Budgeting & Saving
Set up a budget and spending plan before you start school and again before your payments begin – and revise it whenever your situation changes.
Some expenses can be difficult to predict, but if you create a spending plan that includes money for unexpected costs you will be able to manage your money better – and this will definitely save you lots of stress!
Remember to review and revise your budget whenever needed. Plan on doing this at least a couple times a year so that you can stay on track. Managing your money can be easy – it just takes on-going awareness of where you are at and a little organization.
Know Your Budget and Create a Spending Plan
Here are some things that you can do. Start by setting up a simple spreadsheet to:
1. Identify and add up every source of income you have, such as:
- Employment income
- Student funding (loans and grants)
2. Itemize and add up all your up-front, one-time expenses while attending school, including:
- Tuition and books
- Damage deposit for rent
- Watch for and itemize any unexpected administration fees
3. Make it a habit to pay yourself first! Every month, put a portion of your monthly income into:
- An emergency fund
Whether you are accessing funds from a source of money (ie student funding such as loans and grants) or from a part-time job or summer employment, get in the habit of always putting a portion of your income into an emergency fund AND a savings account. Your financial health is as important as your spending habits!
4. Document and add up your monthly expenses, including:
Knowing how much it costs you to live on a monthly basis will help you become a master of managing your money.
5. Record your expenses
- Keep ALL your receipts, review and categorize them – then add them up
It’s the little expenses that can really add up! Know how much money you are spending on extras, and where your money is going. This way – you will be able to find opportunities to cut back and save when the need arises.
Your Financial Fitness
Whether you are a new post-secondary student or a recent graduate – being aware of your money and taking these simple steps towards knowing and understanding your spending and saving habits will lead to success – you will be able to stay on track and create financial fitness for the rest of your life.
For more information about managing your money and setting up a spending plan, visit:
Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS):