How to Create Your Student Budget in Excel

Categories: College Life

A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went

Creating a student budget is very important if you are currently in college, or if you are planning to attend college within the next couple of years. A budget can help you organize your earnings to save money for college, for a school trip, or for a particular item you want to buy. Alternatively, your student budget could be an easy way of keeping your finances in top condition.

Instead of taking the time to write out your budget on a piece of paper, it is best to create your budget in Excel. Microsoft Excel enables you to add formulas to your budget that will compute mathematical equations automatically. For example, if you want to add your monthly expenses, simply create a row with your expenses and use the SUM formula to get the total.

Here are some items that must be included in your student budget Excel file:

  • Monthly expenses with details about where you are spending your money.
  • Monthly earnings with separate sections for each source of income.
  • Separate sections for expenses that are monthly and for expenses that occur on a one-time basis. For example, buying a bike is a one-time expense, while paying your cell phone bill is a monthly occurrence.
  • Set a limit for your different expenses sections. For example, you may want to limit food/drinks expenses to $200 a month, and miscellaneous shopping expenses to $100 a month. Place your limits on the column/row next to actual expenses, allowing you to compare your real spending against your targeted spending.

The importance of having a proper student budget cannot be overstated. There are many students think they do not need to waste time preparing budgets and believe that by simply choosing to spend frugally they will be able to handle everything. It’s not about being frugal or spending too much money. The reason a student budget exists is so you can see where you are spending most of your money. Sometimes it takes seeing the information on one page for you to recognize where you can save.

So don’t wait – go ahead and create your Excel budget spreadsheet. Having your budget in Excel will ensure that it is easy to maintain, update, transfer to different computers, and print out for your records.

Original Post Date: August 8th, 2013

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