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Mtl_zack's avatar

What are some expenses that students usually have to deal with?

Asked by Mtl_zack (6751points) July 10th, 2010

Starting in the fall will be the first year that I will be living on my own. I’m renting a house with four of my friends. Actually, one of my friends’ parents actually owns the place and we are renting it from them.

I’m trying to make a budget so I can be smart about how I spend my money. What expenses can I expect over the next year?

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9 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Cell Phone
Your share of utilities, which would include electricity, water, sewer, garbage.
Your share of cable if the house has it.
Food.
Books. (If you are in school)
Clothing.
Transportation (a car and car insurance if you have one)
Entertainment
Health insurance

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

You need to have some money for weird stuff. Haircuts, replacing a broken plate, overhauling your organizational system, etc.

There should be some pre-made budgets you can look at, especially ones for college students.

Likeradar's avatar

Everything @marinelife and @papayally said, plus:
-If you’re a student, do not underestimate the cost of books and school supplies. Use amazon instead of your campus store.
-Aside from basic transportation, factor in oil changes, routine maintainance, sudden battery death, washing the inside (in case a friend pukes in it. true story.), etc.
-Money for dating, if that’s your thing.
-Damages to the house like carpet cleaning
-Interwebz bill

aprilsimnel's avatar

I’m seconding this: If you’re a student, do not underestimate the cost of books and school supplies. Use amazon instead of your campus store.

Holy crap, but my books cost a fortune when I was at school.

kellylet's avatar

Don’t forget toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo, mustard, bbq sauce, salt & pepper…. All those little things that were always in the house at home you have to buy. None of the items are terribly expensive but they add up quickly.

Also in school, I found the cost of my projects to be ridiculous at times. Making copies for a whole class, printing fees or the cost of ink, binding and presentation materials. I spent close to $200 on at least 3 projects, I was shocked by how expensive it was.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Keep in mind that the cost of utilities fluctuate by season. When you move into the apartment in September, the gas/electric bill is going to be a whole lot cheaper than it will be in December/January/February. You can call the utility company and get a print-out for the bill for the last 12 months by giving them the address.

Also, you may have to pay first and last month’s rent up front.

Cost of doing laundry, if there isn’t a washer/dryer in the place.

Things that you take for granted living at home: plastic containers, glasses/silverware/plates, vacuum cleaner, laundry basket, hangers, broom, spices, flashlight. Stuff in the bathroom, like band-aids, aspirin, cough syrup.

llewis's avatar

These are all great suggestions. I would add that half.com and abebooks.com both have textbook sections, and I’ve gotten good deals on both of them. Try second-hand stores for the dishes, pots & pans, any furniture or bedding you need, etc. You will pay pennies on the dollar, and it’s not like you’ll keep this stuff for the rest of your life (plus it’s kind of fun to go treasure-hunting). And figure that there will be another 15% – 25% of your budget’s worth of stuff you don’t think of until you need it – save as much as you can for those things. Good luck in school!

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@llewis makes a great suggestion about second had things. Almost all of the stuff you put into a first apartment will get trashed by your friends, or by not knowing how to take care of things, like pots and pans. Glasses break, silverware gets taken out to someone’s car to eat breakfast or lunch on the run, and never makes it back into the kitchen.

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