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Get Ready for College: Budgeting

General Budgeting Advice

  • Choose to look at your budget based on a month, semester or year
  • List out all of your income and all of your expenses in order to get a sense of what money you have available
    • Determine needs vs. wants
    • Overestimate your expenses, they are always more than you expect
  • Plan for emergencies
  • Save for big ticket items.
    • Have a different account for savings so you don't see it if you check your balance.
  • Record your expenses so you can see if you followed your plan.
  • At the end of your time frame, review your budget and see how well you did. Recalculate goals for the next cycle.

Things to look out for

  • Shop around for text books and don't forget about ones you may be able to borrow from the library!
  • Credit Cards create real debt that you will have to pay back and can hurt your credit rating. On the other hand, if you put small amounts on your credit card and pay it off you can begin to build good credit early.
  • Be aware of any student loans you are taking out. When you finish school, you will have to pay those back.
  • If you spend $5 a day at Starbucks that adds up to $1,825 at the end of the year. How else could you spend that money if you saved it instead?

Budgeting Apps

  • Your own bank's mobile app. Often you can deposit checks and check your balance on the go.
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