When I first started college, I had the hardest time finding a budget that suited my needs. I didn’t need to calculate tuition, housing, meals, or books, because it was all covered due to financial aid, scholarships, and loans. I didn’t want to count my student loans as a source of income, as I also had a part-time job for spending money. So how did I do it? I made my own.
As with any budget, I decided what a reasonable spending amount for each category would be. The numbers pictured below are completely made-up, but I typically do not spend more than $25 a month on eating out/groceries/activities. I spend maybe $10 a month on gas– unless I’m traveling home, then I fill up the tank. (Thankfully, my sister and I both split the gas cost if we’re headed home.) I tithe every month, and it’s easier for me to do a bi-monthly tithe based on what my Friday paycheck is. (I struggled with that for months and the answer finally came to me!)
Most people run to Etsy or Erin Condren to get a fancy-dancy organizer. Being the broke college student that I am, I used exactly what I had: notebook paper, a binder, and file folders with the pockets. I keep all of my “to pay” bills in the front pocket and once they’re paid–I write down when I paid it and how much– I hole punch them and put them in my 2013 file. Simple, right? If you’re wanting an actual budget planner, Dollar General sells one that is pretty cheap. My mom has been using it for years, so it must be great.