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Should I live at home, on campus, or off campus?

Before deciding on room and board options when attending college, it may help to itemize and project expenses. These expenses will vary depending on whether you will commute from home, stay on campus or rent an apartment off campus. Use this calculator to help determine whether living on or off campus is better and to see the costs associated with these alternatives.

Assumptions

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Expenses

At HomeOn CampusOff Campus
Cell phone ($)
Clothing ($)
College activity fees ($)
Computer equipment ($)
Entertainment ($)
Food (meals) ($)
Food (snacks) ($)
Furnishings (one-time) ($)
Furnishings (monthly rental) ($)
Health (insurance, copays, prescriptions) ($)
Housing (cable) ($)
Housing (renter's insurance) ($)
Housing (utilities) ($)
Housing (rent) ($)
Housing (one-time deposit) ($)
Internet access ($)
Laundry ($)
Memberships (gym, sports, etc.) ($)
Parking fees ($)
Personal (haircuts, household items, etc.) ($)
Telephone ($)
Transportation (gas) ($)
Transportation (insurance) ($)
Transportation (maintenance) ($)
Transportation (payments) ($)
Travel expenses ($)
Utilities deposit (one-time) ($)

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Budgeting to Meet Goals

In personal finance, you set financial goals so you can plan your budget around those goals. After all, they are your priorities, aren't they? Here is how financial planners work with budgets:

A budget has two main components: cash coming in (inflows) and cash going out (outflows). If you subtract the outflows from the inflows, the answer should always be zero. That is called balancing the budget.

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Setting Personal Financial Goals

If you do not know where you are going, how will you know when you get there? This is very true about financial goals. You need to set financial goals to help you make wise financial decisions, and also as a reward for your efforts. Goals should be clear, concise, detailed, and written down. Unwritten goals are just wishes. Those who set goals and fail will find that they didn't set realistic goals to begin with. So, the first step in setting any goal is to determine what is realistic and what is not. In this article, you will learn how to set realistic and achievable financial goals.

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Definitions

  • Number of years until collegeThe number of years until you plan to start college. Expense amounts will be inflated.
  • Estimated annual inflation rateThe average annual inflation rate that will be applied to the listed expenses. Leave at 0% if you do not want to take into account inflation.
  • Number of months expenses incurred each yearIf you plan to attend school year round then enter 12 here, the typical school year consists of nine months.
PlannerPortal - Financial Software for Financial Advisors

This information may help you analyze your financial needs. It is based on information and assumptions provided by you regarding your goals, expectations and financial situation. The calculations do not infer that the company assumes any fiduciary duties. The calculations provided should not be construed as financial, legal or tax advice. In addition, such information should not be relied upon as the only source of information. This information is supplied from sources we believe to be reliable but we cannot guarantee its accuracy. Hypothetical illustrations may provide historical or current performance information. Past performance does not guarantee nor indicate future results.