How to Prepare Financially for College

By Steven Galvin - Last update

Get Daily news and updates directly to your Email

TU Dublin has released its annual Cost of Living Guide for the 2022/23 academic year. Amongst the findings the report features the monthly cost of living estimated at €684 for those living at home and €1,478 for those living away. For anyone starting college in September, it’s important to be aware that along with the joys of college life, comes the harsh reality of managing your finances and coping with the high cost of living. And the best way to do that is to be prepared! So below we lay out some essential tips and insights on How to Prepare Financially for College to help you navigate your financial journey throughout your college years.

How to Prepare Financially for College


It’s time now for you to start creating a budget, which is essential to ensure financial stability.  We recommend you begin by listing your income sources, including part-time jobs, grants, or parental support. Then lay out your monthly expenses, such as rent, utilities, groceries, transportation, and textbooks. Once you have these in place, include a figure for leisure and social activities. Now the tough part! Stick to your budget!!


More than ever, housing costs can be a significant chunk of your expenses. If you are looking to find accommodation for September, be sure to start your search early to secure the best deals. Remember to factor in location and transport costs as these are a significant factor when it comes to location costs. It’s always worth asking your college to help you with your search for accommodation. For example TU Dublin offers its own free student accommodation search engine called Studentpad.


It’s easy to form bad shopping habits and that can eat into your budget, particularly when you fall into spontaneous spending! Plan your shopping ahead of time and avoid running over budget. Make use of student discounts available at various shops, restaurants, cinemas, etc. Always look for budget-friendly options and planning shopping such as food in advance. Look at buying second-hand textbooks or borrowing from your college or local library instead of buying new ones at much higher costs.


Eating out is always tempting, but it’s always expensive! Embrace your Masterchef skills and cook meals at home as much as possible. Not only will it save you money, but it can also be a healthier alternative. Prepare a weekly shopping list and stick to it. Take this opportunity to show off your culinary skills and share expenses with friends and invite them to dinner – which also is a great way to socialise and cut down on your going-out costs!

Part-Time Work

Consider taking up part-time work to boost your income. Universities often have student employment services that can help you find job opportunities. Part-time evening / weekend jobs will provide you with  financial stability and also help you develop valuable skills, provide experience and build your CV. Win! Win!


Transport costs can quickly add up, so explore affordable options. Consider cycling or walking for shorter distances. If public transportation is necessary, get yourself a LEAP Young Adult Card and save money on public transport, as fare capping (19-23 years) will bring big savings, with a daily cap of €2.80 and a weekly cap of €11 for travel across the network. Also investigate the possibilities of carpooling with friends who live nearby, which will allow both you help share the travel costs.

Shop Around

Shop around for the best deals on utilities and subscriptions. It’s essential to be mindful of your utility and subscription expenses. These costs can quickly add up if left unchecked. Compare utility providers. Also be mindful of your energy usage – it can help reduce your utility bills  – and always ask about student discounts!

Student Resources

Colleges offer a wealth of resources that can help you save money. Take advantage of the library for textbooks and academic resources. Look for free or discounted gym memberships, student health services, career counseling, and other facilities provided by your college. is a national database of universities, colleges, institutes and providers of third level, CAO and PLC courses in Ireland. We operate a national search database of courses and colleges.

Steven Galvin

Ireland Needs to Double the Number of Healthcare College Places
What is SUSI?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We'd love to send you the latest news and articles about evening classes, further learning and adult education by email. We'll always treat your personal details with the utmost care and will never sell them to other companies for marketing purposes.

Comments and Reviews Policy