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Budgeting Basics

Now that you're in college, learning to maintain a budget is an essential skill in preparing for your future, keeping track of your income and expenses, and meeting your financial goals. A budget breaks down how much money you are receiving (income) and spending (expenses) each month. To keep your budget balanced, your expenses should be less than your income, meaning you spend less than you make. 

Budget Tool

Need a place to start in building in your budget?  Check-out our customizable budget tool to help you track your income and expenses (On-Campus or Off-Campus)!

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You Can't Always Get What You Want

Budgeting requires you to separate your needs from your wants.  While Netflix may seem essential (especially during finals week), it's not a necessary expense.  Needs include items such as housing, utilities, food, and transportation.  When starting your budget, assign funds to your needs first.  Any remaining money (also known as discretionary income) can be used to fund your wants.



Budget Busters

It's easy to justify small daily purchases.  Will you really miss that $3 for a daily trip to your favorite coffee spot?  But little "everyday" expenses add up.  Consider this: if you drink one $3 coffee every day, that comes to around $90 a month and $1080 a year!  Brewing your own coffee at home will cost a fraction of the price, and will save you massive amounts over time.




Tips for $uccess

  • From Zzz's to $$$
    When considering making a purchase that you want but don't need, take the night to sleep on it before making your decision.  Many things that you think you need in the moment will lose some of their lusters after some shut-eye!
  • Calculate expenses in "work time"
    Don't just think of purchases in terms of dollars.  Calculate how many hours of work you have to do before you can buy it.  If you're considering purchasing a $75 pair of shoes and you make $8/hour, it will take you over 9 hours of work to sport your new kicks.
  • Leave the cards at home
    Skip the temptation to pay with plastic.  If you're going shopping or out to dinner, pull out the amount you're willing to spend in cash and leave your debit and credit card at home!





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