Helping your college student set up and stay on a budget can be challenging if they have little experience managing their own money.

Use these tips to help your student manage their money:Help Your College Student Budget - College Budget - Parents

Budget for Each Semester

For college students, it may be helpful to set up a budget by semester and track progress on a weekly or monthly basis. Help your college student calculate income from sources such as financial aid disbursements and part-time jobs, minus typical college expenses such as tuition, fees, books, living expenses, clothes and activities. There are multiple ways to manage a budget, but if possible, follow the 70-20-10 rule by allocating 70% for living expenses, 20% for savings and 10% to pay bills.

Look for Ways to Save

Shopping online is a great way to save money, especially if you can find deals that include free shipping. Consider signing up for newsletters or mailings that alert you of upcoming sales. Renting or purchasing used textbooks online is also a great way to save.

Little Expenses Add Up

By using cash whenever possible, your college student can more easily track small expenses within their budget. Budget cash weekly or monthly to cover small purchases such as eating out and entertainment, and remember once the cash is gone, it is gone until the next period.

Use Credit Cards Wisely

Credit cards can help your college student establish credit, but it's important that they have the knowledge they need to make wise credit decisions. The basic principle with credit is to use it wisely and spend within your means. Your college student should always pay on time and pay off the balance in full every month.


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