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How to Budget Your Refund Check from School and Get What You Really Need

refund check from school

It’s time to go back to school, which means more classes, more books, and more expenses. Without properly managing your finances, you may pay for it for the rest of your life.

That’s why you should try to learn how to budget your money while in school. The lessons professors teach aren’t the only ones you should focus on. And if you got a refund check from school, then you have an opportunity to get valuable hands-on experience with how to budget well.

If you learn how to make a good budget for yourself now, life will be easier after graduation. While your classmates struggle to understand how to save money and cover bills, you’ll be able to focus on developing your career. And to start learning how to make a good budget, you should learn how to budget your refund check.

Identify the expenses that you will need to cover with the check, and make sure those are paid first. Then, figure out the best way to use what’s leftover. To learn more about budgeting your refund check, keep reading below.

A Refund Check From School Covers More Than Class

Your refund check is meant to be used for more than just covering class-related expenses. Classes should come first when it comes to covering expenses, but you’re not required to use your refund check for them. If you have other expenses to take care of, you can use your check on them as well.

Refund checks are basically just a form of income; you can use them however you want. It’s up to you to be responsible with it; to learn more about how to responsibly spend your refund check, keep reading below!

You Can Use Your Check for Living Expenses, Food, or Bills

College expenses span beyond textbooks, course fees, and Pearson subscriptions. It also means feeding yourself, paying electricity bills, and keeping a roof over your head. As a college student, you’re responsible for taking care of yourself; nobody else will take care of you for you.

Managing all that new responsibility will stress anyone out. And as the bills pile up and the refrigerator empties, it’s easy to doubt whether you may succeed as a student. Tough times are times when your refund check comes in handy.

With it, you can buy groceries, pay bills, and make sure rent gets in on time. You can help keep yourself afloat with your refund check. Just because you have it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still live frugally, though; always keep an eye out for a deal!

Don’t Spend it All in One Place — But Spend a Little

College is stressful, and that can take a significant toll on anyone’s mental health. In fact, college is so stressful that 1 in 5 students think about suicide at some point during their studies. While it’s important to make sure your food and rent are taken care of, it’s just as important to make sure you keep up with your mental health.

Don’t be afraid to spend a little bit of money if the stress of class gets to be too much. If you’re having a bad night, don’t be afraid to go out with friends or buy a new game to play. Everyone needs to relax at some point, and you should plan ahead for it.

Put some cash from your refund check to the side to spend when you need to relax. Just make sure not to spend more than the amount you put aside and make sure your other expenses are covered!

Keep in Mind Your Budget Check’s Size

Refund checks differ for everyone, and various factors can affect its size. If you get grants, the check may grow. And if you take out more loans than you need to cover tuition, you may get a massive check every semester.

Just because your check is large doesn’t mean that it’s safe to spend it all. You never know how long you may need to make your refund check last. Spend it too quickly, and you may be stressed about more than finals at the end of the year!

It’s okay to take out more money from loans than you need for tuition, but don’t use them for more than school. If you rely on your loans as an income, you will just dig a deeper hole of debt for yourself.

Which is Bigger: Your Debt or Your Check?

You should always keep the size of your student debt in mind while budgeting anything. Every dollar spent on going out or buying extra clothes is a dollar that could be spent bringing down your debt. And just because you’re a student doesn’t mean you can’t start repaying your loans.

If you take out too much money from a loan, save it in a separate savings account. That way, when it comes time repay the loan after graduation, you will have savings you can use to make those first few payments while you look for a good job.

Stability Is More Valuable Than Any Check

A stable income will always be more valuable than any refund check, no matter how much it is. If you can work while going to class, then you should. Your pay doesn’t need to cover your college expenses, but it will give you a semblance of stability in your life.

With an income, you won’t need to dip into your refund check for superfluous spending. Instead, you’ll be able to use your paycheck and can even start building savings for yourself.

Working will also give you experience that you’ll need to stand out from others after graduation. It doesn’t matter what job you work — as long as you’re working on something, you’ll have some skills and experience you can fall back on.

Learn How to Budget like It’s a Class

College is a time when you learn about more than just what they teach you in class. It’s when you start to learn about who you are, and what you want out of life. Most importantly of all though, it’s a time when you can start learning how to budget your finances.

Managing a refund check from school will give you the experience you need to manage your finances better in the future. And to manage it well, purchase your books from us! We’ll help you find the right books for your class, at the right price!

About the Author

Christopher Manns

I was born in the UK, grew up in Canada and have lived in the USA since the 90s. I love my family, water sports, ice hockey, skiing and soccer. When I'm not helping people save money on textbooks, I'm travelling with my wonderful family and playing sports.