Budgeting 101

Now that you have arrived on campus, maybe even started a new job, it is time to start thinking about how to budget. It is never too early to set out a budget plan for yourself to help manage funds and become financially responsible!

It is extremely important to come up with a monthly budget while in college to help you stay on top of your monthly costs. Those little things that you get can add up quickly making you wonder where all your money went at the end of the month. Let’s consider that a drink at Starbucks that costs $3 a day adds up to $60 a month! That’s the same cost of that new video game you’ve had your eye on.

If you were awarded Federal Work Study or Wentworth Work Study it’s important to keep in mind that you have a limit of what you can earn over the school year. For example let’s say you were offered $1,600 in work study. You should figure out a monthly plan that stays within that $1,600 over the course of the school year. We recommend using a monthly budget worksheet to start yourself out and alter as you go along (like this one from SALT!).

It’s important to remember that the first budget you set out will not be your budget forever. Changes in living situation, work situation and even family situation will always play a factor in what expenses you experience each month. If you find yourself spending more in one category than you had originally budgeted and less in another category then you can easily adjust your budget to reflect that change.

When it comes to tracking how much you spend a checking account and online banking can give you real time information on your spending and current balances. If you don’t have a checking account currently then shop around with various banks as many of them will offer student’s free checking accounts with minimal to no fees.

After you have created your budget you are already well on your way to saving money, cutting expenses and being financially responsible! If you need even more convincing on why you should budget check out this video from SALT below.

If you haven’t done so register with SALTMoney- a free tool for Wentworth student’s to learn about spending, loans, and overall financial literacy.

If you have any questions either the financial aid or SALT staff will be happy to help!

Until next time!

-Mady

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