Set a budget for monthly expenses, including unexpected costs, such as car repair and doctors’ visits. Save money to help cover surprise expenses so they don’t disrupt your ability to pay rent and utilities. Set a reasonable budget for your financial situation, but plan for some fun while balancing your academic responsibilities and monthly household necessities. Once you plan for all the necessities and surprise expenses, you’ll have a better idea of how much “fun money” you have at your disposal.

Off-Campus Resources has developed a downloadable monthly budget excel worksheet specifically for college students.

Renter’s Insurance

Renter’s insurance protects you and your belongings in case something happens to your rental unit, like a water leak or storm damage. Many leases stipulate the landlord is only responsible for repairing any damage to the unit, not for replacing your property or providing temporary housing while repairs are made. Renter’s insurance typically covers these costs in case something happens.

Culverhouse’s Alabama Center for Insurance Information and Research has an online guide, explaining how renter’s insurance helps and where to get a policy.

Financial Wellness

It’s important that your spending in college sets you up for success once you graduate.

Cash Course logo

CashCourse® is a free, online financial education resource designed specifically for college and university students. Created with input from real students and universities, CashCourse® equips students with information that helps them make informed financial decisions, from orientation to graduation and beyond.


Make sure your budget accounts for any utility costs, including the occasional overage during very hot or cold months.


Transportation costs are a big factor in any college student’s budget, so consider all transportation expenses, including rideshares.

Food and Groceries

Food and grocery costs can get out of hand quickly, so plan ahead to help keep your budget under control.