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www.wmfd.com - The most obvious college expenses are the ones that get the most attention from parents and students, but it's the costs beyond tuition and room and board that can derail a carefully planned budget, as Karin Caifa explains. }}" />

   
 
 
Overlooked College Costs For Back To School People

Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 9/1/2013 The most obvious college expenses are the ones that get the most attention from parents and students. But it's the costs beyond tuition and room and board that can derail a carefully planned budget. Karin Caifa explains. Tuition, textbooks and dorm set-up are the obvious expenses at the start of a semester. But Scott Gamm of HelpSaveMyDollars.com advises some longer-term planning for others. For example, budget for extracurricular activities like sports, and especially, fraternities and sororities. "These organizations come with costs," says Gamm. "We're talking $2,000 sometimes at the start, and then $1,000 per year for the rest of the time that you're in the organization." Many colleges offer health insurance plans, but it may cost less to stick with mom and dad. "Under the Affordable Care Act, you can stay under your parents' health insurance plan until age 26, so if your parents do have one, then it's important to simply stick with that parents one," says Gamm. "It's going to be a lot cheaper." Upeprclassmen may consider renter's insurance too. "If you are getting your first apartment, especially with roommates, you know that might be an optimal way to cover that downside if something is stolen or if there's damage to the apartment," Gamm says. "Renter's insurance will come in handy there." Think about what it will cost to get on and off campus, like maintaining a car or paying for mass transit, or to travel home. "You want to book tickets for planes and trains in advance," Gamm says. "You're not only going to save money, but at least you'll be able to have an idea of what this stuff is going to cost, and then you can allocate some of your expenses." And, however a budget adds up, Gamm recommends setting aside an extra five percent for the truly unexpected.
   
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