Education is an investment in your future – it costs you time and money, but the rewards are great. You get an education and enhance your career potential while building your credit rating.

In order for you to make a wise investment and to hone your money skills, educating yourself about finances and setting a yearly budget are essential.

Setting a budget

Figure out your expenses and resources

Fixed costs:

Monthly costs:

  • Rent/mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Food
  • Entertainment
  • Past debts

Your resources:

  • Savings
  • Student Loans
  • Scholarships
  • Parental Contributions
  • Part-time Earnings

Factor in the number of months you are in school and figure out your monthly budget.

Resources less fixed costs  = living allowance

Living allowance divided by number of months in school = monthly living allowance

Write your budget down

Use a budget planner listed on the side of this page or create your own.

Review your budget

Are there areas in your budget where you over- or under-estimated?

Track your spending

Keep receipts for everything you buy, put them in an envelope and, at the end of each month, add them up. Are there areas where you can reduce your spending?

Maximizing your resources

Use the tips and tools on the right to find out where you can spend less.

  • Are you paying too much in bank fees?
  • Are you using your credit card too often?
  • Are you eating out too much?

Before or if things get out of control

Talk to a Financial Aid Advisor about your options.