A new school year has begun. Even though you’re busy moving in and gearing up for the new semester, it will be important to create your budget for the upcoming months. As a student, money is tight when you’re in school. Whether it’s your first or last year in college, a budget will help make your school year a little less stressful by organizing your expenses and encouraging more efficient money management. Use the following five tips for your college budget and make the most of your dollar:
Estimate your income accurately
Birthday money from a relative is a great surprise, but it’s not reliable income that you get each month. When calculating your monthly income, only include money that is received on a regular basis. This may come from a part-time job at the cafeteria, weekly tutoring sessions, or an allowance from home. If it’s expected money received on a regular basis, then it should be listed on your budget.
Stay on track with your budget
Stick to your budget. Consistency is key to successful financial planning. To make the process easier, try downloading a printable budget worksheet, using budgeting software on your computer, or downloading a mobile app that will create a budget for you. Pick which method works for you and makes your life easier. A budget is supposed to help you, rather than cause a burden.
Be specific when planning
The more detailed that your budget is, the easier it will be to track your spending. Knowing exactly where your money is going will help you evaluate what is necessary spending and what can be eliminated to help you save. Create as many categories as you need based on your lifestyle such as groceries, dining out, clothing, school supplies, gas, and entertainment.