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Study in the USA Blog

Storing for the Winter

Posted on June 22nd, 2015 by Danielle Boxill

Storing

Hey everybody! Today I will be discussing budgeting. Knowing how much money you have and what percent to save or spend, making sure you have enough for tuition and (especially as international students) not going crazy and spending funds on all the cool and cheaper tech or souvenirs.

Last time we spoke about searching for scholarships, I hope that has been going well for you! One thing I want to talk about a little bit, especially as we are on the subject of budgeting, is the issue of loans. Loans sound awesome. Most of them you don’t need to pay back while in school. The cost struggles are invisible while you are going through studies. It makes sense to want to take a loan, studies and adjusting to a new culture are hard enough without the headache of trying to make sure you can cover all your school expenses. However, I would strongly advise not to take loans without really taking this into consideration. Loans are not free money and after school is finished you WILL have to pay them back with interest. So before you take a loan (or loans) take some time to plan how you will pay them back. Lots of students leave school with a Certificate and a bag of debt. So be really wise if you are taking the loan road.

Now to start this off I haven’t actually started budgeting my expenses as yet but I do have a list in mind of things that I will need to get covered. So far I am just trying to make up enough money to fully cover the first year of University.

Here is a layout of school fees (the school your planning to attend should have a break down of the cost like this). Don’t forget to add in the cost of travel, basic necessities, entertainment (should be a small percent of your budget O.o), book and supplies, loan fees.

2015-2016 Typical Investment

Fall 2015 Spring 2016 Total Year
Tuition $x $x $x
Room & Board $x $x $x
Fees $x $x $x
Totals $x $x $x

So first thing’s first, how much money can you receive from the school through grants and scholarships? Are these renewable scholarships or only for the first year? Minus the school grants from the tuition cost and you will see how much you need to pay out of your own pocket- so to speak. Now I got substantial financial aid from my school and FAFSA but I know that I still don’t have the kind of money to pay for the rest of the first year. So now I know that I need to save a certain amount of money each month from my current job and try to apply and win a certain amount of scholarships to fund the rest of the year.

Now what about you? Are your parents able to fund your schooling and how much? Put it all down. I have a table where I keep track of the money I’ve saved and received from scholarships. Here’s a list of potential areas where you can get money to go abroad.

  • School/University
  • Parents, Family
  • Friends (One of my parent’s friends heard i was going away. We didn’t ask for money but they graciously gave us a gift- I know you might believe it’s charity but if it’s coming from a well meaning friend I would look at it as a going away gift at least)
  • Scholarships outside the school
  • Job/Internship (paid)
  • Work/Study

The above list does not include loans because loans just suspend the deadline for the money that you need to pay. I would suggest you put loan money in a different table and for every loan have a plan as to how you will save for it. For example, in America students are allowed to either have work/study jobs or jobs on campus. When you apply for a job, find out how much it pays and plan what percentage of it you’d need to pay to clear that loan by the deadline.

The same thing you do with your loans you should do for school fees. If you’ve got the first year covered, great! You still can’t go shopping or spending ‘crazy’. Most likely you will be working, so the first thing (as I said before) is to SAVE. How much money do you need for the next year? How much money are you making now? When is the payment due? Divide the amount of weeks (or months) you have until the next semester payment by the amount of money you need to pay. That is how much you will need to save each week.

There! I hope that helped a teeny bit. I myself am still trying to organize my own budget and scholarship money stuff. I recently booked tickets, so now I know for sure when I am leaving. I’m excited and nervous!

 

TRINI FACT!

“He must be drunk how he walkin’ kilketay, kilketay so?”

“What kinda obzokee chain is dat?”

Those are just a few of my favourite Trini slangs to use when I am describing things that look awkward and twisted. ‘Obzokee’ pronounced ‘aw-b-zaw-key’ means out of place, twisted, funny looking. Kilketay (kill-keh-tay) is a word to mean lopsided, sloppy.

One Response to “Storing for the Winter”

  1. Dan Jacobs Says:

    I was able to graduate from college by doing odd jobs. I guess I’m kinda grateful for all the experiences I had when I was still a student, because I never fail to appreciate myself and all hardworking students out there.

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