Planning is the key to managing your financial life at school. A realistic and well-thought-out budget will allow you to control your spending.
A budget tells you where your money goes and what it does for you, and it keeps you up-to-date on how much money you have left.
Building your budget
The best time to build your budget is before the school year starts. Having an early look at your available resources and expenses will help you determine whether you need to find additional funding sources. Follow these steps to build your budget:
Step 1: Estimate your expenses
The cost of education varies from student to student and depends on many factors, including your:
- Program of study
- Spending habits
Be accurate and realistic about your expenses. If you are uncertain you can live by it, you won't. Try to figure out a sensible money-spending allowance and stick to it. Be sure to include some funds for unexpected purchases or emergencies.
Step 2: Explore all possible sources for funding
Resources may include:
- Contributions from parents/spouse
- Government loans
- Income from part-time or summer work
- Scholarships, awards or bursaries
- Your savings
- Other funding sources (bank loans, lines of credit)
Step 3: Monitor your expenses and create a weekly or monthly budget
Regular monitoring of your expenses lets you see where you are spending more than you budgeted. This helps identify where you need to reduce spending before you get into trouble.
Step 4: Keep an accurate file of all your expenses
Having an accurate file of your expenses is valuable when preparing next year’s budget.
Visit our Helpful links pages for more valuable budgeting tools.