Bear Basics of Budgeting

Budgeting is an important part of managing your college funds. Take the time to look at how much money you are making (income) and how much you are spending (expenses) and you will see positive financial results. No budget generally means overspending and no money in your pocket. Learn to determine your needs vs. your wants.

Step 1: Start here by accessing this handy budget calculator to see your approximate income and expenses.

Step 2: Next, use the CashCourse Monthly Budget Worksheet by first, adding your monthly projected expenses and income, then at the end of the month put in your actual amounts. You will see if you have a negative or positive amount each month and if you need to scale back on your spending. If you have a particular expense goal in mind like Study Abroad or purchasing a new iPad, this monthly projection will help you see the habits you might need to change.

Step 3: Lastly, use the College Budget Worksheet which helps you determine your yearly expenses and income while saving for that long term goal and preventing overspending. The cell formulas are protected so that they can calculate your spending, but if you need to add lines or make adjustments, the password is: Financial. You can copy the monthly budget you created in Steps 1 & 2 into this worksheet. Then continue creating your more detailed yearly budget. The spreadsheet allows you to change the start of the budget year.  This spreadsheet begins in July which is in the financial beginning of the Fall semester (since the first bill is due on July 31), and goes through November which is the end of the Fall semester billing cycle.  If you want to create a  Spring budget, just change the first month to December and go through April.  You may be surprised at your own spending habits!

Follow these instructions and this budget guide to help you complete the worksheet.

After building your budget, track your expenses each month with this easy app!