How to Create a Student Budget

April 20, 2021

Creating a student budget is probably the first and one of the most important steps to take after venturing into the adult world.

How to Create a Student Budget

It’s crucial to be prepared for whatever the world throws at you, from having your essentials like food and toiletries, hygiene products, and petrol, to freeing you up to go out and have some fun.

But a budget also helps you prepare for emergencies that you didn’t see coming, those unforeseeable expenses that spring up out of nowhere.

When you’re prepared, you’re opening yourself up to the benefits of preparations: less stress, a sense of security and confidence. These benefits allow you to accomplish your tasks and more importantly they allow you to enjoy yourself while you’re doing them.

With that said, here are the steps to take to create a student budget:

But wait! What is a budget?

A budget is a short or long-term financial plan tailored to whatever goal an individual wants to achieve. Whether that is long-term savings, short-term savings or covering basic expenses, the objective of a budget can serve a different purpose depending on the person who created it.

Step 1: It’s time to evaluate

That’s right! Before you begin creating your budget, you need to evaluate your current financial position. In other words, determine how much money you’ve been allocated  every month.

How you can do this is by fishing your bank statements from the trash where you threw them before realising their importance and studying the amount that comes in and how much money goes out.

Step 2: Create a spreadsheet

Once you’ve done this, head onto Microsoft Excel and open up a spreadsheet; this will help you get a visual of your current financial position and will assist you in planning your coming days.

Below is how your spreadsheet should be categorised, followed by your own income/expenses.

  • Income: Allocations less tax= total.
  • General expenses: rent, electricity, phone, insurance, food, petrol, etc = total.
  • Personal expenses: gym, Netflix, clothes, toiletries, stationery, social arrangements= total.
  • Savings: short-term amount, long-term amount= total.

Step 3: Calculate

Look at your statements, gather the amount you’re spending each month in the above areas and put each amount in its appropriate place in your spreadsheet. This will help you visualise how you’re spending your income and it will assist you in applying some strategy towards achieving your goal.

For example: go through how much you’re spending in each area and adjust it, even a little. Decide where you can spend less in one area or where you should be spending more in another area.

At the end of every month, you’ll be able to compare your monthly budget to your latest bank statement, where you can assess how your financial performance did against your budget.

Step 4: Savings

Not everyone will be earning enough money to set aside each month. However, by evaluating your finances through setting up a budget, you’ll probably find that you can cut down on some of your costs, which will leave you with an amount that you can, indeed, put away.

When it comes to savings, you need to set a goal of how much money you want to put away each month. This is a percentage of your income, which we recommend not being too high that you are  unable to cover your living expenses. Be realistic, because every little bit goes a long way.

As a student, making sure that you have a financial back-up plan is a good practice to have. This is why budgeting for savings is so important because in case of an unforeseeable expense, you want to have the funds needed to meet any situation that requires your financial attention.

It’s more affordable living at The Fields

Because we understand that funds are usually tight when you’re a student, we try and cater to your needs at a minimal cost. We want you to enjoy your stay with us and to flourish while you’re conducting your studies.

That is why we have gone out of our way to make sure your list of expenses is as short as possible, starting with taking internet bills off your monthly expenses: at The Fields, you get to enjoy free uncapped WiFi. Water and 24-hour security is covered in your monthly rent. We also want to remove travel expenses from the list, granting students easy access to nearby shops, a gym, and a laundromat.

The Fields is a student’s home away from home and provides so many options for you to learn, grow and save for a prosperous future.

Don’t wait – sign up now!

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