure on beating deadlines and passing examinations, if not give you confidence when you start to compare yourself with other students. There won't be any problem if you plan to commit to one club (or society). Signing up with several clubs and societies could lead to financial disaster, though. (If you plan to join a sport society, then ask yourself if you can pay for the equipment. It might be beyond your budget. You must think twice if you're tempted to ask your parents about it.)

Costly printing. You need a printer, which you'll use to produce a hard copy of your essay. And you would lost count of the number of pages after your second (or third) month in the university. The cost of a single page or two may be cheap, but think again. You may end up spending a hundred dollars (or more) if you do a rough estimate on the number of essays that you must write and submit to your professors. (Take note that you won't submit it to one professor.) You can ask an older student in your flat, if not in your department, about printing options. (Double-sided printing can save you some money.) You can also inquire your professors about submitting your papers electronically. Don't be embarrassed when another student overhear your question.

Expensive study materials. If you're pursuing a degree in Journalism, then your professors may recommend a shorthand course. Take a look at it first. You may ask your parents to pay for it IF you really want to do well. On the other hand, a savvy student will try to know the course, and see if meandering the Internet (for hours) can be a good substitute. The same thing applies to high-priced (medical) equipment. If you really insist on it, then make sure that you take good care of it. You might want to sell it later.

Laptop. You need to go to the library at the earliest hour, which is your best chance to use the computer. FIRST. However, the Internet crashes every hour or two. (Older students rather not recall it.) If you can't afford a basic laptop (or if your parents won't buy one for you), then settle for a second-hand laptop. You can ask anyone in the neighbourhood, if not an extended member of your family. It would save you lots of trouble when you have limited time, so swallow your pride (if you're too ashamed to ask about it).

Medical emergency. It will be foolish of you to think that you will be invincible throughout the term. You're likely to attend more than one party, ending up with puffy eyes the following day. If you have a looming deadline, then you'll resort to procrastination. And it will happen on more than one occasion. Your mind and body won't be able to cope with the irregular schedule, so multivitamins are a must. And it may not be the only one you need.

Pricey textbooks. It will be wise to borrow some titles from the library, also purchase second-hand copies in your local book store. If you really need to have a new copy of a certain title, then handle it with care. It will be better to sell it after you're done with it. You may gain a new mate if you lend it, but think about your limited budget. If you're a student in your final year, then you'll need the money for the next item.

Graduation ceremony cost. Some students dodge the graduation ceremony, where the costs may prompt them to tell some members of their family if it's possible to pay for their own tickets. And they might not be too sentimental about the official photograph (after learning about the price). This momentous event only happens once, so you may want to tell your parents if it's possible to lend you some money. (You'll go on a job hunting sooner or later.) You might not think long and hard about it.

What Happens to the Rest of Your Money?

Treat yourself if you have some money left at the end of the month, if not two weeks after your parents give your allowance. You don’t have to spend it all, as you need to put a fraction, if not most of it, in your savings account. (Go to a local bank if you don’t have one.) It’s probably the best thing that you can do during your short time at the university.

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