How to Start Successful Budgeting in College

How to Start Successful Budgeting in College
  • Opening Intro -

    Broke students! This is one of the most common assumptions about students.

    The student life is synonymous with having little money and partying a lot.


However, one of the key skills that can support you while you go through with your student life is to learn how to budget. This may sound boring and cliche to some, perhaps you’ve heard your parents talk about it or heard it from teachers at school – however, the benefits of budgeting cannot be overstated.

This article will provide you with key information on how to set up your budget and how it can help you go through college without fear of ending up with a couple dollars for food at the end of the month.

Budgeting 101

This list will help you develop a positive attitude that allows you to manage your money:

  • 1. Check your expenses

    There are some key expenses at college, for example, tuition bills and rent (plus if utilities are included, if not you’d have to calculate for that as well). You need to put these costs at the forefront as this will make sure you sail smoothly through college.

    The next secondary expenses are groceries, travel, clothes, books, and entertainment. You will need to research living expenses in your area, ask your parents how much they spend on groceries, etc. to find out how much you need to spend on these areas.

  • 2. Make a list/budget

    You can now use an app or an excel/numbers sheet to set up your budget. You will simply list the expenses you will make with a column for the budgeted amount and a column for the actual amount. The total of the budgeted amount will show you how much you need to actually have on hand to survive according to your budget.

    If you have excess in your accounts, then kudos to you, you can easily survive on your budget! If not, you will now need to look at part-time jobs or help from family that might help you make up the difference.

  • 3. Keep track of your expenses

    If you are using an app, you can probably scan receipts or have your bank account linked to your account and card so that your expenditure is automatically reported. If not, you will have to manually add this to your excel budgeting sheet.

    There may be times when you spend more than you budgeted and times when you spend much less. It is an ongoing process and the more you save the more you have to spend the next month or save for big one-time expenses, like tech and travel.

Think about downloading:


This is a great app for budgeting. It links to your bank account and credit card so that you can set up your budget and keep track of how it goes.

Remember!! Do not think of your budget as something that limits your freedom and enjoyment at college! It is simply a manner of understanding your current predicament when it comes to your finances. Student loans need to be paid back! College degrees need to lead to a job!

other valuable tips:

Enjoy your college years because they can very well be some of the best years of your life, but remember to stay on top of your finances as this is a skill that will prove indispensable as your progress through life.

If you found this article helpful or if it inspired you to try your own hand at budgeting while at college, definitely share it with your friends and roommates!!

Image Credit: Pixabay

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Consumer Tips reference:

GUIDE: lower family living costs


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