How much money do you need to have to meet your expenses? The end goal for every student is to make sure that your income covers your school expenses and living costs. Just download the budgeting spreadsheet and start the process!
Estimate all the income and expenses you think you’ll need over the school year (8 month period from September – April). If your academic year is different, you can adjust it accordingly in the yellow box.
Input Expenses and Income
Provide an estimate for each of the categories in the red cells.
- Education Expenses: you can find your current outstanding balance for your tuition on Mosaic or if you want more information on textbook costs, check out The Campus Store website
- Living Expenses: input your estimates under the Monthly column
- Income: once you have entered your income, the spreadsheet will generate the amount of money you will have each month for spending
Check your bottom line
Are you spending more than you have or are you making more than you spend?
- If you are in a surplus, you are set for this school year! Proceed to step 3.
- If you are in a deficit, you need to make some changes. There are 3 ways to do this: add income, cut expenses, or a combination of both. Proceed to step 2.
There are two types of expenses: fixed and variable. Fixed expenses are generally the same every month and can be difficult to change. Generally fixed expenses account for the largest part of your budget and therefore reducing these expenses will have the biggest impact. Fixed expenses include rent, cell phone plans, cable and insurance.
Variable expenses typically change from month to month. These types of expenses are often the first to be cut; however, this can be a difficult to do as it focuses on giving up some of your wants. Cutting back here requires real commitment. Variable expenses include: food, gifts, and clothing. Try to find additional sources of money if you have a big deficit. Check out the paying for school section for more resources.
Input your revised expenses in the yellow column.
- Even if you did not make an adjustment to an expense, just input the same number that was listed in the Preliminary column.
- Hopefully you’ve made it to a surplus. If not, look for other expenses you can cut comfortably.
Congratulations, you have built your new budget for the school year! Here comes the difficult part; maintaining this budget. The second worksheet found at the bottom of the budgeting spreadsheet will provide you with a concise summary of your budget.
- Manage your fixed costs by setting up automatic payments or post-dated cheques. This will ensure that these costs are always paid on time. No one wants to pay late fees!
- Manage your variable costs by utilizing tracking apps or if you want to do it the old fashioned way, just keep allocated amounts in an envelope or jar.