I think you’ll agree with me when I say:
College is NOT CHEAP. In fact, it’s so far from cheap that it hurts.
That’s why it’s important to know what all your all your expenses are. Because when the price tag is that high, you want to avoid over spending at any cost.
Luckily, you can see what an entire semester of college will cost you in just minutes. This will give you ample time to plan accordingly and to make financial adjustments ahead of time.
In this post, I’m going to show you how you can do that + give you the tool you need to accomplish it for free.
What’s one of the top reasons a college budget fails?
A lack of planning.
You may be thinking to yourself:
“Planning takes a lot time. Where do I even start?”
That’s where my College Semester Budget Templates come in. All the hard work of determining what expenses there are, which are fixed and which are flexible has already been done.
No more scratching your head, wondering – no, hoping that you included everything in your budget.
Have you ever gotten that sinking feeling when an unexpected expense pops up and you have to scramble to afford it? Yeah, no one likes that feeling.
The good news is:
You can banish that feeling from your life with just a little bit of effort.
These Budget Worksheets have everything you need to successfully plan out a semester financially.
All you need to do is fill in the blanks.
My Budget Worksheets are broken down into 5 simple sections.
Here’s what those sections are:
- Fixed Expenses
- Flexible Expenses
I want to talk a little bit about each section.
Want to plan your budget monthly? Get my free Monthly Budget Sheets here.
First, are the expenses. I’ve already talked about these (above), so I’ll make this brief.
Fixed expenses are expenses that will be the same total amount no matter what. Nothing is going to change the cost of these bills. Think tuition, your phone service and car insurance.
Flexible expenses are expenses that can be changed, reduced or even eliminated entirely. Examples of these are: food (grocery bill), clothing and entertainment – eating out, movies, etc.
When filling out the Semester Worksheets, I recommend estimating HIGH on flexible expenses. Give yourself some room in your budget to avoid losing your sanity, and if you don’t end up spending all that you’ve allocated for a particular expense – great.
It’s better to come in under budget than over budget.
If you have any incurred debt going into a semester that’s something that you’ll want to track, too.
Here’s the deal:
It may not seem important now, but a good credit score will open a lot of financial doors for you that you’ll want open later.
And having a history of on time payments will only help that score go up.
Stay on top of your debt payments by writing down what you still owe, what payments you can afford and what you’ll have left by the end of the semester.
Watching your debt go down is REALLY motivating.
The income section is where you can calculate how much you are going to be bringing in. If your total income is too low to cover all your expenses, you can quickly see that.
This allows you to decide what you’re going to do about something like that now, instead of at the last minute – when you’re stressed.
Here are some common college student thoughts:
“Can I afford to not work between classes?”
“Should I be applying for more scholarships or grants?”
“Do I need to take a loan to cover tuition?”
These are all questions you can answer confidently when you plan out your finances.
When you know what you’re working with, it’s easy to live within your budget.
Lastly, this brings us to the “Savings” section on my Semester Budget Worksheets.
If you already have a nice emergency savings stash of cash going – that’s great. You can write down your combined initial savings for the semester in this section.
If you don’t have an emergency fund, it’s a good idea to make a goal of getting one together.
Because even with a perfectly planned budget, accidents happen and so do unforeseen bills.
I just had to buy a new tires thanks to a nail ruining a tire. The grand total for a new set was $700 – ouch. Good thing I had money set aside in my bank account.
Plan for the unexpected when you make it a habit to save money. You can give yourself a monthly goal and a goal for the semester on the Budget Worksheets.
And, watching the number in your savings account go up is actually pretty addicting.
You’ve read all about my College Semester Budget Worksheets. Now it’s time to use one to plan out your own budget.
The first step?
Printing one out.
Said worksheets are available in my Resource Library. To gain access to them (and 15 other free printables) you’ll need to password for the library.
You can get that password, and instant access to my College Semester Budget Worksheets, sent to you when you enter your email here or in the box below.
And, the best part?
You can print and use all the resources in that library for free!
Once you’ve put pen to paper, forecasting your semester budget will only take minutes to complete. Just fill in the empty spaces with your monetary information.
From there, you can be self-assured that you have all the facts before making decisions that affect your finances.
Leave a comment to let me know what section you’re going to start with first.
Either way, drop me a quick comment below.
Need more guidance? Learn how to make your first budget with my complete guide here.