How to Budget in College


Typically, when you leave for college, it's one of the first times that you have to budget for yourself. It's important that you keep track of a budget from the start, or you'll wind up in debt or not able to pay your bills. Here's how to budget in college.

Figure Out the Important Expenses First

Write down everything you can think of that absolutely has to be paid each month. This means things like rent, utilities, a car payment, car insurance, renters insurance, food, pet expenses like foods and cat litter, and anything else that you HAVE to buy.

Figure out the Things You Want to Buy

You like going out to the bars each weekend, you like having clothes and you like going out to dinner once a week. Making sure you have room for these items in your budget will allow you to get the important things out of the way first, and also make sure you have room for the fun stuff.


You want to have at least 3 months expenses saved up, and to start out I would aim for $1000 and go from there. Feeling like you've accomplished something by saving $1000 will make you feel motivated to save even more money. Make sure you budget for money that needs to go into savings, as well as your expenses.

Make a Budget and Stick to It

Yes, it sucks when you don't have enough money to cover this weekend at the bar, so you have to stay home. Yes it sucks that you can't afford that new Michael Kors bag. But, if you don't stick to your budget you'll end up going into debt or not being able to pay your bills.

Get An App

always have my phone on me, so I like keeping track of my budget on my cell phone. If you're the same way as me, having apps that will keep track of your money to is a great plan. The app I use now is called Moni, and I basically just import every expense and paycheck into the app. Some people like apps that keep track of your spending automatically, but it's way easier for me to keep track of my expenses manually. It keeps me on track. Some other really popular finance apps are Mint, Acorn, Level Money, and GoodBudget.

Thanks for reading!