A budget for your college baby

August 9, 2012 § 1 Comment

Got a student getting ready for college? Their new life includes many new experiences. Hopefully, one of those experiences will include becoming more financially independent. One way to help them might be helping them navigate the world of budgets.  We have discussed the yummy world of budgets before. Budgets are the go-to tool for helping us track and control our money lives.

But budgets boil down to two simple truths: what money comes IN – through income, and what money goes OUT- money spent or set-aside through expenses or savings.

 The goal is to have money left over, or to be at least even so that we don’t take on more expenses or bills than we have in income. The world of formal budgeting may be new to your student.  But in any case, a parent’s help and guidance as in your child’s past experience, is to connect your student’s past experience and understanding to this next step in their independence. We want to ensure the very best chance of their future success.

 Student budgeting involves this basic information.

 Income:

                Job

                Parent

                Student loans

                Scholarship        

                Other

 Expenses:

                Rent

                Tuition

                Books/ computer

                Living- utilities / phone / food

                Transportation

                Entertainment / eating out

                Other

I have included links to budgets that include more detailed ideas for categories, depending on the learning style of your student. Just help them remember it is income versus expenses. One friend broke down their student’s budget and spending money and then explained that any money for living could be broken down to a daily amount for use any way they liked. That simple idea made the larger concepts understandable.

 This baby of yours will learn more than book knowledge in their new adventure. With your help they will also learn some useful financial education as well. If the examples here don’t work for you do a computer search for ‘student budget worksheet’ or ‘template’ for some other examples.

 http://financialplan.about.com/od/moneyandcollegestudents/l/blcollbudget.htm

 http://www.balancetrack.org/collegestudents/pdf/studentbudget.pdf

 

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