A budget is a plan for how you spend the money you earn or receive each month.
Budgeting is key when it comes to managing your finances.
There are some great apps available which can help you budget.
- How Do I Budget?
- How Can I Increase Income?
- How Can I Reduce Expenses?
Where Can I Find Budget Calculators?
- How Can I Prep for Future Income?
- Determine how much money you have coming in (income)
- Determine where you need and want your money to go (expenses)
- If it helps, track your expenses for 3 to 4 months to get averages of how much you are spending on:
- Tuition and Fees
- Books and School Supplies
- Rent or Mortgage (or Room and Meals if living on-campus)
- Cell Phone
- Dining Out (including fast food and coffee shops)
- Entertainment (movies, concerts, etc.)
- Medical Expenses
- Holidays & Gifts
- Enter income and expenses into a budgeting app or budget calculator. Are your expenses less than or equal to your income?
If more money is going out than coming in, you are most likely borrowing
from the next month’s budget or going into debt. Either way, you are
borrowing from your future income
. You either need to
increase your income or
decrease your expenses.
Seek out as many scholarships as possible. They won't find you! Explore scholarship opportunities here.
- File your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) early at
fafsa.gov to get the best financial aid package available to you.
It's available October 1, 2016 for the 2017-2018 school year!
- Find a part-time job with the help of Student Employment. Try to stick to under 20 hours per week so it doesn't mess with your academics.
- Use your smarts, hobbies, or interests to earn money! Tutor high school students, walk dogs, babysit, or sell crafts and creations online.
- Sell things you no longer need. De-clutter and earn cash at the same time.
- Check out our Savings Opportunities to help reduce your expenses.
- Don’t compare your spending and finances with your friends. You don’t know where their money comes from. They could have family or friends helping, or they could be charging up a lot of debt. Focus on your finances and what you can afford.
- Use the 30 Day Rule. If you want something – but don’t need it – take a step back for 30 days. This gives you time to think about whether or not you should purchase it and if the value it adds to your life is worth the price. It also gives time to search for a better deal.
- Know the time value of your money. How long do you have to work to earn the money to purchase that item? Or are you borrowing from your future income to purchase it (i.e. debt)? Is it worth it?
- Consider going cash only. It’s easy to swipe a debit or credit card… too easy. Studies show people spend 12% to 18% less by using cash instead of cards.
You can find them in multiple locations. You can use apps, online options, or spreadsheets like those you can download below.
- Monthly/Semester Budget Calculator (Excel)
- Annual/Four Year Financial Plan (Excel)
"12 Free Apps To Track Your Spending"
MoneyWise Online Budget Calculator
- You Can Deal With It Online Budget Calculator
Mapping Your Future Online Budget Calculator