How does one survive on a college budget? In a perfect world, easily.
What one should do, and what I have strived to accomplish these past two semesters, in order to survive in college monetarily, is to possess impeccable time organizational skills.
In order to be fully self sustaining in college, you need to take the minimum amount of hours to still be considered a full time student (12 hours per semester) unless you are on a scholarship, then the minimum amount of hours is 15. I advise the lower number because less class means less homework, and more sleep. While you are not in class, however, you must work at a job, and depending on the pay, work between 10-20 hours per week. Typically, what this will look like for a student's day is classes all morning (beginning at 8 am), work all afternoon, and then homework late into the night until it is finished. As far as where to live, a fully sustained student needs to find a place to live with very low rent, preferably with friends, and close enough to campus to either walk or ride your bike to class (in order to not pay for gas). In terms of what to eat, absolutely no eating out. If you are not on a meal plan on campus, purchase groceries once a week (you'll need to be proactive in searching for coupons) and cook for yourself throughout the week. You'll want to eat healthy and not just ramen noodles; if you don't take care of your body, you won't have the energy to do your hectic schedule. If you stay focused and work hard throughout the week. You may be able to find some personal time during the weekends that you can either fill with a nap, or with friends. Altogether, however, your living regiment will feel like a job.
You often hear college students say it's impossible to live on a college budget. This is not true. It is possible if you are willing to work at it, and sacrifice pleasure for progress. I'm here to tell you that it is possible. It's not fun during it, but when you graduate with little to no loan debt, it'll definitely be worth it.