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.)
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|
|Birthday money from Grandma||$40|
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|
|Misc. purchases (e.g., face wash, movie ticket)||$32|
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.
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