(WFSB) – Parents who are getting ready to send their children off to college might already be strapped for cash after paying tuition bills.

The expenses don’t end there.

Channel 3 spoke with an expert about how to work with kids to budget campus spending.

“We see questions come up time and time again, ‘how much money does my college student need?’” said Mary Dell Harrington, co-founder, Grown and Flown.

Grown and Flown is a community of parents with college-aged kids.

Harrington said everyday expenses can add up for students.

So how much do they need?

“The consensus among the hundreds of parents who answered our survey was $25 to $75 a week,” Harrington said. “The most common answer was $50 a week. Or $200 a month.”

Parents said the number one thing kids are spending on is food, even if they have a meal plan.

Think about that morning coffee or late-night pizza.

“Students may have gaps where they are not able to eat on campus,” Harrington said.

They are also spending on experiences and everyday essentials like toiletries or things they need at the bookstore.

“You might as well prepare and bank that into your budget,” Harrington said.

Expect those expenses to go up if they live off campus.

“They’re going to have to do their own grocery shopping and meal prepping and maybe they want a nonstick skillet because they’re doing scrambled eggs,” Harrington said. “It’s just reality.”

Harrington said it’s best to have the cash conversation up front before they head off to school so everyone is on the same page.

For more information, head to Grown and Flown's website here.

Copyright 2021 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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