How to budget as a student

If you’re a student, you probably know the struggle of being completely broke. I’ve tried it and I hated it. I decided that it should never happen again. It was 1,5 years ago. Since then, I’ve been budgeting constantly. Now, it’s a huge part of my daily, weekly and monthly routines.

I use a template that came with my Microsoft Office package. I know that not everyone has that exact package and I’m not sure if it comes on all laptops. I have a MacBook Air so try to look for it if you have a MacBook.

You should find it when you open Excel just like shown here (in Danish though):

The one called ‘Personligt budget’ – personal budget.

When you’ve opened it, it should look like this (maybe in another language?) and it’s actually really simple to use it. Under ‘Monthly income’ you write your income sources and your income after tax.

I deleted the text later and made a fresh and translated version which is linked in the bottom of this post. You can download it for free.

Once you’ve written that you go to the middle column which is a list of your monthly expenses. Here you write all your expenses including the day you paid the bill or bought the shirt. This helps you to see exactly how much money you spend where and when. That way you can easily see where you spend unnecessary money and try to cut those expenses. This might take a few months to realise but it will help you in the long run.

If you’re saving up, you should use the third column to write how much you will save this month.

If you’re into a bit more complicated budgeting, you can write your bank account status in the ‘Monthly income’ column and add a lot of savings. This gives you a complete overview of your financial status and not just for this month. To make it work you use the bank account status from the 1st in every month. I’ve been doing this for the last three months and it has helped me a lot, since I’m saving up for a trip to New York in March 2017.

That is how to start budgeting as a student. It’s a really simple method that works the best for people who don’t have a bunch of fixed expenses.

If you don’t live with your parents and have to buy food and the more serious things, you can make a meal plan. I honestly don’t have much experience in this field but I know the basic tips; make a meal plan and stick to it, avoid fast food, go to the cheaper grocery stores, have a food budget and stick to it. But I highly recommend checking out She has much more experience than I (obviously, I’m 17, haha) and she’s great at explaining the basics of budgeting.

I hope this post could help you. You can download the template here.

Stay happy, stay beautiful.

– Ellie xoxo


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