A problem we are most likely to encounter though when we want to study away from home is having to stick to a budget. Well, you’re in for a good treat because we might just have what you need to overcome this problem that you can actually afford to be independent. 

What is a Student Budget Worksheet?

With independence come great responsibilities, one of which are the expenses you have to stay on top of. This is why before you even think of wanting to live alone, you must have a budget system with you regardless if it’s expert approved and recommended or something you have just developed on your own.

A student budget worksheet aids you in managing your money and organizing your expenses so that by the end of the month you’re still able to afford your education while having spare money to renew your Netflix subscription so you can stay up-to-date with the latest episodes of that feel-good, guilty pleasure TV series of yours.

Budgeting: Why is it Important?

Budgeting is an essential life-skill that one must master. Especially for students aspiring to live alone, it’s important that we know how to budget our money as studying on its own is already expensive even if education is supposed to be our innate human right. If you notice your parents are hesitant to trust your decision about wanting to leave to study, it most probably has to do with how you handle your money and from a parents view point, it’s understandable if they are unsure of entrusting a  hefty amount of money to someone they have witnessed to be bad at handling it.

For college students, budgeting may already be a concept familiar to you, in fact it should be. Before even entering the phase of your life that is indicative of where you’ll be situated in the future, you might want to create a college budget plan of your own. However, budgeting is not only limited to college students who are a few knocks away to adulthood because even kids as young as 3 or children with the basic concepts of money still living under their parents supervision not having to worry about when the next rent is due can start learning how to budget money, developing a budgeting strategy or at least its importance and one way to do so can maybe involve them in the home budget in the way that they can easily digest. 

Basics to Budgeting

For students entirely new to the concept of budgeting, we list simple ways to start creating your budget

List Monthly Expenses: This includes groceries, school supplies, dorm rent, utility fees and the like. This must also include your personal expenses that you’ve noticed to habitually purchase. Keeping a record of your weekly expenses can prove to help you track where your money goes and that way, you can allocate a corresponding budget for each. Realistic financial goals: Aside from the obvious reason that we want to cover all our expenses while having enough for emergencies and unplanned purchases, we want to budget because we want to keep track of a goal in mind that we want to achieve. Indicating your financial plans for the future that are of course in accordance with your financial capacity can motivate you to be determined in sticking to your budget and diligently updating as soon as it is absolutely necessary. Indicate your allowance and income: If you are gaining from other sources of income, it’s best to include that in your budget to know how much money you have and if it’s enough to cover the month’s expenses. Budget Methods: There are countless budgeting methods online that you can adopt. Although it all boils down to how religiously you stick to it, we would suggest the 70-20-10 rule. 70% of your allowance goes to living expenses (ie., rent, groceries, utilities, books, tuition), 20% goes to the savings or money that can potentially be used for emergencies or events that you do not anticipate and 10% goes to loans

The Psychology of Failed Budgeting

Like most integral life skills, budgeting is hard to maintain. It’s assumed to take up a lot of work or that it is a hovering reminder of how your bank account is close to plummeting the red zone. It also exposes how badly you are at managing your money which, if you’re already stressed out from having to work on that essay you believe will not benefit you and your career in the long run, is not something we need. As cited by Kristin Wong from The Cut,  Brad Klontz, psychologist and financial planner, likens budgeting to the agonizing aspect of dieting in the sense that to diet would suggest having to limit yourself access from what used to make you happy. He suggests reframing the budget to a spending plan as that way, we respond more positively to it as it loses the negative connotations attached to budget. 

Making a Student Budget Work

As previously stated, we fear budgeting because of what it implies and to mess it up would seem like the worst thing one could possibly do with how grave its impacts could be and these overpower our determination to stick to it. However, even if we wobble, that should not make us completely give up on our budget plans as there are always ways to pick up from where we left off and make it work. Remember, if there’s a will, there is always a way. 

Contrary to your pre-existing negative connotations, being effective with your personal budget is actually easy for as long as you develop the needed values and skills related to it. 

Priorities. Firstly, a student budget that works requires from its owner a clear understanding of what they need versus what they want. Remember your budget is limited and as much as it pains you not to purchase that new top modeled by a celebrity you follow, it is more painful to not have a roof on top of your head after failing to pay your rent. Smart shopping. It’s not exactly enough to know which purchases need to be prioritized although it is definitely a good start. You still have to be smart about how you spend your budget for these priority items. Especially when going through your grocery lists, you may want to buy some food items and produce in bulk. It also helps if you save up on those coupons and if you avail on student discounts.Be sharp. Most budget plans fail because of our tendency to forget to record our personal purchases which in all honesty, does the most damage as they are not fixed expenses and do not seem as intimidating as the ones that could potentially reduce your chances of having to eat thrice a day. Where your money goes, goes immediately to the budget worksheet.

Benefits of a Student Budget Worksheet

Keeping a student budget worksheet produces long-lasting benefits that should outweigh our intimidation of keeping it.

It reduces unnecessary expenses. Of course, it’s not easy to ignore the newest matte Sephora collection or even a tub of ice cream especially when we just got our allowances and a big sum of money can oftentimes delude us to think there is enough money to go around. However, when you know exactly where your money must go, it reduces our impulses to give in to consumerism.Develop better spending habits. A perk to a student budget is that it reveals how you spend your money and when you are aware of how you manage your money, you know which spending habits you can continue to practice and which ones need to go. This way you can develop better spending habits which is essential to making your student budget work. Avoid financial stress. The worst case scenario of being unable to manage our finances is the inevitable stress we should later have to cope with and coping from money is not something we can immediately recover from. A student budget worksheet prevents us from these troubles since it tracks our expenses and help us avoid wasting our money on unnecessary purchases.


What is a Good Student Budget?

The average student budget varies from one place to another and takes into consideration a lot of factors especially concerning one’s socio-economic status. In the United Kingdom for example, student living costs amount to a staggering £795 as recorded by National Student Money Survey. 

How Should a College Student Budget?

A college student need only to list their expenses and track religiously their spending keeping in mind that they should only spend within the limits of their allocated budget and nothing more. A college student may also opt to reach out for professional opinions from financial experts if they want to really discipline themselves from maintaining their budgets.

How Do You Create a Student Budget?

You won’t have to when you download any of our printable worksheets that only awaits your documenting of your monthly expenses.