A budget is, simply put, a plan for your money. By tracking income and expenses you can create a plan for your spending and saving.

Why should I create a budget plan?

If you have ever found yourself looking at your bank account and wondering where your money went, a budget can help. The most common cause of financial problems is spending more than you are earning. With a flexible, sensible budget, you can control of your money and avoid financial stress. It can help you limit spending and ensure there is enough money to do the things that you want.

How do I get started?

  • Build a starting budget with your best guess of what you spend in a month (on average), separated into categories like books, personal expenses, rent, phone, and entertainment.
  • Track your expenses for a few months. Then, compare these figures with your previous projections. You may be surprised to see where your guesses were higher or lower.
  • Once you have tracked your expenses, compare these to your income. If you are spending more than you are earning, you need to make changes.
  • Be honest about "needs" vs. "wants". Enjoying a store-bought coffee every single day is nice, but you could save up to $80/month by reducing this purchase from daily to weekly.
  • Review your monthly budget for any necessary changes. Remember: a budget is fluid, meaning that it will (and should) adjust as your income and goals adjust.

Use our budget planning calculator below and/or

Budget Planning Calculator

What you spend on college will depend as much upon your spending habits as the cost of tuition. For planning purposes it is wise to make a plan or budget that shows an estimate where you may spend money while in school. Below, we have put together several categories where you may plan to spend your money in order to assist you in your planning. Fill in the form below to make your own budget for one full school year. Add categories where necessary and skip those that do not pertain to you. Refer to our Cost of Attendance page to get the basic tuition, housing and meal figures. The form will automatically add everything up for a good approximation on how much one full year of school may cost. Then, you can adjust your budget accordingly.