4 Easy Steps to Create a Successful Budget for College Students


For most young individuals, college is when they first experience managing their own money, which can be a major concern for them and their parents as well.

Learning how to budget is a very important skill that every student should possess, if you want to survive life in uni.

No clue where to begin?  Don’t worry, it may sound daunting, but really, it’s not.  It’s a simple task that can save you from future money disasters, well that is if you stick to it. 

Which brings me to the first step and the ultimate rule in creating a successful budget…

1. Make the conscious decision to stick to your budget.

Creating a budget is easy, but sticking to it is hard.  Without this conscious decision, every effort given to your budget planning will just be useless.  So before you begin, decide that you will really stick to your budget and change your spending and saving habits accordingly.

2. Outline your income and expenses.

Map out all your incoming money like the allowance that you get from your parents, income from a part time job, grants, financial aid or money from student loans.  From there, categorize your expenses and chart a budget for each.  Keep it realistic.  Aside from fixed expenses like tuition, rent payments, transportation, utility bills, etc., make sure to add in a budget for emergency and “fun money” as well.  Just because you need to stick to your budget, doesn’t mean that you should deprive yourself from all the fun that college life offers.  You just need to be smart and wise about it.

3. Choose a way to organize and keep track of your budget.

There are many ways to organize your budget – using old school paper and pen, budget planners, Excel spreadsheet or through different apps that you can download and access from your smartphone, for free.

It doesn’t matter which one you choose, the point here is that in order to maintain a successful budget, you need to really see the ins and outs of your money and you can’t really do that without a “worksheet” of some sort.

Every dollar or even penny should be accounted.  By doing this, you will see where all your money is going and this will also encourage and motivate you to have good spending habits.

4. Review your budget at the end of every month.

Take time to sit and reevaluate your budget and spending for that specific month so you can assess your financial status.  This way, you’ll know where to adjust and make necessary changes.

Remember that budgeting is also a case of trial and error, especially for newbies like you.  It may take a few months before you get it exactly right, but that’s okay.  Don’t get discouraged right away if things don’t work out the way you expected it.

Just keep going!


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