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Finances and Budgeting

The independence of college life requires students to be financially responsible by strategically managing their various financial resources, which includes carefully budgeting expenses throughout the academic year.

It is important to estimate how much money you will need, not only to settle into your new life in New Orleans, but also to be comfortable month to month during your program. Be aware of average costs in the city for things like rent, electricity, water, internet, groceries, etc. You can find more information here: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/New-Orleans.

The materials below are offered to assist you with developing, implementing, and monitoring your budget. Additional information is provided on banking, credit, consumer debt, savings, and identity theft.

Establishing a Budget: Choices and Adjustments

If you’re just starting school or have been away from school for a while, it is critical that you review your particular lifestyle and financial resources. Going to school may require an adjustment to your spending habits. A more frugal lifestyle may seem like a difficult sacrifice, but it should be viewed as a temporary measure that will be well worth the short- term inconvenience. For every dollar you can reduce your current borrowing, you'll experience substantial savings in loan repayments. Consider the following suggestions for reducing expenses.

Housing

Share the cost of rent with a roommate(s), as it is less expensive than living alone. Consider campus housing, if available. Get a sublet clause in your lease if you plan to leave for the summer.

Transportation

Bicycle or walk whenever possible. Take a higher deductible on your auto insurance. Consider dropping collision insurance coverage on older cars that are paid in full.

Healthcare

To manage your whole budget plan, you need to make sure how much money you will have to spend on health. Even with insurance, you would still want to budget for healthcare expenses to pay for your visits' co-pays, emergency services, etc. 

Shopping

Watch for sales. Never buy on impulse, even if it is a good buy. Buy non-perishable items in bulk. Avoid vending machines, fast food, and convenience stores. Store brands or generic products may be cheaper than the name brand with a coupon. Acquire inexpensive clothing at local second hand clothing stores and discount stores.