Setting up a budget doesn’t have to be hard! Creating a clear plan for your income and expenses means you can pay for all your essentials and still have enough money to have fun.
Consider all the money that you have to cover your expenses.
- Do you have a job?
- Does your family send you money on a regular basis?
- Are you on a scholarship?
- Do you have savings?
Write all of this down to determine how much money you have on a weekly or monthly basis.
Work out your expenses
The next step is to work out where your money goes. A simple way to do this is to look at your bank statements and track your expenses for the past few months.
Consider expenditure for:
- Utility bills
- Mobile phone recharges/bills
- Education (including books)
- Credit card repayments
- Health insurance
- Car maintenance, registration, petrol
- Gym memberships
- Don’t forget, you should always try to have some money available in case of unexpected expenses.
Do the sums
So you now know how much money you have and how much money you need.
If you have money left over once you subtract your expenses you are ahead.
If you have debt, then devote any extra to paying that off as quickly as possible and avoid high-interest charges. No debt? Think about saving the extra for any emergencies or a holiday.
If you have more expenses than income, the next step is to think about reducing your spending where you can.
Balancing your budget
Having all details recorded will allow you to assess the best/easiest ways for you to reduce your expenditure.
Extra expenses like entertainment, eating out, clothing, hobbies and fitness are often an issue in student budgets, as too many of these extras add up quickly.
You still want to have fun, but maybe you need to be smarter about your spending choices.
Expert tip for paying your bills
Now you have balanced your budget, you will have a good idea of your regular costs like rent and various utilities such as phone, electricity and internet. Using an online bill payment system like BPAY makes it easy to pay those bills securely. You can even schedule payments* so you don’t have to stress about bill due dates.
Most universities and institutions have free Financial Assistance Services and can help you out with advice. If things are getting tough, they can also point you in the right direction for interest student free loans, scholarships or even access to emergency food vouchers.