desk piggy bank and calculator | college student budget template
Read time: 2 min

So you’ve landed a job—congratulations! Whether it’s working the register in your campus bookstore or something more on the path to your career goals, having a job and a steady influx of cash can be empowering. But before you spend all your hard-earned wages on some high-end leggings or a pair of Jordans, take a minute to think about creating a budget to help manage your money. That way, you can pay your bills, set aside some money for the future, and still buy some things you want.

Use the basic budgeting guide below to get started. (Already been doing this money management thing for a while? Check out our in-depth guide to budgeting.)

infographic | college student budget template

STEP 1 Add up your income for a chosen time period (e.g., one month). This includes all the money you make from different sources.

Income Amount this month
Student loan $650
Part-time job $900
Birthday money from Grandma $40
Total income $1,590

 

STEP 2 Add up your expenses for that time period. This includes everything you spend your money on.

Expense Amount this month
Rent and utilities $650
Groceries and dining out $280
Phone bill $75
Misc. purchases (e.g., face wash, movie ticket) $32
Total expenses $1,037

 

STEP 3 Subtract your total monthly expenses from your total monthly income to find out how much you have left over.

Total income/month = $1,590
– Total expenses/month = $1,037
Amount left over = $553

STEP 4 Decide what to do with the amount you have left over. Tip: Set aside a portion for spring break, student loan repayments, a car, or any other big expenses you have coming up.

Another option is to invest any surplus cash you have coming in to generate some interest while you’re finishing school. This will help you be more prepared for getting your own place and paying back student loan debt post-graduation.

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Article sources

Bryan Ashton, BSBA, assistant director, Student Wellness Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus.

Larry Pike, CFA, financial planner and advisor at Client Priority Financial Advisors LLC, Needham, Massachusetts.

CampusWell. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.campuswell.com