Whether you’re leaving home to travel or study, or you’re simply no longer getting that trusted allowance from mom and dad, knowing how to budget is a basic life skill we all need to learn, no matter how much it hurts.
Step one: Work out how much money you have coming in each month. This could be from an allowance, a part-time job, a scholarship or study plan. Write this total down.
Step two: Plan out your spending. Have you left home and have rent and groceries to pay for, are you contributing funds for part of your studies or is your biggest expense the fast food? Make a list of every expense you are likely to incur in a month.
Step three: Subtract your expected monthly expenses from your income. Hopefully you will have something left over. From this it would be a good idea to do that thing your parents are always on about… oh right, save. Save some money for a rainy day or an emergency, like concert tickets.
Step four: Keep track of your spending. There’s no point in drawing up a budget if you’re not going to check that you’re sticking to it. Compare your expected expenses with your actual expenses each month and adjust your budget accordingly.
And then there is, yes you guessed it, credit cards! They’re great for emergencies, but they need to actually stay in your wallet until then. That leather jacket was not an emergency… trust me on this.
So here’s the bottom line: budgeting can mean the difference between a great student life and eating noodles every day of the week. Plus passing budget basics 101 now - will really me later, oh gosh, sounds like mum’s talking.