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What tips do you have for creating a monthly budget to keep track of expenses in college?

For instance, how would you organize a budget and what information would you include to make sure that you are on track and budgeting income and college expenses effectively? #finance #budgeting #tips


1. Use a spread sheet and label wants vs needs and then categorize; typically you "need" to cover cost of tuition, rent, groceries, book/supplies, transportation; the "wants" are usually new clothes, eating at restaurants, impulse buys off amazon, etc. Try to put estimate prices and then total it up and compare it to your monthly budget amount. 2. Apply for scholarships. You can meet cool sponsors who give great advice, and earn grants. This website helped me with tuition, so I will help you out since I'm fully covered now! https://www.goingmerry.com/c/caitlinp-l0dy 3. Invest and save you hard earned money https://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/savings-investing-for-students.pdf 4. students get great deals! google "Uniday" Caitlin P.

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Jason’s Answer

The most important thing when deciding to do a budget, is to assess your willingness to manage your spending according to your budgeted limitations. It doesn't take much discipline to create a budget, but "sticking" to a budget can be very challenging. The fact that you are asking this question, is an indication that you are willing to take this step. There are all kinds of tools available to you for creating a budget, and monitoring your spending against the budget. The tools can make it easier, but you can revert to pencil and paper if needed.

Step 1: Identify the various "categories" you would like to track. Don't overcomplicate it. Categories are important, because they give "insight" on what you spend you hard earned money on. This will inform you later on, when making hard decisions when confronted with your budget constraints. Be sure to identify your "Funding Source" categories (Income), versus your Spending Categories. Be realistic about both your inflow and outflow assumptions.
Step 2: Budget each of your funding categories. These are your financial capacity.
Step 3: Budget each of your spending categories, but be sure to limit the aggregate total so that total spending is <= available funds (Income). Our law makers are very bad at this basic principle, so don't follow their example.
Step 4: Its a good idea to breakout each line item into either monthly or weekly totals. The more frequent you assess yourself , the more likely it is that you will spend less and learn how to prioritize your spending.
Step 5: Start Tracking. Tracking is where the rubber meets the road. Be diligent in tracking all incoming and outgoing funds according to the categories you have established. Don't miss items. Tracking is where many of the "apps" that you can get on your phone are helpful.
Step 6: Monitor your progress and adjust your spending so you do not exceed your limits.
Step 7: Don't beat yourself up. You may find that your initial assumptions were not achievable. So you may need to adjust your budget for New sources of funding, or New sources of costs.

Overtime, sticking to a budget is a good life skill to learn and is likely to lead to making good financial decisions.




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Sarah’s Answer

Budgeting is hard to start, but easy once you get the hang of it. Before your money even hits your account, sit down and "spend" it - this means planning where every single dollar will go. Make sure to account for food, rent and other expenses, but also for savings and paying off any debt you have. Then, stick to it! Use an app to track it - Mint is a good one, so is Every Dollar, or even a spread sheet on excel! This way you're able to be in control of what you can spend and where. It also means you may have to make some sacrifices. If you are saving up for something, you may want to put more money in savings and say, cancel your cable. Or maybe you will need to make your lunches at home. Having a goal is always a great way to motivate yourself to budget!


Good luck! You got this!


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Tiffanie Love’s Answer

I started budgeting by just using ledger paper when I was a kid, to keep track of money received and ways I spent it. I was a born this way. I started by just listing the money I had and adding and subtracting the money I received or spent. In time I set up limits to what I thought I would spent each week or month. It helps to begin by tracking your spending habits for a month before starting a budget, then you can set budget based on realistic habits. You may want to begin by reducing the amount of money you spend snacking for example. You can also set up more than one budget, if you're saving for something specific, this is how I bought a bike once. Later I started doing the same thing in Microsoft-Excel (you can ask questions here on how to use this as well), but today, you can do all this using a very a secure application called Mint. You can download it from a smartphone store or use it right on the internet using Mint.com. Happy budgeting.

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Lee’s Answer

The most important piece to this consistently tracking your income and expenses. You should also try to avoid consumer debt as much as possible as you'll find your money goes further.

As others have recommended, you can use apps for tracking a lot of your expenses. Personal Capital is one that I use that others have not recommended. For me, it was easier and more accurate to categorize expenses. I would also recommend checking out Zero Based Budget - this really moved the needle for me in terms of creating and sticking to a budget.

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Carlos’s Answer

There are a lot of free phone apps, that help with this, they tell you exactly what you need to add, and some if you allow them too can connect to your bank account and track your spending.

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Prentice’s Answer

Keep track by constantly tracking spending habits. Most banks have a mobile app so you are able to check within seconds. With this you can also check for any monthly reoccurring costs that you may not actually need. Sure keep Netflix but the subscription to cologne may no longer be needed.

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