However, despite these fixed expenses, being a college student routinely costs more than families think it will.
A recent U.S. News article takes a look at why this is the case. One big culprit is unplanned personal expenses (e.g., meals in restaurants). Another is inflation (e.g., when the price of gas increases, transportation costs immediately go up for students who drive.)
It is best to have extra funds in your personal budget and then—this is key—live as if you do not have these extra funds. If money is left over at the end of the semester, it can become extra cash for your holiday shopping or summer break.
Click here for advice from U.S. News on how much to budget.