Becoming a student is challenging. Most people think that the challenges stop when you receive your acceptance letter into university, however, this is when the real preparations begin. Not only do you need to worry about paying your tuition fees, you also need to plan on how you will support yourself from week to week.
Before you start creating a budget, let me outline the main living costs that you need to consider as a student. Though the cost will differ from city to city, I will give an average estimate for each.
Accommodation is your most pressing living cost, as you do not need to be worrying about where you are going to sleep after a stressful day in class. Accommodation costs will depend on which city you live in, and what type of accommodation you have chosen; home-stay, on-campus, off-campus.
Hostels and Guesthouses: $80 to $135 weekly
Shared Rental: $70 to $250 weekly
On campus: $100 to $250 weekly
Homestay: $110 to $270 weekly
Rental: $100 to $400 weekly
You also need to figure out how you are going to go from point A to point B. The best thing for you would be to buy a bike, however, if the distances are long, you will probably need to use a bus.
I would advise you to get a student bus pass, as this will give you discounts on your transport.
Public transport: $10 to $50 weekly
Food is another major living cost that you’ll need to contend with. You can opt to buy food from cheap fast-food restaurants, or you can shop for groceries and prepare your food at home. If you do go grocery shopping, shop in bulk, and use coupons wherever possible.
Groceries and eating out: $80 to $200 weekly
If you are not living on campus, then you will probably be paying utility bills. The main utility bills that you will be faced with include gas, water, and electricity, and you might also need to pay for phone and internet as well.
Gas, water, electricity: $60 to $100 monthly
Phone and Internet: $10 to $50 weekly
Books are extremely expensive. That is why you are advised to buy second-hand books, and were possible, download e-books onto your computer.
P.S. Don’t forget to use the library; this is the largest resource of books available, and it doesn’t cost a dime.
Textbooks and study materials: $500 to $800 annually
Even though you are headed to university to study, you need to take some time off to relax and enjoy yourself. That is why you need to dedicate a portion of your budget to entertainment.
Entertainment: $50 to $100 weekly
When it comes to clothing, I would advise you to look for discount stores, and wait for promotions in retail stores. In this way you can find good quality clothing at an incredibly affordable price.
Clothing/Personal Items: $500 to $1000 annually
As you can see, living costs for students are high, and that is why you need to create a budget to balance out all these costs. Using the tips I’ve given above, you can reduce these costs so that you are not paying too much. Good luck to you as you start this journey.