Budgeting Methods For Students

Budgeting Methods For Students

Budgeting as a student can be slightly more tricky that budgeting when you have a full time income. Your income might be varied, and you might have lump sums paid into your account each term rather than a monthly salary.

That said, there is no better time to start learning about budgeting, and making this part of your day-to-day routine- it’s a great habit to take with you into full time employment and adulthood.

The 50 30 20 Method

The 50 30 20 budgeting method works on the basis that 50% of your income goes towards necessitates, 30% on wants, and 20% on savings.

This is a very simple method, and doesn’t require too much careful consideration. You could use this budgeting method if you want more flexibility in your budget, and do not want to be too tightly constrained by spending limits in certain areas of your life.

You could tweak these percentages a little based on what your income is- do you have a student loan? Do you parents give you money each month? Do you have a part time job alongside your studies?

There are so many variables that make it difficult to budget when you are a student. However by adjusting these percentages to suit your own needs and income, this could be a great budgeting rule to live by as a student.

The Zero Based Budget

The zero based budget takes a little more time to put together- you will need to track your expenses (via an app, Excel sheet, or pen and paper) before putting together your budget.

The reason for this, is that you need to know exactly what you are spending each month in order to put a realistic budget together for the following month. This makes you more likely to create an achievable budget that you have a good chance of sticking to.

The basis of a zero based budget is that you are working towards being left with ‘zero’ at the end of the month. In other words, all of your money should have been allocated to a category (including savings).

Excel Based Tracking

Tracking your expenses and maintaining a budget in Excel is a great habit to get into whilst you are a student at university.

You can also use google sheets to track your budget- and download the google sheets app to update your budget on the go. No excuses not to update your budget when it lives in your phone!

App Based Tracking

There are a multitude of money saving apps which you can use to help you budget whilst you are at university.

A brilliant option is Monzo– if you don’t already have Monzo, you’re missing out. It’s super easy to exchange money with friends, set a budget and track your spending.

Monzo will alert you whenever you have made a transaction, and will also let you know when you’ve spent your allocated budget for a certain category that month, AND when it looks like you might go over budget.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Lyndsey cooksey

    Lots of fantastic ideas here. I like the idea of Monzo too, something I’m going to tell my daughter about. Thank you.

  2. Ellen Stafford

    Great tips! Will share with my niece!

  3. Justine Meyer

    Great tips and ideas which I will be passing onto my daughter

  4. Rachel Craig

    Incomes do vary. Many seem to admire / aspire to Royalty / Monarchy / Celebrities / Politicians incomes. Why should this be? It would seem that these individuals have many different streams of regular income. Salary, Pension, Investments, Dividends, Benefits, Gifts, Expenses Account/s, Business/Es, Bonds, Bonuses, Trust Fund/s, Rental Income from property surplus to place of residence, etc.

    Many wonder how and where to access their first million, first property, first business.

    As when many are seeing expensive / lavish lifestyles and goods :- They may view that as the goal.

    As a student with a loan to fund further education an individual has the stress of that increasing whilst dealing with the stress of exams, etc. Seems no wonder that mental stress / ill health is on the increase within Britain / UK.

    One was encouraged to live within ones means in the past. Now there is very little employment to be had. Though for those within employment there is stress due to commuting, targets, unsocial hours, now Coronavirus (covid 19) has impacted on individuals, businesses, communities, etc. Happiness is eluding many. Finances being a main concern for students, unemployed, furloughed, etc, etc. Now fears of redundancies. Charities have concerns regarding resources. lack of donations due to general economic situation.

  5. claire

    These tips are so helpful!!! quite a few I could use!

  6. James Travis

    Great tip to share, thank you

  7. Amanda Botterill

    lots of great tips here for me to pass on to my kids

  8. natalie s

    SO useful thank you xxx

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