It’s really difficult to budget as a college student, especially if you happen to live on campus (as I do). Most of my bills are paid during 2 months: August & January. This is when my tuition is paid, my rent is paid, my books are bought, and all those additional fees like parking tags are taken care of. So, it’s really difficult to budget out your money (some of which you don’t have yet) in a manner that satisfies your needs and leaves you with a little bit of a buffer.
I initially started my budgeting ventures for this year by making a fall budget and spring budget, but after a bit of reflecting, I decided that it doesn’t really help me in the long run this way. I can’t see patterns in my spending and adjust for them, I can’t really set aside X amount for my Emergency Fund (EF) every semester, and it’s just difficult to keep things in perspective when you’re looking at categories of spending over the span of 5 months. So today, I listed all anticipated income and expenses (everything from haircuts to taxes), and made official budgets for every month in Excel. It’s pretty basic, no fancy calculations or anything, but I think it will be something that I can keep to a lot more easily than I could a semesterly sheet. So, what are the items I have to budget for?
- applications to grad school
- standardized testing fees
Those last 2 will really hit you for doozy (almost $900…ridiculous). Aside from my main, on-campus job, I am also working an internship during the semester and plan to
sell my body sell plasma. Every cent of that money is going to my Emergency Fund/Savings Fund. Yeah, I know you’re supposed to have both, but my plan right now is to build up one “do not spend” account and then split them later. Does it make sense? Yes. To me at least. Right now, with my bank, I have a checking account and savings account. My savings account will be my “do not spend” account =). I’ll be keeping track of how well I keep to my budget on this blog (y’all will hold me accountable, right?). I’m hoping to increase my net worth by a bit as well, so I’ll post about that every once in a while. I’m really excited, because I’m hoping that next semester I’ll be able to split my account into the EF & SF (because without the test aps & ap fees, I’ll have another $840 to put in my budget!!! Plus I’ll be able to have a smaller present budget [no Christmas!!! - is that something I should be happy about?])…