Budgeting & Money Management for Students – Main Principles

Sharing is caring!


Nowadays money is becoming a problem due to many workplaces being required to close. And especially for those in the colleges and universities who not only have debt but also have less time to work, and even do not work at all in the current situation. Sometimes you may even need to get help with your studies, for example, with best writing service but remember to search for reviews. That is why many people may be looking at budgeting and money management for students – tips and tricks, especially. And we will show you exactly this.

Calculate the Net Income

Many of you, while in college, may have a part-time job. Others are participating in internships. They use their wages for everyday expenses and education payment. Some also have loans, scholarships, grants, monthly allowance, etc. It is important that you take into account those incomes while creating a budget based on your net income.

For the net income you need to deduct the taxes that you shall need to pay on your incomes. If you are receiving check, the checking account amount will be what is the net income.

Earn Extra Money

If you are not working, or if you are spending just a few hours of work a week, you may want to find a way to earn extra money, as long as you are not putting aside your studies. One of the easiest ways to do so if to go for freelance work. Otherwise, you can sell some old stuff, host a garage sale, create an Etsy shop, etc.

Estimate Your Spending

Now you need to see where your money is going. You can either total up the last purchases and payments you have made or see the bank statements. Below we will list some of the essential expenses that you will have to make and account for:

  • Rent
  • Bills (mobile, insurance, water, gas and electricity, TV Licence, broadband)
  • Course materials
  • Transport

There are also non-essential things that you will need to check for and plan for when preparing your budget:

  • Haircut
  • Gym membership
  • Eating out and nights out
  • Hobbies
  • Subscriptions
  • Travelling
  • New clothes
  • Gifts

Calculate a Budget for the Week

Now you have all the income and expenses in front of you and you should start working at a weekly budget.

First see what your total income for a term at the college is.

Subtract the essential expenses for that same period.

Now you have a number that you should divide by how many weeks are in a term.

And, voila, you have how much money are available for you to spend on non-essential things per week.

Put Some Goals on The To-Do List

If you have a good budget left after the step above, that is awesome. If you do not, however, you shall need to make some goals to spend less for the period you are on that budget.

The things you need to think about are two:

  • Reduce the spending, or
  • Increase the income.

For example, you can spend $20 on a takeout rather than $50.

Pay in Cash

When you work with credit or debit cards, paying for things is easier. But sometimes that is too simple. You can easily forget that swiping the card means paying money. And then, when you get your statement, you see that you have pretty much overdrawn your credit.

But if you are having your money in cash – not all, of course, but at least part of the money you will spend – then it is easier to navigate among the many, many options for spending and only take what you need or what you can afford.

Watch out not to get involved in impulse spending. That can easily become a problem. A person may freely get something that they do not need, even at a higher price than the average. No, you probably do not need that fourth jacket or the fifth pair of shoes. Also, peer pressure in an important factor in impulse spending. So, keep those things in mind and try to lower that behavior. Of course, everyone needs to treat themselves once in a while – that is why you are preparing a weekly budget for things that are non-essential.

What Then?

When you have prepared a budget, it is profoundly important to stick to it. Following the budget may seem hard at first but with time you will get used to it and find more ways to optimize it. Some other tips are:

  • Automate your savings.
  • Cook at home.
  • Purchase used schoolbooks.
  • Find fun for free.
  • Use online coupons.

But the enormously important point, that we already mentioned, is to stick to the budget. With time, if you do so, it will become easier to manage your money when you are out of college or grad school, when you have to budget for a whole family, and you will have an easier time paying off your college debt.

We know, trying to budget and manage your money responsibly may seem hard at first. You may be tempted to buy that nice pair of shoes, to spend a bit more on a takeout, to get that n-th drink for the night. But all these things should be reasonably managed for you to be able to live well-off, rather than wonder how will you manage to survive the last few days before paycheck.

When you stick to budgeting, remember to include everything in the budget. Yes, that means takeout, eating out, going to the movies, socializing, as well as pretty much most of the aspects of your life in college. That way you may find it easier to financially survive those years during which you work less and spend more for college tuition is large and time for employment is scarce.

The tips and tricks that we mentioned above can be helpful for every college student out there for pretty much every one of them needs to learn how to budget and manage their money because that will set them on a better path towards financial freedom later in life.